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Mexico's Missing 43: What Happened to the Students in Guerrero?

Monday, November 3, 2014
12:00 AM
1636 SSWB, 1080 S. University Ave., Ann Arbor

On September 26th, 2014, a local police from the state of Guerrero opened fire against a group of students from the Rural Training School of Ayotzinapa. Forty-three students disappeared after having been forcefully taken away in police cars. Today, the whereabouts of the forty-three students are still unknown and over a dozen mass graves have been found in Guerrero and other nearby states. A massive social movement has emerged as a direct result. Young students have taken a leading role in this movement. Not only have they exposed the corruption and weakness of the state, but they have also demanded a safer and more democratic Mexico.

Journalists and intellectuals have made numerous comparisons between this latest horrific attack against Mexico’s youth and the events that unfolded in 1968 in the nation’s capital at the Plaza of Tlatelolco, where an undetermined number of students lost their lives at the hands of Mexican authorities.
This talk will use images from the sixties and today to illustrate some historical parallels but also clear contrasts between the 1968 and 2014 student movements in Mexico.

Moderator: Jason De León


Jaime M. Pensado was born in Mexico City and raised in Los Angeles, California. In 2008, he received his PhD in modern Latin American history at the University of Chicago. That same year he began working at the University of Notre Dame. Currently, he is Associate Professor of History, the Director of the Mexico Working Group (MWG), and a Fellow of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Institute for Latino Studies (ILS). This year he was also named the Director of the Latin American Studies Program (LASP).

Professor Pensado specializes in contemporary Mexican history, student movements, youth culture, and the Cold War. He is currently working on a second book project that examines Catholic Youth in Mexico during the post-revolutionary period. His first book, Rebel Mexico: Student Unrest and Authoritarian Political Culture During the Long Sixties, was published in 2013 with Stanford University Press. His recent publications on student movements can also be found in The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History, Special Issue: Latin America in the 1960s; The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth; ReVista Harvard: Review of Latin America; Robert Clarke et. al., eds., New World Coming: The Sixties and the Shaping of Global Consciousness; and The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture.

Jorge Nájera Godínez was born into a Nahuatl Indian community in the northern region of the state of Guerrero, Mexico, known as Chilacachapa. Jorge is currently in his third semester of the Master in Mathematics Education at the Autonomous University of Guerrero.   

Co-sponsors: International Institute, Latina/o Studies Program, Multi-Ethnic Student Afffairs, and Romance Languages and Literatures.

Jaime Pensado, Jorge Najera Godinez, and Jason De Leon