On 24th Street this morning, someone had slipped paper bags over the the parking meters between Folsom and Harrison with the photos of some of the 43 students disappeared in September in rural Mexico. “They took them alive,” was written in Spanish above each photo.
It was an installation-like piece of art and a reminder how art can be relevant and keep us in touch with what is going on elsewhere.
As Andrea Valencia wrote in Mission Local, “the 43 student teachers were disappeared and six people died after an encounter with police in Iguala, Guerrero. The students from the rural school of Ayotzinapa, were raising funds and got a hold of buses to attend a bigger march in Mexico City to protest education reform in the midst of the 46th commemoration of the student killings in Tlatelolco on October 2nd, 1968.”
Most recently, Mexican officials detained a Chilean student Laurence Maxwell at a November march in Mexico City protesting the disappearance of the students.
“Maxwell was taken to the Terrorist Crime Unit of the SEIDO (Deputy Attorney General’s Office for Special Investigation into Organized Crime) along with another 10 students that were also arrested at the march,” according to a piece written by Marc Hors in Mission Local. “Maxwell and the other students were charged with terrorism, attempted homicide, disorderly conduct and criminal association despite having no evidence of the alleged crimes.”
After protests here, in Chile and Mexico City, Maxwell was released in late November and returned home to Chile earlier this month. BBC reports that the remains of at least one of the missing students has been identified.