Kidnappings, Killings of Students in Mexico Fuel SD Protests

The mass kidnappings and killings of college students in Mexico is fueling protests that have spilled over to this side of the border.

Mexican officials have confirmed the students' remains were found. But the officials' response is fueling more demonstrations this week, including here in San Diego.

In Mexico, protests have grown violent and emotions are escalating as many demand answers from the government.

Here at home, more than 200 students at University of California San Diego showed their support at a candlelight vigil.

“This is something that spans time and space, students being persecuted for their beliefs, for their politics," said Mariko Kuga, a fourth-year UCSD student. 

"It’s something that can happen in the U.S. anytime as well,” she added.

Flowers and candles were placed by the photos of the 43 students. UCSD Student Graciela Uriarte said it was a sign of solidarity.

“An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," said the fourth-year political science major.

Mexican authorities believe the 43 students were intercepted by police, then handed over to a local drug gang that killed them, before burning their bodies.

It's just the latest case of violence fueled by organized crime.

“At least 90 percent of the people in our country are disconnected to the Mexico violence," said documentary filmmaker Charlie Minn. Minn has spent the past several years bringing attention to Mexico’s drug war through a series of films.

He said as long as the United States and Mexico continue their relationship of supply and demand, the killings will continue.

“All these guns that got lost are being found now in Mexican crime scenes. We are the leading consumer of illegal drugs in the world," Minn said. "The war on drugs is a joke. If you Google Sinaloa cartel (and) U.S. government, you will see how corrupt we are as well.".

Minn's latest film, “Es El Chapo?” focuses on whether the Mexican government captured notorious drug kingpin "El Chapo” Guzman like they said they did.

The film opens this Friday at Regal Cinema in Chula Vista.

Meanwhile, a protest in support of the 43 missing students, is planned for Thursday at the Mexican Consulate in Little Italy.

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