Forty Three

IMG_4187On 26th September last year, 43 student teachers disappeared near Iguala, a small town south of Mexico city. They had been travelling to a protest and were intercepted by corrupt police who then handed them over to a local drug gang. It is thought that the drug gang then murdered the students and burned their bodies to destroy evidence.

Something like 111 people have been arrested, including police officers, drug gang members and the mayor of Iguala (it is though he ordered to abduction), but so far there have been no charges. The president ordered yet another inquiry but the families have had enough and are demanding answers.

My first night in Mexico, Friday 25th, I ran into a small protest in Coyoacan, marking the one-year anniversary.IMG_4200 IMG_4201

IMG_4191Saturday 26th, exactly a year from the events, was my first full day in Mexico City. I headed for the historical Centro district, eager to check out the National Palace, the Templo Major and some of the other cool stuff they have there.

The metro train was very busy, like can’t get the door shut China-in-the-rush-hour busy, although since this was my first time on the Mexico City metro train I really didn’t know what was normal for it.

Templo Mayor, I did eventually get there

Templo Mayor, I did eventually get there

Turned out there was a big protest planned for the Saturday (something like 40,000 people turned up for it according to the media). I didn’t hang around too long that day. These things have a habit of turning violent and I didn’t want to get caught up in it. Plus I didn’t want to be travelling back on the metro at the same time that all these people also decided to travel back.

The next day I read that some protesters had tried to set fire to the Palace (the president doesn’t actually live there but just holds meetings there from time to time)

I went back on Tuesday, my final full day in the city, and there was still a high police presence. Police with riot shields stood protecting the Royal Palace from any further marauders (so I never did get to see the Diego Rivera murals that are apparently inside).

A few vans full of police decked out with riot shields on Tuesday. I am taking this photo from a safe distance.

A few vans full of police decked out with riot shields on Tuesday.

Ahh well, there’s always another time. I’m not sorry to be moving on. I loved Coyoacan, but found Mexico City generally quite hard work.

2 replies »

  1. Hi Sarah
    It is a shame about Mexico and all the dodgy stuff going on there. I was aware of the students that had gone missing and like you say there is so much corruption to sieve through. Very sad and all for drugs. I was looking at the photos of the protesters and you can not imagine what those parents, family members are going through – but I fear they will not get answers.

    Like you say, time to move on………………. So where we off to next. Safe travels my friend xx

    • Yeah generally Mexico doesn’t get a lot of coverage in the British press; I think it’s too far away, both in distance and in culture, to be of interest to the majority of people. I only noticed it because I was already planning this trip.
      It was unbearably sad; there was an old woman crying for her grandson. Very moving.
      I’m in Oaxaca now, 6.5 hours on a bus from Mexico city.

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