It was a horrific series of events on September 26 and 27 of 2014, that the world came to know the Ayotzinapa Normalistas, those students in rural colleges becoming teachers. The label #43 was quickly attached to the 43 students who remain unaccounted for, but there were 49 (some accounts say 50) who were also a part of the mayhem in Iguala Guerrero. They have become the forgotten ones. The press are not publishing their stories, and highlighting the grief of their families, who in some aspects, at a greater degree, are hounded by revulsion of terror of the night from hell.
There were 3 other normalistas killed that night, and three others, a bus driver, a lady in a taxi, and a 15 year old soccer player shot and killed as his team bus came under attack.
Of all the victims, of what is known, no one suffered more in the minutes before his death than Julio Mondragon.
He was beaten so badly his skull sustained multiple fractures, his internal bleeding included his brain, and his face was flayed.
The Los Angeles, California native, born and raised in L.A., decided to return to his mother’s homeland. He quickly fell in love, married, became a father and set his sights on helping his indigenous community by becoming a teacher.
I found this article while searching the internet for a story that is different, hats off to “El Daily Post” for this post.
On the first anniversary of the Iguala massacre paying respects and acknowledgement to :
#44 Julio Mondragon, #45 Daniel Solís, #46 Julio César Ramírez, (normalistas killed on September 26th) #47 Victor Manuel Lugo Ortiz bus driver, #48 Blanca Montiel, and soccer player #49 David José García Evangelista. (Lucio)
Below is the article.by Maria Verza of AP.
Below is the article.by Maria Verza of AP.
SAN MIGUEL TECOMATLÁN, State of Mexico — Unlike the families of the 43 students who disappeared a year ago, Julio César Mondragón's loved ones were left with a body to bury. But there is little comfort in that, because Mondragón's corpse bore witness to the horror of his final moments.
His autopsy showed several skull fractures, internal bleeding and other injuries consistent with torture. His face had been flayed, a tactic often used by the drug cartels to incite terror. Photos of his bloody skull were uploaded to the Internet.
International attention has been focused on the 43 students who vanished a year ago Saturday, but there were 49 victims that night. Six others died at the hands of police in those hours, including Mondragón, a 22-year-old father.
According to an independent group of experts, the disappearances and the killings were the result of a long, coordinated attack against students from the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa who had come to the southern city of Iguala to commandeer buses for a protest.
But the events of last Sept. 26 were far from isolated. Some 25,000 people have been reported missing in Mexico since 2007, and hundreds from the Iguala area in the last year alone. The disappearance of the students has drawn attention to others who have been lost, as well as brutal drug cartels, official corruption, government indifference and languishing legal cases.
According to Mexico's former attorney general, the 43 disappeared in an attack by police and the Guerreros Unidos drug gang because they were mistaken for rival gang members. The attorney general said last November they were killed and burned to ash in a giant pyre in the nearby Cocula garbage dump.
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They say the funeral pyre simply didn't happen, and suggest the attack occurred because students unknowingly hijacked a bus carrying illegal drugs or money. Iguala is known as a transit hub for heroin going to the United States.
Families say the judicial neglect extends to Mondragón and five others killed that night. His fellow students Daniel Solís and Julio César Ramírez, were shot dead at close range. Driver Victor Manuel Lugo Ortiz and David José García Evangelista, 15, died when police fired at a soccer team bus. Blanca Montiel, 40, was killed by stray gunfire while riding in a taxi.
Mondragón had been on one of the buses when it was attacked, then later showed up at a press conference the students called at 12:30 a.m. amid the mayhem. He fled when police opened fire. Witnesses said shortly after they last saw him, they heard screams from someone they assumed had been detained by police. About 6 a.m., soldiers found his body less than a mile from where he disappeared.
Though Mondragón's autopsy points to torture, that doesn't appear in the court records. A report by a military unit at the scene said his face had been peeled off with a knife. But the autopsy says it could have been done by an animal after the body was dumped. His family calls that conclusion "a mockery."
Mondragón's case could provide clues to who was behind the attack, according to the commission. But it languishes in three separate court files. The commission and Mondragón's family want the body exhumed for a new autopsy.
The former mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, and his wife are among 28 people charged with his killing. Authorities say they were the ones who ordered the attacks.
But Sayuri Herrera, lawyer for the Mondragón family, said it would be easy for any defense attorney to get the charges thrown out because the shabby investigative work and foggy charges filed by prosecutors could weaken the case. Charges have already been dropped against one police officer, who remains jailed for the missing 43.
"There's not even clarity in the accusations," said Herrera.
Mondragón's family gathers most Saturdays at the large table in his uncle Cuitláhuac's modest
concrete home, sometimes to meet with Herrera, sometimes for psychological
counseling, always to plot a path to justice.
"Here we all pretend to be strong," said Lenin Mondragón, 22, who has his brother's eyes, now filled with sadness.
They want the case taken up by federal prosecutors. The Inter-American Commission's experts also say the six murders should be part of the federal case of the 43 because they complete the picture of what happened that night.
The attorney general's office has refused that approach. It also declined for weeks to answer questions about the case from The Associated Press, although on Friday, Eber Betanzos, assistant attorney general for human rights, said the office was about to decide whether it would take over the investigation from state prosecutors. He also said his office will be present for Mondragon's exhumation.
The case remains with state prosecutors in Guerrero, where a lack of resources and expertise make it even less likely that justice will be served.
Mondragón was a little older than his other first-year classmates because he had passed through several normal schools before enrolling in Ayotzinapa. He liked to challenge the teachers, Cuitláhuac Mondragón said. He also taught reading and writing to poor families in San Miguel Tecomatlán, a rural town in the hills of the State of Mexico.
Julio's mother, (left) Afrodita Mondragón, likes to look at his Facebook profile, though in wading through the Internet she is careful not to land on the photos of a skull when she searches his name.
"The only thing we ask for is the truth," his uncle said. "The government is betting that this will all be forgotten, and we're betting on justice."