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By Témoris Grecko (follow him on Facebook and Twitter)

Early this morning (Nov 4th), Mexico’s PGR (Federal Attorney General’s office) confirmed having captured Iguala’s former mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda, both accused of being the intellectual culprits behind the attacks by local police, which ended the lives of 6 individuals and where the 43 students from Ayotzinapa were kidnapped on September 26. This couple not only might help to clarify the whereabouts of those missing, but also possesses considerable information regarding drug trafficking operations in the region and all the complicities involved, through politicians, civil servants and businessmen on the local, state and federal levels.

This event is a partial victory for the huge national and international mobilization demanding justice. A victory because, without the enormous pressure that Peña Nieto’s administration (whose instruments of law enforcement are seen as either incompetent or unwilling to solve this case, or both) is being submitted to, it is likely that this couple would have been able to definitively escape and take on new identities, in order to go unnoticed.

But it is partial since the 43 are still to be presented alive and because, beyond the urgency to find them, at the very bottom lies the goal of shaking Mexico’s society and its politics, in such a way that the society becomes aware that there are no reasons to continue living trapped between political corruption and criminal violence, and that the political class goes through some profound cleansing and transformation in order to effectively serve citizens instead of mobsters.

Right now, it is necessary to prevent federal prosecutor Jesús Murillo Karam from yielding to the temptation of tampering the information in order to improperly justify what he described as his “only line of investigation” (which portrays the conflict as a confrontation between drug cartels and criminalizes the victims) or to release some privileged few from their responsibilities and drop the blame on a few scapegoats.

What Pineda and Abarca know must be used to kick start investigations and judicial procedures against all of their associates in Guerrero, Morelos, Distrito Federal and other entities, among the three branches of government. In the executive, legislative and judicial powers, in the private sector, in and out of the political parties.

For the rescue of the 43 alive, and for a free, fair and safe Mexico, the mobilization campaign stands.

And to understand/explain the situation, I have attempted to summarize some of the main aspects in a series of basic questions:

What happened in Iguala?

Why were they targeted and why with so much brutality?

Why are the students of Ayotzinapa stigmatized?

Who are the teaching students facing in Guerrero?

Is it possible to find the missing ones alive?

Couldn’t the authorities find the criminals? Did they want to find them? And what about their associates and accomplices?

How far are the parents and colleagues willing to go?

What are the risks?

What can we do?

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Iguala city hall in flames. 22 de octubre de 2014.

What happened in Iguala?

On September 26, students from the Rural Teachers School Raul Isidro Burgos, popularly known as Normal of Ayotzinapa, rode on two buses they had taken possession of to Iguala, in order to take two more, for the purpose of transporting students to teaching practices and to the yearly October 2 political rally in Mexico City.

 

The operation coincided with the state of affairs address from the head of the municipal DIF – Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa, who turned this occasion into a launching party for her political campaign for Iguala’s mayorship in 2015 and succeed her husband, Jose Luis Abarca. The Pineda Villa family is plagued by drug traffickers. Fourteen of them were arrested by police in 2009, two of her brothers were murdered that same year, by order of drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva, and third one, Salomon, became the leader of the local drug cartel Guerreros Unidos, which controlled the municipal police in Iguala, neighboring Cocula and other locations in the Guerrero and Morelos states.

Pineda and/or her husband Abarca ordered to attack the students, and this happened on two occasions, during the night of the 26th to the 27th: In one of them, law enforcement personnel wounded a young man in the head, leaving him with brain death, and detained 43 youngsters. On the second one, past midnight, they killed three students: two in the shootout and another one was captured, his face skinned and his eyes gauged out while he was still alive. Besides, out of confusion, they also shot a bus in which teenagers from a soccer team were travelling and killed one of them, the driver and a bystanding woman.

The police delivered their 43 detainees to the drug cartel’s hired guns and are missing since then.

 

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March on Acapulco’s highway in Chilpancingo. October 8, 2014.

