Last year, 43 trainee teachers in Mexico were apparently murdered in a case that outraged the country. DW speaks to one of their fellow students about Mexico's toxic mixture of corruption and organized crime.
Deutsche Welle: What relationship did you have to the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa?
Eduardo Moreno Peralta: We had a friendly relationship. At the same time they were like my brothers. We played basketball and lived together with other students.
Were they involved in politics?
They were involved with left-wing causes. As activists, it was their job to publicize the suffering of the Mexican population and to raise awareness of everything the major television networks Televisa and TV Azteca conceal.
What is the political activity of the Rural Teachers College of Ayotzinapa, where you studied?
We want to educate the people that the fascist government is trying to impose economic reforms on us that it has copied from other even less developed countries. It is important that the people demand change, because today it is so that the government gives the orders and the people must obey, when it should be the other way round.
When was the last time you saw your fellow students who disappeared?
I saw them for the last time a few hours before the events in Iguala. That was when we ate dinner in the school canteen together with all our fellow students.
To what extent is the crime of Iguala connected to your political work?
The government wants to make our teachers' colleges disappear, because they not only educate us over four years, but also sharpen our critical awareness. We are against education reforms. These would introduce fees for education and bring about a model that does not fit the economic and social reality of our country.
What responsibility does Germany bear in terms of crime in Mexico and the disappearance of the student teachers of Ayotzinapa in particular?
Germany's responsibility lies in the fact that it provides weapons with which we trainee teachers are oppressed. But the Mexican government also sells these weapons to organized crime, causing our country to sink into a wave of violence.
What can Germany do to improve the situation in Mexico?
In view of the crime in our country, Germany must exert pressure on our government. Germany has a responsibility because it is one of the most powerful countries in the world. Above all, Germany must stop supplying weapons to Mexico.
If you had the opportunity to talk to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, what would you say?
I would tell her she should stop delivering weapons to the Mexican government. It would be better to support education and health programs. It would also be important to convince the Mexican government to change its economic model so that all Mexicans can get a fair income.
Eduardo Moreno Peralta studied at the Rural Teachers College (Escuela Normal Rural) of Ayotzinapa together with the 43 trainee teachers who disappeared in 2014. Authorities say they were arrested by the police and handed over to a criminal gang that murdered them.