|EDINBURG, December 7 - Or so read one of the many hand-made signs at the protest/rally/ceremony held Wednesday night, December 3rd, 2014, at the Mexican Consulate, McAllen, Texas.
About 35 participants - many women, children, men, workers, students, professors - met to voice their protests to the violence and apparent collusion of local government and cartels in Guerrero, Mexico.
Candles were lighted, spelling out “43.” That is the number of missing students and others in Guerrero, Mexico. Many of the individual went beyond local authorities. They castigated the national government as well. The Consulate was closed. No official greeted those assembled. The mourners, dressed in black, held candles to bring light to darkened Broadway Street and the darkened Consulate. No media, other than the Rio Grande Guardian, attended.
However, in California, it is said that some Mexican officials, outraged at recent murders and disappearances in Mexico, participated in sympathy with the families and friends of those who died. Ironically, astonishingly, Mexico has banned street protests over these killings. This has “killed” further pretense at transparency, dashing hopes of greater democracy.
Moderate journalist, Jorge Ramos, even called for the resignation of President Enrique Pena Nieto. Locally, the protestors focused on the humanitarian issues, the violation of human rights, the aggrieved families, the lack of justice served. Some social scientists interviewed expressed fears of greater explosions in Mexico, if not outright revolution. At the event itself, the anger was palpable, but controlled.
Most participants were sad but silent. Several read prepared statements. One woman recited an intense poem of individual and societal violation by Pablo Neruda. People joined hands and prayed. Some cried. All called for “Justicia” in Mexico. They begged President Obama to recognize the seriousness of the situation and to pressure Mexico economically to “clean house.” Their emotions were efficiently channeled into calls for direct action.
Pain in Our Nation: Parallel to the pain in Mexico is the pain felt by many for the injustices in Ferguson, Missouri, and - more recently - for the pain in New York City. Once again a Grand Jury failed to indict (send to trial) a white policeman for the killing of an unarmed Black man. Those who empathize will meet soon to protest. They shout, as do their Mexican brothers, “ya basta”—enough! They protest unmitigated racism and a tortured legal system.
The rally will begin this Thursday, December 4th, 2014, at 4:00 P.M., at the Bronc statue on University Avenue, south side of the University of Texas—Pan American campus. Attendees will march to the Hidalgo County Court House. The university is on “Study Days” break, before final exams next week. Perhaps the older name, “Dead Days,” would be more appropriate, considering the tragic events in Mexico and the U.S. Students and professors who attend will sacrifice their academic time in order to show support for a fairer, more democratic nation. All concerned citizens are welcome.
Dr. Gary Mounce teaches political science in the Rio Grande Valley. His columns appear regularly in the Rio Grande Guardian.