Show your support for families courageously seeking truth, justice and an end to disappearances in Mexico
Where are they? That agonizing question remains unanswered since the horrific night six years ago when police and armed men attacked buses carrying 80 students from a teacher's college in Ayotzinapa to a protest in Mexico City. Three of the students were killed in the attack of September 26, 2014 and several seriously injured. Police took 43 students away. They were never seen again.
The families and classmates of the 43 courageously tried to find where they had been taken but faced stonewalling, lies and hostility from authorities and the military. The government of former President Enrique Peña Nieto claimed corrupt police had handed the students over to an organized crime ring, who killed them and burned the bodies at a garbage dump. But an independent investigation by international experts appointed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights refuted the official account of events as not credible, concluding it was scientifically impossible for that number of bodies to have been burned in the conditions claimed by the authorities. Government investigators were accused of ignoring or contaminating important evidence, some linked to a local military base, using torture to extract 'confessions' and orchestrating a scandalous cover-up.
Without truth or justice, the number of disappearances continues to climb to staggering proportions. More than 73,000 people are now reported missing in Mexico.
Slow advances in Mexico
After taking office in 2019, President López Obrador created a truth commission specifically for the case of the 43 students and the Attorney General's Office established a special unit to investigate and prosecute those responsible for what happened.
This past July, the Attorney General's Office and the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team announced that DNA analysis of recovered skeletal remains matched with family members of Christian Alfonso Rodríguez Telumbre, one of the 43 students.
It is vitally important to continue search efforts in order to find all of the disappeared students - and that everyone responsible for the crime and the coverup is brought to account. Without the truth and justice for such a high profile case, what hope is there of stopping the crisis of disappearances? The wall of impunity has to be broken.
The families and classmates of the 43 continue to press for answers, for the return of their loved ones and for justice. They have appealed for our support.
1. Solidarity Action via Social Media
The message chosen by the families for solidarity action on the 6th anniversary of the disappearance of the 43 students is Ayotzinapa: Hacia La Verdad - which means Ayotzinapa: Towards the Truth. The logo that everyone will use turns the number 6 into a spiral representing an atecocolli or sea snail. It symbolizes two concurrent movements: towards the center (knowing the truth) and towards the outside (the effects of knowing the truth)
On September 26: Join an online march in solidarity with the families of the disappeared students and echo their calls. Here's how:
- Create a colourful sign that replicates the Ay6tzinapa logo and its message, in Spanish or English. Take a photo holding your sign.
- OR chalk the message on the ground. Put your feet below the message and take a photo like the one below to symbolize marching with the families in their quest for the truth.
Upload your photo to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtags #Ayotzinapa6years #HaciaLaVerdad and #CanadaMexicoSolidarity
Below are sample posts that: 1. Encourage others to join you in showing your support for the families, and 2. Press Mexico's President and Attorney General for action
Where are the students of #Ayotzinapa, abducted by Mexican police? Six years on, their families must still take to the streets to demand truth & justice. From Canada, I echo their calls. Join us▶️https://t.co/7RYgrwznZP #Ayotzinapa6Years #HaciaLaVerdad #CanadaMexicoSolidarity pic.twitter.com/zdeFp3HVGS
— Kathy Price (@KPriceAmnesty) September 22, 2020
In Canada, we do not forget the 43 students taken away by Mexican police. We support the families' 6-year quest for answers. @lopezobrador_ @FGRMexico it is time NOW for the truth & prosecution of everyone responsible. #Ayotzinapa6Years #HaciaLaVerdad #CanadaMexicoSolidarity pic.twitter.com/TKmDGkWwQT
— Kathy Price (@KPriceAmnesty) September 22, 2020
2. Write a letter
- Start your letter by describing who you are and where you are writing from.
- Express your support for the families of the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and the continuation of searches to find them all
- Call for renewed efforts to identify and bring to justice everyone responsible for the forced disappearance of the students, including local, state and federal security forces and members of the armed forces
- Urge investigation and prosecution of any officials who committed crimes during the investigation to block or cover up the truth
Send your letter to:Attorney General Gertz Manero
Avenida Insurgentes, Numero 20 de la Glorieta de Insurgentes, Col. Roma Norte
Col. Roma Norte
Ciudad de Mexico, CP 06700
Email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Send a copy to:
His Excellency Juan José Ignacio Gómez Camacho
Ambassador for Mexico
45 O'Connor Street, Suites 1000 & 1030
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1A4
Please sign our e-action to the Mexican government here.
"Nos faltan 43" reads this banner, which means "We are missing 43"
Thank you for taking action to support the efforts of the families of the disappeared students!