After Enrique Peña Nieto said that Mexico is “fully committed to law, human rights, and peace” at the United Nations General Assembly, people were understandably critical. In the year since 43 students from an Ayotzinapa teachers college disappeared, there have been no concrete answers as to what happened to them.
The disappearance underscored an ongoing crisis of widespread killings, enforced disappearances, and torture committed by soldiers and police in the course of efforts to combat drug cartels and other organized crime. While the violence has plagued all levels of society, many of the victims are concentrated in Mexico’s poorest states and communities.
Peña Nieto has been accused of lacking empathy in his handling of the Ayotzinapa situation – as well as Mexico’s larger state violence problem – and a new, hard-hitting campaign is highlighting the problematic class disparities in how justice is applied.
All over Mexico City, missing person fliers have appeared bearing photos of EPN’s children and of the country’s most powerful families. The fliers have a simple message, “If they took me alive, would you want me back alive?”
Fusion reports that it’s not clear who started the campaign, but that images were first uploaded to Facebook by user Daniela Buenfil, who spotted them during the one-year anniversary of the Iguala mass kidnappings. “This idea seems like a punch to impunity in Mexico, where justice narratives are completely different between the rich and powerful, and the rest of the population,” Buenfil told Fusion. “What if these were the kids of rich and famous people? We would probably already have an answer.”
The government’s official version of what happened to the missing 43 has been disputed by outside experts. Recently, the government said they would start a new investigation.