So went the chants of Sacramento community members who came out on September 26th, 2018 to hold a vigil in front of the Mexican Consulate, commemorating the fourth anniversary of the kidnapping of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, Mexico.
Representatives of Brown Berets De Califas, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and ANSWER Coalition, as well as other local organizations, came out to voice their anger and solidarity about the atrocities that happened to these young people and how we, as as a community, can move forward with discipline and unity.
On September 26, 2014, a couple busloads of 43 male education students, traveling to Mexico City to commemorate the anniversary of the Tlatelolco Massacre in 1968, were intercepted by local police in Inguala, Guerrero, Mexico. According to the official report, it was believde that the students were mistaken for a rival drug gang.
However, the accounts of what actually happened that night have changed numerous times, causing an international outrage and a demand for transparency and accountability from the Mexican government.
One of the student’s father spoke out at a large rally on September 26, 2018 in Ayotzinapa:
“You have seen how we have gotten dirty and how we have [tanned our skin], yelling, demanding the live appearance of the 43 young people. Four years ago, around this time, our sons still haven’t been kidnapped by this government. Those police officers…Assassins of children, of young people…we the parents, say that Pena Nieto, and all his cabinet, and everyone who participated in this historical lie, should face justice. That justice should catch up to them.”
Al Rojas, member of the Sacramento LCLAA chapter told Univision 19, “They say that they had 70 people who took the 43 students to turn them over to narcos.”
“We do know this Mexican government is a military government. There is no such thing as democracy within Mexico outside of the liberated spaces created by the people, such as this [school] that was teaching students how to be revolutionary teachers” said Jamier Sale, member of the Party For Socialism and Liberation at the vigil in front of the Mexican Consulate.
Four years have gone, and still, the families of those students have little to no answers on what actually happened that day. The families have been protesting for years. International caravans, protests, murals, marathons and speeches are among the enormous list of efforts family members and activists have made to raise awareness to this injustice. But the movement is not without hope or perseverance.
In the words of the student’s father who spoke at the rally: “But from here on out, I tell you, to all of you and every single one of you present, you fill us with hope, that we will see our children again. From the very beginning, you have been supporting us.
“Aqi se ve, aqi se siente que ustedes estan presente.” [Here it is seen, here it is felt, that the people are present.}