Partners in Crime: The Mexican state, North American Capitalism, and the 43 Missing Students

When: Friday, December 12th, 7pm
Where: Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St. (Bathurst & Bloor)

The signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement came with the promise of prosperity and jobs for all and the extension of human rights. These are, it needs hardly saying, promises unkept.

On September 26th 2014, over 100 students from a rural teacher’s college were passing through the nearby town of Iguala in Guerrero en route to a demonstration in Mexico City. Three were killed along with three bystanders and 43 are still missing. The families of the students continue to demand that their children be returned alive.

The search for the students has unearthed a number of mass graves and has lead to an eruption of p…rotests across the country. The parents of the missing students have traveled throughout the country meeting with communities that have also experienced killings and disappearances. The family insists it was not simply a local occurrence but something that happens in many places, and that the responsibility lies with the state.

The incident has highlighted this ongoing problem in the country – exceedingly high rate of disappearances and murders related both to the drug war and the state’s attempt to suppress opposition to neo-liberal reforms, reforms which have been intensified under the current Peña Nieto regime.

Despite the human rights violations and repression by the state, the U.S. continues to praise the Mexican President and fund the drug war. Canada is also complicit in backing the state and pushing for business-friendly policies.

At the end of 2013, reforms were passed to open Mexico’s petroleum sector to foreign investment and to make it easier for mining companies, many of which are Canadian, to displace local populations for mining projects.

Please join us as our panel explores these and other issues underlying the recent tragedy.


Anna Zalik, Associate Professor at York University, writes extensively on the oil sector and capitalist development in Mexico, Nigeria, and Canada.

Richard Roman, co-author of Continental Crucible: Big Business, Workers, and Unions in the Transformation of North America.

Judith Adler Hellman, Professor of Political Science at York University and author of The World of Mexican Migrants (2008), Mexican Lives (1999) and Mexico in Crisis (1988).

Ricardo Bocanegra Meza, Student at York University, organizer of Mexico solidarity actions in Toronto

Sponsored by: Centre for Social Justice and Common Frontiers