By Jose Rojas
Approximately 100 peaceful participants manifested in front of the Helen-Miller Balley library at East Los Angeles College last Thursday, Nov. 20.
Students and participants were heard chanting “Justice for Ayotzinapa!” to show their support for the male students who disappeared last Sept. 27 in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. The students went missing after protesting against what they considered to be discriminatory hiring and funding practices by the Mexican government.
Several plastic bags containing human remains believed to be that of the students were found 10 miles from where the students went missing. Over 70 suspects have been arrested in connection with the kidnapping, including Iguala’s mayor and his wife, who are believed to be the people behind the abduction. Investigations are still underway.
ELAC students Alejandro Nuñez, Vanessa Díaz Venegas and Jacob Garcia Castellanos are the students who organized this peaceful manifestation. They began the demonstration explaining the events that are happening in Mexico and why it is important to show our support to the victims of violence in Mexico.
“Kidnapping and disappearing of the 43 students is a crime against students committed by the government that can not go unpunished. It’s time to raise our voices and demand an end to the violence,” Vanessa Díaz said.
“Not only 43 students have experienced violence, there are thousands of people who have been victims of violence in Mexico. As Mexican, or Latino, I’m already tired of so much violence that exists, not only in Mexico but in many other countries of Latin America,” Alejandro Nuñez said.
These events that occurred against the students in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico are not the first. In 1968 the Mexican army, by order of the president of Mexico Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, killed hundreds of students because students were demanding lower tuition in universities.
“I think that violence against students around the world affects us students from East Los Angeles College in many different ways. This crime committed by the Government against the students is something that we as students can not tolerate.” Jacob Garcia said.
“We as students have the power to change a world full of violence for a better world full of peace, we have a powerful weapon, which is our knowledge and our education. We have the power to change the world and leave a better future for the upcoming generations.” Nuñez said.
Other departments such as social sciences, English, Chicano studies, administration of justice and the foreign language joined the peaceful manifestation.
“It’s very important to encourage student activism in students since many of them just come to their classes and leave but are not really aware of what is happening on campus or in the community of East Los Angeles,” Muñoz said.
It is the first time a manifestation of this type occurs in East Los Angeles College where people are supporting students from another country.The peaceful demonstration lasted a little over an hour.