Ayotzinapa Massacre: Photos To Remember Iguala Mass Kidnapping On 3-Year Anniversary

Remembering Ayotzinapa
Students prepare a memorial of the 43 missing students at the Raul Isidro Burgo rural school in Ayotzinapa, in Tixtla Guerrero, Mexico September 21, 2016. September 26 marks the three-year anniversary of the 43 missing students' disappearance. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

It’s been three years since the “mysterious” disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. On September 26, 2014, a group of students commandeered several buses to travel from Guerrero to Mexico City to commemorate the anniversary of the 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre. During the journey, local police intercepted them and confrontation allegedly ensued. It’s still not clear what happened, but 43 of them were allegedly taken to the police headquarters and that was the last anyone heard from them.

The official investigation concluded that once the students were in custody, they were handed over to the local “Guerreros Unidos” (United Warriors) crime syndicate and presumably killed. Mexican authorities claimed Iguala mayor, José Luis Abarca Velázquez, and his wife María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa, masterminded the abduction. They both fled after their involvement was revealed, but were arrested a month later in Mexico City. Iguala’s police chief, Felipe Flores, remains a fugitive. Other reports state that Federal forces are involved with the kidnapping, either directly or just by choosing to ignore helping the students in distress.

The mass kidnapping of the students led to the resignation of Angel Aguirre Rivero, the Governor of Guerrero and it became the biggest political and public security scandal Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s president, has faced during his term. Three years after the mass kidnapping, at least 80 suspects have been arrested in the case, of which 44 were police officers. Two students have been confirmed dead after their remains were identified by the Austria-based University of Innsbruck. Scroll through the photos and remember the fight to solve one of Mexico’s biggest mysteries: What happened to the 43 Ayotzinapa students?

