We the members of the National Network against Repression and for Solidarity express our most emphatic protest of the murders and the disappearances of students from the Escuela Normal Raúl Isidro Burgos, in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.
Since the 1940s, the perspectives of professional growth and reinforcement for rural and urban teachers has been ever more difficult and a plethora of obstacles. The reduction of educational budgets, destined to the Rural Normal Schools, has turned into a constant since 1940 until the present. Even, as a consequence of the student movement of 1968, the Díaz Ordaz regime decided to close 17 schools which train teachers and turn them into agricultural secondary schools. In this way Priismo demonstrated its hatred for the students of those schooling centers, who had participated in an open manner in the students’ movement feat.
With the arrival of the neoliberal governments (La Madrid, Salinas, Zedillo, Fox, Calderón, and of course Peña Nieto), Normalista education does not have—according to their perspective—any objective, as education must accept and participate in the rules of the market, that is to say, of supply and demand. According to these conceptions, it is not worth losing time in teaching the students to reason. A new educational concept must be transmitted to them, based on abilities and skills, which allow them to offer their labor to national and transnational businesses. This new perspective on education has received a resounding no from the majority of the students and from the teachers in-service, who have a Normalista origin; worth noting are the students of the Rural and Urban Normal Schools, which see with anguish how their source of work is beaten daily.
Those who make up the majority of the student body of the Escuela Normal Raúl Isidro Burgos are Amuzgo, Mixtec, and Nahua indigenous youth, and they are the ones who have had to resist the clash of the Priista and Perredista governments in the past years. For example, the murders perpetrated by the state government of Guerrero and federal government in December 2011 must not be forgotten, in which Jorge Alexis Herrera Pino and Gabriel Echeverría de Jesús fell during a protest realized in the Sol Turnpike. Nor must we forget the names of those responsible: Ángel Aguirre Rivero, yes, the one who was promoted and recommended by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and who showed us that the institutional “left” also kills students, that same Ángel Aguirre, the governor of the killings—came to be substitute governor in 1996 thanks to the Aguas Blancas massacre and was responsible for the El Charco massacre—; and Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, who covered this country in death.
With the arrival of Priismo to the Federal Government once again, a grotesque series of “structural reforms” have been promoted, whose priority is to hand over the renewable and nonrenewable goods of the country, to foreign capital. Within those reforms, the “educational reform” is notable, which transforms in one blow the bilateral relations between the teaching staff and their bosses. This constant, intelligent opposition with a collective criteria, is what bothers the representatives of the three bodies of government (municipal, state, and federal), which observe how their commitments with the great international partnerships, are obstructed by those Normalista teachers who do not accept the alienation of the country’s wealth.
Elba Esther Gordillo, before being defenestrated, began a massive campaign against the Basic Education teachers and in a specific manner against the Normalistas. She even went as far to declare that the normal schools should be closed, given that they were a “hotbed of guerillas.” Immediately a subsidiary organization of the principal television consortium “mexicanos primero,” echoed the union leader’s boasts and began a smear campaign against the teachers, principally with the support of the mass media. This business organization’s cross of hatred has had, of course, unrestricted support from characters of the likes of López Dóriga, Gómez Leyva, Ruiz Healy, Micha, Loret de Mola, and other known enemies of Normalismo. In addition, the government via officials with the moral quality of Schmelkes, Guevara, Chuayffet, have created a dense atmosphere of animosity against the Normalistas and their struggle to obtain better living conditions.
The murders and the disappearances of the students in Ayotzinapa has again shown the face of the violence and of the daily massacre that is lived in Mexico and, concretely, in the state of Guerrero. The happy image, which Enrique Peña Nieto’s government wants to show of Mexico, is crumbling. The violence which Felipe Calderón began continues and increases, and the relationship between the State and its institutions with the drug trade now falls into the grossest insolence. There they are: Los Rojos, Los Guerreros Unidos, La Familia, The Knights Templar, José Luis Abarca, Ángel Aguirre Rivero, Enrique Peña Nieto: in harmony to provoke terror in the population, justify executions of social fighters, guarantee impunity both to criminals and to the military.
The Normalistas take the face of the numerous disappeared, murdered young people, persecuted youth, the youth as mutiny; the youth from below, and which organizes, which struggles, which defends itself, and for that, is murdered. They take the face of pain, indignation, because in them is the pain of so many dead.
From the Network Against Repression and for Solidarity, we hold Enrique Peña Nieto, Ángel Aguirre Rivero, and José Luis Abarca responsible for this crime, and we join the national march on October 8th convened by the family members of the disappeared.
Enough of the crimes against the youth of this country!
We demand the punishment of the intellectual and material authors of this politics which pursues with violence the best that Mexico has, its youth!
Presentation with life of the disappeared Normalistas in Ayotzinapa!
Justice for the murdered students!
May capitalism disappear, not people!
Against plunder and repression:
Red Contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad
Translated from Spanish by Henry Gales.
Originally published on October 7th, 2014.