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43 Missing Students from Mexico — Spring Demonstration at Washington Square & Recent News

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On a Sunday afternoon in late April of this year, a demonstration took place at Washington Square Park to push for international help and more information about 43 students known to be missing from Mexico; their exact fate remains unknown. Parents of the students along with many others came to New York City for the action, marching to the United Nations with demands. The demonstration showed a creativity and an aesthetic quite different from ones held in the U.S. for various causes, while spirited and innovative, they are not quite so colorful, with so much heart. The photos were posted at the time on the WSP Blog Facebook page but not here at the blog. The situation  has been in the news again lately and it seems a good time to post the photos.

For a brief catch up on what this is about, see: Could the 43 missing students in Mexico finally lead to reform? Vanity Fair November 2014:

On September 26, 43 students set out from their school in Ayotzinapa to attend a protest in nearby Iguala. The mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, had a politically driven wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda. A woman with purported ties to locally organized crime, she was giving a speech that night and there was some concern that the students could ruin her moment. Protesters had disrupted speeches in the past. Authorities say her husband ordered police to sideline the students. In the clashes that ensued, six people were killed, and the 43 students disappeared.

TIME magazine, Details of the Investigation Into the Missing 43 Mexican Students Have Been Made Public from earlier this week:

Mexico’s Attorney General Arely Gomez Gonzalez released an 85-volume file on Sunday through her Twitter account revealing details of the Mexican government’s investigation into the fates of 43 students who went missing last year.

Gonzalez previously allowed reporters to go through a printed copy of the approximately 54,000-page investigation document with only the help of pen and paper, according to the Associated Press. The online publication of the file likely comes at the behest of Mexico’s National Transparency Institute, which has called for its release.

A group of 43 teachers’ college students from Ayotzinapa disappeared in the Mexican town of Iguala on Sept. 26, 2014. Investigators later said that the students were kidnapped and killed by a local gang and their bodies were burned beyond recognition. The government says that many gang members suspected of involvement have been arrested.

The kidnappings sparked outrage throughout the country, leading to protests against a perceived lack of transparency by President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government in the handling of the case.

An international panel of experts sent by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has since called the Mexican government’s version of events physically impossible, AP says, and accused it of masking the extensive presence of federal police and the army in the area at the time of the kidnappings.

Demonstration at Washington Square April 2015:

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This Wikipedia page has more information.

Photos: Cathryn

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