I Couldn’t Even Imagine That They Would Kill Us: An Oral History of the Attacks Against the Students of Ayotzinapa

John Gibler. City Lights, $15.95 trade paper (260p) ISBN 978-0-87286-748-2
Journalist Gibler (To Die in Mexico) delivers a meticulous and affecting recreation of the events of Sept. 26, 2014, in Iguala, Mexico, when police attacked five buses carrying students from the Ayotzinapa Teachers’ College and a youth soccer team. Six people died, 40 were wounded, and 43 students were loaded into police trucks and never seen again. This powerful oral history includes a chorus of voices: mainly the eyewitness accounts of the students but also the accounts of a teacher, soccer officials, reporters at the scene, parents of “the disappeared,” and others. It begins with the students discussing the teachers’ college—why they chose it (for many, because it’s free) and its values of social action—and proceeds with an account of the eight-hour attack and the aftermath in the school’s basketball court, where the families gathered between search expeditions. Gibler, in his afterward, highlights how the scale of the tragedy galvanized Mexico, a country where the drug war “enabled these forced disappearances,” and eventually led to an independent investigation by a panel of international experts, the findings of which contradict the government’s story. It’s a heartbreaking reconstruction of a horrific event, made all the more profound by the persistent demand from the parents of the disappeared, their classmates, and citizens across country for the safe return of the students. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/11/2017
Release date: 11/14/2017
Open Ebook - 200 pages - 978-0-87286-749-9
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