Mexico and the world were stunned to discover that a son of one of the country’s most notorious drug lords, El Chapo Guzman, was kidnapped in a restaurant located in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. The incident that occurred a week ago instantly became a dreadful international headline for millions of Mexicans because it has the potential to result in deadly repercussions. However, a crucial question arises: If it took one week for his son to be released, how has it been almost two years since the parents of the missing 43 students last saw their sons?
In the midst of anticipating surges in drug-related violence and the instigation of an intensified territorial conflict between cartels, this state’s response in dedicating security personnel to look for Jesus Alfredo Guzman reflects a disgraceful indifference of the national government: armed rescue expeditions are formed to prioritize looking for the lives of kidnapped narcotraficantes, not for the thousands of average citizens who have been disappeared and neglected.
Within this intolerable amount of disappearances lies the 43 normalistas from Ayotzinapa that has drawn the current Mexican president, Enrique Pena Nieto, under intense international scrutiny. Though these events took place in two different states, the Attorney General of the state of Jalisco expressed a level of commitment and concern that was not expressed by his counterpart in the state of Guerrero or in the national government. Moreover, the children of narcos and the missing normalistas all victims of a drug war the Mexican government continues losing.
The missing normalistas, students of rural teaching colleges, were instantly criminalized and became associated with the drug trade by conservative media outlets with the intention of reducing the significance their lives truly represent. Tanais Padilla, a Mexican historian on the escuelas normales, argues that these type of students have and continue suffering a history of having their popular education and means of addressing their grievances criminalized. Yes, Mexican security personnel were deployed to investigate clandestine pits in the outskirts of many municipalities, but with the intention of covering up the role the state executed in this tragic event.
When one of this drug kingpin’s sons was found to have been abducted, domestic media emphasized his criminal background, but failed to prevent themselves from appearing more concerned about his whereabouts than the truth the Mexican government is preventing the families of the missing students from justly receiving.
The reason for why “Alfredillo” Guzman was taken hostage from a reunion of friends and relatives continues being subject to debate. Being the son of the former most wanted narco lord, Alredillo is an easy target and a profitable subject of extortion.
Anabel Hernandez, an investigative expert on Mexican national security and drug war, recently told CNN en español that she has been in contact with a member of the Guzman family who confirmed that the kidnappers asked for large sums of money for the release of some of thosse friends and relatives that were also kindapped. Her televised analysis speculated that this could have been orchestrated by the collusion of various rivaling cartels, such as the family’s cousins known as the Beltran Leyva, and the merciless Cartel de Jalisco Nuevo Generación. This is credible considering the fact that El Chapo’s mother’s ranch was also assaulted back in June and is theorized to have been a result of this menacing collaboration. A series of events intending to either take control of lucrative drug routes or wipe out a lineage that operates the domination of the Sinaloa Federation is coming to light.
This abduction cannot be justified: no one deserves to be violently seized in the manner that Alfredillo Guzman experienced. What is disturbing about his release, though, is the very fact the government cooperated in looking for someone wanted for facilitating drug smuggling operations, but not for the students who were eager to teach the most marginalized students in Mexico’s countryside. Although 111 people have been detained on suspicion of participating in the disappearance of the normalistas, their parents, like millions of mexican citizens and global allies, know that it was the state who orchestrated this horror.
The worst has yet to come. As rivals of the Sinaloan cartel seek to conquer their plazas and greater stakes in the territorial control of the golden triangle, these incidents are more likely to occur. What does this mean for Mexico? Violence will be susceptible to dramatic increases and in manifesting in various forms. What does this mean for the resilient mothers and fathers of the Ayotzinapa students? Unfortunately that the passing time will allow these alarming headlines to overshadow the need to continue mobilizing in solidarity with the demand to allow these 43 young men become the teachers they are meant to be for their community.
Ivanito escaped, Alfredillo is now free, but there are definitely high levels of resentment towards those who sought to extort one of the strongest cartel families in Mexico’s history. The former Mexican attorney general resigned, the military and police of Iguala continue enjoying impunity, but there are 43 normalistas who desire informing the world of how complicit the state was in permitting the horrendous acts committed upon their liberties.
Specific state governments in Mexico have proven they prefer to deploy state forces to look for the people responsible for the kidnapping of organized crime participants instead of admitting their responsibility in ordering the silencing of these student’s radical mobility. The world must continue organizing every 26th of the month. The Mexican government must be held accountable for working towards delivering justice to narco aristocracies and not valuing the lives of the disappeared.
Christopher Lopez plans to continue expanding on this argument in the near future. For any concerns, comments, or collaborations, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.