Op-Ed: How our drug and gun habits tie in with the 43 missing Mexican students

October 21, 2014

10/20/14 Los Angeles Times 

Weapons seized from Mexican cartels last November

Weapons seized from Mexican Cartels.

So what of the missing college students? Searchers have found six mass graves but so far none of the bodies has been identified as any of the missing students. Think about that. Six mass graves of the slaughtered, and they still haven’t found the rightmass grave. That’s an unconscionable level of violence, one for which the United States bears some responsibility even though the killings happened more than 1,000 miles south of the border. Why? According to recent news reports, a key outlet for the Guerrero Unidos gang’s drug trafficking is Chicago. And as a study last year through the University of San Diego’s Trans-Border Institute found, a large number of the guns with which Mexico’s drug wars are being waged were trafficked in from the U.S.

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Mexico offers reward for info on missing students

October 21, 2014

10/20/14 The Washington Post 

justice - lawThe Mexican government announced rewards Monday of 1.5 million pesos ($111,000) for information on 43 students from a rural teachers’ college who have been missing since Sept. 26. The government ran full-page ads in Mexican newspapers with pictures of the 43 young men. The government also offered 1.5 million pesos for information on those who had abducted or killed the students. The government says it still does not know what happened to the students of the radical teachers’ college, after they were rounded up by local police and allegedly handed over to gunmen from a drug cartel.

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Powerful Photos Capture the Student Protests Barely Anyone Is Talking About

October 20, 2014

10/16/14 World.Mic

Duncan Wood

While the world has focused its attention on the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, there’s another student movement gaining steam on the other side of the world. The unfolding protests gripping Mexico began in the small town of Iguala, in the southwest region of Guerrero state, where the disappearance of 43 student teachers on the night of Sept. 26 has sparked outrage amid allegations of collaboration between local police and organized crime. “Iguala is just one example of the level of decay in state and municipal security institutions,” Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., told the Washington Post.

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Mexico Federal Police Take Over Security in 13 Municipalities

October 20, 2014

10/20/14 Bloomberg

federal police mexicoMexico’s federal police took over security in 13 towns after investigators uncovered alleged links between local police and organized crime, a security official said. Authorities were investigating the disappearance last month of 43 students from the town of Iguala in the southern state of Guerrero when they made the discovery, National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said at a news conference yesterday. Twelve of the towns are in Guerrero, where authorities are looking for the teaching students who disappeared last month from the town of Iguala, 120 miles (193 kilometers) south of Mexico City, after clashes with local law enforcement left six people dead. Gang members acting in tandem with local police killed 17 of the students, state prosecutor Inaky Blanco said on Oct. 6.

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Thousands march in Acapulco over feared Mexican student massacre

October 20, 2014

10/17/14 Reuters

hands - fistThousands marched in the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco on Friday to demand answers about the fate of 43 missing trainee teachers, who authorities fear were massacred by police in league with gang members. The students went missing in the southwestern state of Guerrero on Sept. 26 after clashing with police and masked men, with dozens of police being arrested in connection with a case that has sent shockwaves across Mexico.

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Suspected Student Massacre Shocks Violence-Weary Mexico

October 15, 2014

10/10/14 Newsweek


David Shirk

They could not have known that what started off as a routine drive to raise funds would end in one of the gravest criminal acts in recent history in Mexico. Several of the 43 disappeared students had only recently arrived in Ayotzinapa, a small town in Guerrero State, to start classes at the teachers college when they were hauled into official vehicles by local police, not to be seen again. The authorities’ involvement in this case proved to be the last straw, says David Shirk, senior security adviser at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ Mexico Institute. “Government authorities have just as much impunity as the criminal actors who have preoccupied our attention for the last five or ten years,” said Shirk.

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Protesters burn Mexican city’s government offices over suspected murder of students

October 14, 2014

10/13/14 Washington Post

fireProtesters ransacked and burned government offices Monday in Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero state, in an explosion of outrage over the suspected kidnapping and murder of 43 students by corrupt local police. Anti-government rallies have been held in several Mexican cities since the students’ disappearance Sept. 26 and the subsequent discovery of mass graves outside Iguala, about 120 miles south of Mexico City. But on Monday, the protests turned violent. After clashing with riot police, about 200 demonstrators stormed an office building in the state capital, toppling and torching vehicles outside.

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