OLYMPIA (March 26, 2015) — Caravana 43, a group representing the parents of the 43 students kidnapped in late September 2014 in Guerrero, Mexico, will arrive in Olympia to speak to about their children’s experiences and about the human rights violations occurring in Mexico. All are invited to attend their events on Tuesday, April 14 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Washington State Labor Council office, 906 Columbia St. SW #300, and Wednesday, April 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Long House at The Evergreen State College, 2700 Evergreen Parkway NW. (Download the Olympia events.)
The group also plans events in Seattle on April 16-18 and in Yakima on April 19-21. Details on those events will be available later. (Check back here.)
The Caravana 43 events in Olympia are part of a U.S. speaking tour in cities across the country in churches, universities, community organizations, and labor unions about the events of Sept. 26, 2014, when police and gangsters killed six, wounded 25, and kidnapped 43 students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College. The parents have continued to demand that their children be returned to them “alive as they were when they were taken.”
Photos of the students’ faces, carried on placards in demonstrations throughout Mexico and in other countries, have become international symbols of the tens of thousands of forced disappearances and more than 100,000 killings in Mexico since 2006.
“The invitation of people of the United States to share our struggle is very timely since our plan is to travel to Central and South America and to Europe from where we have already received more invitations,” said Felipe de la Cruz Sandoval, a representative of the Ayotzinapa group. “It is important that both citizens and government leaders of other countries are aware of the injustices in Mexico and the international community see what is the globalization of repression.”
The parents plan to take their case to the Inter-American Commission, Amnesty International, and the United Nations. Amnesty International and many other human rights organizations, as well as the U.S. State Department, have for years found Mexico to be violating human rights through arbitrary arrests, torture, and extrajudicial killing.
Organizers of the national caravan hope that the parents’ presentations will not only educate the American people about the human rights violations taking place in Mexico, but also lead American citizens and representatives to consider the hundreds of millions of dollars that the United States provides to Mexico through Plan Mérida for military equipment which has been used by the army and the police against Mexican citizens in violation of their rights.