Cal Poly to Commemorate Mexican Student Victims Dec. 2

Cal Poly modern languages and literatures students and faculty will commemorate the lives and passions of 43 Mexican student victims in a community display titled “43 Legacies Left Behind,” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, at Dexter Lawn on campus.

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On Sept. 26, a group of 43 Mexican college students were captured and rumored to have been killed by organized criminal gangs and corrupt government officials in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. The Normal University students were traveling to commemorate the anniversary of the 1968 student massacre in Tlatelolco, Mexico City.

This recent tragedy is only one example of unjustified violence toward students who are fighting to improve the status of living for their community and the access of education for everyone around the world, said Modern Languages & Literatures Professor Fernando Sanchez.

The display of 43 desks with a picture of each student serves as a reminder that the essences of the Mexican protestors are still present despite having been taken by force as a result of their beliefs, according to Sanchez.

“By reconstructing a dimension of their identity, we are stating that these Mexican students are still with us, regardless of being taken by the same forces they were originally protesting against,” Sanchez said. “By examining the portraits of these individuals, guests will appreciate the value of fighting for human rights and justice issues.

The event is free and open to the public. The commemoration was developed by students in Spanish 410, Mexican Crime: Fiction and Film. The exhibit is sponsored by the Modern Languages & Literatures Department, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Chicana Latino Faculty Staff Association.

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