The inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. Preamble, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948.
By Lucy Guevara-Vélez
"they were taken alive, we want them back alive"
More than 50 student and workers groups in Mexico called for a Global Day of Action last weekend to mark the nine-month anniversary since 43 students from Ayotzinapa went missing. The main demand was for the government to open up new investigations on the missing students. Here, scholar Lucy Guevara-Vélez reflects on the disappearance of the 43 pre-service teachers in 2014 and the Tlatelolco massacre in 1968.
In 2003, I travelled to Mexico City to complete a Tinker Summer Research Grant at the Universidad Autonoma de México (UNAM). At the time, I was also working on a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies and was deep into understanding the impact of revolutionary ideologies and activism in Mexico. I not only gained critical consciousness and the language to comprehend the hegemonic motives behind United States intervention in Latin America but also recognized that in no way was Latin America only a victim. Latin America had its own history of dirty wars, dictatorships, and human rights abuses.
When I stepped onto the UNAM campus, I thought about what it meant to be a student at that university in 1968 and be witness to protestas (protests) and marchas (marches) led by the Consejo Nacional de Huelga. Representing 70 universities and high schools, this student group organized against police brutality and the repressive nature of Mexico’s authoritarian regime under President Díaz Ordaz and the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI). The government felt so threatened by its youth that it created a batallón Olimpia—a secret police squad that used violent tactics to silence the student movement. (more…)
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