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What Happened To These Students Is Awful. What This Official Said Later Is Almost Worse.

These people are desperate for information about their missing children. So how could the attorney general say this to them?

43 students from a small teaching college in Iguala, Mexico have disappeared. They have been missing for six weeks. But the story get's worse. Here's a timeline:

Sept. 26, 2014: 43 students disappear after a confrontation with police.


Oct. 4: Mass graves were found containing 28 bodies, although they don't appear to be those of the missing students.

Nov. 7: The country's attorney general, Jesús Murillo, held a press conference to discuss the confessions of three gang members that led to the charred remains of as-yet-unidentified people from a nearby river. After an hour of speaking, the attorney general abruptly ended the meeting, saying, "Muchas gracias," but then "Ya me cansé," or "Enough, I'm tired."

Within hours, the phrase was a trending Twitter hashtag. People are upset not only about the killings but also about the complicit role of the Mexican government in perpetuating violence and failing to successfully prosecute criminals.

(Translation: "I'm tired too, but of this f***ing government.")

Protests weren't just in the Twittersphere, though.

Nov. 8: Thousands marched in Mexico City and briefly set fire to the ceremonial governor's palace, while in the nearby town of Chilpancingo, students set fire to trucks near government buildings.

Nov. 10: Protesters blocked access to the Acapulco airport.

For more backstory, here's a useful interview with a journalist who has written about Mexico's problems for years. Although only mentioned at the end, the drug war is the impetus for much of the violence and for the participation of the Mexican government. It's a "war" that the U.S. enables both as the world's largest consumer of illicit drugs and by pouring billions into a militarized fight against drug cartels.

I live in Washington, the state with the first official outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. While my family lives several hours from Seattle, it was alarming to be near the epicenter—especially early in the pandemic when we knew even less about the coronavirus than we know now.

As tracking websites went up and statistics started pouring in, things looked hairy for Washington. But not for long. We could have and should have shut everything down faster than we did, but Governor Inslee took the necessary steps to keep the virus from flying completely out of control. He's consistently gotten heat from all sides, but in general he listened to the infectious disease experts and followed the lead of public health officials—which is exactly what government needs to do in a pandemic.

As a result, we've spent the past several months watching Washington state drop from the #1 hotspot down to 23rd in the nation (as of today) for total coronavirus cases. In cases per million population, we're faring even better at number 38. We have a few counties where outbreaks are pretty bad, and cases have slowly started to rise as the state has reopened—which was to be expected—but I've felt quite satisfied with how it's been handled at the state level. The combination of strong state leadership and county-by-county reopenings has born statistically impressive results—especially considering the fact that we didn't have the lead time that other states did to prepare for the outbreak.

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