1. “They were shooting at us.”
Uriel Alonso, in his second year at Ayotzinapa Normal School, said a group of students were walking through Guerrero asking for money to travel to Mexico City to participate in a demonstration marking the killing of students and residents by soldiers and police on Oct. 2, 1968.
The classmates walked to the bus station in the center of Iguala, Guerrero, where the students convinced five bus drivers to take them back to their school before heading to the capital. Alonso said moments later he noticed the municipal police were trailing the caravan. Suddenly, he said, they turned on their sirens and started to shoot at them.
“They were shooting at us," Alonso said. "We told the bus drivers to speed up.”
2. The buses attempted to leave Iguala, but were stopped by police.
A female officer cut them off and stopped her patrol vehicle in front of the caravan.
The Ayotzinapa students first tried to push the car off the road, but stopped when other police officers started to shoot at them, Alonso said. A student standing next to him fell on the ground after he was shot in the face. The rest of the students ran for shelter as the hail of bullets continued.
"In that moment, we thought our time had come and we would never see our families again," Alonso said.
3. The students, all male, said they were worried that if they left, police would destroy evidence of what had occurred.
The students called an ambulance and convinced the cops to let the paramedics take the student who was shot in the face, Alonso said. The police negotiated with the students, initially telling them they would detain them and nothing would happen, but the classmates declined.
"They told us to go or else they would come back for us and we would regret it," Alonso said.
4. A group of students, however, were loaded into police vehicles.
5. A convoy of masked men arrived hours later and fired at the group.
Hours later, other Ayotzinapa students and professors, having received calls from their anxious classmates, arrived at the scene, Alonso said. At around 1 a.m., a convoy of masked men in cars parked behind the local police and started to shoot at the crowds of students.
Alonso said he hid for six hours two blocks away with five other students in the rain.
"In that moment, it was run or die," Alonso said. "We thought that if they killed us, no one would know what had happened."
6. A group of Ayotzinapa students was asked to identify a disfigured student.
7. “I could feel the bullets flying through the air.”
Omar Garcia was one of the Ayotzinapa Normal School students who arrived at the scene after receiving calls from his classmates. He hid behind a post when the masked men started to shoot at the group.
"I could feel the bullets flying through the air," the second-year student said. "I saw two of my classmates fall to the ground, one was three meters away and the other was five meters away."