Gael García Bernal has joined the chorus of voices speaking out against the Mexican government’s handling of the disappearance and suspected killing of 43 missing students in Guerrero.
The Mexican actor is the star of Jon Stewart’s directorial debut, “Rosewater.” During the New York City premiere of the film on Wednesday, Bernal spoke to AJ+ about why “everything” is overshadowed by the events occurring in his home country.
In September, 43 Mexican students went missing after local authorities killed six people during a protest. Police officers kidnapped the students, according to eyewitnesses, and the Mexican Attorney General's office says the cops later handed the students to members of a drug cartel.
Several mass graves were found in the search for the students over the weeks. None so far have been shown to contain the remains of the students.
Dena Takruri interviewed the star for AJ+, Al Jazeera’s video news channel, and asked him to comment on the situation.
“I feel almost without words because nothing we say right now, nothing we do, everything -- this is a farce compared to what’s happening in real life,” García Bernal said, motioning at the premiere of his latest film. “What happened there is much more important than anything we’re doing here.”
“It’s not a comment that one can do easily,” the star continued. “Why? Because it is one of the most incredibly hurtful things that has happened to Mexico in its history.”
Last week, the government announced that gang members had confessed to incinerating the bodies, though DNA testing is still being processed to confirm the deaths of the students.
Since the announcement, tens of thousands have taken to the streets to protest what they see as a mishandling of an event that reflects a broader and widespread problem of corruption and mass murder.
In response, award-winning directors Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro González Iñárritu penned and read a scathing open letter on the subject at a MoMa event on Monday. Legendary rock group Café Tacuba have also been vocal during their United State tour.
García Bernal joined them and shared their sentiment as he spoke at Wednesday night’s premiere.
“We are ashamed, sad, angered, we’re fed up, we’re….I don’t know, it’s just incredibly terrible,” the actor told Takruri. “I’m glad we’re able to talk about this but it does feel like it’s far more important than anything we’re doing, like an interview. It’s a big issue that needs to be tackled and talked about and reflected about and there’s a lot of demonstrations that have to happen and we all have to support that. Not only people from Mexico but people from the outside world, we need them to help us stop this massacre.”
Check out the interview above.