Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz

Yo, Jan Nimmo,  Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz. Digital Collage: Jan Nimmo ©

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz. Digital Collage: Jan Nimmo ©

This is a tribute to Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz. His mother says he was mischievous as a young boy and that he liked to play with toy cars; he’d dismantle them and put them back together again or use the bits to invent something new. Later, as he grew older, he started to like baseball and football. He helped his parents out with chores such as looking after the hens or pigs and just before he disappeared his parents came home to find that he had cut the grass back. He wants to be a teacher because of the poverty that surrounds him. He wants to help his community. He’d say “I don’t want to be a campesino, I want to study, to get ahead so that I could look after you, Mum”. He wants to study chemistry. He is from Omeapa and is 20 years old.

His nickname is The Korean ( El Coreano) because of his almond eyes.

His sister describes his disappearance as a nightmare and says that the family just want to get back to normal.

Martina, his mother says “I feel bad, not having my son near to me, I love him so much, he knew that and wherever he is, I’m going to search for him. I want him back with me. They took him alive and I want him back alive”.

 

 

 

Saúl Bruno García

SaulGarciaBrunoOf the 43 students who were disappeared in Iguala on 26th September 2014, 8 were from Tecoanapa in the Costa Chica region of Guerrero. Saúl Bruno García was amongst them. Ever since he was a young boy he’d help about the house, in the kitchen and also in the countryside. Of all the children in the family he is the only one to have gone on to study. He wants to help his mum because he sees how hard she works. He wants to get a teaching qualification and to study graphic design to support his family. The other students in Ayotzinapa call him Chicharrón.

Tecoanapa means Tigre en la barranca in Nauatl, or River of the Jaguars. In this piece I have quoted a chilena “Tigre en La Barranca”…

Tecoanapa mi querido Tigre en Barranca/ Tecoanapa, my dear River of the Jaguars,

Donde los amantes cantan/ where lovers sing,

Cuando empieza a amanecer/as day dawns,

Tecoanapa, a mi gente este le dije/ Tecoanapa, this is what I have said to my kin,

Si me muero en la distancia/ If I were to die far away,

Mis restos traigan aquí/ bring my remains here.

(from a recording of Tigre en Barranca sung by Hector Morales).

His family and friends want him to come home to Tecoanapa alive. So do I.

 

 

Martín Getsemany Sánchez García

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, quiero saber dónde está Martín Getsemany Sánchez García. Digital Collage: Jan Nimmo

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, quiero saber dónde está Martín Getsemany Sánchez García. Digital Collage: Jan Nimmo

I am slowing progressing through my portraits of each of the Normalista students who were forcibly disappeared in Iguala last September. The students at the school “Raul Isidro Burgos” in Ayotzinapa come from all over the state of Guerrero and many of them are bilingual. Martín comes from Zumpango del Río, not terribly far from Chilpancingo.

In this piece I wanted to combine imagery from the region’s pre-Columbian past and Martín’s passion for the football team he supported, Deportivo Cruz Azul – “Los Azules”. I have used marigolds or cempazuchitl to decorate the piece because they are used to adorn the hats of the Tlacololeros so typical of his home town. The Tlacololeros or farmers perform a dance where 14 dancers hunt  two other dancers “piteros” dressed as jaguars or Tigres… the story goes that the farmers hunt and kill a jaguar who has been terrorising the community. The dance is performed in honour of Tlaloc, the God of Fertility and water so that he will provide rain to water the farmers’ crops. The dancers are accompanied by a reed flute and drums which to me seems reminiscent of the music of the tambolineros I hear at romerías in the Sierra de Huelva , in Southern Spain. I have  included some lyrics from a son de tarima tlacololeros in this collage.

Traditions such as these are what first attracted me to Guerrero.  The Tigre mask in this collage is one which I took home with me to Scotland and will be familiar to anyone who has visited my home. The mask has eyes made from mirrors so that the enemy would see their own fear reflected back at them. Now when I see the mask I still remember the wonderful masked dances, traditions and music of Guerrero, but the eyes reflect my own fears for the students and their families, whose questions go unanswered.

 

 

 

 

Jesús Jovany Rodríguez Tlatempa

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está Jesús Jovany Rodriguez Tlatempa. Digital Collage: © Jan Nimmo

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está Jesús Jovany Rodriguez Tlatempa. Digital Collage: © Jan Nimmo

21 year old Jesús Jovany Rodríguez Tlatempa is from Tixtla and is nicknamed “el Churro” by his fellow students at the Normailsta teacher training school “Raul Isidro Burgos” in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Mexico. His is the oldest of a family of four and is a father figure for his one year old niece, whose mother is a single parent. He was studying at the Normailsta school to become a teacher because he loves working with children. Those who know Jesús describe him as quiet, caring and faithful.  He is also someone who finds violence against women absolutely abhorrent.

I imagine that Jesús probably likes modern music but I have chosen the lyrics of a traditional son from the Tixtla area called La Martiniana for this collage. The gist of this song is that the one left behind should not mourn the singer’s passing – tears would mean that he would surely die but if he were to be sung the beautiful sones of the Isthmus then he would never die and live forever.

We now know that fellow student, Alexander Venacio Mora was murdered but I’m hoping with all my might that Jesús and the other 41 students forcibly disappeared on the 26th of September  2014 in Iguala are still alive. Whatever the outcome of these tragic events, they will always be remembered. I live on the other side of the world but know when I hum a son istmeño I will be remembering 43 young Guerrense men, with a lump in my throat.

