What possibly represents one of the most moving and significant activities in the current edition og GIFF, took place at the Auditorium of the UG. With a panel of personalities and activities with deep voices and determinations, made up of moderator Juliana Cano, adjunct director of Amesty International Latin America; producer Epigmenio Ibarra; actress Eréndira Ibarra; Young Normalist Francisco Sánchez Nava; and Omar García, also a Normalist and survivor of the attack on September 26. The conference began by opening up a space for dialogue and exposing the actions of the social movements that came about due to the disappearance of the 43 students from Escuela Normal Rural Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.
Sarah Hoch, director of GIFF, issued a concise welcome message to the panel, making allusions to the necessary changes in the country so it can spread its wings like a butterfly, realizing a clear metaphor toward the Mexicomorphosis image. For its part, the filled auditorium wasn’t just made up of listeners. Voices were Heard throughout, chants in support of the 43 missing students.
Juliana Cano introduced the panel and the topic. Beyond the 43 missing from Ayotzinapa, there are more than 26 thousand people who have been the victims of disappearance, an alarming number that is largely ignored by the country. Ignoring it means one more day that families don’t know what happened to their loved ones. Another point that the adjunct director of Amnesty International Latin America pronounced was the importance of language, the way we speak about the disappeared people and their families, that essential form of dialogue in our society in pro-activity and not omission at a distance.
Francisco Sánchez Nava, student at Normal Isidro Burgos, spoke next by recounting all the attempts especially on students and peasants. He recalled the names of some of the 43 and others in the movement. He reproached the attack on September 26 and exposed executions made by members of the Army and the municipal police, as well as the effects of impunity and corruption regarding the fact that it was “the State”. He called for justice, for legitimacy, for fighting corruption and impunity, to clarify what was done against his classmates, to defend the Normalists and to organize youths to free Mexico from the evil in Government.
For her part, actress Eréndira Ibarra began her speech paraphrasing Elie Weisel, victim of the Holocaust: “Indifference leads to no answer. Indifference is not an answer. Indifference is not a beginning; it’s an ending. Indifference is always Friends with the enemy, because it benefits the aggressor, not the victim, whose pain intensifies in oblivion. Indifference is punishment.” She invited everyone to an act of conscience and action; to join the hundreds in the movement that are for substantial change in the country, for solidifying as a country, for sharing time from our work space, as filmmakers, creators, designers, accountants, etc. The collective activists that she referenced include, Ya me cansé, por eso propongo, who work every day to forma an authentic and independent anti-corruption prosecution, to eliminate jurisdiction; reduce salaries for public figures and budgets for campaign spending, re-claim police forces and their relationships to society, among many other initiatives that are now in development.
Epigmenio Ibarra took the microphone with great cadence and poise. He said that stopping war is unprecedented. “Horror has become custom. We have beheadings for breakfast, uprisings for dinner, we sleep with kidnappings. We’ve lost the capacity for shock and had our humanity stolen”. War destroys society and its individuals. Without fear of words, he mentioned the so-called War on Drugs that has turned into an “extermination policy”, a reality that is butchering Mexico. He spoke of the decadence of the press, aligning itself more and more to the corrupt interests of politics. “We have to use social media. We must participate, inform, and remember, since remembering is putting it back in your heart. Remember that 43 students, half a whole class, were taken in a single night. We must recover our memory, because memory is future. Who are we if we forget the names of those who disappeared”, he concluded, through unanimous applause and cries of justice from the audience.
To close the panel, el Normalist Omar García, survivor of Ayotzinapa, spoke. He spoke directly and simply, his petition was for justice and for eliminated the stigma against his people. Omar, along with other normalist classmates, have travelled through several states in the country demanding human rights and new forms of government. “We agreed that as long as they don’t kill us, we will raise our voices” and that’s what they’ve been doing up to now, dictating history, not for recognition, but for equality and legitimacy. Omar García represents the Mexican that doesn’t waste his time in victimizing. He’s a role model of contemporary identity and tireless work, necessary to resuscitate generations that contribute to a country whose development is real.
Omar asked to conclude with a song. He took his guitar. Epigmenio and Francisco pointed the microphones toward them in a way that would make their voices resonate. Omar García sang: “We are waiting for you at home; there is a bed, a hot roll and a stew from Mama… We are waiting for you at home, there’s a game and we need a player, there’s a plant we need you to help us grow… We are waiting for you at home, there’s a war band that’s marching without your voice, an empty chair in the middle of the room and a lot of people walking to see you come back.” Suddenly, Mexicomorphosis; the attentive silence in the room TRANFORMED into an ovation.
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