A throng of about 2,000 protesters gathered at an intersection on a chilly night in Tijuana's Zona Rio neighborhood, holding signs and chanting in Spanish, “Vivo se los llevaron/vivo los queremos!” (“They were taken alive, we want them back alive.”) It was one of several ongoing protests that have stretched from one end of Mexico to the other, and beyond the U.S. border.
The disappearance and presumed murder of 43 students who were studying to be teachers at Ayotzinapa Normal School in Mexico's Guerrero state has rocked the country. The students were on their way to nearby Iguala to protest education reform when they were ambushed by police, who shot and killed three students and two bystanders on Sept. 26. They then grabbed other students and shoved them into police vehicles. A sixth student was later found dead, his eyes gouged out and his face peeled off.
The remaining students have not been heard from since the ambush. Police later admitted that they had been sent to “take care of” the protesting students by the mayor of Iguala so they wouldn't disrupt an event for his wife. The mayor was arrested, and the governor of Guerrero resigned in the aftermath.
Since the Ayotzinapa students went missing, search parties have gone looking for their remains around the area. They have not been found, but the remains of 70 other unknown people have been found in at least a dozen mass graves. With each new grisly discovery, Mexicans become more shocked and outraged. There have been riots and demonstrations throughout the country and beyond.