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Parents Of 43 Students Missing In Mexico Arrive In Houston

The parents were set to join protesters outside of the Mexican Consulate. They hope to draw attention to their cause.

Some of the parents of 43 students who disappeared last September in Mexico are in Houston to bring attention to their cause.

About 50 protesters gathered outside of the Mexican Consulate Wednesday near downtown beating drums and chanting several slogans in Spanish, including: “Why do you assassinate them if they are the hope of Latin America?”

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Protesters in front of Houston’s Mexican consulate say they were there to support the parents of 43 students missing in Mexico.

Fernanda Villalpondo is with the group Asamblea Popular de Houston. She explains that she is protesting to support of the parents.

“We are here to join them in solidarity and to tell the American public they are not alone,” Villalpondo said. “They are coming here to spread the word about what happened with their sons.”

The parents are set to stay in Houston through Thursday before continuing their tour across the United States.

They will press international bodies including the United Nations to help bring the students home and will denounce human-rights violations in their native country, said Felipe de la Cruz, a professor at the rural teachers college the students attended. He spoke at a protest in front of the Mexican consulate in Manhattan.

Telephone calls requesting comment from the consulate were not immediately returned Wednesday.

Several parents, traveling in three caravans, will visit more than a dozen U.S. cities over the next three weeks, de la Cruz said. They left Mexico on Monday and plan to converge on April 28 in New York, where they hope to speak at the United Nations.

The students have not been seen since Sept. 26, when they were stopped by Iguala police and were turned over to a drug gang, which killed them and incinerated their remains, prosecutors allege.

“We are here to seek justice” and to “punish the intellectual and material assassins” responsible for the disappearances, de la Cruz said.

He said he plans to speak at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, part of the Organization of American States, in Washington on Friday.

He also said he plans to speak at Amnesty International USA’s meeting this weekend in Brooklyn. He added that he and the parents hope to meet with President Barack Obama.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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