Why were they targeted and why with so much brutality?

Former Mexican president Felipe Calderon promoted what became a sort of official knee-jerk reaction throughout the country: blame the victim. If a group of young kids were killed in their own home it surely was because they were in some shady business. Blaming the victim offers a double advantage. First, the dead can’t defend themselves and second, it apparently spares all the work that goes into an investigation to find the killer, who, in many an occasion might be unpleasantly near the authorities.

In this case, what happened in Iguala also includes a political component: the students were opposing a system that finds them unlikeable.

Following this pattern, many hypotheses were tried in order to blame the victims. One was adopted by federal prosecutor Murillo Karam as his “unique line of investigation”. This was that the Los Rojos cartel, with influence in in Chilpancingo (Guerrero State’s capital) and neighboring Tixtla (where Ayotzinapa is located), had infiltrated the students or tried to use them as a plan to ruin the mayor’s wife’s party or to invade another cartel’s territory, Guerreros Unidos’. Or, at least Guerreros Unidos would have perceived it this way.

So far about 60 people have been detained including police officers, hitmen and other people. The statements of some of those presumed to have been part of the killing do not help to understand why Murillo Karam suspects that Guerreros Unidos thought the students belong to Los Rojos.

On the other hand, the bad guys knew who the students were and use the derogatory term “ayotzinapos” when they talk about them. One of them said that his boss “El Choky” ordered the killing because they “andaban de revoltosos”, which can be translated as “they were there as troublemakers”.

The dominant sector of society in Guerrero, the middle class and a big part of the media have adopted the term “ayotzinapos” too. In doing so, they minimize the students to a subhuman level. An “ayotzinapo” is viewed as a vandal, an unwanted troublemaker whose life would not be missed.

The search for the missing is revealing an overwhelming amount of secret mass graves around Iguala. Killings were part of everyday life. They could assassinate five, 15 or 20 people and nothing would happen. Mayor Abarca personally killed his fellow party member Arturo Hernandez Cardona and two other of his companions in 2013. All this in front of witnesses who later declared and offered proof to the media. However, Abarca enjoyed such protection from Angel Aguirre (who days ago had to resign as governor of the State of Guerrero) and PRD’s Nueva Izquierda (New Left, the biggest grouping within the PRD, a party which portrays itself as Leftist), that the law never acted against him. Not even the PGR (Federal Attorney General’s office) took the case. The initiative was so mute towards this and other crimes committed and denounced, that it took the judicial authorities over a month to issue Abarca’s arrest warrant after the massacre.

Furthermore, justice is often denied to the students of Ayotzinapa in Guerrero. In 2011, while blocking the highway towards Acapulco, police forces were sent to clear off the road. Officers killed students Jorge Alexis Herrera Pino and Gabriel Echeverria de Jesus in front of media cameras but no one has been put to trial for this crime.

Blinded by power and impunity, the Pineda-Abarca couple never imagined that their massive attack towards the students would generate discomfort. They thought they were just getting rid of some disrespectful rioters that had dared disturb their celebration. Just as one might sweep an anthill with insecticide. Their gunmen acted in the same state of mind, as if marking the limits to the students, “they might let them do their mess in Chilpancingo, but here we are machos and we are going to give them a lesson. We’ll rip their faces off and gouge their eyes out. All in all, they are just ‘ayotzinapos’.”

They were wrong. Though for a few hours they might have felt they had gotten away with it. The following morning, newspaper Diario de Guerrero headlined: “Order is finally restored”. It also mentioned: “The State and Military forces who stopped vandals from stealing buses deserved public ovation.”

Why are the students of Ayotzinapa stigmatized?

They are poor peasants, rebel and impetuous. In so many words, this is why. The State of Guerrero is ruled by arrogant family clans, ingrained since always in the PRI (Mexico’s ruling party) and more recently in the PRD and other parties such as PAN, PVEM and PT. Clans that have gotten in bed with criminal cartels and support themselves on a middle class that embraces as much servility towards them as it shows disdain to those less fortunate.

