North Texas Daily

Mean Green LULAC Stands for Ayotzinapa

Mean Green LULAC Stands for Ayotzinapa

Mean Green LULAC Stands for Ayotzinapa
November 21
14:28 2014

Montreh Nariman-Hassana / Contributing Writer

Students from UNT’s Mean Green League of United Latin American Citizens met Thursday evening for a vigil to pray for the disappearance and possible murder of 43 male rural college students in Guerrero, Mexico.

Gathered in front of the Life Sciences Complex Building, members of Mean Green LULAC began the vigil with candles in prayer at 8p.m. Others in attendance included UNT students and alumni as well as the TWU chapter of LULAC.

The 43 missing students were enrolled in Ayotzinapa University and in the process of gaining teaching degrees, said Mean Green LULAC president Amairani Ordonez. These students went missing Sept. 26 after an attempt to collect donations to attend upcoming protests against discrimination of hiring practices for teachers.

Ordonez said the students attempted to go back to their college in Tixla by bus when they were attacked and taken.

“These students went out to protest and speak up about their rights and what they deserve and instead they were punished,” Ordonez said. “The police kidnapped these students by order of the mayor and the cartel, all because they wanted to have a voice.”

After an almost two-month period of apathy, violent protests from citizens and other universities began across the county and the world sparked by the 100-year anniversary of the Mexican Revolution Thursday night.

Guest speakers at the vigil included UNT alumni Alonso Salas, Carlos Manuel, and Paola Garza, as well as sophomore political science major Gerardo Ismael Zermeño.

Alonso Salas said in his speech the desire to be a voice and have a presence has been taken because of this disappearance and it’s making many university students angry.

“These students don’t want to live in fear,” Salas said. “They’re being denied this freedom and it’s wrong.”

Mexican attorney general Jesus Murillo was recently interviewed and said that he is tired of answering questions about the disappearance of the 43 students, Salas said.

“Thousands of people have been posting the interview online commenting that they are tired too,” Salas said. “They are tired of having to hide in their homes in fear of being shot. No one can go to the police because they are controlled by the cartel and they can’t move up in their career because the government is corrupt beyond control. This needs to stop.”

Garza, who is also president of Young Professionals Movement, said this tragedy is a serious violation of human rights.

“There’s a statute called Rome Statute, the body of international law, where some of these crimes that have occurred are against humanity,” Garza said. “Since the prosecutions began no one has taken responsibility. The world needs to know this violation has occurred.”

Garza said under Article Seven of the Rome Statute, crimes under this article and in relation to this tragedy include murder, torture and enforced disappearance of persons.

According to Garza’s research, a mass gravesite of burning bodies was recently discovered that no one has been able to identify. However, he said there is a possibility it could be the 43 students.

Zermeño said he does not want this vigil to be seen just as a movement.

“This event, as well as other vigils being hosted tonight, has been seen across Mexico as the catalyst for change,” Zermeño said. “People aren’t as scared as they used to be. They have had enough and now they’re all coming out of their homes and protesting. I’m tired of the bloodshed, as we all are, and with our presence here we can make it end.”

Ordonez said protesters in Guerrero are demanding from a recent statewide protest the president of Mexico has 10 days to find any updates that can lead to the discovery of the 43 students missing or else he must resign.

Thousands of Mexico City citizens led by the relatives of the missing students marched through the city in what was meant to be a peaceful protest to the National Palace. It ended with police trying to halt protestors from burning down the palace, according to a New York Times press release

“Let people know what’s going on—tell everyone,” Ordonez said. “We’re here to learn about this and not be quiet anymore.”

Ordonez said Mean Green LULAC members have posted all over their social media websites to use the hash tag “#JusticeForAyotzinapa43” and encourage all students to use this and post to spread these words of hope.

Featured Image: Members of Mean Green LULAC honors the 43 missing students from a college in Ayotzinapa, Mexico. The vigil was held outside of Sycamore Hall on Thursday night. Photo by Byron Thompson – Senior Staff Writer

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