Parents and supporters of the 43 Ayotzinapa students kidnapped and disappeared in Iguala, Mexico last September are holding a press conference at noon, followed by a public forum at 12:30 p.m. on April 7 in the Student Center Ballroom C. The event is sponsored by the Chicano and Latino Studies Department (CALS). The public is welcome to attend.
SSU is one of three stops in Sonoma County that is part of a national tour to draw awareness about the missing students.
With the arrival of the group known as Caravana 43, it will be six months since 43 students from the Rural Teachers' College of Ayotzinapa went missing after being attacked by local police. They were on their way to peacefully protest education policy in Mexico.
CALS department chair Patricia Kim-Rajal says the event is important because it illustrates "how privileged we are to be part of an institution where students and faculty are able to express dissent without fearing reprisal."
"That is clearly not true everywhere," says Kim-Rajal. "Hosting this forum will enable us to highlight that and to begin thinking about how we can work to find justice for these grieving families. This is an issue that is very important to many of our majors and our faculty wanted to honor that."
CALS major Griselda Madrigal worked with community and student organizations to organize two vigils on campus last semester abut the missing students. She has been a key member of the group working to bring Caravana 43 to SSU, as have SSU faculty Dr. Ronald Lopez and Dr. Amanda Martinez-Morrison.
Parents of the students are touring the U.S. to speak not only of their loss but also of the "systemic violence and impunity committed by the Mexican government and its police."
Another goal is to shed light on the connection between US foreign policy and the socio-economic conditions and violence in Mexico.
They also feel there is "a very strong connection between the people of Mexico and USA on the issue of the systemic violence from the police against its citizens."
Other local events include:
Public Forum, 7 p.m., April 7, Carpenter's Labor Center, 1700 Corby Ave. Santa Rosa
Sponsored by KBBF 89.1 FM Bilingual Public Radio
Breakfast in Graton Day Labor Center, 9 a.m., April 8, 2981 Bowen St., Graton.