Letter to the Mexican Embassy in London from the UK Zapatista Solidarity Network
A government which kills its youth is a government which kills its country
London, United Kingdom, 2 November 2014
Mexican Embassy in London
42 Hertford Street Mayfair
London W1J 7JR
Ambassador Diego Gómez Pickering,
Regarding the letter that we handed in on October 2nd of this year to the Consul Aníbal Gómez Toledo, concerning the 43 students that are, until the present date, disappeared, the 6 further people murdered and the 20 people wounded between the 26th and 27th of September in Iguala, Guerrero, we wish to inform you that, already, one month has passed without any response on your part.
During our visit to the Embassy, the Consul Gómez Toledo assured us that it is a constitutional right to obtain a response from you. Nonetheless, we have received only three emails containing similar information, which we understand as an automized format that simply lists supposed actions that the government of Mexico is taking for the clarification of the events that have taken place. At no point do these emails respond to the specific questions in our letter; on the contrary, they only attempt to deviate attention away from the fundamental problem that we highlight: the evident involvement of the Mexican government in these crimes.
In your emails, figures are provided of a number of detained police officers who were formally sent to prison, and more that were interrogated; nonetheless, no mention is made of the chain of orders that must have been involved for this killing and kidnapping of students to have happened with such absolute impunity. The criminal police operatives must necessarily have acted with the assurance that their superiors would protect them. Faced with this situation, what guarantees does the government offer that an act of such atrocious violence as this will not happen again?
As we expressed in our previous letter, enforced disappearances are a crime against humanity that is committed every day, until the whereabouts of the victim are revealed; that is, enforced disappearance is a continuous crime that the Mexican government has been committing since 1969, when the first enforced disappearances are noted and denounced, and which it perpetuates today with new disappearances. Furthermore, the government has acted to evade the international search protocols in the case of the 43 disappeared normalistas, in which it is stipulated that the first strategy in the search should be the search for life. Decades ago, the Mexican government should have guaranteed the right that this crime not be repeated, and it has failed to do so.
It concerns us enormously that recent news from the Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa should have to do with the fact that the Mexican State is seeking to criminalize the very students that have disappeared, absurdly trying to link them with organized crime. We know that the students are not criminals; they are young people with scarce resources who have decided to persevere with their studies to then be teachers of the most needed people in Mexico. We know this, and so too do the people that, from all corners of the planet, have demonstrated for the life of the 43 disappeared normalistas. The strategy of victimizing them and of blaming organized crime will fail, since the culpable party for their disappearance is the State itself.
In recent weeks, numerous organizations and individuals of diverse nationalities who live in the United Kingdom have approached us to ask us what is happening in Mexico. As we do, they also ask themselves how it is that in a supposedly democratic country, 43 young people may be disappeared, more than 20 wounded, and 6 murdered, by the police. We have had to explain to them that this happens in a country in which the government works not for the people, but for its own interests, and in which the lives of the most poor mean little for those in power; that this crime is possible in a country whose federal institutions have created an atmosphere of absolute impunity concerning violations of human rights.
As we told you in the letter that we handed to the Consul one month ago, this is a historic moment. The days that have passed since the disappearance of the 43 normalista students have proven us right. Thousands of people in Mexico, and in the lengths and breadths of the Earth, have demonstrated their outrage at what is happening in Mexico. Today, the eyes of the world are on the government for which you work. Today, that government can present an example to the world, returning alive those 43 disappeared students, judging and punishing the chain of command responsible for these crimes, guaranteeing the protection of all those people against enforced disappearance of people. Each day that the Mexican government spends manufacturing an image of a Mexico in peace and security, without treating the problems at their roots, is one day more that the government continues violating human rights.
In our previous letter we asked you: What will you do, as representative of the government, to ensure that Mexico stops violating human rights and effectively becomes in reality the country whose image you sell to potential investors? We hope that, this time, you do not avoid the topic, and provide us with a response.
Awaiting your reply,
UK Zapatista Solidarity Network:
Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group
Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group
London Mexico Solidarity Group
Manchester Zapatista Collective
UK Zapatista Learning and Teaching Collective
UK Zapatista Translation Service
Zapatista Solidarity Group – Essex
Embamex Reino Unido