A lot of the challenges that this semi-feudal system has encountered root from popular organizations created under the leadership of rural teachers educated in the Normal de Ayotzinapa. The leaders of the famous guerrilla groups of the 60s and early 70s, Genaro Vazquez Rojas of the Revolutionary National Civic Association (ACNR by its initials in Spanish) and Lucio Cabanas of the Party of the Poor (Partido de los Pobres) were students of the rural school. Today’s students walk on their steps as show their public speech and the images of Vazquez Rojas, Cabanas and other leaders with which walls are adorned. The biggest and most untamable union force is that of the dissident teachers, the Ceteg (State Coordinator of Education Workers of Guerrero), partly formed by Ayotzinapa alumni.

The students themselves are very active and their struggle methods make various sectors uneasy. For example, the blocking of the Acapulco highway and its alternative road on Sunday, October 26 -a month after the abduction of their classmates- divided the state in two and kept thousands of drivers and their passengers locked in their cars in the heat for 8 hours. Many of them were coming back from a weekend holiday in Acapulco. In the last month and with the support of the Ceteg, government facilities have been set on fire and supermarkets have been raided. Although in some cases it seems that the lootings were a result of neighbors taking advantage of the situation, of gangs or even rioters interested in making the protesters look bad.

A meaningful part of Guerrero’s citizens remains unfazed in front of the abduction of the 43 young students and their parents’ tragedy. Some even approach the journalists to convince them that the missing are not missing but in fact hiding to justify their classmates’ riots. They don’t seem to mind living under a political system controlled by crime but they are disturbed by the ones who oppose it. And they still call the students “ayotzinapos”, even when this kind of stigmatization was what made seem the massacre so easy to do, socially acceptable and even justifiable.

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Relatives of the missing ones at Chilpancingo’s cathedral. Octuber 23, 2014.

Who are the teaching students facing in Guerrero?

In the second most impoverished state in the Mexican republic, frictions between big fortunes and extreme poverty are more evident than in the rest of the entities. Resourcing to illicit activities is habitual amongst the clans that dominate the economical and political life in the state. Likewise, it is turning to bloody repression: the killings in Iguala aren’t but the last in a list that includes those of Iguala (a previous one, in 1962, with 7 killed, 23 wounded and 280 detained), Atoyac (9 dead and 25 wounded in May 1967), La Coprera (between 27 and 86 dead, according to sources, and more than 100 wounded, in Acapulco in August 1967), Aguas Blancas (17 dead and 21 wounded, in 1995), El Charco (11 so-called guerrilla fighters executed by the army in 1998); and that of 20 tourists from the state of Michoacán who were “confounded” as members of a rival cartel (in 2010).

But for the last one, all have been a part of acts of political repression perpetrated by security forces and have been left unpunished at the level of intellectual authors, or masterminds: Rubén Figueroa Alcocer then governor of Guerrero, who was accused for Aguas Blancas, was forced to step down but placed his own political protégé Angel Aguirre Rivero as governor. It was during Aguirre’s office term that the killings of El Charco took place, without affecting him. Furthermore, Figueroa Alcocer and Aguirre Rivero were accused by the leftist political party PRD, perredé phonetically in Spanish, of persecuting and killing several hundreds of their own militants, for which they were dubbed the “mataperredistas”, PRD-killers.

That is why it is even more dramatic that Aguirre Rivero was the PRD’s candidate to take on a second round to the governorship; and as a repeat of history, now he has had to leave the post, as his protector Figueroa did 18 years ago, despite the PRD defending him tightly. Internal currents Nueva Izquierda, (of party president Carlos Navarrete), Alianza Democrática Nacional and Foro Nuevo Sol dismissed the demands for Aguirre’s resignation that were presented opposing factions.

