Conrad Fox

journalism, programming, soccer and robotics

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Leader of parents of disappeared students accuses Rigoberta Menchu of trying to derail movement

June 3, 2015 reports that the leader of parents of 43 children who disappeared last year after an altercation with police in Guerrero State, has accused Nobel laureate Rigoberta Menchu of trying to derail his movement. At a protest rally in which parents, students and a breakaway teachers' union took over a highway toll booth, Felipe de la Cruz said the Guatemalan writer had received money from the government to undermine their cause.

"Today, the government is handing out money all over the place; it's $10,000 they offer this woman just to open her mouth, and out-of-line too because she doesn't know the reality we are living here."

De la Cruz referred to comments made by Menchu last month, when the Nobel Peace prize winner exhorted Mexican youth to vote in state and congressional elections, scheduled for June 7th. The parents and the teacher's union have called for a boycott of the election, to protest the government's role in the disappearance of the children. In five states across the country, groups of protesters sympathizing with the parents have also damaged or broken into election offices. In some cases, ballots were burnt.

Speaking in Mexico City after receiving credentials as an international election observer, Menchu said that "Just as we have a right to vote, we also have a right to revoke our vote, with the only condition that revoking our vote should be done in a climate of absolute peace, because we have seen that when we want to revoke it with violence, the violence has no limits."

She called on the parents of the students to "try to explain the motivations of each one of their loved ones, without hiding the truth, because the truth dignifies us all."

During the protest in Guerrero, which also blocked access to the governor's office, De la Cruz retorted "The image we had of her has fallen, someone who has influenced peace all over the world, because... she is saying that our boys were delinquents, when she asks us to say the truth about the facts."

Original sources (in Spanish):

Rigoberta Menchú llama a los mexicanos a votar

Intensifican padres de los 43 y CETEG acciones contra los comicios

Atacan sedes del INE en 5 estados



For 15 years, Conrad lived in Mexico, where he worked as a freelance radio and print journalist. His work took him into a minefield, a gunfight, a dugout canoe and the homes of many fascinating, brave and generous people. He is also an avid teacher and has led classes in radio, robotics, soccer, physics and anthropology in a diversity of places, including office towers, lecture halls, fields and palm thatched huts.