Target: Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, Minister of the Interior
Goal: Determine the fate of 43 missing Mexican students and bring those responsible to justice
The Mexican state of Guerrero is in chaos after several dozen students were forcibly disappeared by municipal police acting in collusion with criminal gangs. Some of the students have already been reported dead, and the others remain missing. Sign the petition and demand more proactive investigation from Mexican authorities.
Students at the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teacher Training College in the town of Ayotzinapa have traditionally been politically active in such areas as educational policy and rural schools. When a group of students traveled to the nearby city of Iguala to solicit donations, they were attacked by security forces, some of whom were official police and some of whom are believed to be members of the Guerreros Unidos, a criminal gang. Six people were killed in the attack. Some of the students were arrested and others were abducted, but all have been forcibly disappeared.
Adding to the worry and tension in Guerrero is the recent discovery of an unmarked mass grave containing the remains of 28 people. It is not yet known if the bodies are those of the missing students, but international forensic experts have agreed to work on the identification as the result of a petition from the victims’ families.
Federal authorities in Mexico have taken over the case and have arrested at least 22 municipal police officers in connection with the attack. The investigation remains difficult, however, after threats from the Guerreros Unidos demanded the release of the detained officers, warning, “The war has started.”
In this politically- and emotionally-fraught situation, it is imperative that the authorities in Mexico do not lose sight of what matters most: safely reuniting the victims with their families and bringing those responsible for so much pain and suffering to justice. Sign the petition and demand a full, prompt, and impartial investigation into the disappearances of the 43 students, and urge authorities in Mexico to do all in their power to battle corruption and criminal collusion within the police force.
The disappearance of one’s child is every parent’s worst nightmare. For 43 families in Guerrero state, this nightmare has become a daily reality as they grapple with the forced disappearances of students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teacher Training College in Ayotzinap. I urge you to do everything in your power to bring this issue to a prompt and satisfactory conclusion. Determine the whereabouts of the missing students, reunite them with their families, and bring those responsible for so much pain and suffering to justice.
The disappearance of so many people as the result of collusion between municipal police and criminal gangs is incredibly troubling, as is the subsequent discovery of an unmarked mass grave containing the bodies of 28 people. In accordance with the wishes of the victims’ families, I urge you to work with international forensics efforts to ensure the prompt and accurate identification of the 28 people buried in the grave. I also implore you to provide the victims’ families with whatever support and protection they may desire or require.
The municipal police cannot be trusted to investigate this on their own–the recent arrests of 22 officers in connection with the September 26 attack on the students is proof of this, as are the subsequent threats from the Guerreros Unidos, who are clearly acting in collusion with the police. It is imperative that the Federal Attorney General’s office take full control of the investigation, ensuring that those responsible–no matter who they are–are brought to justice. In addition to the investigation of the disappearances of the 43 students, I demand justice for the six students killed during the initial attack.
Harassment, violence, and death have gone on for far too long in Guerrero state. Please do what the people of Guerrero need you to do–step in, investigate the crimes, reunite the victims with their families, and bring those responsible for so much misery to justice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nick Ramirez Brito via Wikimedia Commons