In late September, 43 college students in the Mexican state of Guerrero went missing and are believed likely dead. Protests have erupted since that day and forced the arrest of the mayor of Iguala, the city where the incident took place. Protesters are now demanding the resignation of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto over his office’s handling of the students’ disappearance.
But what role does America play in all of this? According to John M. Ackerman of Foreign Policy, a big one.
“…President Obama and the United States Congress are directly responsible for the tragedy … and for the political crisis that has followed,” wrote Ackerman.
Ackerman says that the American government’s “blind support” for Peña Nieto caused a situation where the US gave Peña Nieto “absolute impunity in which forced disappearances, or massacres, like the one in Iguala are possible.”
“Obama has been one of Peña Nieto’s staunchest defenders from the very beginning,” wrote Ackerman. “Even before the contentious 2012 Mexican presidential election was settled, the US president irresponsibly offered Peña Nieto congratulations on his victory.”
Since Peña Nieto took office, the freedom of both speech and the press have been under attack.
“Indeed, during the Nov. 20 protests in Mexico City, 11 students were detained by police, then arbitrarily accused of terrorism, organized crime, and treason by Peña Nieto’s attorney general and immediately sent to maximum-security prisons far from the capital — as if they were dangerous cartel leaders.”
And although the mayor of Iguala was arrested, “the chief of police of the city is still free and on the run two months after allegedly orchestrating the crime against the students.”
The Obama administration, however, has yet to condemn these actions or the corruption under Peña Nieto. In fact, Obama “welcomed him with open arms” at the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and G20 summits, even planting a tree “side by side” with him in China.
The entire situation regarding the massacred students “has all the signs of a coverup,” Ackerman said, pointing the finger all the way to Peña Nieto’s administration. “If the US government continues to play along with Peña Nieto … the unprecedented legacy of impunity could be so large that neither Mexico City nor Washington may be able to recover from the crisis for years.”