Parents of Mexican Kidnapping Victims Press Conference

Assignment: Attend this press briefing at 10 am on Monday, March 30.  File a report for the Morning Blend and KFAI.org

PRESS RELEASE….FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE…3/24/2015
FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: Ciro Herrera, Phone: 651-230-0848, Email: herreraciro@hotmail.com

PARENTS OF 43 MEXICAN KIDNAPPING VICTIMS TO SPEAK IN MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL

A group representing the parents of the 43 students kidnapped in late September in Guerrero, Mexico will arrive in the Twin Cities to speak about their children’s experiences and about the human rights violations occurring in Mexico. Photos of the students’ faces, carried on placards in demonstrations throughout Mexico and in other countries, have become international symbols of the tens of thousands of forced disappearances and over 100,000 killings in Mexico since 2006. The parents will be available to speak at a press conference on Monday, 3/30/2015, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (401 Concord Street * St Paul, MN 55107) at 10:00 am. Room 103. The media and the public are invited.
The parent’s visit to Minneapolis/St.Paul forms part of a national speaking tour of the United States during which they will speak in cities across the country to audiences in churches, universities, community organizations, and labor unions about the events of September 26, 2014. On this day, Mexican government and drug cartels, killed 6, 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.”
“The invitation of people of the United States to share our struggle is very timely since our plan is to travel to Central and South America and to Europe from where we have already received more invitations,” said Felipe de la Cruz Sandoval, a representative of the Ayotzinapa group. “It is important that both citizens and government leaders of other countries are aware of the injustices in Mexico; it is also important that the international community witnesses the globalization of repression,” concluded Mr. Sandoval.

The parents plan to take their case to the Inter-American Commission, Amnesty International and the United Nations. Amnesty International and many other human rights organizations, as well as the U.S. State Department, have for years found Mexico to be violating human rights through arbitrary arrests, torture, and extrajudicial killing. Organizers of the national caravan hope that the parents’ presentations will not only educate the North American people about the human rights violations taking place in Mexico, but also lead North 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.

Meanwhile in Minneapolis/St.Paul, the parents of the kidnap victims will be hosted by Frente Unido Ayotzinapa43Minnesota, a local coalition made up of Mexican citizens.

For further information contact: Ciro Herrera, Cell: 651-230-0848. Email: herreraciro@hotmail.com

Sincerely,

Caravana Ayotzinapa43Minnesota’s General Coordinator, Francisco Chavez.

Frente Unido Ayotzinapa43Minnesota:

– Marco Davila, organizer
Phone: 612-267-6732
Email: maidaca85@gmail.com

– University of Macalester,
1600 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
Gabriela Landeros Fernandez, Student
Phone: 778-981-5036
Email: glandero@macalester.edu

– McNally Smith College of Music
19 Exchange Street East
Saint Paul, MN 55101
JayCee Cooper, Student Engagement Coordinator
Phone: 651-361-3428
Email: jaycee.cooper@mcnallysmith.edu

– Church of the Ascension,
1723 Bryant Ave N.Minneapolis, MN 55411
Anne Attea, Pastoral Associate,
Phone: (612)323-6007
Email: aattea@ascensionmpls.org

Witness for Peace
P.O. Box 6078 * Minneapolis, MN 55406
Elise Roberts, Regional Organizer
Phone: 920-421-2269
Email: wfpumw@witnbessforpeace.org

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
401 Concord Street * St Paul, MN 55107
Phone: 651-228-0506
Email: olgsaintpaulmn@gmail.com

De Leon & Nestor, LLC
3547 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Phone: 612-659-9019
Email: deleon@denestlaw.com

PROFILES OF THE FOUR PARTICIPANTS:
OMAR GARCIA

Omar García is a second year student at the rural school of education Raúl Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa. He survived the September 26 student massacre in Iguala and has joined the group of parents that keep pressuring the Mexican government for answers and justice. He is a vocal and articulate young person that personalizes a regeneration of social movement leaders. He has spoken openly on public demonstrations and media outlets about contradictions and deficiencies in the way the Mexican government is handling the Ayotzinapa case.

CRUZ BAUTISTA SALBADOR

Cruz Bautista Salbador is Certified as indigenous preschool teacher in the mountain high school, in Tlapa, Guerrero. He is uncle to Benajamin Bautista Salbador (one of the disappeared students on 26 and 27 September). We are Natives from a Nahuatl village and we speak our mother tongue.
I worked in the fields speaking Nahuatl. I speak in Nahuatl at home with my mom, as we master two languages. My mother did not understand Spanish but now understands it but finds it difficult to speak Spanish.
I am just a common man whom like anyone else works for things to get better.
There are 11 brothers in my family; I am the only one in the family that finished a career, because of luck of opportunities but I spent it working to continue to study.
I know several trades, worked in the rearing of pigs, worked in a glass factory, as a food vendor, a taxi driver.
I learned dialectal variants in the teaching academy and have learned the variants in each region of the State. The teaching program opened my knowledge in states where Nahuatl is spoken. I consider myself Indian. I’m fluent in the native language, I like to work in the field, experience new things, the culture.
To date I am teacher, working as a teacher, I am preschool educator and a Commissioner as supervisor with no pay; as they say, no one is Prophet in his own land.

MARIA DE JESUS TLATEMPA BELLO

Maria de Jesus Tlatempa Bello, mother of Jose Eduardo Bartolo Tlatempa (disappeared on 26 and 27 September). She is a certified bilingual Executive Secretary.

She said her son was a hard worker and used to contribute with the house chores to help his parents. “I miss my son”, she says “he was a fun loving boy always trying to makes laugh with his Brake-dancing”

“Unfortunately all of that ended with what happened on September 26 and 27. Since then we have lived with a deep and sad sense of hopelessness and pain because we don’t know where are our children.

All investigations we have done point to our Government as responsible for what happened and we are still suffering because of the Government inaction

There have been already more than five months and nothing but false promises about looking for them, when they really are not doing it, and they know where our children are, so we don’t know where they are, but if it was a matter of a common criminal or the son of the President, they would have found them or look on heaven, sea and Earth, but they wont do that for our children.

JULIO GUERRERO

Julio Guerrero is the National Coordinator of the Caravan.

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