12 Days Remaining

Friday 3rd
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

Campaigners highlight the epidemic of killings and disappearances in the central American country

PROTESTERS gathered outside the Mexican embassy in London yesterday to demand justice for victims of the human rights crisis shaking the country. 

The Justice Mexico Now campaign group organised the vigil on the Day of the Dead, usually a day of celebration in Mexico, to draw attention to the killings and disappearances in the country along with the “woefully inadequate response” from the Mexican government.

Labour MP Helen Goodman said the vigil was called “to remember those who are disappeared and missing” including 43 students who vanished three years ago — seemingly slaughtered by gangsters and the government.

The students were on coaches heading to Mexico City on September 26 2014 to commemorate the 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre when they were attacked by police.

An official investigation concluded that the students were taken into custody before police handed them over to the Guerreros Unidos crime syndicate and were probably killed.

However the details remain disputed with allegations that the Mexican army were involved while others suggest that Iguala's mayor, Jose Luis Abarca Velazquez, was behind the kidnapping. Many of the bodies remain missing.

Ms Goodman vowed to “keep the flame alive for them and fight for justice for them and their families,” saying that an early day motion had been tabled in Parliament.

The Mexican ambassador accepted a letter on behalf of the group which called on them to take action over human rights and said the government was setting up a new body to look at disappearances.

National Education Union joint president Louise Regan urged the Mexican government to do all it can to bring justice to the families of the 43 missing students and all others who have disappeared in Mexico.

Justice Mexico Now spokeswoman Lupita Valdez highlighted the human rights abuses taking place across Latin America including in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.

She said: “The biggest monster here is impunity. After violence comes impunity and impunity just keeps perpetrating violence.”

Ms Valdez added that the violence has never stopped and a minute’s silence was held to remember those who have been killed by Mexican security forces.

“We are to pay respects to all those who have lost their lives and don't have a voice any more. We are here to lend them our voice,” she said. 

Justice Mexico Now pledged to hold vigils every week in their quest for justice and will be supported by trade unions including Unite and TSSA.