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43 haunting portraits of Mexico's missing students

In Iguala, a city in Mexico, it's impossible to forget what's happened. Everywhere, there are reminders of Sept. 26, the day when local police and drug cartel gunmen killed six people and kidnapped 43 students at La Escuela Normal Rural Isidro Burgos de Ayotzinapa. The 43 are still missing — presumed dead and buried in a mass grave somewhere in the state of Guerrero.

Reminders like this sign.

And demonstrations.

A punto de iniciar la marcha por los 43 desaparecidos #Ayotzinapa #HastaEncontrarlos #Guerrero

A photo posted by Jésica Zermeño (@jexjexx) on

And memorials.

#cruz por #julioCesar #ayotzinapa #todossomos43 #desapariciones #estudiantes #normalistas #justicia

A photo posted by Paula Escalada (@paula_pem) on

For those of us who live far from Iguala, there are fewer reminders, except for news headlines about the disappeared '43.'

43

The number has already become iconic — two digits that now represent the indescribable harm that Mexico's drug war has inflicted on the country, its institutions, and its people.

But '43' doesn't tell the stories of these missing young students. And so Mexican artists are doing something that headlines and this single, weighty number can't do: Force us to recognize each and ever missing student as an individual. As part of a project they call #IlustradoresConAyotzinapa, they've taken deconstructed missing posters like the one above, that show the students as a single mass of faces, and created individual portraits for every one of the 43. The results are haunting, beautiful, and enraging.

43 young people are missing. Here are their faces.

1) Abel García Hernández

2) Abelardo Vázquez Periten

3) Adán Abraján de la Cruz

4) Alexander Mora Venancio

5) Antonio Santana Maestro

6) Benjamín Ascencio Bautista

7) Carlos Iván Ramírez Villarreal

8) Carlos Lorenzo Hernández Muñoz

9) César Manuel González Hernández

10) Christian Alfonso Rodríguez Telumbre

11) Christian Tomás Colón Garnica

12) Cutberto Ortiz Ramos

13) Dorian González Parral

14) Emiliano Alen Gaspar de la Cruz

15) Everardo Rodríguez Bello

16) Felipe Arnulfo Rosa

17) Giovanni Galindes Guerrero

18) Israel Caballero Sánchez

19) Israel Jacinto Lugardo

20) Jesús Jovany Rodríguez Tlatempa

21) Jonás Trujillo González

22) Jorge Álvarez Nava

23) Jorge Aníbal Cruz Mendoza

24) Jorge Antonio Tizapa Lecineno

25) Jorge Luis González Parral

26) José Ángel Campos Cantor

27) José Ángel Navarrete González

28) José Eduardo Bartolo Tlatempa

29) José Luis Luna Torres

30) Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz

31) Julio César López Patolzin

32) Bernardo Flores Alcaráz

33) Leonel Castro Abarca

34) Luis Ángel Abarca Carrillo

35) Luis Ángel Francisco Arzola

36) Magdaleno Rubén Lauro Villegas

37) Marcial Pablo Baranda

38) Marco Antonio Gómez Molina

39) Martín Getsemany Sánchez García

40) Mauricio Ortega Valerio

41) Miguel Ángel Hernández Martínez

42) Miguel Ángel Mendoza Zacarías

43) Saúl Bruno García

h/t @ErinSiegal

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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