Rally to denounce the murder and disappearance of Mexican student teachers
WHEN: From 5 p.m. on November 20, 2014
WHERE: Rally on the Robson Street steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery before marching to the Mexican Consulate at 411-1177 West Hastings St. Participants are asked to wear black and to bring candles or glow sticks.
Teachers and friends across the Lower Mainland are encouraged to support a rally being organized by members of the local Mexican community to denounce their government’s complicity in human rights abuses, and to demand the safe return of 43 rural student teachers who went missing at the hands of police in September 2014.
BCTF President Jim Iker will join with other teachers, students and representatives of Mexicans Living in Vancouver, Jornadas de Salud, and Initiative for Democratic Education in the Americas (IDEA).
On September 26, students from a rural teacher training college called Ayotzinapa clashed with local police in the town of Iguala, in Guerrero state. Following the confrontation, six students were killed and 43 were taken by police, who were apparently following an order from the local mayor. According to federal authorities, the police then handed the students over to members of a local drug cartel who allegedly murdered them and then incinerated the bodies. During the search for their bodies mass graves were found, but so far the government hasn’t been able to prove whether the bodies are those of the missing students.
The BCTF joins with the Mexican community in feelings of deep shock and sadness at these atrocious acts, and a desire to express our solidarity with the families and friends of the missing students. We ask that Canadians join the Global Action for Ayotzinapa and persuade the Canadian government to condemn what is clearly a state crime.
Sadly, this kind of tragedy is not uncommon in Mexico: 80,000 people have been murdered and more than 22,000 have gone missing since 2006. Less than 2 percent of crimes are prosecuted, meaning impunity is rampant in Mexico. Please join us in raising your voice against this violence and abuse of human rights!