Edinburgh University Socialist Society stands in solidarity with all those facing state violence for standing up for justice in the face of the abduction of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teaching school in the Mexican state of Guerro this September.
We believe that the abduction cannot be considered as an isolated incident, but needs to be understood in a wider context of political repression, police violence, corruption and human rights abuses that we believe are fundamental to the workings of the Mexican state. Since 2006 at least 22,000 people have disappeared in Mexico, and about 40% of these cases have not been criminally investigated. The Mexican state has for decades been governed by an unaccountable political elite with close connections to cartels and big business. We believe that this fundamentally undemocratic governance is perpetuated by all three dominating parties – PRI, PAN and PRD, and that this September’s incident is one of the many indicators for the structural violence that has long been shaping poor and marginalized Mexicans’ lives.
The Mexican government and mainstream media have been framing the abduction as a by-product of the ongoing narco-war. Their reactions to the incident, such as their announcement of a 10-point plan to address the infiltration of organized crime only serves to externalize the problems, glossing over the abduction’s fundamentally political nature. The Escuela Normal of Ayotzinapa, where the students were from, is a rural school for men from peasant backgrounds and has a history of left-wing activism. We believe that this cannot be excluded from the conversation. When their bus was attacked by police forces, the 43 students were on their way to collect funds for attending a demonstration commemorating the massacre of 500 student activists in 1968 by government forces.
These 43 students and the thousands of Mexicans still standing in solidarity with them and up against a repressive government should be considered role models for anyone committed to fighting for social justice. We wholeheartedly agree with their claim that “It Was The State”.