Traditionally, the political clans in Guerrero used express themselves through the PRI and settled down their differences within the party. The growth of the PRD, thanks to the hope they generated when fighting for a better quality of life for the poor, for justice and for peace, turned it into a viable political alternative so that the disgruntled clans could use it in their infighting and to work for their interests. That is how the organization went from winning small mayoral positions to winning Acapulco, and then the governorship in two occasions, posing as office front to former PRI politicians and businessmen. This is how the PRD presented Aguirre Rivero as their candidate in spite of his stained past, because of the PRD’s militants killings (as a mater of fact, his path to the PRD candidacy was enormously facilitated by the hitman who, in August of 2009, killed the then party state leader, Armando Chavarría, who seemed the most advantageous aspirant and whose killing remains unpunished).

In parallel, the criminal cartels’ power grew. Their financing oils the clans and parties’ electoral machinery: the flow of resources is so wide that those candidates without the drug traffickers support find it almost impossible to compete amongst those who do have it.

Iguala has a key role to play in this scenario: this city is the main storage centre for raw opium gum that is produced in the sierra municipalities dominated by the narco (Teloloapan, Arcelia, Totolapan, Coyuca de Catalán, Pungarabato and Cuetzala) and that constitutes 98% of the national production. It has already displaced marihuana as the main narcotic exported and Mexico is the second producer in the world, according to data from the State Department collected by journalist Héctor de Mauleón.

Having control over Iguala means handling a fortune. Political columnist Salvador García Soto documents that former Governor Aguirre took an important slice from it, thanks to his relation with the Abarca-Pineda couple: “The person in charge of taking those resources (the money that Abarca transferred to Aguirre) was Jesús Ernesto Aguirre, the governor’s nephew and, as ‘external assessor’, he was the financial liaison between the mayor, his wife and his uncle.”

In turn, García Soto affirms, Aguirre returned the support from Nueva Izquierda militants by financing their political projects, like those of Senator Armando Ríos Piter, former PRI and Nueva Izquierda affiliate Lázaro Mazón and, above all, from the new national PRD president Carlos Navarrete: “Information that comes from Angel Aguirre’s close insiders claims that he gave 10 millions pesos monthly to Navarrete’s PRD presidential campaign during the year that his proselytism lasted all over the country”.

In Guerrero, as in other regions in the country, old family clans and capos from 26 narco trafficking cartels (five major and 21 small) associate and confront using the available tools to get to power positions, and to have access to public money and control of security forces. Among those tools are the franchises known as political parties, in particular the PRI, PRD, PAN, PT and PVEM, with their leaderships as accomplices and at service to those who want to pay to use them. The groups that refuse to accept this reality are seen as enemies by all those who benefit from this corruption: despite their differences and rivalries, the clans and cartels are united by hatred against all those they perceive as a common threat to the corrupt system they belong to.

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Relatives of the missing ones at Chilpancingo’s cathedral. October 23, 2014.

Is it possible to find the missing ones alive?

Parents of the missing ones have denounced that even though the government is working to find the students alive, the reality is that their efforts are focused on finding graves. Focus instead on finding them alive, they demand. A lot is said about whether they are alive, or not, a few of them, or none. But there are speculations based on incomplete information only. It is very grave the incapacity of authorities to find reliable tips despite the big number of detentions.

The detained have given some statements indicating that indeed they killed some of the teaching student but maybe not all of them. And after the criticism for looking only for dead bodies, the secretary of interior (Gobernación) said that “we think” it is possible to find them alive.

Everyone? A few? Could it be my son or someone else’s?, parents ask themselves and in turn this makes things even more painful. Facing a lack of solid evidence, no one can be told to give up the hope to find their loved ones alive. The brutality that was exhibited by the killers by skinning the student Julio César Mondragón while still alive is more than just difficult to accept: for the parents, it becomes such a terrible anguish to ask themselves if the same thing will be done to their children and if they still have time to save them.

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Relatives of the missing ones at Chilpancingo’s cathedral. October 23, 2014.

Couldn’t the authorities find the criminals? Did they really want to find them? And what about their associates and accomplices?

