Sunday, October 19, 2014

Poster of the Week

¿Donde estan nuestros hijos?
Rini Templeton
Frente Nacional Contra la Repression (FNCR)
Offset, 1982

CSPG’s Poster of the Week focuses attention on an ongoing crisis in Mexico, where six students were killed and 43 others were kidnapped by police a month ago and are still missing. 

On September 26, 2014, local police in Iguala, Mexico attacked a group of students from the Normal Rural School in Ayotzinapa, killing six and wounding seventeen. Another 43 students teachers were last seen being herded onto buses—and simply vanished. Iguala is in the state of Guerrero, 81 miles SSW of Mexico City.

An international outcry has forced the federal government to send in the army and federal police to look for the missing students. On October 9, tens of thousands of people marched throughout Mexico, to demand justice for the missing students. More than 20 police, as well as some members of Guerreros Unidos, a local criminal organization with ties to local politicians, have been taken into custody, but have yet to face criminal charges over the murders and kidnappings. The left wing of the national teachers' union and the rural teachers' colleges have called for an indefinite strike until the missing students are found. 

The Raúl Isidro Burgos Normal Rural School in Ayotzinapa is a teachers' college established in 1926 as part of a national program to train teachers and extend public education to rural communities throughout Mexico. The school has a strong tradition of resistance and a militant student union. Graduates have also been the backbone of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) — the left-wing section of the national teacher's union— in Guerrero state, where opposition to the neoliberal education reform agenda of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has been strongest.

Students from the Normal Rural School at Ayotzinapa are no strangers to harassment by police, given their history of resistance, but the attack they suffered on Friday, September 26, is unprecedented. Police violence on this scale hasn't been seen in Mexico since the massacre of Tlatelolco when army forces killed and disappeared university students on the eve of the 1968 Olympics.

Ironically, the youths were reportedly gathering resources for the 46th anniversary march in commemoration of the Tlatelolco massacre, when they were assaulted. The students were unarmed and en route to a peaceful demonstration against job discrimination against teachers from rural areas. The Tlatelolco massacre occurred on October 2, 1968— 10 days before the opening of the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City— in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in the Tlatelolco section of Mexico City. About ten thousand people, many of them students, had gathered to protest escalating government repression and the closing of the National University; when shooting broke out, three hundred people were killed and more than 1300 were arrested.  To this day, however, the official death count is less than 50.

The events are considered part of the Mexican Dirty War, when the government used its forces to suppress political opposition.

CSPG’s Poster of the Week commemorates the 1968 Massacre at Tlatelolco, but the banner above the church resonates with the missing students today, as it asks,

Where are our children?  Mobilization against repression! March for the presence of the disappeared and against repression October 2, 1982 from Tlatelolco to the Zocalo


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