One year after 43 Ayotzinapa students were forcibly disappeared from the city of Iguala in Guerrero state, thousands of people took to the streets of Mexico City on Saturday to demand answers, justice, and an end to the corruption and impunity of the ruling elite.
The case of the students has touched off a nationwide protest movement in a country where over 26,000 people are reported disappeared or missing, nearly half during the current government of President Peña Nieto. According to Amnesty International, Mexico has seen a 600 percent rise in cases of reported torture over the past ten years.
The parents of the missing Ayotzinapa students launched a hunger strike earlier this week demanding the truth, justice, and an end to the "crisis of impunity in the country, the corruption and the widespread violation of human rights in Mexico."
"The State is responsible for disappearing our children," the parents charged in an open statement published Thursday in La Jornada. "The state has permitted the narco-politics to control Guerrero, and to generate a historic lie that today has been exposed and which tortured us by granting privileges to politicians instead of looking out for the rights of the victims."
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The mass actions come just weeks after a report from independent experts, appointed by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights of the Organization of American States, refuted the Mexican government's explanation for why the students disappeared.
People across the world, meanwhile, are staging solidarity fasts and protests, from Chicago to London.
As Drug Policy Alliance researcher Daniel Robelo recently pointed out, solidarity campaigners in the United States have called for "the cessation of U.S. military aid to Mexico used to sustain the drug war, which since 2007 has resulted in well over 100,000 murdered, 25,000 disappeared and one million displaced."
Parents of Ayotzinapa's disappeared and their supporters beginning to march in Mexico City now pic.twitter.com/2yQU8xgBVV
— Ryan Devereaux (@rdevro) September 26, 2015
— Andalalucha (@Andalalucha) September 26, 2015