Forty-three students disappeared: Canada must remove Mexico from its “Safe Country” List

Posted on: November 16th, 2014 by unidos

Media Advisory

Forty-three students disappeared: Canada must remove Mexico from its “Safe Country” List

Press Conference

4755 Van Horne Bureau 110

Sunday, November 16th, 11AM

On September 26th, 2014, forty-three students from a school in Iguala, Ayotzinapa disappeared during a political protest. Although weeks have elapsed, the Mexican state has failed to provide a plausible explanation of what happened to the students.

For Mexicans, these shocking events are just further evidence of the structural violence afflicting their country. The violence is perpetuated by a toxic alliance of right-wing politicians, drug cartels acting with increasing impunity, and police and military forces. It is intimately linked to the introduction of neoliberal measures and American involvement in the so-called war on drugs.

In light of this most recent outrage, MUR is calling on the Canadian government to remove Mexico from its so-called safe country list. Refugees from countries designated as safe by the Minister of Immigration are further disadvantaged in Canada’s already tortuous refugee process. Former Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney added Mexico to this list in February 2013, on the eve of a high level diplomatic mission to that country.

Background Structural Violence in Mexico 

The Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of the National and Autonomous University of Mexico just released research showing that there are more than 20,000 internally displaced persons in Mexico and that 49% of Mexicans feel insecure.

Human Rights Watch documented 249 forced disappearances, of which 149 involved the state forces.

In 2009, 2590 women were murdered. Mexico has one of the highest rates of sexual violence in the world.

Specialists, including Professor Sergio Aguayo from the University of Harvard, believe that the Igualadisappearances are part of a “pattern of terror”, originating with the government of Carlos Salinas de Gortari in 1994 ( According to this analysis, structural violence in the country cannot be solely explained by fights to control the drug trade but must be understood as part of a broader fight to control territories in order “to get resources in all the possible ways, whether by kidnapping, taxation, robbery, human trafficking, sale of human organs, stealing fuel from PEMEX pipes – everything it is possible to imagine …”. 



Contact: Romina Hernandez (514) 560-0673, 

Mexicans United for Regularization