How a popular movement arisen from the forced disappearance of student-teachers in Mexico demonstrates a horizontal politics of shared leadership.
by Charlotte Maria Sáenz
"Códice de Ayotzinapa" (detail) at entrance of National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City. (Photo by Charlotte Sáenz)
Family and colleagues of 43 student-teachers forcibly disappeared and feared killed in Iguala, Guerrero last September 26, 2014 have grown into a civilian movement known as “Ayotzinapa” that includes people from all walks of life and from around the world. Their simple but powerful actions of visibility and protest have put in stark light the excesses and failures of a corrupt government structure which operates in deep collusion with drug lords and corporate interests. The case of Ayotzinapa is but a window into a larger pattern of forced disappearances that plagues the nation as a whole. The movement demands accountability and justice for all of Mexico’s disappeared as well as for radical change in a country ravaged by an epidemic of extreme violence, corruption and impunity.