The word “corruption” is insufficient for the magnitude of this evil.
—from The Iguala 43
On the night of September 26th, 2014, policemen attacked a group of student protestors in the Mexican town of Iguala. Forty-three of these students were then kidnapped and turned over to criminals who allegedly tortured and murdered them, and then burned their corpses. The families of the victims refused to accept the official story, which placed all blame on local actors and absolved the federal government of any culpability. The anger provoked by this atrocity, one of the most barbaric acts in recent times, divided Mexican society in two: on one side were those who unwaveringly supported the cause of the students and on the other those who accepted the government’s “historic truth.”
Written in memory of the forty-three students, this well-researched and powerfully argued book uncovers the agents, causes, and factors responsible for this unspeakable crime. It offers an interpretation of these events that goes beyond the artificial opposition between good and evil, between rulers and insurgents, and tries instead to understand the cruelty that normalizes atrocity.
González Rodríguez warns us that “this story has been repeated around the world, but we refuse to see it. If anyone doubts or denies this, then I challenge them to finish this book. When faced with the acceptance of horror, we must recover our lucidity and exercise our freedom to transform this tragic reality.”
Translated by Joshua Neuhouser
About the Author
Sergio González Rodríguez is a writer, journalist and critic for the Mexico City newspaper Reforma. His works include Bones in the Desert, The Flight, and The Femicide Machine (Semiotext(e)).
- The Iguala 43
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