Protesters in the Mexican state of Guerrero have set fire to the local legislature as outrage spreads over the disappearance of 43 students. The students from Ayotzinapa teacher’s college have been missing for nearly seven weeks after they were ambushed by police. Unrest has intensified since Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam announced Friday that suspects in the case have admitted to killing the students and incinerating their bodies at a trash dump. More than 70 people have been arrested in the case, including the mayor of Iguala, who is accused of ordering the police attack. Across Mexico, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in peaceful protests, while groups of demonstrators have laid siege to government buildings, burned cars and blocked highways. The parents of the missing students, meanwhile, have announced they will be traveling across parts of Mexico in three caravans to demand their loved ones’ return. We are joined from Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero state, by John Gibler, an author and independent journalist. “I don’t think it’s possible anymore to talk about corruption,” Gibler says. “What we have is two sectors of an industry that have fully merged — the police and the organized crime gangs themselves.”
Amidst outrage in Mexico over the disappearance of 43 students, we look at the U.S. role in the country’s violence. According to the Center for International Policy, the United States has spent approximately $3 billion to fund the so-called war on drugs in Mexico. Since the war on drugs began under President Felipe Calderón in 2006, more than 100,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence. U.S. support includes $2.4 billion in taxpayer funds through the Merida Initiative, launched as a three-year aid program for Mexican security forces under the administration of George W. Bush. The Obama administration has extended the Merida Initiative "indefinitely." We are joined by Laura Carlsen, director of the Mexico City-based Americas Policy Program of the Center for International Policy, and journalist John Gibler.
Democratic lawmakers are meeting today to debate the way forward in the lame-duck session. One key issue will be the timing of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing of attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch. It looks increasingly likely the hearing won’t begin until next year when the Republicans take control of the Senate. If confirmed as attorney general, Lynch would be the first African-American woman to hold the position. We are joined by one Lynch’s law school classmates, Kimberlé Crenshaw, a professor of law at UCLA and Columbia University and the founder of the African American Policy Forum. Crenshaw also discusses the latest in her campaign to include girls and women of color in Obama’s "My Brother’s Keeper" program, which calls on community groups and businesses to help men of color out of the criminal justice system.
Full episodes of Democracy Now! can be viewed at the link: https://www.freespeech.org/collection/democracy-now.
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