Ayotzinapa continues to resist Mexican government repression twenty-one months later as the family members and community of the missing future teaching revolutionaries continue demanding their presence. This community’s normalista school, rural teacher colleges slowly dwindling across Mexico, experienced a tragedy September 26th, 2014, when forty-three of their compañeros were kidnapped and three of their classmates lost their lives. They continue to be oppressed from the impunity the federal government is extending to national military elements complicit in the student tragedy that has caused a global uproar. As students with the privilege of not having to study in the midst of an extremely violent war on drugs, it’s important we continue to demonstrate our transnational solidarity every 26th of the month until their families receive the justice they deserve. Por que, si fuel el estado.
The Latinx/a/o Chicanx/a/o student community on our campus was shocked to hear about this and became concerned over the days as this school’s students and family members took the streets demanding the presence of their sons and peers. Whether we are children of Mexican, Central American, or South American migrants, our family’s history understands the trauma caused by forced disappearances and corrupt authoritarian powers, the very circumstances that motivated this state’s government to believe that this would simply be forgotten in a matter of days. This is why many on our campus decided to organize and discuss Ayotzinapa.
The following days of mass graves revelations and police officer arrests only emphasized the levels of violence that have skyrocketed since the ex-Mexican president declared war on domestic organized crime. As we individually and collectively reflected on the social atmosphere that accompanied their educational pursuits, many of us decided to commit ourselves towards not allowing the world to forget this grand injustice on Mexican student mobilization. The cruel nature of forced obscurity orchestrated by this government has succeeded in doing so for the names and experiences of over 100,000 no longer living in Mexico and for the over 27,000 awaiting to be found and reunited with their loved ones.
The normalistas from the Escuela Normal Raúl Isidro Burgos and the family members of those kidnapped asked the world to demonstrate their transnational solidarity on November 20th, 2014, the very date recognized for the proclamation that announced the coming of democracy as the Mexican Revolution began. At UC Berkeley, over three hundred of us denounced what occurred and the demanded the truth from the government in the midst of pouring rain. It was beautiful. It was revolutionary. It was speaking thousands of miles south of the border preventing us from marching to the Mexican president’s palace together. Yet, month after month, our solidarity front start getting smaller and smaller as their resistance hardened.
Now, twenty-one months after this horror ensued, our solidarity is more important and needed than ever. The government has sought to officially close their investigation and expelled the independent commissioner of human rights tasked with monitoring Ayotzinapa’s case because of the truth they did not allow the government to suppress. I had the privilege in going to Mexico City and met with Omar Garcia, a surviving normalista, and he said this: “It does not matter if you are ten, forty, or one hundred. We are thankful that you still mobilize for my brothers because it assures us that we are not alone”.
On June 26th, we will be having a demonstration, informing the Berkeley community about what occurred and how the Mexican state is responsible for this mass disappearance. This date is special because it also is the Support. Don’t Punish Global Day of Action, a global advocacy campaign dedicated towards raising awareness of the various harms being caused by the war on drugs. Ayotzinapa students and family members denounced Plan Mexico (the Merida Initiative), when some of them caravanned through the United States last year, because it’s this bilateral treaty with the United States that has financed the militarization of the Mexican security forces violating human rights. This day will seek to highlight much of the interconnectedness between punitive and military counternarcotic policies and the student and citizen uprising being silenced.
A country’s war on drugs and organized crime should not be disappearing future professors and intimidating their family members demanding justice and honest governmental cooperation. That is why the war on drugs and organized should end in the United States, Mexico and the world.
The action will be taking place on the south side entrance of UC Berkeley on June 26th, 2016 from 12:00pm – 3:00 pm.