La Martiniana

Niña cuando me muera,

No llores sobre mi tumba,

Cántame un lindo son, ay mamá!

Cántame La Sandunga.

No me llores, no, no me llores, no,

Porque si lloras, me muero,

En cambio si tu me cantas,

yo siempre vivo y nunca muero.

En cambio si tu me cantas yo siempre vivo y nunca muero.

Lucero de la mañana,

El rey de todos los sones,

Cántame la martiniana, ay mamá!

Que rompe los corazones.

No me llores, no, no me llores no.

Porque si lloras, yo muero

En cambio si tú me cantas yo siempre vivo y nunca muero.

Si quieres que no te olvide,

Si quieres que te recuerde,

Cántame sones istmeños, mamá

Música que no muere.

No me llores, no, no me llores no.

Porque si lloras, yo muero

En cambio si tú me cantas yo siempre vivo y nunca muero.

Sung by Son Istmeño

Marcial Pablo Baranda

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está Marcial Pablo Baranda . Digital collage: Jan Nimmo ©

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está Marcial Pablo Baranda . Digital collage: Jan Nimmo ©

This is another portrait in my series of the 43 Normalista students from the Escuela Rural “Raul Isidro Burgos”, Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, who were disappeared on the 26th September 2014 in Iguala.

According to his fellow students Marcial is 20 years old and at the time of his disappearance was studying to become a bilingual teacher as he spoke an indigenous language (I’m not sure if it is Amuzgo or Mixtec which he speaks as he is from the Costa Chica). He and the other students have been training to become bilingual teachers so that they could give children an education in some of the poorest indigenous villages in Guerrero. This was something which drove Marcial in his work. His friends describe him as short and good natured.

His nickname is “Magallón” because his family have a band of the same name; musicians who play tropical, coastal music such as Cumbia. His friends laugh when they remember him, as he was always singing songs from his home in the Costa Chica, He apparently plays the trumpet and drums.

The Costa Chica in Guerrero is a part of Mexico which has a concentration of Afro-Mexicans who are the descendents of escaped slaves and the local Amuzgo and Mixtec people.

Jan Nimmo 7th January 2015

José Eduardo Bartolo Tlatempa

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow Escocia, quiero saber dónde está José Eduardo Bartolo Tlatempa. Digital Collage: © Jan Nimmo

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quero saber dónde está José Bartolo Tlatempa. Digital Collage: © Jan Nimmo

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quero saber dónde está José Bartolo Tlatempa. Digital Collage: © Jan Nimmo

José Eduardo, the son of a bricklayer, comes from Tixtla, Guerrero and is a first year student at the Escuela Normal “Raul Isidros Burgos” in Ayotzinapa. He was 19 years old when he was disappeared alongside 42 of his fellow students on 26th September 2014 in Iguala. There is more background information on “Caso Iguala” and why I am making these artworks in a previous post.

I have translated the following from an article by Rosa Emilia Porras Lara for El Milenio Digital to give some background on José Eduardo’s family:

Mexico City, 6th October 2014

The mother of José Eduardo Bartolo Tlatempa asks, over and over again “Where is my son?”. None of her family dare to tell her that no one knows.

José Eduardo Bartolo Tlatempa, a first year student at the Normalista Teacher Training School in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, is one of 43 students who were disappeared on 26th September 2014.

In an interview with El Milenio newspaper, Aunt Ana Celi tells of how Eduardo’s mum isn’t aware that her son has been disappeared.

“My sister is in hospital because she has cancer. She doesn’t know what’s happening, none of us dare tell her that Eduardo hasn’t appeared since he went to Iguala. She simply asks, “Where is my son?” to which we reply, “With us”.

Eduardo’s aunt was in Mexico City the previous Friday, as part of a delegation that was received by Luis Enrique Miranda, Vice-Secretary of the Interior Ministry, to ask for his support in the search to locate the whereabouts of students.

Ana Celi says that Eduardo left for school as usual on the 26th. He said he was going to Iguala to collect funds so that they could go on the march on the 2nd October (to commemorate the 1968 student massacre in Mexico City).

“Friday 26th was the last time we saw Eduardo. The plan was that they were going to communities around Iguala the following week, and for that reason they also needed money.”

Ana Celi, is sure that the municipal police started to follow the young students as soon as they started collecting money.

“The students who got away alive have said that the police followed them all the time and didn’t let them out of their sight, and when the students were leaving, the police attacked them with without any motive. Many of those who were injured are critically ill as they were shot in their vital organs and we want justice for them”.

Eduardo’s aunt directly accuses the municipal police in Iguala and also organised crime gangs for the disappearance of the students.

“Of course those who are involved in organised crime are behind this, as well as the Mayor of Iguala; they are all linked to one another. They have done this because it doesn’t suit them to have educated young people around.”

Ana Celi insists, “We know that they are alive, probably badly beaten and for that reason they don’t want to show them”.

Article ends. Original article in Spanish here.

Since then I understand that Eduardo’s mother’s cancer has been in remission. The whereabouts of the students is still unknown with one exception – Alexander Venancio Mora – whose remains were identified (from a 1cm fragment of bone and a molar found in Cocula) by Argentinian forensic scientists.

You can see a short video report with the families by James Fredrick for The Guardian here.

#IlustradoresConAyotzinapa

#AyotzinapaSomosTodos