JOINT STATEMENT: Ayotzinapa, your pain is our pain!

As a migrant community, a diaspora of those populations who experienced expulsion and refugee status as a result of imposed free trade agreements, we are enraged by the extreme violence and disrespect for the human life that is being used by the state and other spheres of power, which seeks to conceal the true purpose of these attacks, which are directed at the very idea of the rural school model, which have created a vibrant hotbed of social struggle.

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To all Mexicans residing in Chicago
To all the united collectives in the United States,
To all those who stand in solidarity with the rural students of Ayotzinapa
To all human rights and social advocacy organizations,
To all free & independent media outlets,


On September 26, 2014, in at least four related violent incidents in the vicinity of the city of Iguala in the Mexican state of Guerrero, 6 people lost their lives. Among these were three students from the Rural Normal Raúl Isidro Burgos, Ayotzinapa. Also, 20 were injured (one of whom, a student, is in a vegetative state), and 55 were abducted and their whereabouts are unknown.
It should be noted that student teachers experienced similar events on December 12, 2011 when, following a failed operation to evict the “Autopista del Sol” protest at the normal school, three people lost their lives – including two students, Jorge Alexis Herrera Pino and Gabriel Echeverría de Jesús, who were extra-judicially executed. In the same incident, three students were shot and seriously injured, at least 24 students were arbitrarily detained, 1 student faced torture, and 7 more students were subject to severe inhumane treatment. These crimes remain unpunished, yet the officers accused were acquitted last year.

 

 


On September 26, 2014 at 2100 hours, 80 students from the Rural Normal Raúl Isidro Burgos were en route to the city of Chilpancingo from the city of Iguala, on three buses belonging to the Coast Line company, after collecting resources and material to pay for the expenses of the rural schools.
Upon leaving the bus station destined for Chilpancingo, several patrols tried to block the buses, and soon began shooting intermittently without any warning whatsoever. After a brief pursuit, the rural school was surrounded and patrols 017, 018, 022, 027 and 028 were positioned at the rear of the bus caravan. The normalistas soon descended from the buses in the direction of the patrol that was blocking the buses. Without saying a single word, municipal police then began releasing bursts of fire indiscriminately from several different positions. The first casualty was Aldo Gutierrez Solano, a freshman from El Refugio, a Municipality of Ayutla, Guerrero. Today he lies in a vegetative state.
Students were then violently removed from the bus by police officers and were forced to lie on the ground next to an Aurrerá supermarket. The remaining normalistas fled in different directions while municipal police fired upon them. The shooting lasted about forty minutes before Municipal public servants withdrew, taking about 20 normalistas arrested in patrols 017, 018, 020, 022 and 028. Some students regrouped at the scene, hoping for the authorities of the Public Prosecutor to arrive so they could attest to the facts and help collect evidence.
At 2400 hours, the students began to report the incident to media outlets and various social organizations who had arrived at the scene. At that moment a red Ram truck arrived, and several men armed with rifles descended from the truck, indiscriminately firing into the crowd. This second armed attack lasted about 15 minutes, and casualties included two students, Daniel Solis Gallardo and a freshman student with a bilingual degree (he has not yet been identified by his family), along with five severely injured students and two teachers.
On the next morning, September 27, normalistas regrouped at 7:00 at the Northern Office of the Attorney General of the State of Guerrero ( PGJE ). Students testified about what they witnessed, and asked to visit the jail cells of the preventive police in order to verify the condition of the students who had been arrested by local police during the first attack on the buses. However, the Director of Public Safety told them that no one was being detained in the cells. The Director then allowed them to confirm this; indeed, no students were being held in his cell. During the second attack, students fled in several different directions; to date, 55 students remain missing, including those who were seized by municipal authorities. At 1600 hrs, aggrieved students remained at the Office, demanding to know their classmates’ whereabouts. Soon, prosecutors informed the students that three blocks from the vicinity of the attacks, the body of a student was discovered that bore the unmistakable signs of torture; his face was stripped of all flesh, including his eyeballs. The student was eventually identified by peers as Julio Cesar Fuentes Mondragón.
In this context, on September 28, 2014, a complaint was filed for the crime of “disappearing” (kidnapping) the 55 missing students, which was based on the preliminary criminal justice code VRA/03/2385/2014 of the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Guerrero (PGJE) in Chilpancingo. Meanwhile, the Guerrero state government held a press conference explaining their responses to these unfortunate events, as well as two other violent events that took place in a similar context.
The events at Iguala, Guerrero are just one more example of the serious crisis in human rights and a situation that confronts the various sectors of society who make legitimate use of their freedom of expression, i.e. the criminalization of social protest, excessive use of security forces, killings, enforced disappearances, and torture. These events have no justification and are totally unacceptable and inadmissible.
As a migrant community, a diaspora of those populations who experienced expulsion and refugee status as a result of imposed free trade agreements, we are enraged by the extreme violence and disrespect for the human life that is being used by the state and other spheres of power, which seeks to conceal the true purpose of these attacks, which are directed at the very idea of the rural school model, which have created a vibrant hotbed of social struggle.
We urge migrant communities across the United States to make appeals to the Federal authorities in Mexico, similar Migrant Federations, and consulates.
From abroad, we demand an end to these practices that violate the rights of student teachers, and we demand that they be safe and secure after having lodged their complaints in the defense of the investigations into the fate and whereabouts of the students at the Normal Ayotzinapa. We demand the punishment of those guilty of these crimes: the police, the mayor, and the governor of Iguala Guerrero.

We demand an end to the economic aid provided by the Government of the United States for the training of these bloodthirsty mercenaries who kidnap and slaughter our people, and we demand freedom for the political prisoners of Guerrero and across the country.
You took them from us alive – We want them back alive!

Alerta Cali
Mexicanxs Indignadxs-USA #YosoyMigrante
Yosoy132Chicago
Oxnard Unidos por México
Frente de la Resistencia LA
Todo Poder al Pueblo
Salvador Candia-San Diego
Unión del Barrio

 

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