AYOTZINAPA, Mexico — On the day that pipe-wielding rioters set fire to a government accounting office and ransacked the state congress building, Felipe de la Cruz stepped to the microphone in the floodlit plaza of his missing son’s school.
The protests about his son and dozens of others abducted by police had been building for weeks. The next morning, caravans of buses would drive out of these wooded hills to spread their defiant message to far corners of Mexico, as protesters in various states blocked highways, seized town squares, closed airports, and burned cars and buildings.
“The parents are enraged by so much waiting and so few results,” de la Cruz, who has emerged as a spokesman for the victims’ families, told the crowd on Wednesday. As of Monday, he said, “the flame of insurgency has been lit.”
In the more than seven weeks since police drove away with Cruz’s 19-year-old son, Angel, and 42 of his classmates at a teachers college in the rural state of Guerrero, the localized rage of their relatives at the forced disappearances has flashed across the country and the world, drawing condemnations from such world leaders as President Obama and Pope Francis. The crime has captured Mexico’s attention unlike nearly any other atrocity in the recent years of brutal drug-war violence and spawned a protest movement that has shown no signs of abating. President Enrique Peña Nieto, who returned this past weekend from an extended trip abroad, is facing the most acute crisis of his two years in office.
Read more over at The Washington Post.