The Pineda/Alberca couple was arrested hours ago (November 4). Nevertheless, there are clear signs that the authorities had little interest in finding them and taking them to justice (and we still don’t know if they are willing to identify, investigate, detain, judge and sentence their many and very powerful accomplices):

-To begin with, they let them flee. Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, secretary of Interior, and former governor Aguirre are embroiled in a war of words because Osorio Chong claims that he asked Aguirre to arrest Abarca, but that he refused to do so. Either way, in plain view of the police, Abarca and Pineda had 72 hours to go through the legal process of requesting leave from the Mayor’s office, to flee and disappear. One wonders if this indeed was because of a lack of clear directions, of coordination or simply a major fumble by the police. Or if they just simply preferred to let them leave.

In second place, it took them a whole month to issue an order of arrest against Abarca. This cannot be justified by saying that the former mayor was protected under the immunity known in legal terms as “fuero” because this only applies at the state level and the crimes he committed were soon considered to be under Federal jurisdiction. Besides, he would have only been protected from being arrested, not from the investigations that would have been necessary to warrant an order for his arrest. And if there had not been sufficient evidence, there were other legal proceedings they could have applied in order to detain him, like the one related to the killing of Hernández Cardona. Truth be told, this crime was ignored by the authorities even though there were witnesses and evidence.

-Not for that crime nor for any other crime: wishing to appear as if it was doing its job, the Center for National Investigation and Security (Cisen, the federal intelligence agency) leaked a report to the media that revealed that Abarca and Pineda had ties to organized crime. Other politicians and bureaucrats jumped in to say that they already knew it, and Osorio Chong claimed that he had been investigating Abarca since 2010. What they do not bother explaining is why, if they knew that the mayor of Iguala and his wife had turned the city into a mafia stronghold, no single process was initiated against them. Not a single one.

Adding this to the lack of success in the search, parents and colleagues of the missing ones are declaring their feeling of impotence, denouncing that “the federal government is trying our patience and playing with the pain of the victims.” They are trying to exert pressure by announcing protests and even more radical actions.

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Protest in Iguala. At the forefront, Ceteg teachers. October 24, 2014.

How far are the parents and colleagues of the missing ones willing to go?

There was general concern over the burning of government buildings in Chilpancingo and the Iguala city hall, and this was exacerbated by TV anchors who complained about the violence in the protests. They might have been right in other instances.

The pain that afflicts the parents and colleagues of the missing ones is unique, nevertheless. Before recurring to violence, they had two choices that fall within the accepted political system: the legal recourse and peaceful protests.

It is evident that the legal recourse is useless: justice exists in Mexico to be applied to the benefit of some and the harm of others. The teaching students, or “normalistas,” were witnesses to that with the unpunished killing of their two colleagues in 2011. They are witnessing it again, as the politicians they consider responsible or accomplices in their tragedy, are kept safe from any legal action: Aguirre negotiated his immunity in exchange of leaving the governor’s office, the members of the Nueva Izquierda insist on clearing their responsibility with a simple apology, and president Enrique Peña Nieto does not believe that his government is in any way involved and puts all the blame on Aguirre.

In fact, this is a continuation of a trend of making third level players pay for the most scandalous crimes: Abarca and Pineda in Iguala, a sub officer and six soldiers for the killing of 22 people in Tlatlaya, 21 police officers for Atenco (even though the man who was then governor of the State of México said it was he who ordered the raid –in which there were several arbitrary arrests, instances of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, forced searches in homes, torture, sexual abuse and the rape of 26 women– and he is now the president of México, Enrique Peña Nieto), nobody for the Acteal massacre and nobody for the deadly fire in the ABC daycare center, which was apparently caused to destroy evidence of ill management by the then governor of Sonora state, Eduardo Bours.

At the ABC daycare, 49 babies burned to their deaths on June 5, 2010. If four years later there has been no justice in such a horrendous case, why would the parents of the missing ones expect justice now?

