The suffering parents of the 43 abducted student teachers in Ayotzinapa Mexico are bravely touring the American continent to shine a light on the dreadful events which took away their children, and the political circumstances which surrounded them. This week the British Columbia Teachers Federation, which has a long history of building solidarity between teachers, particularly across the Americas, hosted one of the parents. This is a report of that meeting:

"They took them alive, we want them back alive!" This is the cry of families, friends, and supporters of the 43 missing Mexican student teachers who were attacked and disappeared by police in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, on September 26, 2104. 

The BCTF, which has a long-standing relationship with Mexican teachers, hosted a workshop on April 13 to hear first-hand from survivors of the atrocity. Hilda Legideño Vargas, whose 20-year-old son Jorge Antonio is one of the disappeared students, spoke of the families' determination to learn the truth of what happened to their loved ones, and their despair at the corruption of the Mexican government. Raul Gatica spoke about the importance of rural normal schools in providing educational opportunities to children in poor Indigenous communities.  

BCTF President Jim Iker reassured the visitors that the BCTF has written to the Mexican president and other authorities, expressed concerns to the Consul General here in Vancouver, and participated in marches with members of the Mexican community. 

"But we know we must do more. We will be taking this issue up with our Canadian government, letting them know that carrying on business as usual is not acceptable. We will be joining in your call for Canada to revoke the safe country status for Mexico, and to eliminate barriers for Mexican people seeking protection in Canada," Iker said. 

The BCTF livestreamed their presentations, which are posted on YouTube.

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