Pope laments ‘murder’ of missing Mexican students

November 13, 2014

11/12/14 Reuters

Reuters/Tony Gentile

Reuters/Tony Gentile

Pope Francis on Wednesday expressed his sorrow at what he said is clearly the murder of 43 missing Mexican students, though the government has yet to officially declare them dead after their abduction and apparent massacre in the southwest of the country in late September. Mexico’s government has said evidence suggests the 43 trainee teachers were handed over by corrupt police to members of a local drug gang who then incinerated them, but it has yet to confirm the deaths for lack of definitive proof. The case has plunged President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government into its biggest crisis and sparked huge protests. On Saturday night, some demonstrators set fire to the door of the ceremonial presidential palace in central Mexico City. “I’d like somehow to say that I am with the Mexicans, those present and those at home, in this painful moment of what is legally speaking disappearance, but we know, the murder of the students,” Francis said in his general audience in the Vatican.

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Crisis in Mexico: The Protests for the Missing Forty-Three

November 13, 2014

11/12/14 The New Yorker 

MIGUEL TOVAR / LATINCONTENT / GETTY

Miguel Tovar / LatinContent / Getty

In a televised press conference on Friday, Mexico’s Attorney General, Jesús Murillo Karam, announced that the forty-three missing students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School had been executed and incinerated in the municipal dump of Cocula. He added one important qualification: the fragmented remains were too badly burned to permit any quick forensic confirmation of what the Attorney General was presenting, in macabre detail, as fact. Many people in Mexico City told me that they were in tears before the conference was over. The writer and musician Juan Carlos Reyna said that the news conference made him feel “like all of Mexico was being asphyxiated.” He was not alone. That evening in Mexico City, hundreds of people walked over to Avenida Reforma to sit on the steps of the monument known as El Ángel to clear their heads, take deep breaths of the fresher evening air, and share their thoughts. A slogan for Mexico’s civic movement was born that night. Murillo Karam had ended his press conference by saying, “Ya me cansé,”—“I’m finally tired” or, more colloquially, “I’ve had enough.” By the end of that night, #YaMeCansé was spreading on social networks, summoning people to a march in Mexico City the next night: #YaMeCanséDelMiedo. I’ve had enough fear.

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Protests Over Mexico’s Inaction on 43 Missing Students

November 6, 2014

11/06/14 NBC News 

Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP - Getty Images

Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP – Getty Images

It’s been 40 days since 43 college students vanished and on Wednesday there was anger in the streets here.Tens of thousands of demonstrators brought parts of Mexico City to a standstill as protesters demanded more action from federal authorities to find the students who have been missing since late September.The marchers included students from the rural college the 43 attended in southwestern Mexico — and also regular people from all walks of life who were frustrated with what they called government corruption and cooperation with murderous drug cartels.

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Mexico missing case: Students go on strike in solidarity

November 5, 2014

11/05/14 BBC News

AFP

AFP

University students in Mexico are starting a 72-hour nationwide strike in support of 43 trainee teachers who disappeared in the south-western state of Guerrero more than five weeks ago. The students are also planning a protest march in the capital, Mexico City, on Wednesday. The 43 disappeared after clashing with police in the town of Iguala. The fugitive mayor of Iguala was detained on Tuesday for allegedly giving the order to intercept them. Jose Luis Abarca and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda, were detained without a shot being fired in a modest house in a working-class neighbourhood of Mexico City. A woman who had rented the house to the couple was also arrested on suspicion of aiding a fugitive.

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Fugitive Mexican mayor and wife arrested in connection with missing students case

November 4, 2014

11/04/14 The Washington Post

guerreroThe fugitive Mexican mayoral couple accused of provoking the confrontation that led to the disappearance and possible deaths of 43 students in the western state of Guerrero have been arrested, Mexican authorities said Tuesday. Federal police spokesman José Ramon Salinas confirmed in a tweet that the mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda, were detained in Mexico City, weeks after they went on the lam. The disappearance of 43 students from a small teachers’ college in southern Mexico in late September has become a defining case in Mexico’s struggle to establish law and order.

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Keeping Mexico’s Revolutionary Fires Alive

November 3, 2014

11/02/14 New York Times

Daniel Becerril/Reuters

Daniel Becerril/Reuters

In their first week of school, the new students eat and drink nothing but beans and cold coffee, and spend sleepless days cleaning up the buildings and planting crops. It is a “boot camp” to foster a sense of community and prove that they really want to be here at the Escuela Normal Rural Raúl Isidro Burgos. The small teachers’ college in southern Mexico has been at the center of a national crisis since 43 of its students disappeared in September after a violent confrontation with the local police force, which has been infiltrated by a drug gang.

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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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