Wednesday, October 22, 2014

México: Disappearance of Students Nationwide Becoming a Crisis Presidency Cannot Ignore

According to The Latin American Tribune, authorities in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato are investigating the death of Ricardo de Jesús Esparza, a student at the University of Guadalajara whose slain body was found over the weekend after he had allegedly been arrested by two suspected municipal police officers.

The Guanajuato Attorney General’s Office said Tuesday (October 21) in a statement that has requested the assistance of its counterparts in the neighboring state of Jalisco, where Guadalajara is located, to determine the circumstances surrounding the 23-year-old’s death.

Investigators from Guanajuato traveled to Guadalajara to take statements from relatives, friends and classmates of Esparza, a mechatronics student who was part of a group that went last weekend to Guanajuato, capital of the like-named state, to attend a festival.

The youth and two other individuals were stopped and frisked by two municipal police, who took Esparza away because “they didn’t like his attitude,” the students’ representative at the University of Guadalajara said, adding that that was the last time he was seen alive.

Two other members of the group, whose identities were not revealed, said they looked for Esparza at the police headquarters in Guanajuato, but were told that he had not been arrested.

On Sunday morning, Esparza’s body was found inside a house.

COMMENT: The disappearance of young adults in México, which has been a crisis for decades, is quickly becoming a national crisis that President Enrique Peña Nieto can no longer sweep under the rug.

Today's scheduled demonstrations can hardly be ignored.

It is probably time for all advocates for missing Mexicans who have disappeared in recent months and years to organize themselves, join forces and advocate for a national-level investigation of an INDEPENDENT body.

On Tuesday, Guanajuato Mayor Luís Fernando Gutierrez told reporters that the youth had not been held in a police lockup, noting that he was not booked and no mug shot had been taken.

That same day, the University of Guadalajara released a statement demanding that the Guanajuato and Jalisco state governments and Guanajuato municipal authorities probe the circumstances of Esparza’s death post-haste.

The university students also have not ruled out holding protests in Guadalajara to demand that investigators get to the bottom of what happened.

The probe into Esparza’s death comes as México braces for a day of mass demonstrations on Wednesday (October 22) by citizens outraged at the disappearance of 43 teacher trainees.

Those students went missing nearly a month ago after an altercation with local police in the southern town of Iguala, Guerrero state.

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