Seattle rallies to support 43 missing Mexican college students

Protesters in front of the Consulate General of Mexico in Seattle demonstrate solidarity alongside the 43 missing students in Mexico and their loved ones. (Photo from Sarahy Sigie's documentary video, Seattle Is With Ayotzinapa's Pain)
Protesters in front of the Consulate General of Mexico in Seattle demonstrate solidarity alongside the 43 missing students in Mexico and their loved ones. (Photo from Sarahy Sigie’s documentary video, Seattle Is With Ayotzinapa’s Pain)

Over 2,000 miles away, Seattleites are banding together to call for justice on behalf of 43 Mexican college students who have been missing since September 26.

The students were last seen being arrested in an effort to prevent a public protest in Iguala, Mexico. Mexican authorities report that they believe the students were then handed over to members of the drug cartel Guerreros Unidos.

Jose Luis Abarca, who left his post as mayor of Iguala in the wake of the incident, is suspected of ordering the arrests to prevent the students from interfering with a public speech by his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda. On Tuesday morning, the couple was arrested.

“I hope it has some impact,” said Scott Macklin, Associate Director of the Master of Communication in Communication Leadership at the University of Washington, in regards to the arrest. “It will remain to be seen how that unfolds — if they can be held culpable and responsible for their roles.” Macklin explained that the arrest is only a step toward change.

In Mexico City and around the world, citizens have banded together in protest since the day of the kidnapping, demanding the safe return of these students, who many have assumed to be dead.

Sarahy Sigie, a graduate student in the University of Washington’s Communication Leadership Program who is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, recently witnessed a protest in front of the Mexican Consulate in Seattle. She has compiled a video surrounding the demonstration, and has been monitoring local and international activity surrounding the 43 victims.

“This is heartbreaking,” Sigie says. “Politics in Mexico have been interesting for a long time now. This is the first time that media and people are getting tired of people going missing.”

Sigie explains that it is important for attention to be brought to the issue, even from such distances as Seattle.

“There is an intersection between politics, organized crime, and drug dealers,” Sigie says about Mexico. “We might not be doing much right here in Seattle, but at least we are being conscious to start making people think about what’s going on.”

Protests are happening world-wide in promotion of change in Mexico, and a step toward justice. (Photo from Sarahy Sigie's documentary video, Seattle Is With Ayotzinapa's Pain)
Protests are happening worldwide in promotion of change in Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Sarahy Sigie)

Macklin, who is a part of the Seattle Fandango Project, has been part of protests in Seattle calling attention to the missing students, as well as the vast number of missing persons, in Mexico. The goal, he explains, is to bring attention to the atrocities that are taking place in Mexico, and offer some form of condolence to the families of the victims.

“How do we understand justice in this world?” Macklin asked. “What is our role? Even though we are thousands of miles away, the understanding is that we all have a role to play, and justice can be evolved in our local and international communities.”

The capture of the mayor and his wife does not end or resolve the issue.

Another demonstration is planned for Wednesday, Nov. 5th at 12:30 p.m. in front of the Mexican Consulate in Seattle.

13 Comments

  1. Hey! I’m really glad people is joining and being informed all around the world. For many decades now the mexican government has been deaf to the mexican’s voices so it is really important for us (very trascendental in fact) that international media is covering the situation and informing people all around the world for that’s the only way our president has felt the pressure of our voices. Thank you for covering, we do really appreciate it, if possible please contunue doing so, people. Government has been blocking the news about our situation worldwidely, but I think their effort is futile once the international communities start spreading it. So thank you, thank you very much. Please stay informed about our situation from here on now , please keep reporting it to your people. People’s voices are invincible when unified. Please keep supporting the mexican students staying informed about our actions and situation from now on. Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Andromaca,
      Thank you! I’m glad to help by spreading the word and providing others with the opportunity to stay informed and involved. My heart goes out to Mexico during this time.

    1. Hi Arena,
      Sorry for the late reply–I am inquiring to try to find more information on future efforts, as well as if there are resources to easily hear about these. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard back yet. I’ll keep you posted if and when I do find out more.

  2. I hear there will be another peaceful gathering tomorrow at November 14 at 11 am? Is this true? I will be in the area and will stop by to show my support for Mexico. The Narcos and the government impunity has to be stopped, the world is taking notice! #yamecanse

  3. Thank you for your interest in further support of the 43 missing students. Today, you can attend the Procession for Ayotzinapa 43 in Seattle at the Ethnic Cultural Center at 3931 Brooklyn Ave NE. The event will be hosted by the University of Washington social justice organization Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlan (MeChA), and will be a peaceful movement in solidarity for the 43 students.

  4. Argentina supports this struggle we know what having people disappeared is all about and stand with the 43 disappeared ones The time is now wake up mexico you all deserve better this Government must be held accountable for its crimes.

  5. I’m so glad beyond happy to see that there is people like you.. That informs people with truth. And cares…. As Mexican I want to thank you Jannelle….. Thank you all….

  6. I have lost contact with the protest at the Mexican Consulate. I was banned unfairly from Facebook, so i cannot see posts on Facebook anymore. I have lost so many contacts with activists that it has caused me grief and isolation. Please let me know how i can contact people.

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