24 November 2014

#YaMeCanse

The disappearance and probable deaths of 43 normalista students from Ayotzinapa, in the southern state of Guerrero, has taken Mexico by storm.  The country's anger and grief went from a murmur to a shout overnight, and now people are in the streets from its northern border to the southern tip - and beyond, since Mexico's diaspora is enormous - demanding immediate and comprehensive reform.


The protests have been spurred by the disappearance of the student teachers at the hands of Iguala's government, but they have been inflamed by the government's mishandling of the situation.  First, there is the misdirection.  Whose bodies have they found?  Search parties have found more than a dozen mass graves in the area, but none appear to contain the bodies of the students from Ayotzinapa.  So whose bodies are these?  No one seems to know. With each new discovery, Mexico's outrage grows.

"Ya me canse," said Mexico's attorney general at a press conference about the students, and Mexico's fury grew.  He's fed up? Mexicans have been asking.  He's tired?  That spawned "#YaMeCanse," and on and off Twitter, people have been sharing what they're fed up with.

I'm fed up with life in Mexico being safer as a narco than a student.
I'm fed up with the culture of impunity. 
I'm fed up with the disappearances, the deaths, the mass graves, the mysterious people following the most outspoken activists, the implicit and explicit threats, and most of all the fear.

In Baja California, citizens stymied by the government's inaction on missing people and unsolved murders have been taking matters into their own hands for years, forming action groups and pressuring law enforcement to investigate suspected killers and mass graves.  Now they, too, are speaking out.




It's uncertain whether Mexico will actually reform as a result of this movement, but for the first time in a long time, the international press has its eye on the country and its military and government. What happens next remains to be seen and depends just as much on pressure from outside Mexico as it does on pressure from within.

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