“We want them back alive!” Dublin Solidarity with the Disappeared of Ayotzinapa, Mexico

Can you imagine the state using its police force in order to create opportunities for capitalists to make money? Can you imagine natural resources not being used for the benefit of an ecologically sustainable society and instead being used purely for corporations' profit?
Over a year ago, on the night of 26 September 2014, a group of student teachers in the Mexican state of Guerrero were ambushed by municipal police as they travelled in a convoy of buses through the city of Iguala. Five people, including two students, were killed when the officers opened fire on the buses, and another student was later found dead, his body showing signs of horrific torture. Forty-three other students simply disappeared without trace [1].
The students’ disappearance unleashed a wave of public outrage fuelled equally by the attack itself and by the narco-corruption which has enabled drug gangs to infiltrate local governments and police forces across Mexico.
The disappearance of the 43 students is not an isolated incident but rather emblematic of how ‘drug war capitalism’ operates in Latin America [2]. The so-called ‘war on drugs’ – supported by the United States – is, in fact, a ‘war on people’. The militarisation of police is not targeted against drug gangs but instead targeted against social justice movements and indigenous peoples. (The missing student teachers of Ayotzinapa, for example, were protesting neoliberal reforms and assaults on indigenous education).
The root cause of the violence directed by the state against these communities is control over natural resources. The state’s creation of opportunities for private capital accumulation is called ‘development’ by those in power and ‘projects of death’ by the communities affected. In recent years, the Workers Solidarity Movement (WSM) and the Latin American Solidarity Centre (LASC) have worked together to bring speakers from campaigns against mining and community displacement in Latin America to the Dublin Anarchist Bookfair [3].
To mark the one year anniversary of the disappearances, protests were held across Mexico and the world to support the parents and relatives of the disappeared of Ayotzinapa. WSM members participated in a well-attended demonstration at the Mexican embassy organised by LASC. We communicated the following message to the parents and relatives of the disappeared:
“It has now been one year since the forced disappearance of members of your families by elements of the security forces of the Mexican state from the Teacher Training centre Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, victims of an on-going state-sponsored aggression against the peoples of Mexico and their territories. In that time you have been steadfast in your quest for justice and in your rejection of the government version of what happened on September 26, 2014 in Iguala.
As a collective of people in Ireland, we wish to express our solidarity with you. We stand with you and tell you that you are not alone in your struggle for truth and justice, that your struggle is our struggle, and that your pain is our pain.
This year has shown that your perseverance in finding the truth will eventually bear fruit as the 'official' version of events continues to be torn to shreds with new testimonies and evidence emerging, most recently the independent report of the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, which point for point lays bare the lies perpetrated by the Mexican government.
We express our admiration to you, as you have been a beacon of dignity, courage and hope for those who seek justice, both in Mexico and around the world, and an example to all those who struggle for a better world through your solidarity with and support for other causes. You have become for all of us what your family members set out to be in their communities--leaders, educators and exemplary members of our society.
You are not alone! Your pain is our pain! They were taken alive and we want them back alive!”
The struggle continues…
WORDS: Tom Murray
[1] Jo Tuckman, ‘Mexico Ayotzinapa massacre: new theory suggests illicit cargo motivated attack’ in The Guardian, 23 September, 2015.
[2] Dawn Paley, 2014, Drug War Capitalism. AK Press. 
[3] See http://www.wsm.ie/c/latin-american-social-struggles--mining