The recent kidnapping and likely murder of 43 Mexican students from a teachers college in Ayotzinapa Guerrero has inflamed the anger of people both within Mexico and abroad. In this incident, local politicians ordered the police to attack and shoot protesting students and then handed 43 of these young people over to an allied criminal gang who kidnapped them. The missing students have yet to be found and are presumed to be dead while their remains and any evidence of this horrendous crime have most likely been destroyed and covered up. Other such deadly attacks upon small farmers and their organizations by politicians allied with wealthy landowners and criminals have also been commonplace in the state of Guerrero which is governed by the supposedly ‘leftist’ PRD party.
This violent and grisly act that was committed by these oligarchs against these young people was intended to intimidate and silence the voices of protesting students and this incident is symbolic of what is left of a shattered Mexican democracy. The growing financial and political complicity between government officials and criminal gangs and their blatant use of terror and violence is aimed at stifling the rights of the Mexican People to enact social change through democratic means. Other victims of this violent trend within Mexico have included numerous journalists, politicians seeking reform, trade unionists and human rights advocates.
This deadly attack and kidnapping of these students is a clear example to the world of the blatant lack of democracy and rule of law that now exists within Mexico. Such growing lawlessness on the part of government officials and gang cartel members combined with a consistent growth in financial inequality and unemployment throughout the country has also exerted a downward push on people’s standard of living and on the economic well-being of their families. Adding fuel to this deteriorating national situation is the financial pressure being applied by foreign banks and corporations upon the Mexican government to privatize the country’s resources and dwindling social services which will result in higher profits for Wall Street and Mexico’s oligarchs while reducing social programs aimed at improving people’s lives.
The last 25 years of governance under the PAN and PRI parties have led to widespread political corruption, a drastic rise in wealth and class inequality and the development of a violent narco state. These factors have contributed to an erosion of democratic institutions and the norms of justice within Mexican society and created a situation where power in society now grows out of the barrel of a gun.
This article was originally published on Latino Point of View. Read the entire piece by clicking here.
Jimmy Franco Sr. is the editor of Latino Point of View. He is a long-time educator and community activist who was born in Texas and grew up in the Lincoln Heights area of Northeast Los Angeles.
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