What is happening in Mexico?
On September 26, students our age (~19-22) were attacked by the local police and gangs in Iguala, Guerrero in Mexico. They were studying to become teachers at Escuela Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa. I have read many articles about how the students were in the town to ask for money to help pay tuition, to protest discrimination of rural school teachers, to travel to commemorate another student massacre of 1986, etc., so I am unsure of what is what here. But the students were on the buses and police blocked their way to get the students out. When they did, they opened fire on the students at once. Some students threw rocks back in self-defense, but the students were unarmed. Six people died and 17 were injured. Three students died, a taxi driver, a woman in a taxi, and a football player that was just 15 years old (x). The injured were taken away by an ambulance, local journalists came, etc but it was not over as more men came in plain clothes and rifles (x). These men are apart of Guerreros Unidos and work for the Beltran Leyva cartel. The students were forced into police vans and have since disappeared. 43 students are missing.
Some of the students escaped by hiding in nearby houses. One terrified student tried running away, but he was found later yet with his eyes gouged out and his face completely sliced away to the bone. A YOUNG MAN only 19 years old suffered through this. (As a warning, be aware that there are photos online and that while searching deep through articles and tags, they are present.) A survivor of the attack says this is “symbol of the cartel assassins” (x).
~ More than a week later, on Saturday, authorities found mass graves nearby that has 28 burned remains with the tips (x). We fear that this may be some of the students. We won’t have DNA analysis to confirm anything for another two weeks, if not longer.
MORE mass graves were found yesterday, but it is still unknown about how many remains these graves have (x).
Keep in mind that the CITY MAYOR AND HIS WIFE are on the RUN. No one knows where they are.
We still don’t understand the reason behind this violence. Why kidnap and kill these young men? There are several explanations online, but how do you explain something like this? One story is that the mayer’s wife was giving a speech that day and did not want to be disrupted by the students. Keep in mind that the wife is the head of the city’s family welfare department and also has family connections to cartels (x). There are other alternatives online, but I don’t know. I just don’t.
You can’t. You just can’t. Social media has a big impact and this story has to spread. In the last 24 hours I have seen an incredible boost in coverage about Ayotzinapa.
On Wednesday, thousands protested the disappearance of the students in Mexico.
Amounting pressure is being put on the Mexican government to find the missing students. There is also added outrage and demand ‘to punish politicians linked to organized crime’. It is no shock when considering the police corruption and brutality in Mexico. As Mexico bleeds, we all bleed.
Americans cannot ignore the violence of drug cartels and place it as just a problem in Mexico. There is too much innocent bloodshed. And because BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of dollars are collected in the United States by Mexican drug cartels, it is a shared responsibility (x). CHILDREN ARE DYING. Do not skim over these articles, do not just read them and do nothing, you have to act and spread the information. Do not be silent. Please, please, please help and pay attention.
TUMBLR TEXT POSTS (these have better information than I can explain)
If there any corrections that need to be included, please just add them in.
Early in my freshman year, my dad asked me if there were lots of Latinos at school. I wanted to say, “Pa, I’m one of the only Latinos in most of my classes. The other brown faces I see mostly are the landscapers’. I think of you when I see them sweating in the morning sun. I remember you were a landscaper when you first came to Illinois in the 1950s. And look, Pa! Now I’m in college!”
But I didn’t.
I just said, “No, Pa. There’s a few Latinos, mostly Puerto Rican, few Mexicans. But all the landscapers are Mexican.”
My dad responded, “¡Salúdelos, m’ijo!”
So when I walked by the Mexican men landscaping each morning, I said, “Buenos días.”
Recently, I realized what my dad really meant. I remembered learning the Mexican, or Latin American, tradition of greeting people when one enters a room. In my Mexican family, my parents taught me to be “bien educado” by greeting people who were in a room already when I entered. The tradition puts the responsibility of the person who arrives to greet those already there. If I didn’t follow the rule as a kid, my parents admonished me with a back handed slap on my back and the not-so-subtle hint: “¡Saluda!”
I caught myself tapping my 8-year-old son’s back the other day when he didn’t greet one of our friends: “Adrian! ¡Saluda!”
However, many of my white colleagues over the years followed a different tradition of ignorance. “Maleducados,” ol’ school Mexican grandmothers would call them.
But this Mexican tradition is not about the greeting—it’s about the acknowledgment. Greeting people when you enter a room is about acknowledging other people’s presence and showing them that you don’t consider yourself superior to them.
When I thought back to the conversation between my dad and me in 1990, I realized that my dad was not ordering me to greet the Mexican landscapers with a “Good morning.”
Instead, my father wanted me to acknowledge them, to always acknowledge people who work with their hands like he had done as a farm worker, a landscaper, a mechanic. My father with a 3rd grade education wanted me to work with my mind but never wanted me to think myself superior because I earned a college degree and others didn’t.
Saluden Muchachxs, saluden.