Date of Submission

Fall 2020

Academic Program

Human Rights

Project Advisor 1

Thomas Keenan

Abstract/Artist's Statement

This paper examines responses to the 2014 forced disappearance of 43 university students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero by Mexican authorities and criminals working together, for reasons that remain unknown. Rather than accept the losses as yet another consequence of official corruption and impunity, Mexican civil society rebelled. The people sustained protests, enlisted the support of international organizations, and exposed the government’s crimes and attempted cover-up. This study concludes that, despite the failure in the following years to locate the missing and bring the perpetrators to justice, the victims’ families and their allies demonstrated their power to hold the government to account and insist on attention to such violations. Ayotzinapa marks a watershed event in the history of the defense of human rights in Mexico.

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Open Access

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