Mexico marchers continue 3 months after students disappeared

MEXICO CITY - Thousand of protesters marched through the streets of Mexico City on Friday, three month to the day after the 43 students disappeared in the state of Guerrero.

Even though the voices of protesters echoed in the capital and demanded the return of the students and the resignation of President Enrique Pena Nieto, turnout was smaller than past rallies.

“I think it’s normal that there is less people in the street. People and students are on vacation,” said protestor Jose Tinoco. “But I think it will continue after the vacations, it must continue. This mobilization has changed a lot of things yet, the people of Mexico are now awakened and united. We must take corruption and impunity out of this country.”

Virgina Aguiles traveled from Guerrero to participate in the march. “This tragic event touched me profoundly,” she said. “They were students and like me, they are from Guerrero. They deserved justice. I am really proud to be Mexican, but I am really ashamed of my corrupt government,’’ she added.

’In Ayotzinapa, there is no Christmas nor New Year celebrations. The fight doesn’t take vacations’’ read a banner held by protester.

After having walked the one-and-a-quarter-mile that separates Independence Monument from Revolution Monument, fathers of the missing students thanked marchers for their support while the crowd yelled “Go away Pena” and ‘”You are not alone.”

“We have never had millions of dollars. But we received from our sons, millions of hugs, millions of kisses,” said Mario, father of one of the missing students. “We have lost it and the pain is really strong,” he added as his voice cracked with emotion.

The investigation into the case have exposed strong links between government officials and organized crime and forced the resignation Guerrero’s governor.

The mayor of the city of Iguala and his wife were arrested after going into hiding and are believed to have ordered the kidnapping and possible killing of the students after police opened fire and clashed with protesters during a student demonstration in the city.

To date, the remains of one student has been found. Alexander Mora, 19, was identified using DNA testing. His remains were found just outside Iguala near where three gang members said they killed the students and burned their bodies.

But the students’ relatives and several scholars and activists have rejected the official version of the story.

“We are convinced that soldiers took them and are now hiding them on a military base. Many testimonies are now saying it out loud,” Felipe de la Cruz told protesters.

“Our courage is bigger than our pain. We will continue to fight. We didn’t have Christmas and so we won’t have New Year’s Eve celebration,” said de la Cruz, a spokesman for the parents of the missing students. He added that the parents also marched Christmas Eve and Christmas Night.

“Peace will not be achieved in Mexico before they give us our sons back, and alive,” he said.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency