Mobilizations 21 Months After the Disappearance of “The 43”
March in San Cristóbal de Las Casas on June 26, 2016. Photo: @Sipaz.
There were national mobilizations 21 months after the disappearance of the 43 students of the Isidro Burgos Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa, and the murder of six other people in Iguala. In Mexico City, hundreds of people marched to demand the appearance of the students alive, from the Anti-monument for the 43 to the headquarters of the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR). The mothers and fathers of the students stayed separate at all times from the silent march that was taking place near their route, which had been called by the leader of the Movement for National Regeneration (Morena), Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in support of the struggle of the National Coordinator of Education Workers for the repeal of the educational reform. It should be highlighted that the mothers and fathers of the students denounced that the bus in which they were travelling to Mexico City was stoned as it passed through Cuernavaca, Morelos. According to Sin Embargo, “the occupant of a black car blocked them and threw stones, breaking the window of the bus they were travelling in; they said there were no injuries.”
In San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, the health sector, which is on strike over the lack of supplies, lack of staff in medical centres and for better social benefits, called a march which arrived at the cultural event in front of the old town hall, where documentaries were shown and a mural was painted. It should be noted that on June 22 the health sector also marched in about 70 cities in the Mexican Republic. According to Prensa Libre Chiapas, about 3,000 health workers mobilized along with civil society organized in the neighbourhoods. “What we are asking for is 100% supply of medicines in all medical units as this is a problem that the authorities have not solved in four years”, one of the representatives stated in La Jornada. The general secretary of sub-section 03 of the National Union of Health Workers (SNTSA) said that after two weeks on strike they did not have a positive response from the Health chief of the state.
It should be mentioned that investigations into the whereabouts of the 43 students disappeared in September 2014 have made no relevant advances. Recently, the National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Data Protection (INAI) ordered the Mexican Army to hand over material that a soldier from the 27th Infantry Battalion recorded the night of the mass disappearance. Although the soldier declared that he took photos and videos of the events and that he submitted them to his superior, the Secretary for National Defence (Sedena) “declared that the information is non-existent”, according to Sin Embargo. Vidulfo Rosales, attorney for the relatives of the 43 students, asserted that the PGR had dismissed a number of officials and begun an investigation against Tomas Zeron, director of the Criminal Investigation Agency. This was pointed out by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE) as “distorting reality” as regards the diligences at Rio San Juan, where the “historical truth” -the official government version of the disappearance- was strongly questioned, which claimed that the remains of the students were scattered after they had been incinerated in a garbage dump by the organized crime gang Guerreros Unidos. For his part, Emiliano Navarrete, father of one of the 43, reproached that the government summons them “nothing more than meetings” but “hasn’t done anything” to find their missing children.