Thousands of citizens throughout the country took to the streets to protest the deaths of those 49 children. Just the same, there have been peaceful protests for all kinds of abuse, from the extended violence to the eviction of farmers from their lands and abuses against unionized workers. But the Mexican political system is specialized in hearing but not listening to its citizens. And since Peña Nieto took office on December 1, 2012, police aggressions against protesters and journalists have become recurring events.

It should be no wonder that parents and colleagues of the missing ones feel that going through the legal process or holding a peaceful protest is good for absolutely nothing.

It is argued that they are subject to a social pact. But by denying them justice and their due attention, that social pact has been broken by the very ones in charge of guaranteeing its enforcement. For those of us who believe that violence is not the way, it is very difficult to explain to them that they must resign to accepting the killings, kidnappings, extortions and abuses of a system that protects the criminals and punishes the common citizen. It is the right of the people to rebel against the oppression of an unjust system. For many, there is no reason to feel tied to that social pact that has been shredded to pieces.

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Izaa neighborhood, Aleppo, Syria. January 2013.

What are the risks?

I have personally witnessed armed revolutions and popular uprisings. They generate tremendous enthusiasm at first and then a huge and irreparable tragedy. It’s almost a rule that those who start the revolution are not those who live until its ending. It is well known that the revolution devours its own children.

Civil wars open space for violent people to be in the forefront of social groups and to subjugate those who try to use reason and dialogue. The dynamics that they generate tend to crush those who seek avenues for peace while the extremists on both sides feed each other with their actions. It’s much easier to start a fight than to finish it. And in the end, the beneficiaries are not the people who find their home destroyed and their livelihoods shattered, but the sum of opportunists who always thrive in chaos and violence.

In Syria and Libya, for example, people who went to fight in 2011 today say that, while they still believe that their cause was just, and they still oppose Fascist regimes, they would have preferred other alternatives if they had known that they were throwing their countries to an endless war. In both cases, today’s stronger factions were not even present at the beginning, while those who took the initiative to start the revolution are dead, maimed, imprisoned or in exile. The children for whom they wanted to build a better nation will live among the ruins. That, if peace returns.

In Proceso magazine, Mexican journalist José Gil Olmos documents how is that different guerrilla groups have regained breath due to Iguala’s attacks: they were “lethargic” and now they’re creating new “execution squads”. They acknowledge the pain and discontent after the kidnapping of Iguala and now they’re offering alternatives to fight back. An armed fight.

This is not new: the guerrillas in Guerrero arise from killings: Vázquez Rojas went to the mountains after the killing of Iguala in 1962; Lucio Cabañas after Atoyac, 1967, and the EPR made its appearance on the first anniversary of the Aguas Blancas massacre in 1996.

When justice is denied. When they ignore their peaceful demonstrations. When they condemn them for burning the Iguala’s city hall where the slaughter of their children and mates was ordered. When none of this serves to rescue the hostages and prevent them to be killed slowly and have their face and their eyes skinned and gouged out. When the prospect is that the system will continue betraying them and abusing, torturing and killing them … should it be a surprise that youngsters and adults consider that armed struggle is the only way left to them? Or do we prefer them taking the option of joining the very same cartels that have victimized them?

“We’re committed to it,” said the father of a missing student at a press conference in Ayotzinapa, October 24. “If we must lose our lives to seek for our children, we will lose them.” Can anyone blame them? “Enough with the government making fun of us,” he concluded.

That’s the way the governments of Syria and Libya pushed their citizens into the abyss … and the country fell with them. Everyone lost: in a civil war, the only winners are the fanatics, arm dealers, food and fuel smugglers, foreign powers playing in this checkerboard… however, local elites lose their fortunes and escape abroad by plane, the middle class ends up living in tents in refugee camps, and the poor they kill each other for scraps of bread, or die in overcrowded boats that sink when navigating to exile.

Apocalyptic? Those Libyan and Syrian idealists would have not believed this three years ago… nor we in Mexico ever thought we would reach this level of chaos, mistrust and vulnerability.

