Ya me cansé.
It’s ironic that Jesus Murillo Karam, Mexico’s Attorney General chose to use these words to end a press conference at which he spoke for an hour last week announcing the discovery of plastic bags believed to contain the incinerated remains of 43 murdered college students from Iguala.
What about the citizens who for years have endured threats and lived in fear? Aren’t they tired?
The 43, by all accounts, are presumed dead. But their deaths will not have been in vain if the Mexican people stand firm and demand change and fight for it.
- Vicki Adame
Ya me cansé quickly became a rallying cry by countless Mexicans to express their own frustration at a government that did little in the hours and days following the disappearance of the 43 Normalistas who attended a rural teachers college in the Mexican state of Guerrero.
But it has also come to signify the extent to which Mexicans are fed up with a government that does little to protect its citizens; the corruption that permeates all levels of the government; and so much more.
According to Mexican media accounts, the 43 had gone to Iguala to raise money and had commandeered passenger buses for their use. Upon learning the students were nearing the town, an order was given to local police to stop the students. The order allegedly came from the mayor’s wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa, who by most accounts was the one who wielded the power in the town of Iguala and not her husband, Jose Luis Abarca the mayor. Both have since been arrested.
The Iguala police reportedly fired on the students killing six and then handing over the 43 to a local drug gang who disappeared the students.
The details that emerged Friday of how nearly every trace of the bodies of the 43 were made to disappear are chilling – the bodies were burned for some 15 hours, pulverizing bones and teeth, making DNA testing next to impossible. The few bone fragments found were sent to Austria for analysis.
For Mexican citizens, people who go missing is nothing new. According to the National Human Rights Commission some 27,000 people have gone “missing” since 2006.
Most who are disappeared are never found.
One of the most disturbing details that emerged during the search for the 43, was the discovery of several mass graves, including one that contained the remains of some 28 people – none of which were those of the 43 Normalistas.
The savagery used to make nearly every last trace of a person disappear is unimaginable. It makes you question whether there is an ounce of humanity in the people who commit these barbaric acts.
But more than anything, it makes you wonder how an entire nation has endured so much and for how much longer they will stand by, silenced by fear.
The latter appears to have been answered.
The recent protests and continued outcry for answers and justice for the 43, shows Mexicans ya se cansaron.
Their disappearance appears to be la gota que desbordo la cubeta.
For years, Mexicans have stayed quiet or simply turned the other way in the face of injustice and crime out of fear that if they dared speak up, they too would “disappear.”
In one of the many marches since the disappearance of the 43, a photo of a protester carrying a sign made the rounds on social media. It read: “Nos quitaron todo tanto que nos quitaron el miedo” – they’ve taken so much, that they’ve taken our fear.
The 43, by all accounts, are presumed dead. But their deaths will not have been in vain if the Mexican people stand firm and demand change and fight for it. And from what has happened in the past few days, it appears they stand ready to fight for a lasting and positive change for a country and people that deserve so much more, all while using the rallying cry of ya me cansé to make it happen.
Vicki Adame is a freelance journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She previously worked at several newspapers in California and Washington state where she received numerous awards for her work.