Photo credit: Fred Klonsky
We had no plans to be in Mexico City during a political crisis.
It was to be a brief holiday.
Instead we found ourselves in the middle of a political and social upheaval.
We were there a year ago. It was just a month after 43 student teachers from the town of Iguala were kidnapped and are still disappeared up until today.
On the evening of November 5th, 2014 we joined a protest of 150,000 people down the Boulevard Reforma demanding the students’ safe return.
In the year since, the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto has come up with more stories than the brothers Grimm to explain what happened.
Early on he claimed that local corrupt police kidnapped the students and handed them over to a local drug cartel who killed and burned their bodies.
Forensic examiners did not support this story.
The families of the missing students continue to demand answers and have asked the government to stop making up new versions.
As we walked the miles between Chapultepec Park and the Zocalo we found ourselves marching along side other students from Iguala. Some were friends of the missing.
Suddenly the story became personal.
It is a year, but we can’t forget the faces of the student teachers of Ayotzinapa.
“The military knew what was happening the night of September 26, 2014. This government must allow an investigation into all those involved: federal and military police. We want this case be solved,” said Meliton Ortega, father of one of the disappeared teacher training students from Iguala in Mexico’s Guerrerro state.
During a rally in Juarez, the parents said they would continue demonstrating to learn the truth of what happened to their children. They also reiterated they would not accept money as compensation, “because our children do not have a price.”