Last Sunday, as much of Latin America was celebrating Día de Muertos, a group of around 300 people were gathering in NYC’s Union Square not just to honor Mexico’s victims of state violence, but to demand accountability for their murders, and to commemorate those who are still missing — caught in the limbo between life and death.
Death Be Not Proud, an altar for the victims of state and criminal violence in Mexico, was an event organized by a group of ex-pats determined to raise global awareness of the outrage that has galvanized Mexico in the wake of the mass kidnappings and murder of students in Iguala on September 26th.
Much like recent events in Ferguson, MO, the reaction to the student kidnappings in Iguala began as local unrest that has since escalated into a full-scale national crisis for Mexico, where hundreds of thousands have fallen victim over the years to the drug war, and to an ongoing culture of corruption that often sees government officials colluding with cartels. The violence, once largely concentrated in regions like Sinaloa and Guerrero, has escalated to an unprecedented level of late, and Mexicans all over the world are demanding accountability and change.
The group assembled on Sunday was small but but drew big names — René Perez of Calle 13 was in attendance to show his solidarity, as was Gael García Bernal, who spoke about his deep concern over recent events at the Premios Fénix in Mexico over the weekend. Demanding the safe return of the 43 students who are still missing, protestors chanted “Vivos se los llevaron, vivos los queremos,” and “Gobierno farsante que matas estudiantes,” and lit candles in memory of those who have lost their lives.
As of this morning, the BBC reports that fugitive Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda — both of whom have been directly implicated in the crimes against the students — were arrested by Mexico City police officers.
Tomorrow, a global day of action is being held encouraging people around the world to make their voices on this issue heard. Learn more below: