Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

June 23, 2015

EL PASO: Binational Festival to Commemorate 43 Missing Students of Ayotzinapa


La Red Binacional Por Ayotzinapa    Press Contacts:
Juan Carlos Martinez:
Andrea Gordillo:

EL PASO, TEXAS – Nine months after a group of students in Guerrerro was attacked and 43 were kidnapped, groups and individuals in Ciudad Juárez and El Paso will hold a festival, “Fest 43” to show that the 43 students of Ayotzinapa are not forgotten, and that we still have cause to celebrate, hope, and come together to demand that they be returned “alive as they were taken from us.” The festival will take place on FRIDAY, JUNE 26 AT 6:30PM OUTSIDE THE MUSEO DE LA REVOLUCION DE LA FRONTERA, at the intersection of Avenida Benito Juarez and Avenide 16 de septiembre. The event is free, and media and the public are invited.
Fest 43 was originally scheduled to take place at la Plaza de la MeXicanidad, as it is public space free to be used by the Mexican people. However, on Thursday, June 25, on the eve of the event, la Plaza de la MeXicanidad announced on its Facebook page that they will host a concert, “Conjunto Primavera,” at 7pm. Fest 43 will continue as planned at the new venue, because Ciudad Juarez and El Paso are determined to show Ayotzinapa and the world that we have not forgotten and will not forget the 43 missing students.
Fest 43 will feature local bands including Almasanta, D’Valleys n Company, Manumiteros, Mayawari, Desertores Reggae, Blanco Animal, Rubens, Chalise Vibration Reggae, Kontragolpe Noise Manifesto, Golem, One Finger, and Mental Manic.
Fest 43 is part of Ciudad Juárez/El Paso’s participation in the 13 Global Day of Action for Ayotzinapa. Global Days of Action for Ayotzinapa are observed in cities worldwide on the 26 of every month to commemorate the events of September 26, 2014 when police and gangsters killed six, wounded 25, and kidnapped 43 students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College. The parents have continued to demand that their children be returned to them “alive as they were when they were taken.”
Fest 43 comes in the wake of the visit of “Caravana 43” in March 2015, in which the parents and family members of some of the 43 missing students visited several U.S. cities, hoping not only educate the American people about the human rights violations taking place in Mexico, but also lead American citizens and representatives to consider the hundreds of millions of dollars that the United States provides to Mexico through Plan Mérida for military equipment which has been used by the army and the police against Mexican citizens in violation of their rights. 

In November 2014, La Red Binacional por Ayotzinapa (The Binational Network for Ayotzinapa) was formed. La Red Binacional por Ayotzinapa is a network of organizations and individuals in Ciudad Juárez and El Paso who show support for the victims of Ayotzinapa and their families. Together, these communities on either sides of the border have planned actions and formed strong connections in the spirit of binationalism since the tragedy of September 2014. Fest 43 is the latest of these actions.

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