Students march to support kidnapped Mexican college students


Shane McKeon/The Daily Northwestern

Students demonstrate in front of Technological Institute on Thursday in solidarity with the 43 Mexican college students kidnapped in September. The demonstrators fell to the ground simultaneously and stood one by one to shout a kidnapped student’s name.

Shane McKeon, Reporter

About 150 people, mostly Northwestern students, participated in a demonstration of solidarity Thursday with the 43 Mexican college students who disappeared in September.

The event involved a demonstration outside the Technological Institute, a march down Sheridan Road and a moment of silence and remarks in front of The Rock. It was organized independent of any on-campus organization, but many of the organizers were members of either MEChA de Northwestern or Alianza.

Weinberg freshman Marvin Sanchez, a member of Alianza, said the event should remind American students that not everyone enjoys the same ability to protest.

“As students of Northwestern,” he said, “we have the right to speak out against injustice, and we have the right to voice our opinions, and I thought it would be good to acknowledge that not everyone has that privilege or that right.”

On Sept. 26, 43 Mexican college students disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico, after arriving at the town for a protest. Traveling to the town, local police confronted the students and took them into custody. Although details remain hazy of the confrontation and its aftermath, Mexican authorities believe that, under the direction of Iguala’s mayor, police handed the students over to a local drug cartel.

The students, still missing, are not confirmed dead. Human remains found in plastic bags in a local river have been linked to the kidnappings, but investigations are still ongoing to identify those remains.

Weinberg junior Cinthya Rodriguez, a MEChA de Northwestern member, helped organize the event. She said the event was planned by individual students, not a single campus organization, to demonstrate unity between groups and show that the issues extend beyond Mexico.

“What’s happening in Ayotzinapa (the students’ college) isn’t isolated from the rest of the world,” she said. “The students who are organizing this are all on the same page in trying to make people know that this is happening all over the world, and the students in Ayotzinapa are very much similar to what’s happening in Ferguson and what’s happening in Palestine.”

The event began outside Tech, where 43 students marched in a circle before falling to the ground simultaneously. One by one, each stood and shouted the name of one of the missing students.

SESP junior Lya Ferreyra participated in the demonstration and said the event could help NU students understand the magnitude of the kidnappings.

“If you can give people a visual representation with their friends, with their classmates, with their peers, I think that gives people a lot more awareness,” she said.

Ferreyra, a dual-citizen of U.S. and Mexico, criticized the way American media cover these sort of events.

“Things are happening in Ukraine, and we saw that on the news,” she said. “For some reason, if it’s 43 students of color, or it’s not on the European continent, it doesn’t matter. And it needs to.”

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