AYOTZINAPA SOMOS TODOS - Free downloadable 11 x 17 inch poster.
Created by Los Angeles artist Mark Vallen
in solidarity with the 43 kidnapped students of Ayotzinapa Normal School in Guerrero, Mexico.
Download and publish the poster on any printer that takes 11 x 17 inch paper.
The black and white poster is offered in two formats:
I began to create my artwork, Ayotzinapa somos todos, immediately after the 43 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Ayotzinapa Normal School were attacked by police in Iguala, Mexico on Sept. 26, 2014. I made my drawing with black colored pencils on textured handmade paper, producing an artwork that looks like a classical lithographic print. Over the decades I have created an abundance of images with socio-political themes, publishing them as multiples and freely distributing them with the objective of raising awareness and initiating activism; my Ayotzinapa somos todos drawing is no different in that regard.
I created Ayotzinapa somos todos as an expression of solidarity with the Mexican people who struggle so valiantly to build a free, democratic society. The title of my artwork is one of the slogans currently used by Mexico’s pro-democracy movement. I am greatly alarmed by the kidnapping of the 43 students, a heinous crime that provides the clearest evidence yet of collusion between the Mexican government and the drug cartels that run much of the country.
The woman in my drawing could be any Mexican woman. She might be a family member of one of the kidnapped students, a protestor outraged by the abductions, or perhaps someone that hears gunfire coming from one of the secret fosas clandestinas (clandestine graves) that pockmark the countryside. She may be a person who knows one of her country’s 26,000 desaparecidos… those who have been forcefully “disappeared” by the authorities or the drug cartels since 2006. For that matter, she might be an American woman declaring sympathy with the Mexican people and their yearnings for justice.
I wanted to distribute my artwork internationally to as many people as possible, so I decided to circulate a digitized poster version that people could print on their own. After adding some hand-drawn text to the digital artwork, and setting it up to be published on any computer printer, I uploaded the poster to the internet’s global community. My fervent hope is that my Ayotzinapa somos todos poster will bring much needed attention and support to the suffering Mexican people, and help them to achieve their dreams of a liberated country.
The official story presented by the Mexican government regarding the kidnapping and now presumed killings of the 43 Ayotzinapa students continues to unravel; anger, shock, and fury continues to rise amongst the people.
On Dec. 11, 2014, Proseso, an important news weekly in Mexico, published a report by scientists and researchers from the National University of Mexico (UNAM). The opinion has been translated into English and published at Borderland Beat. The finding contests the government’s insistence that the bodies of the murdered students were destroyed in a huge fire pit built in a landfill by their drug gang assassins; three members of the Guerreros Unidos (United Warriors) drug cartel are in government custody and have allegedly confessed their guilt.
The government claims the drug gang stoked the fire with trees, tires, and gasoline. The scientists at UNAM said that was impossible; to burn 43 human bodies and leave no remains would have taken “33 tons of tree trunks, four inches in diameter” and “about 1000 passenger car tires.” The smoke from the burning pyre “would have been seen 5 or 6 miles away.” Government investigators said that “three to 15 members” of Guerreros Unidos were involved in burning the remains, but the UNAM scientists asked how that number of men could possibly have moved 43 dead bodies and tons of wood and tires?
Looking at the photo of the landfill that appears in the Proseso article, one can see that from the rim of the landfill to its bottom is a very long and steep descent. According to the government, the narco-gang drove trucks filled with their 43 victims to the precipice, and one by one threw them off the sheer drop into the dump where they were then allegedly stacked and burned. According to the UNAM scientists, “in places of the greatest free fall, the bodies should have left traces of skin, blood and bones or pieces of clothing should have attached to articles in the landfill, which would serve as sources of genetic material for identification.” No such forensic evidence was ever found. The government of President Nieto never responded to the Proseso article. But Proseso was only just getting started.
On Dec. 13, 2014, Proseso published an explosive article by investigative reporter Anabel Hernández and journalist Steve Fisher titled, Iguala: La historia no oficial (Iguala: Unofficial History). Supported by the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley, the report presents convincing evidence that Mexico’s federal authorities were directly involved in the kidnapping and killing of the Ayotzinapa students.
