RELATIVES OF 43 students missing in Mexico since September and believed slain attend a Mass for them in Iguala. (Jose Mendez / EPA)
John M. Ackerman
There is finally a message of hope coming from south of the border. A powerful new social movement has emerged that could radically transform Mexico's corrupt political system. The disappearance and probable massacre of dozens of student activists by government officials in Iguala, Mexico, has led to an unprecedented outpouring of solidarity throughout the country and in more than 100 cities abroad.
The central demand of the protesters is the immediate return of the 43 student activists who were forcefully taken away on Sept. 26. The students were abducted by local police in alliance with local drug cartels, while the federal police and military remained passive, according to media and witness accounts. Six people were also killed and a dozen injured. State and federal authorities then let the mayor of Iguala skip town and began to investigate only after protests erupted and the international media called attention to the situation.
Only three months before, on June 30, the Mexican army shot and killed 22 youths at a warehouse in the nearby town of Tlatlaya in the state of Mexico. The immediate response of state and federal authorities was to announce that the dead were alleged gang members and had been killed in a shootout. This turned out to be a lie, but the truth eventually came out after widespread coverage by local and international media.
Up until now, the international community had been fooled by President Enrique Peña Nieto's propaganda offensive, which has tried to portray him as an enlightened reformer. But recent events are finally bringing worldwide public opinion in line with what is actually happening...
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