By Friday night, the hashtag #YaMeCansé, “Enough, I’m tired,” was trending across social media.
After six weeks of protesting the disappearance of 43 students from a rural teacher’s college, the line appeared to make sense: 19 mass graves had been discovered in the search for the students; the government’s response to the abduction was delayed; and the evidence that local officials, police, and organized crime had worked together to target the students resonated nationwide.
Why wouldn’t the public be tired of this?
But #YaMeCansé didn’t originate with mourning families or protesters taking a stand.
On Friday, Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam cut short questions on the discovery of what is believed to be the pulverized remains of the students abducted more than six weeks ago by curtly saying, “Enough, I’m tired.”
Mr. Murillo Karam said gang members in custody admitted to burning the students for 15 hours, but stopped short of saying the case was resolved. The remains were so badly burned that the government couldn't complete DNA confirmation.
“#YaMeCanse Murillo Karam said…because the students’ parents are well rested,” read one tweet posted soon after the press conference. “Enough, I’m tired because in my country everyone is so sad. We don’t deserve this,” read another.
The hashtag took on new iterations over the weekend, as protests – at times violent – emerged around the country. One included #YaMeCanséDelMiedo, meaning "I’m tired of fear."
“#I’mTiredOfFear that I can’t trust in the authorities, that there’s no citizen protection, that we see so much death and @MurilloKaram is tired," a Twitter user wrote.
If this case struck a nerve in Mexico before Mr. Karam’s statement – because of the reported collusion between the state and organized criminals or the belief that the students were innocent and far removed from the criminal world – his choice of words have taken public frustration to a new level. That, combined with President Enrique Peña Nieto decision to leave for an economic forum abroad has some questioning the strength of Mexico's leaders.
Thousands of protesters marched in Guerrero state on Monday, angry over the alleged massacre of the 43 missing students. They blocked the resort city's international airport. Many were armed with bats, metal pipes, and machetes, reports the Associated Press.
On Monday, journalist Sanjuana Martínez called the press conference "revelatory" in a column published on Sin Embargo, a Mexican news website. In the face of the government's treatment of the case, she declared it "time for the people" to take a stand.
It showed us the authorities’ lack of capacity and will to investigate. It offered us a pathetic portrait of government rhetoric wrapped in arrogance and cynicism.
But most telling was the attorney general’s “Enough, I’m tired.” This phrase best defines the [Enrique] Peña Nieto government and its incompetence.
Murillo Karam’s “I’m tired” symbolizes laziness, contempt for the victims and their families….
The government … must keep one thing clear: The people aren’t going to swallow it. Mexicans, too, are tired. We are no longer willing to accept half-truths, lies, and manipulations.
This is a crime of the state, whether the government likes it or not. It’s not an isolated event….
Justice has not been served. The state is judge and jury. It is time for the people.
Mr. Peña Nieto flew to China over the weekend to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Beijing. The decision to leave Mexico for an economic conference at such a critical moment reflects the president’s strong emphasis on economic reform and courting foreign investment, something that failed to resonate with Mexicans even before the case of the missing students. Sixty percent disapproved of his handling of the economy this year, up 14 percent from 2013, according to a Pew Research study published in August.
“I am pained by what happened in Iguala. It’s an abominable act and an atrocity that generates, as we’ve seen, indignation and pain,” the president said during a layover on his trip to China. “[This case] is a call for justice, a call for peace and unity, not for violence or confrontation.”
But an even more restive nation may await Peña Nieto upon his return. A Mexican investigative news team reported a new case of corruption implicating him and his actress wife on Sunday that is further fueling the public's discontent.
The reporters found that a private home used by the first couple, and where they reportedly intend to live after leaving office, is owned by a member of a consortium that had been awarded a state high-speed rail contract valued between $3.7 and $4.3 billion. The consortium was the sole bidder. The government rescinded the award last week.
The same group had been awarded contracts worth $652 million in Mexico State while Peña Nieto was governor there, the investigation reports.
Many schools have been canceled and further protests have been announced in cities across the country this week.