A number of Mexican news publications have picked up the report, including Univision Noticias and El Diario. As of this writing, the Guardian has published the story and the Los Angeles Times published a short mention. The Huffington Post presented a detailed report on the story, which also includes a 20 minute video interview with Anabel Hernández and Steve Fisher.
The government of President Enrique Peña Nieto has so far said it knew nothing about the attacks on the students and their kidnapping until after the crimes had transpired. It also claims that the mayor of Iguala and the local police were behind the attacks, and that the police turned the 43 students over to the Guerreros Unidos, whose gangsters murdered the students, burned their bodies, and disposed of their remains.
The Iguala: Unofficial History report shows that Federal Police and the Mexican Army were active participants in the attacks on the Ayotzinapa students, because the authorities opposed “the ideological structure and governance of the institution” (the Ayotzinapa Normal School), and due to the fact that the Federales saw the students as “political activists in training.” The Federal Police were watching every move of the Ayotzinapa students as they left their campus on Sept. 26, monitoring their travels all the way to Iguala. It was there that the Federal Police stopped the students and began shooting them.
Moreover, the Federal Police informed Mexico’s massive C4 intelligence center of the first gunshots fired at the students at 9:40 in the evening. C4 (for “Command Center, Control, Communications, Computation”) was launched in Mexico City in 2011 with a budget of $460 million dollars. Connected to Mexico’s central government, is the largest intelligence gathering center in all of Latin America. If C4 was informed of the attacks on the students as they occurred, then the government of President Nieto also knew of the assaults.
Furthermore, Steve Fisher, the co-author of Iguala: Unofficial History, told teleSUR News: “We cannot say whether or not Guerreros Unidos was ultimately involved with this, or not, but we can say that the evidence we have acquired was that they were tortured before their testimonies were given. It is thus suspect that they could actually get proper testimonies considering the fact that they were tortured brutally, including electric shocks to testicles and extreme beatings.”
The chant heard on Mexico’s streets since late September 2014, Fue El Estado (It was the state), now rings true for millions. While the ruling class of Mexico and its Narco-state government reels from the anger of a defiant populace as well as the accusations made in the Proseso exposés, a familiar face from El Norte emerges to help prop-up President Enrique Peña Nieto.
It has been announced that President Obama’s first meeting of the New Year will be with President Nieto at the Oval Office in the White House on Tuesday, January 6, 2015. The White House press secretary said that Obama looks forward to working with Nieto on “economic, security and social issues, as well as underscoring the deep cultural ties and friendship that exist between our two countries.” Also on Jan. 6th, Vice President Joe Biden will host the second U.S.-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue meeting with cabinet secretaries of the Nieto regime, talks intended to “give strategic direction to initiatives designed to improve economic competitiveness.”
President Nieto has been dismantling Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), the state-run oil company created by Mexico’s left-leaning President Lázaro Cárdenas after he nationalized Mexico’s oil in 1938. Nieto is selling what remains of PEMEX to foreign oil companies. Since Mexico is the third largest oil producer in the Western Hemisphere and the ninth largest oil producer in the world, I am sure Mr. Biden will have much to discuss with the Mexican government. One can deduce that the massive violation of human rights in Mexico will not be a topic of discussion.
It is ironic that January 6th is also the Christian celebration of Epiphany, known as El Dia De Los Reyes in Mexico, or Day of the Kings, the final day of the 12 days of Christmas which celebrates the arrival of the Three Kings in Bethlehem and their presentation of gifts to the infant Jesus. How fitting that the new world ‘kings’ will meet on the Day of Kings… but I fear that Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, has not been invited.
In the aforementioned Huffington Post video interview with Anabel Hernández and Steve Fisher, Professor John Ackerman of the National Autonomous University of Mexico was included as a speaker. He had this to say:
“The government account of what happened in Ayotzinapa is full of lies, full of contradictions, and it’s the federal government who is the central actor… who is responsible for these disappearances. And this lays directly on the shoulders of Barack Obama and the United States government, because Barack Obama and the United States government has been supporting Enrique Peña Nieto throughout this entire process and supporting his cover-up of the situation, and never insisting on any investigation of human rights violations.”