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Florida students hold People’s Eulogy for disappeared Mexican students

By Jonathan Waring |
November 17, 2014
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Photo of kidnapped Mexican students at Florida solidarity action.
Photo of kidnapped Mexican students at Florida solidarity action. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Gainesville, FL - On the evening of Nov. 13, University of Florida (UF) students held a Peoples’ Eulogy for the 43 Mexican students presumably murdered by police and drug gangs who were colluding with local and state politicians. Local police in Iguala, Guerrero, kidnapped the students, now known as the 43, on Sept. 26.

The police chased the students as they fled in buses, shooting and killing some, then handing the others they captured over to a notorious criminal syndicate. According to the Mexican government’s version of events, the criminals murdered the students and attempted to destroy their bodies by burning them. Meanwhile, 14 students who escaped the police attack and the families of the 43 missing students have been demanding to know where the 43 were being held.

A dump of plastic bags of burnt remains was found near a river this month, which Mexican government officials claim are the remains of the 43 students. The families of the 43 refuse to believe the Mexican government and are awaiting forensic tests from outside the country, while continuing to demand that the 43 students be returned alive. Now government officials, on up to President Enrique Peña Nieto, are scrambling to explain the corruption and disappearances.

On the Florida campus, students gathered to humanize and memorialize the 43 Mexican students. Photos of each student’s face were placed along with a candle, in one of the busiest walking areas of campus. UF student activists spoke about the students and the name of each was read aloud. The crowd then held a moment of silence to honor them. Around 35 students attended the event, with others stopping briefly to learn about the 43 Mexican students.

Leah Robbins, of UF Students for a Democratic Society said, “I think it’s our responsibility to combat political repression wherever it manifests itself and to stand in solidarity with those who have been silenced by their governments.”

Another campus leader, Farah Khan of Students for Justice in Palestine commented, “As activists, we felt like we had a duty to honor them; it’s important for us because we are student activists.”

By the afternoon of the next day, though the candles were long burned out, the pictures and signs were still being displayed. Several students stopped to read the names and look at the signs of the Ayotzinapa 43. There are solidarity events happening on many U.S. campuses, as the parents of the murdered students are travelling across Mexico to demand justice.