Mexican filmmakers Alfonso Cuaron and Emmanuel Lubezki have joined the call for the safe return of three film students, who have been missing since March 19.
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In an open letter, sent to Jalisco’s governor Jorge Aristoteles Sandoval, the Academy Award-winning director Cuaron, cinematographer Lubezki and other prominent figures of Mexican cinema demanded the government find Javier Salomon Aceves, Daniel Diaz, and Marcos Avalos alive and “take legal action against those involved in the kidnapping and sentence them according to the law.”
The students are enrolled in the Audiovisual Media University in Guadalajara, the capital city of Jalisco, and were last seen filming in Tonala on March 19 moments before being abducted by unknown men.
Margarita Sierra, director of the film school, where the three young men studied, said that the authorities didn’t react until three hours after they called the emergency number, and criticized the ineffectiveness of Jalisco’s prosecutor in the investigations.
“I think the authorities are ineffective. The government is more worried about the elections. And of course, that’s something inconvenient,” said Sierra.
Filmmaker Felipe Cazals spoke to “all those responsible for forced disappearances, drug traffickers and their accomplices and those who protect them, including authorities from all government levels. Those who allow the export of drugs in exchange of weapons to kidnap, torture and murder students all across the country, like in Tonala, Monterrey, Tijuana or Ayotzinapa” to assure them society repudiates them and that they will be punished.
“They will never earn enough to repair the damage and pain in all Mexico,” said Cazals.
“There are more than 32 thousand missing people in Mexico, in an unpunished war with no headquarters, in an open war against the civilian population, against students, women, farmers and indigenous people… against life,” says the document signed by filmmakers and other artists.
The Mexican director Guillermo del Toro, who was recently awarded Academy’s Best Director and Best Film awards for his The Shape of Water film, also joined the demand and shared images of the students on his twitter account.
The Jalisco government has said they’re doing everything possible to find the missing students and has even offered a reward for anyone willing to give pertinent information.
Cesar Ulises Arellano, a young medical student, also went missing in Guadalajara recently. His remains were found recently on a cliff near the city.