OP/ED by DD
I saw on the news protesters marching in Mexico City. So what! ,
One group of another is always protesting in Mexico City. It is a daily event.
But then I started looking at the news reports about more protests in support of the 43 missing male students from the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.
Something real was happening here A seminal event.
Something real was happening here A seminal event.
In the northern border region, university students spearheaded a brief blockade of the Santa Fe Bridge connecting Ciudad Juarez and El Paso on the evening of October 31. The action was the fourth closure of an international border crossing by protesters in the northern Mexican city in about three weeks.
On the same day, approximately 400 students, teachers, doctors, garbage collectors, and others occupied a toll booth on the Tijuana-Tecate Highway in Baja California in solidarity with Ayotzinapa.
“What we are doing today in Tijuana might seem insignificant,” said Marco Antonio Pacheco Pena, coordinator for the Teacher Resistance Movement. “But it is a grain in the sand of what is going on at the national level, because this is being repeated in other states, in the sphere of human rights, public education and labor rights.
Students and community members were also on the move in the Sonora border cities of Nogales and San Luis Rio Colorado
in the state capital of Hermosillo, 1,200 rural teacher students attended a Day of the Dead event that prominently featured an altar for the Ayotzinapa students.
On Sunday, November 2, more than 1,000 demonstrators returned to the streets of Tijuana again, demanding the safe return of the Ayotzinapa students
In Oaxaca, meanwhile, a large movement blockaded the Puerto Escondido airport, seized gasoline stations and occupied department stores
Among the biggest October 31 demonstrations was the march held in the old tourist center of Acapulco, Guerrero, where thousands of students, teachers, popular movement activists and relatives of the AyotzinaAcapulco demonstrators also demanded justice for murdered activists like Rocio Mesino, leader of the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra Madres gunned down in October 2013, and freedom for Nestora Salgado, Marco Antonio Suastegui and other Guerrero leaders the popular movement regards as political prisoners.
The chief of the community police in Olinala, Guerrero, Salgado sent a message from her jail cell in Nayarit, where she is being held on what supporters insist are kidnapping charges that were trumped up after her policing activities disturbed the interests of organized crime.
“What a shame that I am not here,” Salgado said. “If I were here, I would be at the first in the struggle to uncover the assassins of these companions.”
A day prior to the Acapulco protest, some 5,000 people marched in Tixtla, the town closest to Ayotzinapa and home to 14 of the disappeared students, also demanding the new Guerrero governor’s ouster
On November 2, the Day of the Dead, 60 people held a vigil for the students outside the White House.
Even the most elite of the elite, from the richest families in the US, students from Harvard, MIT, Boston University, Tufts and Berklee and other top universities in the US joined the protest movements against what happened to their “little brothers” who were students from families of dirt poor farmers who barely eke out a living from the soil.
Students from the school have spread out across the county to meet with groups organizing protests and give them first hand information on the school and what happened in Iguala. With one change of clothes and a backpack, Carlos Martínez, a third year student at Ayotzinapa, left his home state of Guerrero to hitchhike more than 2,000 kilometers [1,200 miles] to the state of Chihuahua to meet with protesters in that state.
I saw one figure that in 67 cities in 27 of the 31 states there were protests. And that figure was from a week or so ago. Certainly more now as the protests continue and grow.
Even Pope Francis and President Obama, the United Nations, the European Parliament and many other organizations and countries joined the chorus expressing their concern over what happened in Iguala
Yesterday, 40 days after the students went missing, and one day after the Mayor of Iguala and his wife, the alleged masterminds of the disappearances were arrested in Mexico City where they had been hiding, tens of thousands of protesters marched again in Mexico City and brought parts of Mexico City to a standstill.
If the moral outrage is not enough to cause EPN and PRI to look in the mirror and see the monster they have created, and take substantive and real actions to slay that monster by taking real steps to eliminate corruption in government and protect and serve the people, maybe money will get their attention.
In the “Congress Blog, The Hill’s Forum For Lawmakers and Professional Policy Makers”, affectionately called “the HILL”, widely read by members of Congress and their staffs, was a recent story that began;
“The U.S. government-funded Merida Initiative was supposed to bolster Mexican government efforts to promote the rule of law and human rights. The accountability failures exposed by the Iguala atrocity suggest that it’s time to take a closer look, to ensure that U.S. taxpayer money is part of the solution rather than part of the problem.”
In addition to that warning from Washington, in a report issued Oct. 1, Mexico's own central bank kept interest rates on hold on Friday and argued that a recent spike in inflation would quickly fade next year while flagging the risk that social unrest in the country could dampen a modest recovery. That would lower the projected GDP growth and discourage foreign investors from investing in Mexico.
IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE
The state of Guerrero has always been in the vanguard of political and social changes in Mexico. It’s very name is a homage to the great revolutionary Vicente Guerrero, a native of Tixtla -where Ayotzinapa is- and one of the most visionary leaders and committed to the people during the War of Independence. it was in Acapulco (which is in Guerrero) where Morelos unveiled his Sentiments of the Nation and called the Congress of Chilpancingo to create and found the new nation.
There could hardly be a more appropriate site than Iguala de la Independencia, Guerrero, to begin a urgent process of national reconstruction. It was there that the Independence of Mexico was completed with the signing of the Plan of Iguala and the development of the national flag on February 24, 1821. On that historic day they were able to unite the various nationalist forces that then defeated the Crown of Spain.
Making Iguala, and the normalistas from Ayotzinapa Tixtla, centers for the articulation of a large network of popular power could eventually transform the nation and "move to make Mexico" to a democracy.
As was stated on a banner carried by a student protester, “They wanted to bury us but they didn’t know we were seeds" Let us hope those seeds keep growing.