Voices of rebellion travel California to demand justice for 43 slain Mexican students
Gabriel Gutierrez, a CSUN professor of Chicano Studies, hoped the event would raise awareness of the U.S.'s involvement in Mexico's drug war through the funding and training of its armed forces. "There is a direct link to what's happening here because when you follow the money and all the other trails, we're talking about the war on drugs," he said.
Angel Ayala, one of the students who survived the massacre, stood before a packed audience, next to him Cruz Bautista held a banner with the photo of a missing classmate. Ayala told a chilling story about how him and his classmates gathered to protest capitalist reforms to Mexico's education system in the plaza of their hometown. "Armored vehicles pulled up, men stepped out and began firing at us," remembered Ayala, recounting how one classmate's skull was shattered by a military bullet. He recounted taking wounded comrades to a hospital where the army also appeared, arresting some students, taunting them and then releasing them into the night while 43 other students who participated in the protest were never seen again.
Since then the Mexican government has provided no answers to a restless population over the fate of their incinerated children. The portrait Ayala painted of Mexico was of a land mired in inequality, suppressed by a system that has abandoned its masses to the fate of a brutal war being waged between drug gangs and a decaying state.
On Sunday the voices of Mexico's angry citizens reached the streets of downtown Los Angeles as other survivors of the massacre and family of the missing students marched through the streets, holding photos and signs calling for an end to the corruption and exposing how murder is choking Mexican society.
Among the marchers was Nansi Cisneros, a former SMC student whose brother was kidnapped in Jalisco in October 2013.
"With the families of Ayotzinapa it's been six months, for me it's been a year and a half," said Cisneros. "I have received no answers, nothing." Cisneros hoped that the voices of Ayotzinapa would open eyes in the United States to how U.S. funding of the drug war is fueling the terror. "I hope that their eyes will open to what our country has been helping to happen. I hope some minds can change and get involved."