Israel Caballero Sánchez


Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está Israel Caballero Sánchez. Digital Art: Jan Nimmo ©

Israel Caballero Sánchez is from the small indigenous town of Atliaca in the State of Guerrero. He was disappeared on the 26th September 2014 along with 42 of his fellow students from the Normalista Rural School “Raúl Isidro Burgos” in Ayotzinapa. He was 21 at the time of his disappearance and seven months on we still don’t know anything of his whereabouts. In this portrait he wears the clothes of the Tigre, from the traditional ritual dances of his town. Atliaca is hot and dry, its surrounding land populated with mezquite.

I have used some lyrics from a song about the town; these lyrics can be seen in another post about Abelardo Vásquez Peniten who is also from Atliaca. I have also used an extract from the words from another song, Flores de Fuego (Flowers of Fire) written by Guerrerense composer, Erik de Jesús. Erik is from Chilpancingo, often composes in Nahuatl, and he is interested in preserving musical traditions. This song uses agricultural metaphors to speak of the struggle of campesinos in Mexico…”for those who would give their lives to learn to read”. I am hoping with all my might that the boys from Ayotzinapa have not made this sacrifice just for being who they are; poor boys from poor rural towns and villages who want an education.


México no llores,
América nombra el tiempo de invasores
México no llores,
No han tocado las raíces de tus flores

Te ha quedado el coraje
Carne eterna de maíz
Surco a surco ya se siembra
Una bala y es por ti
Para defender la tierra
Se siembra para vivir

México no llores,
En tu tierra cantan los agricultores
México no llores,
Lo sembrado es cosecha en sembradores

Por el que dará su vida por enseñar a leer
Veras las flores de fuego que han brotado desde ayer
Las cactus naciones viejas, México harán volver
Que hoy con los pies quemados…todavía te ves correr

México préstame tu arado,
Que voy hacer un camino
Donde el campesino camine sin cuidado
Que voy a sembrar el coraje con cada canto
Nacido del sudor agricultor
¡Que no quede un pedazo de tu suelo sin germinar!
¡Que no quede un grito de llanto sin saldar!
México de la nopalera y el bejuco al asfalto, al concreto
¡México porque eres guardián del mundo!
¡Te sigues llamando México!…

Letras – Erick de Jesús


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