Opinion: Mexico’s Missing 43
The case of the 43 missing students has started a mass movement.
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The students were on their way to a peaceful protest, when they were intercepted by the police, who indiscriminately opened fire. Whilst the police cornered and opened fire on the students, the students were left asking ‘We have no weapons, why are you shooting us?’
The students were left with four fates; some were instantly killed by police gun fire, others were injured and left bleeding on the road for hours, a lucky few managed to escape and 43 unfortunate students were loaded into police patrol cars. Of these 43 students, none have been seen since… These students are ‘Mexico’s Missing 43’.
The case of the 43 missing students has started a mass movement to lift the lid on the hidden corruption that is rife within the government and police force. The crimes that began on that night have caused huge waves of uproar and outcry throughout Mexico and across the world.
The families of the missing have been in further despair, at the lack of action on the part of the authorities in the weeks following the abduction. Therefore, they took action into their own hands with local voluntary police conducting their own searches. These searches exposed huge mass graves across the territories of Mexico’s most notorious drug cartels. These mass graves symbolise the corruption and the shameful acts of the authorities, which is finally being uncovered.
Despite the success in uncovering the shame of the authorities, there was little progress in the case of the missing 43. Until, the Attorney General of Mexico released devastating news that the student’s remains had been found. The discovery of the remains was backed up by a gang member, who stated that his gang had been given the students by the police. The gang then shot the students, before burning their bodies beyond recognition.
The devastated families of the missing still believe their men are alive and this is epitomized in their slogan ‘they took them alive, we want them back alive’. Therefore, they have sought a second opinion from an external forensic team. This forensic team have identified two of the missing 43 from their investigation however, the other samples are so damaged that it is almost impossible to identify the remains.
This mass extermination is only the tip of the iceberg considering the huge number of abductions that go unreported every day in Mexico; it is believed that more than 22,000 have disappeared in the country since late 2006. On the anniversary of the fateful night, there is little hope that any more of the missing 43 will be found alive.
The only hope can be, that the uncovering of the corruption will pave the way for a safer Mexico. However, many Mexicans have lost faith in every level of the government and believe that corruption is so deep rooted, that the authorities have simply become a puppet for organised crime.