Few Expect Mexico’s Government to Suffer at Polls, Despite Outrage Over Abductions

04/25/2016 The New York Times

AFP
AFP

MEXICO CITY — In a drab white tent along Reforma Avenue here, across from offices of the attorney general, a small group gathers each day to maintain the vigil for the 43.

The tent bears their black and white images: forty-three students from a teachers college, seized by the police in the city of Iguala in September 2014 and never heard from again; literal and figurative reminders of their absence.

The same street once teemed with hundreds of thousands of protesters, whose collective anger helped turn the disappearances into a global indictment of the impunity gnawing at Mexico, and a symbol of the tens of thousands of people who have vanished during the nation’s drug war.

Yet that rage, like the crowds themselves, has dissipated, raising fears that in spite of its handling of the case, which was recently criticized by an international panel of experts, the government will face few political consequences.

“Just like any social movement, the tide goes out,” said Rodrigo González, 22, a student in Mexico City and one of the volunteers who has lived on-and-off in the tent for the last year. “People have jobs, run out of money, they get distracted. The government bets on this exhaustion, and the forgetting, but what we are here for is to remind society that they should never forget.”

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