Cascade Park

Cascade Park

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Protest on Reforma

Mexico City's Paseo de la Reforma is the scene of many demonstrations, but there are some forms of protest that are more permanent than a march down the boulevard.

In September of 2014, forty three leftist students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College in the state of Guerrero disappeared.  They were on their way to the city of Iguala to stage protests at a political event there.  What happened is unclear, but it would seem that they were rounded up by police (perhaps at the behest of the mayor of Iguala and his wife), and then handed over to a criminal syndicate with which the wife of the mayor had ties.  The students' disappearance was the worst scandal during the administration of former President Enrique Peña Nieto, and it led to nationwide protests.

Nearly five years have passed, but there is still an encampment along the Paseo de la Reforma where protestors demand justice for the missing forty three.

Photos of the disappeared students cover the encampment.

The poster says, "They carried them off alive!  Alive we want them!"  But sadly there is little hope that after all this time that they are alive.

The days since their disappearance are counted off on a sign.

While walking down Reforma, I saw this monument which I had not noticed before.

The inscription says that more than 3000 miners have died in coal mines in Mexico.  On February 19, 2006 there was an explosion at the Pasta de Conchos mine in the state of Coahuila.  The mine is owned by Grupo México, the country's largest mining company.  Miners had previously complained about high levels of methane in the mine, but the company did not address the issue.  Sixty five miners died in the disaster, and the bodies of only two of them were recovered.  The monument demands that the remains of the remaining dead be found and returned to their families.

Next to the monument is a bin filled with coal and hard hats with the names of the missing miners.

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