BLACKSBURG (WSLS 10) - Parents of 43 missing Mexican students will visit Blacksburg Wednesday and will make a public appearance at Virginia Tech, officials say.
The students, from the Rural Teachers' College of Ayotzinapa, disappeared on September 26, 2014, outside of Iguala, Mexico, after being attacked by local police.
The students were on their way to a peaceful protest against the lack of funding for rural colleges like theirs. After police turned over the 43 students to a local drug syndicate, they have not been seen again.
The students' disappearance set off a wave of protests throughout Mexico and around the world, in which hundreds of thousands called for an end to corruption, and to police and drug gang violence. Without an adequate investigation, the parents refuse to accept the government's declaration that their sons are dead.
The parents will be touring the USA, as Caravana 43, to speak not only of their loss but also of the systemic violence committed by the Mexican government and its police, sometimes in concert with drug cartels. They will also discuss the connection between US foreign policy and the socioeconomic conditions and violence in Mexico.
The Wednesday, April 1st appearance of the Caravana 43 families will take place at 7 p.m. in the Quillen Family Auditorium, 190 Goodwin Hall.
The event is sponsored by a host of community, student, and academic groups:
Coalition for Justice, Blacksburg
Latino Association of Student Organizations (LASO)
NAACP at Virginia Tech
United Students Against Sweatshops - Virginia Tech (USAS)
Sociology Department, Virginia Tech
Political Science Department, Virginia Tech
Multicultural Programs and Services, Virginia Tech
The New River Valley Sierra Club
Virginians for Equality and Sensible Laws
Black Graduate Student Organization (BGSO)
Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention, Virginia Tech
Students Helping Honduras at Virginia Tech
Womanspace at Virginia Tech
Cranwell International Center, Virginia Tech