Tens of thousands of protestors in seven countries along with human rights advocates from around the world are demanding answers and justice regarding the 43 Mexican students, many of them indigenous, who were kidnapped and probably murdered by Mexican police in collusion with a local drug gang on September 26 near Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico; recent reports are also linking Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda with the crimes (both of whom have fled and their whereabouts are still unknown).
Protestors in Spain, the U.S., Bolivia, Argentina, England, Germany, and throughout Mexico are calling for thorough investigations into the incident where 43 students from the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College were seized by police officers and men in plain clothes and then thrown into police cars and taken away. Many of the students had been involved in protests against cuts in education and corruption and the school had a reputation for social activism.
Some of the protestors carried signs saying, "Resign Pena Nieto" (Mexico's President) and "Where are our children?", “Your pain is our pain” as well as other carrying placards with the names and photos of disappeared students.
One of the larger demonstrations happened in the city of Chilpancingo, capital of Guerrero state where 7,000 people marched through the main boulevards.
"The march is to urge the state and federal government to bring our children home alive," said Manuel Martinez, spokesman for the parents of the 43 students.
Indigenous protestors included members of the Zapatista movement who carried signs saying "your rage is our rage" and issued a press statement asserting that “We want you to know that you are not alone.”
International organizations such as the United Nations, the Organization of American States and Amnesty International, among others have called on the Mexican government to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation.
In the meantime, parents of the disappeared students are attempting to help the investigation by providing detailed descriptions of their children and, when they can afford to travel, to donate DNA. Investigators had discovered a pit near the city that was filled with the burned and dismembered remains of 28 persons and are gathering evidence to make potential matches.
For Nicolas Andres (Huave), father of the student Edgar Andres Vargas who was shot in the mouth, the challenge has been to find funds to transport his son to a larger hospital near Mexico City where doctors can help repair his upper jaw. One of the people helping the family is Mayor Leonel Gomez Cruz of the nearby town of San Francisco del Mar.
“There are various Huave indigenous students who have graduated from that teachers college in Ayotzinapa,” Cruz continued, “and there are 10 in this school now, one of them being Edgar Andres Vargas…we request clarification of those events, we are extremely upset.”