26 Sept 2015 -- day of protest marks Ayotzinapa 1 year anniversary

 

‘Alive you took them; alive we want them’- day of protest marks Ayotzinapa one year anniversary day of protest marks Ayotzinapa one year anniversary


What?: A demonstration outside the Embassy of Mexico in London will mark the one year anniversary since 43 Ayotzinapa students were forcibly disappeared in a brutal attack by Mexican police.


When?: 14.00 – 18.00 on Saturday 26th September 2015. There will be speakers and photo/ video opportunities will also be available. Photos will be available online after the event.


Where?: Embassy of Mexico, 16 St George St, London W1S 1FD


Contact: London Mexico Solidarity – Jen Wilton on 07530 269 131 or jenwilton@gmail.com  

 

 

Ayotzinapa: One year on and still no answers


On 26th September 2014, 43 students from a rural teachers’ college in Ayotzinapa, Mexico were forcibly disappeared by local police in the city of Iguala. An additional six people were killed during the hours long attack. To date, no credible explanations have been offered by state investigators as to the events of that night or the whereabouts of the missing students.


While initially the Mexican government blamed the disappearances on criminal gang the Guerreros Unidos, stating cartel members had burned the bodies in a Cocula rubbish dump, the government’s version of events has been thoroughly disputed by a panel of experts. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which carried out a six month investigation into the Ayotzinapa case, called the Mexican state’s findings ‘scientifically impossible’.[1]


This protest to mark the one year anniversary since the students were forcibly disappeared is being organised by Mexican solidarity groups in the UK, including London Mexico Solidarity, YoSoy132 Londres and Justice Mexico Now. Protest organisers call on the UK government and its citizens to put pressure on the government of Mexico to (i) provide credible answers on the fate of the 43 disappeared students; (ii) address its atrocious human rights record; and (iii) commit to implementing far-reaching changes so that a tragedy like this can never happen again.
 


UK-Mexico relations


In 2015, the governments of Mexico and the United Kingdom are celebrating the "Year of Mexico in the United Kingdom” and the "Year of the UK in Mexico". Among other “dual year” initiatives, the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department will offer US$1 billion in credit to allow Mexico’s state-owned oil giant Petróleos Mexicanos to procure goods and services from the UK. UK companies BP and Shell signed agreements with the Mexican government in March 2015, “to stimulate Mexico’s oil and gas supply chain.”


But the Mexican state should not be allowed to whitewash the fact it is involved in systematic and widespread human rights abuses. Ayotzinapa is just one of four state-sponsored massacres that have occurred in less than a year. Twenty-two unarmed civilians were killed by Mexican soldiers in Tlatlaya in June 2014, while Mexican federal police stand accused of killing a further 16 people in the state of Michoacán in January 2015. In July 2015, military and police officers attacked civilians from the indigenous community of Santa María Ostula, leaving many injured and a 12 year old killed.


The students’ case is a stark reminder of the strong links between the authorities and organised crime in Mexico, as well as the lack of justice and accountability. One year after local police attacked the students, families are still waiting for answers and action.


In 2015, London Mexico Solidarity organised several actions in solidarity with Ayotzinapa and the victims of state violence in Mexico, as well as with the Zapatista communities and people resisting and building autonomy, including demonstrations, screenings, panels and forums, and visual campaigns to discuss and make visible Mexico’s human rights crisis.
 

Notes to editors:
 

[1]http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/06/probe-mexico-43-missing-students-dismisses-official-story




London Mexico Solidarity is a Zapatista supporting group, committed to social and environmental struggles, justice and democracy in Mexico. We believe we have a lot to learn from, and share with our brothers and sisters in Mexico and anywhere this message reaches.


@LondonMxSol

https://www.facebook.com/londonmexicosolidarity

www.londonmexicosolidarity.org/