September 26 is an important date for defenders of human rights in Mexico and their allies around the world. It marks five years since police attacked buses carrying students from a rural teacher training college in Ayotzinapa. The police took 43 of the students away, never to be seen again.
Finding out what happened and bringing to justice everyone who played a role is obviously of tremendous importance to the families and classmates of the 43.
Families of the 43 disappeared students of #Ayotzinapa, Mexico are appealing for our support as they continue to seek the truth, justice and return of their loved ones. Join our solidarity action>>https://t.co/prfrmffNkd #Ayotzinapa5years #CanadaMexicoSolidarity #YoConLaVerdad pic.twitter.com/0HhEo5tMQV
— AmnestyCanada (@AmnestyNow) September 25, 2019
Truth and justice for the 43 also has far-reaching consequences across Mexico.
The disappearance of the 43 students has come to symbolize a massive nationwide crisis. More than 40,000 people are now reported missing and the number continues to climb as authorities fail to investigate.
If the high-profile case of the 43 is not solved, what hope is there for all the others – or for bringing disappearances to an end in Mexico?
After four years of cover-up by the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, the election of President López Obrador in December 2018 brought hope. One of his first actions was to create a special federal commission to look into the disappearance of the 43 students, something their families and human rights organizations had requested. The Attorney General’s Office also created a Special Unit to investigate and prosecute the case.
These actions are important. Yet concrete results have yet to be announced. Meanwhile, more people continue to be disappeared in Mexico.
Calls for action from Canada carry weight in Mexico. The families of the 43 students have asked us to support them as they courageously seek the truth, justice and the return of their loved ones.
5 Ways You can Take Action
1. SHOW your solidarity
On a large piece of paper, draw a big, bold 43 and make it as eye-catching as possible. On the back of the piece of paper, write a short message as follows:
– Address your letter to President López Obrador
– Write a sentence to introduce yourself and make the message personal.
– Express your concern, making it clear that you have not forgotten the 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa
– Call on President López Obrador to ensure that all lines of enquiry are pursued, the full truth about what happened is made public and everyone responsible is brought to justice.
– Sign your name, and be sure to show that you are writing from Canada
Send your “43” to us so we can deliver as many of them as possible together to Mexico’s government for maximum impact.
Send to: Mexico Campaigner Kathy Price, Amnesty International, 1992 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 1Z7
2. SHARE your concern on social media
Add a frame to your profile picture that says Ayotzinapa|I stand with the truth (Yo Con La Verdad). You can find the frame here.
Take a photo of yourself with your *43* (or paint the numbers on your hands and hold them up to the camera) and post on social media. Please include the hashtags #Ayotzinapa5años (#Ayotzinapa5years) #YoConLaVerdad (I stand with the truth) #JusticiaAyotzinapa and #CanadaMexicoSolidarity (so we can repost). Please tag President López Obrador @lopezobrador_ and Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero @FGRMexico
See a sample tweet below:
In Canada, como en México, we are still waiting for the truth and for justice @lopezobrador_ @FGRMexico #Ayotzinapa5años #YoConLaVerdad #JusticiaAyotzinapa #CanadaMexicoSolidarity @AmbPierreAlarie @CanEmbMexico @EmbCanMexico pic.twitter.com/miBHnzofRP
— Kathy Price (@KPriceAmnesty) September 3, 2019
3. MULTIPLY solidarity
Organize a vigil for the 43 or an action table in your community. Arrange 43 tea lights so they make the number 43. Contact campaigner Kathy Price to obtain photos of the 43 students. Show a short video to raise awareness. Encourage others to create *43* messages and photo messages in order to support the families and their allies in Mexico as they press for action.
4. SIGN our e-action
If you haven’t already, be sure to sign our e-action here.
5. LEARN more
- Read our statement on the 5th anniversary of the disappearance of the 43: Almost a year after the new government took office, the Ayotzinapa families are still waiting for justice
- Watch a short video message sent to us by mothers and fathers of the disappeared students
- Watch a video by Mexico’s Centro Pro Human Rights.
- Read Amnesty’s report Mexico: Gross incompetence and inertia fuel disappearances epidemic here.
- Read Mexico: Damning UN report highlights cover-up in case of 43 disappeared students
Thank you for taking this solidarity action!