Remembering Ayotzinapa: 2 Years Since Kidnapping Of 43 Students Images of the 43 students missing from Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos are seen at a permanent protest camp in front of the Attorney General's Office during the 23-month anniversary of their disappearance in Mexico City, Mexico August 26, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso Remembering Ayotzinapa: 2 Years Since Kidnapping Of 43 Students Riot police stand guard outside the Bellas Artes museum as protesters belonging to the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE) teachers’ union and relatives of some of the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos take part a march against President Pena Nieto's education reform, along the streets in Mexico City, Mexico May 25, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero Remembering Ayotzinapa: 2 Years Since Kidnapping Of 43 Students A protester from the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE) teachers' union gestures in front of a monument of the number 43 during a vigil following clashes in southern Mexico over the weekend between police and members of CNTE, at Reforma Avenue, in Mexico City, Mexico, June 20, 2016. The number 43 represents the 43 missing students of the Ayotzinapa teacher's training college. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido Remembering Ayotzinapa: 2 Years Since Kidnapping Of 43 Students Protesters from the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE) teachers’ union, relatives of some of the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos, and people from civil organizations march against President Pena Nieto's education reform, along Reforma avenue in Mexico City, Mexico May 27, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero Remembering Ayotzinapa: 2 Years Since Kidnapping Of 43 Students Felipe de la Cruz (C), spokesman of the relatives of the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos, speaks to the media while they protest to demand justice for the missing students, outside Mexico's Foreign Affairs building in Mexico City, Mexico July 4, 2016. The posters read (in red), "They took them alive, alive we want them". REUTERS/Henry Romero Remembering Ayotzinapa: 2 Years Since Kidnapping Of 43 Students Relatives hold posters with images of some of the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos as they protest to demand justice for the missing students, during a march to mark the 21-month anniversary of their disappearance, outside the Attorney General's Office (PGR) headquarters in Mexico City, Mexico, June 26, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido Remembering Ayotzinapa: 2 Years Since Kidnapping Of 43 Students Mexican farmers shout as they take part in a march to demand justice for 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos to mark the 22-month anniversary of their disappearance, along the street in Mexico City, Mexico July 26, 2016. The sign reads "We are missing 43." REUTERS/Henry Romero Remembering Ayotzinapa: 2 Years Since Kidnapping Of 43 Students Relatives of the missing students of Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgo and protesters from the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE) teachers’ union take part in a march to demand justice for 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos to mark the 22-month anniversary of their disappearance, along the streets in Mexico City, Mexico July 26, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero Remembering Ayotzinapa: 2 Years Since Kidnapping Of 43 Students Demonstrators sit next to a graffiti that reads "43 (for the missing students of Ayotzinapa College) - Mexico disappears" outside the Casa Rosada Presidential Palace during a protest against the visit to Argentina by Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 29, 2016. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci Remembering Ayotzinapa: 2 Years Since Kidnapping Of 43 Students Demonstrators stand next to pictures of the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa College on a police fence outside the Casa Rosada Presidential Palace during a protest against the visit to Argentina by Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 29, 2016. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci Remembering Ayotzinapa: 2 Years Since Kidnapping Of 43 Students A student walks past a banner with pictures of the 43 missing students at the Raul Isidro Burgo rural school in Ayotzinapa to mark the two-year anniversary of their disappearance, in Tixtla Guerrero, Mexico September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso Remembering Ayotzinapa: 2 Years Since Kidnapping Of 43 Students Relatives of the 43 students missing from Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos attend a news conference about of the resignation of Tomas Zeron, Mexico's Federal chief of investigations from the Attorney General's Office at the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center in Mexico City, Mexico, September 15, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido Remembering Ayotzinapa: 2 Years Since Kidnapping Of 43 Students A sticker that reads "We are missing 43!, Where are the 43!" is seen on the wall at the Raul Isidro Burgo rural school in Ayotzinapa, in Tixtla Guerrero, Mexico September 21, 2016. September 26 marks the two-year anniversary of the 43 missing students' disappearance. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso Remembering Ayotzinapa: 2 Years Since Kidnapping Of 43 Students Family members carrying pictures of the 43 missing students walk at the Raul Isidro Burgo rural school in Ayotzinapa to mark the two-year anniversary of their disappearance in Tixtla Guerrero, Mexico September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso Remembering Ayotzinapa A student gestures during a march to mark the 35 month since the disappearance of the 43 missing Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos students in the state of Guerrero, in Mexico City, Mexico, August 26, 2017. The sign reads, "Alive he was taken". REUTERS/Edgard Garrido Remembering Ayotzinapa Students hold portraits of the 43 missing Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos students during a march to mark the 35 months since their disappearance in the state of Guerrero, in Mexico City, Mexico, August 26, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido Remembering Ayotzinapa Students hold portraits of the 43 missing Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos students during a march to mark the 34rd month since their disappearance in the state of Guerrero, in Mexico City, Mexico, July 26, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido Remembering Ayotzinapa A protester wearing a mask holds up a machete which reads "Ayozi-43" beside students of Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos as they take part in a march to mark National Teachers' Day along Reforma avenue, in Mexico City, Mexico May 15, 2017. REUTERS/Henry Romero Remembering Ayotzinapa Relatives hold posters with images of some of the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos, as they protest to demand justice for the missing students in front of a monument of the number 43, in Mexico City, Mexico May 6, 2017. REUTERS/Henry Romero Remembering Ayotzinapa Women take part in a performance to protest against the disappearance of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos in Guerrero, in Mexico City, Mexico, March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Ginnette Riquelme Remembering Ayotzinapa A woman takes part in a march to mark the 29th month anniversary of the disappearance of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos a in the state of Guerrero in Mexico City, Mexico February 26, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso Remembering Ayotzinapa Women lie down on a cross next to images of some of the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos outside the Basilica of Guadalupe to demand justice for the missing students, during the 27th-month anniversary of their disappearance, in Mexico City, Mexico December 26, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

 

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Maria G. Valdez

Maria was born and raised in Dominican Republic, where she began her career in journalism covering human interest stories, entertainment, beauty and wellness for a national magazine. She moved to New York City to study Musical Theatre, but went back to journalism after graduating in an attempt of becoming the Latina Carrie Bradshaw. She has an unhealthy obsession with JLo and claims to be Sofia Vergara’s long-lost daughter, and has tried a crazy amount of treatments to keep looking young. She became a Zumba instructor for fun.