Tens of thousands of Mexicans took to the streets of the capital to protest at the government’s inability to find student teachers who disappeared from the town of Iguala six weeks ago.
Counting slowly from one to 43 to mark the number of students missing, they chanted:
“They took them away alive, and that’s how we want to find them.”
A candle for each of the student protesters who disappeared in Mexico in Sept. Vigil at SB Mexican consulate pic.twitter.com/7HByhFlc7Y— Greg Cappis (@ReporterGreg) November 6, 2014
Holding images of the missing, they had this message for their leaders:
“We have no government, we don’t have faith in them and so civil society needs to organise itself in different ways, in the many ways that we have as a society, to make it clear that we have no government,” said protester Jorge Antonio Aguilar.
The reputation of president Enrique Peña Nieto is on the line. Many protesters carried signs saying ‘Renuncia Peña’ – telling him to resign and it even has its own hashtag #RenunciaEPN. Other signs read ‘Fue el estado’ – it was the state.
The case has united a country tired of gang violence.
There is hope that the mayor of Iguala Jose Luis Abarca, arrested on Tuesday, may provide answers to the whereabouts of the missing students. Along with his wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda, he stands accused of ordering their disappearance in cooperation with a local drug cartel.
Forensic teams analysing remains found in mass graves near Iguala in Guerrero state have yet to identify any of the missing 43 students.