The parents of 43 students who went missing in Iguala, Mexico, on Sept. 26 are asking the world not to forget them as the holidays approach.
In a video posted to YouTube Monday, the parents wish viewers a merry Christmas, while asking them to keep pressuring Enrique Peña Nieto's administration to address the problems that led to their children’s disappearance.
“A year ago -- and in the years before that -- my family was all together,” Epifanio Alvarez Carbajal, whose son Jorge Alvarez Nava was abducted, says in the video. “It’s going to be a sad Christmas without our beloved son.”
Margarita Zacarías Rodríguez, shedding tears, echoed the sentiment.
“In my house, we’re not going to have Christmas anymore,” Zacarías, who lost her son Miguel Angel Mendoza Zacarías, said in the video. “I always have the memory of my son.”
The parents asked viewers both within Mexico and outside of the country to continue demanding that the Enrique Peña Nieto administration find their children and clarify what happened to them.
“We wish you a merry Christmas, and ask that you also don’t forget about us,” María Inés Abrajan, the aunt of missing student Adán Abraján de la Cruz, says in the video’s final words.
A group of students at a teachers college in Ayotzinapa were attacked by police on the night of Sept. 26, leaving three of them dead. Three bystanders died in a second attack at the same scene hours later.
Police abducted 43 of the students, according to eyewitnesses. Mexico’s Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam said in a press conference on Nov. 7 that police then handed the students over to members of the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel who then killed them and incinerated the bodies.
But authorities have only located and identified one of the bodies of the missing students so far. Many of the parents insist that their children may still be alive, despite the government’s statement that the students were killed.
Watch the video from the missing students’ parents above.