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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Gunshots Sowed Panic Before Killings in Mexico

October 8, 2014

10/08/14 New York Times

youth with handgunOn the day 43 students disappeared in this southern Mexican town, the mayor’s wife was finishing up a speech to local dignitaries on family social services while townspeople waited for a celebratory dance afterward. Suddenly shots rang out a dozen blocks away and people fled in a panic. Some think the incidents were related, though federal officials said late Tuesday they still have no explanation for violence Sept. 26 that killed six, wounded at least 25 and left so many missing.

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Parents in Mexico wait, and hope, as mass graves probed

October 7, 2014

10/06/14 Los Angeles Times

Protestors and police - Jesus Villaseca Perez (Flickr)Angry, desperate parents on Monday demanded the safe return of 43 missing university students, even as officials indicated that at least some were probably killed and dumped in mass graves. Twenty-eight bodies were recovered from a string of hidden pits over the weekend outside the city of Iguala in Mexico’s Guerrero state, and authorities were working to identify them through DNA and other tests. The students, all of them freshmen, went missing Sept. 26 after they were attacked by Iguala police. They constituted about one-third of their school’s first-year class.

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Mexico finds mass graves with 28 bodies where students went missing

October 7, 2014

10/06/14 The Washington Post 

police in tjMassacres and mass graves are rarely a surprise in Mexico anymore. The nation’s drug gangs have periodically used them as a public intimidation tactic or to one-up their rivals with escalating displays of large-scale savagery. But the discovery Saturday of 28 bodies in a charred thicket on the outskirts of Iguala, a town 125 miles south of Mexico City, is a different kind of horror. The corpses turned up about a week after 43 college students vanished in the town while protesting new education laws. Some of the missing were last seen in the custody of local police.

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43 Missing Students, a Mass Grave and a Suspect: Mexico’s Police

October 7, 2014

10/06/14 New York Times 

schoolThey were farm boys who did well in school and took one of the few options available beyond the backbreaking work in the corn and bean fields of southern Mexico: enrolling in a local teachers college with a history of radicalism but the promise of a stable classroom job. Leonel Castro, 19, the oldest of seven siblings, vowed to use his salary to help his impoverished family. Júlio César, 19, thought he could run a school one day and ensure the best for the next generation. Adán Abraham de la Cruz, 23, wanted to put his computer skills to good use in the classroom. “He was just preparing himself to get ahead like any young person would do,” said Mr. de la Cruz’s father, Bernabé.

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