From the Trenches: Ayotzinapa Vive

“From the Trenches” is a battle cry. In a globalized world that criminalizes the rebellious in spirit, it’s easy to forget that change-minded activists and organizers are tallying up tiny victories against sociocultural and economic oppression on the regular. The column will serve as a weekly reminder that we not only can win, but we do, often. So hasta la victoria siempre and all that.


September 26 marks the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of 43 students at the Ayotzinapa Rural Teacher’s College in Guerrero, Mexico. The mass disappearance of these young men, who were on their way to a protest in nearby city of Iguala, has implicated the municipal government, as well as a broader network of politicians, narco traffickers and police.

But the truth of what happened to the 43 students remains unknown.

As of today, it is unknown whether the students are alive or not, though the remains of two of the 43 have been identified. Disturbingly, the search for the men has unearthed other mass graves in the vicinity.

The search for the truth, as well as the whereabouts of the 43, has not been in vain; the government’s official story, that “municipal police handed the students over to a local drug trafficking gang, which later burned the students in a nearby garbage dump,” has begun to unravel. And Mexicans, no strangers to governments that murder or disappear the children, are still demanding answers.

The one-year anniversary of their disappearances will be a day remembrance and action for the Ayotzinapa students. In Mexico, protests have already resulted in clashes between police and students. The parents of the missing have announces their plan to begin a 43-hour hunger strike in honor of their children in Mexico City that day.

Cities across the US will stand in solidarity (including here in Chicago). Find an event near you and demand justice for Ayotzinapa.


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