Nov. 14, 2014 (La Jolla) About 200 people showed up to honor the memory of the Mexican Normal School students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. It was not just about the students, or how they went missing. It was about the past and the future, as well as the present.
Among those present were Fernando Suarez del Solar, who’s son was the first Marine of Mexican origin to die in the Iraq War. Solar has also a connection to the Plaza de las Tres Culturas and Oct. 2, 1968.
Cecilia Ublilia, who was not just a witness to the coup in Chile in 1973, on another Sept. 11, also punctuated the past. She was also a victim.
The present is the young students, undergraduates and graduate students who stood in silence holding candles, and in some cases barely able to contain the tears, punctuate the present.
The past and the present were joined in both rage and anger, and the feelings of impotence when faced with the power of the state. The future, was a promise of resistance to what those present feel is an ever present and closing in power structure. One that seeks to privatize their school, like those students in Mexico who were protesting educational reforms.
First let’s talk about the present; Reporting San Diego spoke with a resident of Mexico City. For security reasons we are not revealing her name, or publishing photos. We are not doing that for any resident of the country.
According to our informant, the situation in the capital “is very hot. If we are not careful, we could even have a military coup.”
When compared to the student movement of 1968, this informant said that “it was also a political movement. They abuse the students who are full of dreams and think that reality is different. But I see the current movement with more conscience.”
There is also a cross over of the population and unity between public and private universities. She said that “this was initiated by the Politectnicos (Univerisdad Politecnical de Mexico). Several schools have come together, including the Universidad Autonoma, and the people.” In the beginning it was just a few of the colleges, but now, she believes all of them are involved.
Reporting San Diego asked, what do people want? We were told, “people want a radical change, of the whole situation and corrupt people, but that takes more than a year. This needs to be torn from the root.”
Reporting San Diego also talked with a few young people from Mexico. Again, for security reasons we are not using names. Suffice it to say, they are angry and they want to go march and protest and make their voices heard. We asked about the situation and whether it is just the Southwest of Mexico. One of these young people said that it is spreading all over the country. There are caravans spreading across taking the message of what happened.
This informant also said that the media is not telling this, since the media is in cahoots with the government.
There were other speakers. Cecilia Ubila spoke of her experience in Chile in 1973. She was a teacher, and the solders came to her school and took one of her students by force. She sees the same thing happening in Mexico.
She was hit by the but of the rifle as she tried to protect one of her students, who still is missing. Ubila was taken to the garrison where she remained for nine months, where the army did whatever they wanted. She fears the same is happening in Mexico.
Another theme that was a constant from what we have seen in Mexico is that this is seen as a direct attack from the powerful on the people. They do not want the youth to organize, they want to destroy the youth and take their future away from them.
Moreover, Bertha Gutierrez, and others from “south of the 8,” from El Barrio Logan, came to UCSD. They wanted to create unity, and to cross barriers. Professor Jorge Mariscal Ph.D. noted this to the public. In some ways the artificial barriers of class and goals are also starting to break in the United States.
There was another thing remembered. The school that these students were attending is the place that taught the leader of the guerrilla movement in Guerrero in the 1960s and 70s. There are echoes from history reverberating even at a historic plaza at UCSD.
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