Parents of kidnapped Mexican students to speak, protest at Twin Cities events

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The kidnapping of 43 students in Mexico last September sparked national demonstrations and international outrage.

Later this month, the parents of some of these students will speak about their children's experiences and the human rights violations happening in Mexico at two special events, before leading a protest in St. Paul.

As part of a national speaking tour of the United States, the parents will discuss what occurred on Sept. 26, 2014, at four events on March 29 and 30, which are free and open to the public.

On that day, more than 100 students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College went to protest in Iguala, Guerrero, and during an ensuing clash, six were killed, 25 were wounded and 43 were kidnapped.

The kidnapped are presumed dead at the hands of drug cartels, after being turned over to them by police on the orders of the local mayor, according to CNN.

The BBC reports that the 43 were officially declared dead by the Mexican government in January after the remains of badly burned bodies were found, but their parents have rejected this claim and continue to to demand their children are returned "alive as they were when they were taken."

The national tour is designed to highlight the abuses taking place in Mexico, but also encourage citizens to question the "hundreds of millions of dollars" the U.S. provides the country for military equipment they say is being used against citizens by the army and police.

They are being hosted in the Twin Cities by the Caravana Ayotzinapa 43 of Minnesota, a local coalition made up of Mexican citizens.

The parents will speak at the following events:

Sunday, March 29:

1 p.m: Presentation at the Church of the Ascension, 1723 Bryant Ave N, Minneapolis.

3 p.m: Political-culture program at the gymnasium of the Church of Ascension, 1723 Bryant Ave. N.

Monday, March 30:

Noon: Presentation at Macalaster College, 1600 Grand Ave. St. Paul.

1.15 p.m. Presentation at McNally Smith College auditorium, 19 Exchange St. E., St. Paul.

3 p.m. Protest at the Consulate of Mexico in Minnesota, 797 7th St. E., St. Paul.

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