Caravan of parents of missing and murdered students from Ayotzinapa arrives in the US
For information on the entire caravan, see: www.caravana43.com.
A group of students, parents, and relatives of the 43 normalistas forcibly kidnapped in late September in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico, are expected to arrive in the United States this week to speak about their experiences and the human rights violations occurring in Mexico. Photos of the students’ faces—carried on placards in demonstrations throughout Mexico and other countries—have become international symbols of the tens of thousands of forced disappearances as well as over 100,000 killings in Mexico since 2006.
The students, parents, and relatives will be available to speak to the media on various occasions throughout their stay in the DFW metroplex. On Friday, March 20, a coalition of local organizations that have come together as Dallas for Ayotzinapa will hold a vigil from 7 to 9 pm at the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas, also called the Puente Blanco. Afterward, all are invited to the Salón Cancún for a fundraising dinner to continue discussions until midnight. On Saturday, March 21, the Center for Mexican American Studies at UT Arlington invites all to join them for an informational forum where the caravan members will share testimonials about their plight. In the evening, we will hold a Community Forum, again at the Salón Cancún. All are welcome. Sunday March 22 will finally take us back to the Puente Blanco, a symbolic place for us in Dallas; here the Ayotzinapa contingent will meet with legislators, public servants, and the press for a formal press conference. The media and public are invited to all events.
This visit to the metroplex forms part of a national speaking tour of the United States during which the Caravan members will speak in over 40 cities across the country to audiences in churches, universities, community organizations, and labor unions about the events of September 26, 2014, when police and drug gangsters killed six, wounded 25, and kidnapped 43 students of the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ College – Escuela Normal – in Ayotzinapa.
The parents have continued to demand their children be returned to them: “Alive they were taken; alive we want them back.” Said Felipe de la Cruz Sandoval, spokesperson for the group, “The invitation of people of the United States to share our struggle is very timely since our plan is to travel to Central and South America, and to Europe, from where we have already received more invitations. It is important that citizens and government leaders of other countries are aware of the injustices in Mexico, and the international community see what the globalization of repression is all about.”