Mexico's Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa graduated its class of 2018 today, but conspicuous in their absence were the 43 students forcibly disappeared in 2014 in a case that shocked the nation.
The graduating class of 73 students took the opportunity at the ceremony to demand justice for their missing peers: "They were taken alive, we want them alive!" the students chanted.
On September 26, 2014, students from the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers' School of Ayotzinapa went to Iguala, Guerrero, for a political event where they were confronted and kidnapped by local police. According to the official version of events, they were later handed over to the 'Guerreros Unidos' (United Warriors) cartel, murdered and incinerated.
The families of the missing students claim members of the military were also involved in the mass disappearance and attempts have been made by officials to conceal their role.
In June, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) urged Mexican authorities to investigate the involvement of police and military forces in the disappearances, and demanded the state create an independent commission to investigate the case bcause existing investigations have "serious irregularities."
As Mexico is increasingly affected by violence, the disappearance of the 43 students has become representative of a broader struggle for justice and against impunity.