Mexican students have called a three-day walkout to shut down the education sector from Wednesday of this week to demand the return of 43 “disappeared” students.
The protests were called to escalate an ongoing movement that has involved hundreds of thousands of people.
Police and military opened fire on students of the Normal Rural College of Ayotzinapa on 26 September in Iguala, Guerrero state.
They killed four and took into custody another 43. These then disappeared, allegedly handed over to a local drug gang.
A month later there is still no trace of them. Clemente Rodriguez Moreno, father of one of the students, said the government “has done nothing, and found out nothing”.
President Enrique Pena Nieto tried to paint it as a local problem, and sacked Guerrero governor Angel Aguirre.
Aguirre’s removal is the first victory of the movement. But all levels of government are collaborating with organised crime. The state governs using assassinations and kidnappings. In the last eight years, more than 20,000 people have disappeared, and those are only the official figures.
It’s no coincidence that the disappeared students come mostly from poor, indigenous families, or that their college is known for protests against the government’s neoliberal agenda.