Nehemiah Stark

Protesters gathered for vigils and demonstrations across the United States on Wednesday to demand justice for the 43 missing Mexican students and an end to "war on drugs."

The protests were organized by "USTired2" in 43 U.S. cities — one for each of the missing college students. Mexican investigators believe the students were killed and burned by a drug gang, with the cooperation of local authorities, after then went missing on Sept. 26.

The "USTired2" campaign is a nod to the most widely used hashtag during the recent protests in Mexico: #YaMeCanse, which could be translated "I'm tired" or "I've had enough.". The phrase went viral after Mexico's attorney general uttered those words at the end a press conference in November.

READ MORE: U.S. solidarity movement highlights Uncle Sam's role in Mexican crisis

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Wednesday's protests in the U.S. drew a wide spectrum of activists, students, Mexican-Americans, and others drawn to the cause. About 100 people gathered in downtown Chicago as part of the event. We spoke to several to understand why they came and what they hoped to accomplish.

ALMA JIMENEZ

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DRE DAVIS

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LAU RAMIREZ

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ESTEBAN BURGUA

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RICARDO TORRES

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All photos by Nehemiah Stark for Fusion.