Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Demonstrators march on Reforma Avenue in Mexico City. (Photo: Tomas Bravo/Reuters)

Demonstrators march on Reforma Avenue in Mexico City. (Photo: Tomas Bravo/Reuters)

'We Want Them Back Alive': Tens of Thousands March Through Mexico City Demanding Justice

Seven weeks after disappearance of Ayotzinapa students, largest demonstration yet from poor farmers, workers, students, and teachers reveals growing national outrage

Sarah Lazare

Tens of thousands poured into the streets of Mexico City Thursday in the largest expression of public outrage since 43 students from the town of Ayotzinapa in Guerrero state were disappeared, and likely massacred, seven weeks ago.

Part of a national day of action to protest the state's response to—and the Iguala mayor's alleged role in—the killings, the protest escalates the already acute political crisis seizing the Mexican government, which was heightened by recent revelations that the first lady, in the midst of the turmoil, is building a lavish mansion.

People shout demanding the return of the 43 missing students during a massive march in Mexico City. (Photo: Dario Lopez-Mills/AP)

The protesters spanned generations and included teachers, students, workers, poor farmers, and the unemployed. Many held candles and pictures of the disappeared as cries of, "It was the state" and "Get out Peña" swept through the demonstration. At numerous points, marchers counted in unison to 43, followed by a shout of "Justicia!" Demonstrators demanded, “They took them alive, we want them back alive”—a reference to the country's Dirty Wars of the 1960s and 70s in which leftists were hunted down and disappeared by the government.

The protest marked the 104 year anniversary of the launch of the Mexican revolution and was timed to coincide with a nation-wide strike.

"Mexicans are ready to explode," said Homero Aridjis, an activist, poet, and participant in the march. "Corruption has touched bottom, people are poor, suffering violence. They are fed up and desperate."

Reports and commentary on the protests are being posted to Twitter:

People demonstrate in Mexico City on Nov. 20 against the presumed massacre of 43 students in Guerrero state. (Photo: Yuri Cortez / AFP/Getty Images)

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Violent Threats Against FBI Soar as Trump Lies About Mar-a-Lago Search

Menacing messages posted online "include a threat to place a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI Headquarters" and "general calls for 'civil war' and 'armed rebellion,'" officials warned.

Kenny Stancil ·


'Biggest Win for Tax Fairness' in Decades: Progressives Cheer Reforms in IRA, Demand More

"While this bill establishes desperately needed changes to our tax laws and IRS funding, it is still a far cry from the systemic changes that we need in our society to rectify the hold the rich still have on every level of our economy."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Care Can't Wait': IRA a Good Start, Progressives Say, But More Is Needed

"Americans deserve a full loaf of bread," said health justice advocate Ady Barkan.

Kenny Stancil ·


'I'm Back': Fetterman Returns to Campaign Trail Following May Stroke

"I'm not only grateful to be alive, but also for the campaign we're building together," said the Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania's open U.S. Senate seat.

Kenny Stancil ·


Because Climate Science 'Does Not Grade on a Curve,' Experts Says IRA Not Enough

"There is an urgent need for much more aggressive and far-reaching measures to prevent climate chaos," said the head of one progressive consumer advocacy group.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo