An Open Letter to the Mexican and International Civil Societies [and some data]

We have published on figshare the “Open Letter to the Mexican and International Civil Societies” (“Pronunciamiento de mexicanos en el extranjero”) that Élika Ortega, Adela Ramos and I crafted and shared online to get signatures last week.

Ortega, Elika; Priego, Ernesto; Ramos, Adela (2014): OPEN LETTER TO THE MEXICAN AND THE INTERNATIONAL CIVIL SOCIETIES. figshare.

Ortega, Elika; Priego, Ernesto; Ramos, Adela (2014): PRONUNCIAMIENTO DE MEXICANOS EN EL EXTRANJERO. figshare.

The Letter

Élika and Adela did the translation into English, which I have copied and pasted below:

Thursday, November 20th, 2014




The disappearance of 43 teacher trainees from Ayotzinapa’s rural teachers college, Raúl Isidro Burgos, and the murder of three more students in Iguala on September 26th and 27th have led to a turning point in Mexico, after years of impunity, human rights abuses, and systematic violence—product of the alliances between politicians in government positions and criminal organizations all over the country. This episode has triggered protests demanding justice throughout the country and the world. Nonetheless, far from being heeded by the government, the authorities have dismissed, ignored, and delegitimized Mexican civil society’s requests for justice.

In light of this situation, from our places of residence abroad, and as representatives of our country outside of Mexico, the undersigned Mexican students, academics, and professionals voice the following:

— We demand that UNAM and all other higher education institutions—as well as their employees, professors, researchers and students—be respected. In spite of the apologies offered by Héctor Serrano, Mexico City’s first deputy mayor, following the unnecessary deployment of heavily armed police forces on the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s campus on November 15th, we condemn what, in our opinion, constitute acts of repression and violent provocations against social and student protests by the local and federal armed forces. These actions intimidate and disorganize the university community and put at risk the stability of UNAM, an institution which fosters critical inquiry and research based on reflection, tolerance, and the ideals of building a more just country.

— We refute the speculative treatment of partial evidence as well as the lack of sensitivity and responsibility shown by the highest authority of the judicial branch, Jesús Murillo Karam, by making public information which had not yet been scientifically confirmed. More than two weeks have transpired since the Attorney General, Jesús Murillo Karam, offered a press conference where he presented only partial results regarding the disappearance of the forty-three teacher trainees, results which were lacking in scientific verification. We are still expecting the investigation to move forward, one which shows the authority’s willingness to account for the whereabouts of the 43 teacher trainees and which brings to justice those found responsible. Furthermore, throughout the investigation into the disappearance of the 43 teacher trainees, forensic teams have unearthed the remains of at least 66 other people, among them, Father John Ssenyondo, who was last seen in Santa Cruz, Guerrero, on April 30th. We demand that all remains be identified, their disappearance investigated and the results be made public.

— We demand that the damages that have led to the disappearance of at least 22,000 people, throughout years of impunity be repaired.

— We declare our alarm and repudiation towards president Ernesto Peña Nieto’s statements upon his return to the country, in which he has highlighted his authority to use force as a means to repress the protests taking place all over the country. After irresponsibly leaving Mexico at a time of crisis and remaining silent about the events taking place during his absence, we consider that the president and his administration lack the moral stature to call the citizens to order and peace, and much less, impose it by violent means. From our places of residence, we are following Enrique Peña Nieto’s actions and demand emphatically the he protect Mexican citizens and honor his role as head of the executive branch.

— We categorically reject the systematized violence that distinct government bodies exercise locally and federally, such as the events in Iguala that triggered the current crisis. Ayotzinapa is not an isolated event, but we hope it will be the last in a downward spiral that has seen the disappearance and torture of tens of thousands of Mexicans.

— We demand that the circumstances leading to this pattern of violence be brought to light.
— We refuse to become used to this violence.
— We demand that Ayotzinapa be the last episode of violence against teacher trainees and citizens.

— Finally, we demand respect for peaceful protests. We reaffirm our unconditional support to all our fellow Mexicans living this reality day to day. We share your pain and anger and are committed to building a fairer and safer country for everyone.

