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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Students protest in response to the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico

Layla Nicks
Layla Nicks / The Daily Wildcat Eric Avila, a Masters student studying Spanish, leads a protest near the administration building Friday. The group is advocating for the safe return of 43 Mexican students.

A group of students protested outside the Administration building today regarding the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico.

The group held up signs with the faces of some of the missing students and chanted, “You took them alive, bring them back alive!”

Eric Avila, a Spanish graduate student, said students from around campus, such as the department of Spanish and Portuguese, rallied to protest injustices by the Mexican government. According to Avila, the main focus of the protest was the disappearance of the 43 students.

Avila also said the disappearance was believed to be conducted by the Mexican government, and that most likely, the students were already dead. This belief stems from mass graves found near Iguala, Mexico, containing 28 bodies that appeared to have been burned alive and are currently undergoing forensic investigation to see if they match the missing students.

Mass graves like these are common and have been seen the past eight years, Avila said.

According to a report from CNN, citizens were calling for Gov. Angel Aguirre’s resignation. According to the report, Aguirre wanted to step down so there would be more time devoted to solving the case of the missing 43 students.

“From the very first hours” of the disappearance, Aguirre told CNN, “the state government took immediate measures to detain police officers who were directly involved and other individuals who were identified as participants in these criminal acts with the purpose of locating the missing students and pay the necessary attention to the victims.”

The students also protested against the Mexican government favoring funding towards certain schools and allowing others to fall into ruin. Avila said the missing students came from schools in the poorest areas of the country.

The students gave background information on the situation during their protest. According to them, Mexican authorities opened fire against students in Iguala on Sept. 26. Six of the students were murdered, 15 were kidnapped and tortured and 43 are still missing, according to the group.

Isidro Luis, a Spanish graduate student, said the problem is the violence in Mexico. She added that the protest is being done in conjunction with others occurring throughout Mexico and other countries, and the purpose is to show solidarity as well as demand answers from the Mexican government.

Avila said the Mexican government has been making deals that only benefit those higher up in society, such as deals with drug cartels, and that this has caused violence in poorer parts of Mexico in the last eight years.

He added that at the moment, people are trying to peacefully overthrow the system that is causing the distress occurring in those poorer regions.

“The Mexican government has always given the very good appearance that Mexico is going to be a first-world country, but in reality, only the highest sectors of the social classes are the ones who benefit, and the lowest classes, right now, are literally drowning in their own blood because of the deals with the cartels,” Avila said. “In there are some parts in the South of Mexico where the mayors and the cartels are actually the same thing, and any time of protest is met with death.”

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