Mexico is in a state of distress. Since the disappearance of 43 young students from a teachers college in Guerrero state, the country is experiencing political unrest to an extent the country has not experienced since the revolution of 1910.
The country’s hope for the students’ well-being since their abduction in late September has been diminished. The Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam disclosed the devastating news that the students “were almost certainly dead” in a news conference held on November 7th, writes Ruben Martinez for the LA Times.
Sadly, some of the student’s parents still hold onto hope that their children will return back to them, according to the Associate Press for NBC News. Maria Telumbre does not accept that her son died by the hands of gang members as the government tells them.
“How is it possible that in 15 hours they burned so many boys, put them in a bag and threw them into the river?” Telumbre says. She and her husband Clemente Rodriguez say their son Christian Rodriguez Telumbre, is still alive, and they blame the government for failing to rescue him and his classmates.
The reaction of the nation has progressed from peaceful demonstrations against the government to violent protests. Thousands of Mexicans have taken to the streets demanding justice for the 43 students who almost certainly have lost their lives.
Members of a teachers union set fire to a session hall in the state assembly building and torched cars in Chilpancingo, the capital of the state the students were from, reports Jared Keller for Mic.
Violence is occurring on both sides on the demonstrations. A police officer has been arrested for firing his weapon towards a group of students meeting in Mexico City.
A group from the National Autonomous University of Mexico was holding a meeting outside of the Che Guevara Auditorium. They were discussing their plans to organize a national strike on November 20 when the police officer opened fire, injuring at least one student, writes Renee Lewis for Al-jazeera America.
President Pena Nieto has been criticized over how his administration has reacted to the crisis. Eleven days passed before he made a public comment concerning the students’ disappearance and has yet to visit Guerrero state since the massacre. His attorney general has been scrutinized for telling reporters that he is “fed up” and “tired” of all the questions about the student’s death.
Even though the president has had many legislative successes, this tragedy has made it clear that there has been no improvements made for human rights, corruption and security, reports David Luhnow for The Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, as Mexicans are shaken by a tragedy that is showing a similar effect as the Kennedy assassination, 9/11 or Sandy Hook had on American citizens, the US doesn’t seem to acknowledge the turmoil happening next door. Instead, US politicians are focusing on securing the border between the two countries and are more concerned by the threat of the Islamic State.
“It has become something of a truism to point to how deeply the United States is implicated in the drug war. American demand, Mexican supply. American guns, Mexican bloodbath,” argues Martínez. “And yet the merciless violence south of the border — which Mexicans now see as the state mutilating its own people — makes it easy to think of the drug war as Mexico acting out its dark obsessions. What Americans can’t face is precisely that we’ve broken bad together with Mexico: that corruption is a binational affair, extending to rotten apples among our Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and to an American political class that cynically keeps in place the amoral machinery of the drug war.”