While 43 education students from Ayotzinapa, Mexico, are feared dead after they were forcibly disappeared last September, 122 of their classmates in the year above them graduated Saturday.
A number of prominent writers and activist leaders attended the ceremony, and individual paintings of all 43 missing students were on display.
”To you young ones, Mexico hasn’t given you what you deserve,” writer Elena Poniatowska told the new graduates. “Nevertheless, keep going, and hope that one day Mexico won’t be the country of graves,” she added.
“Shape children with hope and happiness, because if you don’t, badness will have won,” said Armando Bartra at the ceremony
Education student Izcuasui Coronado said the graduating students were, after “four years of hard work” committed to their professions and they were a “special generation.”
teleSUR’s Mexico correspondent: “Today 117 education students are graduating, as the memory of the 43 disappeared in Sept. 2014 remains
The graduation ceremony in Raul Isidro Burgos Education School, Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, has begun
Only in Mexico do they take ones life for being a student but if you are a drug smuggler, they help you to escape
122 education students from Ayotzinapa are graduating today in the presence of writers such as Elena Poniatowska
Graduation ceremony in the Education School of Ayotzinapa. 122 teachers are ready to teach in rural communities.
The forced disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students has shaken Mexico and shone a spotlight on the wave of human rights violations in the country, at times with state collusion.
In September, dozens of students from Ayotzinapa’s teachers’ college in the Mexican state of Guerrero were attacked by local police. Six people were killed. The police then turned 43 students over to the organized crime group Guerreros Unidos. They have been missing ever since. The police allegedly acted on the orders from the then local mayor, whose wife was worried that the students might disrupt an event she was holding. Family members of the missing students do not believe the version of events put forward by Mexican authorities.
An investigation into the case by Proceso magazine suggests the attack was planned, executed, and supervised by Mexico’s federal police to undermine the political fight of the students from a teacher training college in Ayotzinapa.
RELATED: See teleSUR’s indepth coverage of the Forced Disappearance of 43 Students in Mexico