After two years of creating one of the most powerful social movements of recent times in Mexico, representatives of the Ayotzinapa community are touring the United States. Felipe de la Cruz Sandoval and Mario Cesar Gonzalez Contreras, two key members of the Ayotzinapa movement arrive in Texas in mid October for a U.S. college tour for the Fall semester.
The tour, covering over 25 campuses marks the second anniversary of the 43 students disappearance by giving talks in campuses about issues that are causing social and political unrest and instability in Mexico during the current President Pena Nieto’s administration such as the education and energy reforms, drug and human trafficking and how they are linked to US foreign policy and Mexican migration as well as to give personal testimony and update on the disappearance of the 43 normal students.
The Ayotzinapa movement was born out of the struggle for justice by the parents of the 43 teaching students forcefully disappeared after an attack in Iguala, Guerrero by members of the Mexican authorities on September 26, 27 of 2014.
De la Cruz and Gonzalez Contreras recently met with Inter American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C.
The reason for focusing on higher education institutions is to appeal to students who will influence future public and economic policy as well as faculty and scholars who are part of research pools and think tanks for legislative bodies.
Felipe de la Cruz led Caravana43, a 15 member delegation that visited over 50 U.S. cities the Spring of 2015 rallying wide support from community, Labor and faith based organizations, public elected officers and colleges and universities. According to Felipe “there were many supportive student organizations with a lot of energy and creativity and professors who were open for guest speakers and even gave their students academic credit for community projects but just as important is our understanding that a lot of economic and social policy is born in universities and often legislator call on them for advice.”
The parents of the 43 students are relying on an Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts
(GIEI website.) created by the Inter-American commission on Human Rights that investigated what happened to their 43 missing sons, to pressure the Mexican government that has been grossly negligent and ineffective in handling the case.