Anahi Martinez––Albania, Rafael Toriz––Argentina, Lizette Alegre––Argentina, Berenice Morales––Brasil, Élika Ortega––Canada, Ernesto Peña––Canada, Barbara Guerrero––Canada, Raul Lopez––Canada, Paola Preciado–– Canada, Gabriel Guerrero––Canada, Sabrina Priego––Canada, Eliot Escalona––Canada, Karla Hernandez––Canada, Olga Garcia––Canada, Karina Martinez––Canada, Hilda Rivas––Chile, Fernando Estevez––Colombia, Claudia Elizalde––Costa Rica, Daniel Malpica––Finland, Victor Ceronne––France, Marcos Rico Domínguez––France, José de Jésus Vázquez Camacho––France, Daniela Franco––France, Beto Cabrera––France, Katia Garcia––France, Daniel Rudy––France, Juan Pablo López––France, Nathalie Gutiérrez––France, Alejandra Ayala––Germany, Jesús Ernesto Huacuja Sánchez––Germany, Argentina Ortega––Germany, Genaro R-M––Germany, Ana Maria Guzmán–– Germany, Roberto Hernández––Italy, José Repetto––Italy, Ruben Antonio Puertos Martinez––New Zealand, Jaqueline Berumen––Pakistan, Indira Anampa––Peru, Alfredo Guzmán Tinajero––Spain, Ruben Catellano Valencia– –Spain, Abigail Tabarez––Spain, Liliana Verenisse Moreno Pérez––Spain, Nohelia Meza Meza––Spain, Bruma Palacios––Spain, Aline Berdichevsky––Spain, Dania Anette Bautista Sánchez––Spain, Raziel Sepulveda––UK, Ernesto Priego–– UK, Bárbara Coca––UK, Denisse González––UK, Jorge Hernández––UK, Elena Borras––UK, Luis Reyes-Galindo––UK, Ciara Kierans––UK, Edgar Piña––UK, César Padilla Altamira––UK, Mariana Martinez––UK, Maricela Gomez––UK, Edgar Avalos––UK, Pablo Fernández––UK, Carolina Hernández––UK, Mónica Lomelí––UK, Yara Sanchez Corrales––UK, Jennifer, Adcock––UK, Alan Serrano––UK, Jorge Alfredo Ortiz Palma––UK, Natalia Equihua––UK, Martha Patricia Reveles––UK, Guadalupe Valdez––UK, Josue Carrasco––UK, Gabriela Mejan––UK, Eduardo Ramos––USA, Adela Ramos––USA, Vanessa Musi Defosse––USA, Natalia Pérez––USA, Norma Sanchez–– USA, Jorge Téllez––USA, Jose Flores––USA, Lorena Gómez Mostajo––USA, Paulina Suarez––USA, Christian Gerzso– –USA, Adriana Escalona––USA, Román Luján––USA, Pablo Ruiz Otaolaurruchi––USA, Alfonso Fierro––USA, Lorena Mancilla––USA, Estrella Del Valle––USA, Gregorio Ortiz––USA, Erika Hirugami––USA, Georgina Martínez––USA, Yolanda Huezo––USA, Selim Gomez Avila––USA, Fabio Luna––USA, Karina Ortega––USA, Laura Becerril––USA, Brenda Palma––USA, Marcella Vargas––USA, Misael Diaz––USA, Víctor Sánchez––USA, Mary Aviles––USA, Luis Panini––USA, Claudia Priego––USA, Bibiana Padilla-Maltos––USA, Eduardo Muñoz––USA, Naief Yehya––USA, Lorea Canales––USA, Alejandra Reyna––USA, José Luis Luevano––USA, Omar Pimienta––USA, Carlos Rodríguez–– USA, Jazmina Barrera––USA, Maritza Bailon––USA, Aimee Cebreros––USA, Noemí López––USA, Estrella De La Reguera––Sweden, Ricardo Sanchez Curiel––Sweden, Cuauhtemoc Villamar––Thailand

Some Data from the Signature Collection Process

We created the original letter using a Google Docs form and shared it online, first via email, then via Twitter, with a shortened Google URL.

The analytics we obtained via our shortened URL indicate it was clicked 483 times over a period of six days:

Total clicks for the shortened URL with which we shared the Open Letter
Total clicks for the shortened URL with which we shared the Open Letter


It was interesting to learn that Chrome was the most popular browser and Windows the most popular OS… it was not necessarily surprising that Twitter ( was our main referrer, with 59.8% of clicks.  The majority of clicks (197) came from Mexico.


Other Open Letter shortened URL analytics: Referrers, Browsers, Countries, Platforms
Other Open Letter shortened URL analytics: Referrers, Browsers, Countries, Platforms


We received 132 responses (signatures) over the same period. 12 were invalid responses, leaving us with 120 valid signatures from 19 countries.

We knew that the 20th of November would be a day of demonstrations in Mexico and around the world (the date also marks the anniversary of the start of the Mexican Revolution). Not suprisingly, it was on this date that we got the most number of responses.


Date Number of responses
18-Nov 19
19-Nov 35
20-Nov 44
21-Nov 6
22-Nov 2
Total 120


Or as a chart:


signatures received per date chart
Number of signatures received per date


The number of signatures per country  [I left names of countries in Spanish] looks like this:


País de residencia actual Number of signatures per country of residence
Albania 1
Alemania 5
Argentina 2
Brasil 1
Canadá 11
Chile 1
Colombia 1
Costa Rica 1
España 8
EUA (USA) 45
Finlandia 1
Francia 10
Italia 2
Nueva Zelanda 1
Pakistán 1
Perú 1
Reino Unido (UK) 25
Suecia 2
Tailandia 1


Or as a pie chart:


Number of Signatures Per Country of Residence chart
Number of Signatures Per Country of Residence


It’s been a privilege to work with Élika and Adela on this project. The three of us were in different countries, and coordinated everything via email, Twitter and Google docs. Many thanks to everyone who shared and/or signed.

You can help us create awareness about the situation in Mexico. Why not share the letter online? Here’s the links again:





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