Why Were the Students Targets of Violence?
The college students at Ayotzinapa Teachers College may have been targeted on September 26th, when they were taken by police, due to their long tradition of protesting inequities. Ayotzinapa was founded in 1926 and has historically fostered students to be left-wing organizers. Murals on school buildings depict renowned revolutionary figures like Che Guevara and ’70s-era guerrilla leaders Lucio Cabañas and Genaro Vázquez, both Ayotzinapa graduates. Several murals memorialize two students who were killed by police in 2011 during a protest demanding an increase in the school’s enrollment and meal budget.
One of the most common “activities,” as the students call their actions, is commandeering buses. Traveling to observe teachers in rural areas is an essential part of the curricula, but the school has never owned many vehicles or had a budget to rent or acquire them. The students have long secured transportation by heading to nearby bus stations or setting up a highway blockade, boarding a stopped bus, and informing its driver and passengers that the vehicle would be used for “the educational purposes of the Ayotzinapa Teachers College.”
Government officials decry the students’ actions as outright robbery. The students insist they are not thieves and that they always “reach an agreement” that includes payment. The bus drivers don’t abandon the vehicles; sometimes they camp out at the college, with meals provided, for weeks and occasionally months.
None of these tactics is unique to Ayotzinapa, but what distinguishes them is that they have become integrated into the basic functioning of the school.
Student Activity Center
Figures are in place in the International Student Office inside the Student Activity Center.
Next Stop: Human Performance Center (HPC)
"Remember the 43 Students" continues in the Human Performance (HPC) building, first floor. It is building #4 on the map.