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Salaheddine neighborhood, Aleppo, Syria. January 2013.

What can we do?

An armed conflict is not the only alternative nor what most of the parents and comrades of the missing students want. There is a need to support those who insist on following the less painful paths. If the violent groups are trying to use their pain to lure them into a armed struggle, the authorities have the responsibility to avoid it by fulfilling their obligation of bringing justice for them. Something that hasn’t happened yet, so we must push them. But not only because of that specific cause.

We must act in all our spaces. Explain to our families, friends, colleagues, work and schoolmates that finding the missing ones is only an inmmediate urgency. In a longer run we must fight to avoid another Iguala, another Tlatlaya, another Acteal, another Atenco, another ABC daycare centre in any future moment… So that our indignation from today will not fade away until the next massacre, the next murder, the next looting of our country’s richnesses, until they manipulate once again the citizens’ will through the disproportionate waste of money and spaces on TV.

The  same system that is killing us, demands from us complicity in our own own tragedy. As a journalist, are you telling the truth? As a political leader, are you stealing money? As a government official, are you behaving with probity? As an entrepreneur, are you buying government officials? As an employee, are you cheating on something or someone? As a police officer, are you being abusive? As a soldier, are you defending your country? As a salesman, are you giving fair prices? As a teacher, are you offering quality teaching? As a doctor, are you performing and prescribing the right medical treatments? As an engineer, are you building with the proper materials? As a lawyer, are you working only to get rich?

As a student, as a worker, as a profesional, as an entrepreneur, as a citizen, as a Mexican, are you working to avoid our country’s collapse?

We need a popular insurrection. But it must be a peaceful movement if we don’t want to destroy the very things that we are trying to save. We must go on strikes, get out to the streets, organize forum debates and cultural events, we must talk to people around us, publish articles, write songs… Even block streets and take public or strategic buildings and offices.

We are in an emergency time because our country is falling apart, and soon we will pass the point of no return. How will we explain in the future, that we lost the Morelos, Juárez, Zapata and Cárdenas’s heritage?

We were gifted with a extremely beautiful country, our country… Will we let it sink?

We need to shake Mexico. Shake the society and help it say “enough!”, because only ignorance and meekness keep us submitted to corruption and criminality, and we can end that.

We must shake the political and business spheres, so we can stop the corruption and abuse of nature and people. Let them know clearly that, or they straight up for good, or we will put them in jail… or the violent ones will come to chase and get them.

On February 12th 2011, the day after Mubarak’s fall, at Tahrir plaza in Cairo, Egyptians went out to paint and clean up the streets, earlier destroyed not only because of the uprising, but by decades of governmental and people’s negligence. “Revolution will not succeed if we only change some politicians for others”, one of them told me; “the revolution must be also of the inner conscience, civic consciousness in order to become citizens”.

They failed. Sadly. Today, they live again under a dictatorial government.

Is it possible for us to make a peaceful, deep revolution in politics and culture, to become free and responsible citizens? Or, will we keep allowing corruption and crime to drown us until the destruction of our properties and lives?

Take to the streets. Do not get tired. Do not get bored. Do not surrender. We must fight. Mexico is suffocating.

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National emblem at Iguala city hall’s fire. October 22, 2014.

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 This is an English language version of the original article titled in Spanish “Y los estudiantes que mataron en Iguala… ¿eran revoltosos o activistas, ayudaban al narco o a la guerrilla, por qué les echan la culpa de su propia tragedia? Respuestas a qué pasa en Guerrero, qué peligros se avecinan, qué puedes hacer y otras preguntas que te estás haciendo ahora.” It was first published in Cuadernos Doble Raya on November 4, 2014.

Many thanks to our volunteer translators Mauricio Monroy, Fabiola Montiel, Mónica Montiel, Antonio Mejías-Rentas, Eileen Truax, Patricia Soto and Thalía Güido.

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