Jimmy Roque Martinez
HAVANA TIMES – One of the horrors that bring both sadness and indignation to Mexico are forced disappearances. This past 26th of September marked one year since the disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural School.
An immense demonstration gathered over 150,000 people in Mexico City, to demand that the students be brought back alive. I had the unique and intense experience of participating.
The demonstration was led by the mothers and fathers of the disappeared students, some of whom took part in a 43-hour fast at El Zocalo, the main square in downtown Mexico City (also known as Constitution Square).
The Ayotzinapa Teacher Training School has long been a place of social activists and militants. For the most part, its students come from poor families in the state of Guerrero.
These young people are well aware of the abuses and excesses of Mexican capitalism. The first disappearance of a student from the school was reported in 1969.
The disappearance of the 43 is the most publicized incident of this nature thanks to those who have made these acts of State terrorism – the kind that take place systematically in Mexico – known to the world. It is the State, in connivance with large corporations and drug cartels, which disappears its own citizens.
These, however, are not the only students who have disappeared, nor will they be the last. I heard the shocking testimony of other mothers, such as a woman whose son of 15 disappeared less than a year ago.
This mother has not received any support from authorities. On the contrary, they suggested she leave her town, such that now, in addition to being the mother of a disappeared person, she is also being forced out of her own home.
This is the maddening reality that Mexico’s capitalist system, today led by Peña Nieto, has led the people of this country to.
I had the privilege of participating in the rally organized on September 26 by the Latin American and Caribbean Anti-Military Network, under the protection of indigenous communities.
I also had the opportunity to meet with the mothers of those disappeared in Ayotzinapa, who insist their children are alive and are approaching international and national organizations to request access to military facilities
Taking part in this rally was important for me for another reason: it was exciting, because any public demonstration that hasn’t been previously authorized by the authoritarian State is forbidden in Cuba.
However, after seeing the anti-riot squads deployed towards El Zocalo, after seeing how they pulled down all of the signs posted, how government institutions closed up their doors, how different stores were protected to prevent damage, I felt as though this “democracy” resembled the dictatorship in my country.
In Mexico, unlike in Cuba, you are allowed to demonstrate, but neither State responds to the interests of the dispossessed anyways. They merely cater to their economic, political and military elites.
I also felt that the damage and pain that the Mexican State, drug cartels and large corporations bring this beautiful people is deserving of a more vigorous response.
I don’t know what that would be, but people continue to disappear. Perhaps international support from all left-wing and anti-capitalist organizations around the world will create enough pressure to put an end to the corruption that has led the State to carry out this acts of terrorism.