Lauren Markham is the author of The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life and a Contributing Editor at VQR. (September 2019)


The Missing 43: Five Years Later

Posters of missing students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ College hanging in Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero State, Mexico, October 2014

Faces of the Disappeared: Ayotzinapa: A Chronicle of Injustice

by Tryno Maldonado, translated from the Spanish by Chandler Thompson

A Massacre in Mexico: The True Story Behind the Missing Forty-Three Students

by Anabel Hernández, translated from the Spanish and with an introduction by John Washington
Anywhere you go in Mexico, from southern Chiapas to the well-to-do neighborhoods of Mexico City, you may see scrawled on the wall of a building, the back of a bus, or a bathroom stall the words nos faltan 43—we’re missing 43. The slogan refers to the forty-three students from a rural teacher-training college in Ayotzinapa, Mexico, who have been missing since the night of September 26, 2014. Mexico’s murder rate has skyrocketed in recent years, and unmarked graves riddle the countryside; according to figures from Human Rights Watch, over 32,000 people disappeared in Mexico between 2006 and 2017. Roughly 80 percent of murders go unsolved. But even against a backdrop of such violence and impunity, the disappearance and presumed murder of the forty-three students have sparked prolonged public outrage. In the year following the incident, hundreds of thousands of protesters, led by students and the parents of the missing, marched in Mexico City to demand action from the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto, whose term ended this past November still under the shadow of the crime.