News Release

Disappearance of 43 Students a “Snapshot” of Drug Dominated Mexico

The Washington Post recently reported: “Mass kidnapping of students in Iguala, Mexico, brings outrage and protests.”

PIETRO AMEGLIO, serpajc at laneta.apc.org
Ameglio is the winner of the 2014 El-Hibri Foundation Peace Education Prize and will receive the $20,000 prize in Washington D.C. on Wednesday. He is a co-founder of several just peace initiatives in Mexico, including, together with the poet Javier Sicilia and others, the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity. He states: “There needs to be a deeper understanding of the war in Mexico and its root causes, including why the popular portrayal of the ‘war on drugs’ obfuscates more than clarifies.

“There are nice laws on the books about finding the disappeared, but virtually nothing is being done. These 43 student teachers were attacked by the police who took them to the police station and then handed them over to an organized crime gang and they haven’t been heard from since. It’s a compelling snapshot of the reality of Mexico today and how the government and gangs have fused. After the students were disappeared, the mayor and head of security fled because they knew they’d be the only scapegoats.

“Why where these students disappeared? Perhaps to teach them a lesson — they were uppity. Some believe a green light came from higher up. News was just breaking about another massacre and some in the human rights community suspect this was perpetrated to distract from that one.” Also via Phil McManus, pmcmanus@for-al.org, and Rachel Haswell, rhaswell at elhibrifoundation.org

CARLOS MORENO, [Spanish language only; in D.C. till Friday] grupotrueque at yahoo.com.mx
Moreno is accompanying Pietro Ameglio to Washington DC as a representative of organizations of family members of those who have been killed or disappeared in Mexico. His son, Jesús Israel, was disappeared in Oaxaca in 2011. He said today: “I’m here to raise voice of the victims in Mexico. Families are facing personal tragedy compounded by institutional dysfunction when families seek answers and justice.”