Vulnerable youth

A country unable to guarantee the future of its youth compromises its own viability

Vulnerable youth
Protesters demanding justice for the murder of the film students - Photo: Irvin Olivares/EL UNIVERSAL
English 25/04/2018 08:53 Mexico City Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL Actualizada 12:37

Leer en español

Saying goodbye to a son or brother who leaves home to go to school, work, or to have fun and never see him again, not knowing for days, weeks, months – or never – what happened to him, is distressing, painful, and causes despair in a family. This, in turn, produces wounded cities, states, and countries – and Mexico finds itself in this situation.

In recent years, our country has had to coexist with enforced disappearances. Cases keep coming. From January 2014 to January 2018, the Executive Secretary of the National Public Security System reports – according to local jurisdictions – the disappearance of 34, 268 people, out of which 9, 404 were between the ages of 15 to 24; and 2,840 between 0 and 14.

Our youth has become a vulnerable group and the most symbolic cases prove as much. In this period of time there have been three specific cases which have sparked a public outcry: the disappearance of the 43 students of the Teachers' College in Ayotzinapa; the five youths in Tierra Blanca, Veracruz; and the latest one, the case of the three film students of the University of Audiovisual Media in Guadalajara. These are just 51 youths but there are thousands of cases who never became national news.

In the first two cases, both members of organized crime and law enforcement agents have been mentioned as possible suspects – collusion of our authorities with criminals has become a sad reality in many regions of Mexico. Thus far, in none of these cases have the victims been found, let alone alive.

In Guadalajara, a month after the disappearance of the film students, the investigation carried out by the local prosecutor's office determined that the three students were murdered and their bodies dissolved in acid after members of a criminal group confused them for members of a rival gang. Thousands of lives fade away in Mexico that easily?

The message we are left with is that one or 43 may disappear but the likelihood of the case being solved is minimal. Families are left in pain, without peace or resignation, while their cry for justice falls on deaf ears.

A country unable to guarantee the future of its youth and doing very little to solve their disappearances is compromising its viability as a nation where rights and justice prevail. When will we walk once more down the right path?