Demonstrators participate in annual marches in Mexico to remember the students slain in the worst massacre the country has seen. Ten days before the 1968 Olympics, soldiers and police alike gunned down dozens unarmed students. Mexico City’s Tlatelolco massacre, its death toll unknown, is described as “the most dramatic incident” to subdue political resistance. A series of investigations on the circumstances surrounding the 46 year-old incident have been inconclusive.
This time around, demonstrations held on October 2 are poignant as protestors remember a contemporary disturbance. Six are dead in Iguala city. Forty-three more are missing. Demonstrators around town of Chilpancingo have reached the thousands and are being joined by the families and friends of the missing students. They are calling for the students’ safe return.
That safe return, however, has been endangered by the discovery of a mass grave. The grave was found outside of Iguala. While it is has not been confirmed that the bodies belong to the missing students, the anonymous tip has heightened fears.
Margariot Ramizez believes the police have taken his missing son away. He contends that they know where the children are. Speaking on behalf of the families, friends, and protesters, Ramirez demand that the children be returned in the exact condition in which they were taken .
The missing students are trainee teachers at Ayotzinapa’s Normal School. Government education restructurings and elevated university fees incited them to protest. As reputable radical activists, the students hijacked a bus.
On last Friday, they were observed being by police into squad cards. When the police open fired on the bus students, six students were killed. General Iñaki Blanco, the state attorney, confirmed that 43 students were delivered into the hands of criminal gangs.
Many feel that the latest incident proves how the country’s system has collapsed. They believe politicians are unable, or unwilling, to act in the face of the drug-related violence that permeates Mexico. Since 2006, drug-related violence as accounted for 80,000 deaths and 22,000 missing persons. Guerrero, one of Mexico’s poorest states, carries the highest rates in murder as of 2013. The murders are a result of turf wars between drug cartels.
Amnesty International’s Perseo Quiroz expresses concern with the investigation efforts and advocates for a “proper process.” He ascertains that days have passed since the incident while the first hours are the most crucial. As time progresses, the students will be more difficult to find. He says authorities involved should be questioned for the information they have.
About the 1968 massacre in Mexico, Quiroz offers that government should recognize how big a part students play in massive demonstrations and ensure protocols that would keep them safe.
Banners and placards of students who are marching in Mexico City adorn the number 43 in remembrance of those missing. Guerrero students travel to Mexico City annually to partake in demonstrations.
Slogans commemorating Mexico City’s Tlatelolco massacre are professed by the demonstrators. Many cry out against how people continue to disappear and students continue to be killed without any response from the government. They fear that anytime the Mexican government does not like what students say or do, occurrences like this happen. The Mexican military along with many Guerrero state police are searching for the students. The missing students’ families and friends join the effort as frustrations peak.
An $80,000 has been offered be the state government for anyone who can provide information leading to the missing students. There remains no lead on who gave the order to annihilate students in the Tlatelolco massacre but demonstrators hope for more conclusive information from the Mexican government this time around.
By Charice Long