Members of the Duke community demonstrated on the Chapel steps Wednesday night as a showing of solidarity for recent tragedies in Mexico.

The demonstration aimed to share solidarity with demands for justice following recent events Iguala, Mexico, including the murder of six people—three of which were students at the Normal Rural Raúl Isidro Burgos School, a teachers' college known as Ayotzinapa—and the disappearance of another 43 students after they were seen being confronted by police. The demonstrators laid out images of all the missing students and posters with online newspaper clippings about the events.

We are here because around the world we are showing support and solidarity,” said Janina Cuevas, a senior research aide at the Center for Child and Familiy Policy and the Social Science Research Institute. “Latinas and Hispanics have primarily been interested, but we wanted to show our support internationally.”

Demonstrators lit candles spelling out "Ayotzinapa" and attendees were given the opportunity to write messages to the missing students and to the Mexican government, which is suspected of being implicated in the disappearances. Mass graves have been found near Iguala, and 28 unidentified bodies have been retrieved. Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam announced that 34 people have been detained in the case.

Cuevas said the goal is to send a message to both Duke and the University of North Carolina.

"[Mexico and the U.S.] are like neighbors, but most people don’t know what’s going on,” she said. “It’s a space to let them know what’s going on.”

The event was also an opportunity for people to personally speak up, added Jimena Rico, a candidate for a Master's of public policy.

“We are tired of the injustice in our country,” she said. “It’s just one of many recent events.”

Another goal is to spread awareness through social media and follow the call for NGOs in Mexico, said Carlos Juarez, a fellow at the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center.

“The goal is to get evidence that the community got together and cares about the case,” Juarez said.

He added that his hope is to show the photos on social media so that the sum of events being featured will put pressure on the Mexican government to take action.

“I think it just speaks for itself,” said Sara Zetune, a candidate for a Master's of public policy.