José Ángel Campos Cantor

JoseAngelCamposCantor

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está José Ángel Campos Cantor. Digital art: Jan Nimmo ©

Like many of his 42 fellow students, who were disappeared along with José Ángel on the 26th of September 2014, he loved to play football but, as his father explains, when he went to study at the Normalista school in Ayotzinapa he didn’t get much time to play as he was studying hard to become a teacher. Of the 43 students who are missing José Ángel is the oldest at 33 years old. He is popular with his fellow students.

José Ángel plays saxophone and plays in a “Chile Frito” (Fried Chilli) band, typical of Guerrero. These are the brass and drum bands that accompany local fiestas and dances with lively sones and chilenas. I have used the lyrics from a chilena, El Toro Rabón, in the portrait (Lyrics below). The song was written by a well known Guerrense composer, José Agustín Ramírez Altamirano, once a normalista student himself. José Ángel  loves corridos (popular narrative songs) and dancing to cumbia with his wife, Blanca González Cantú. He and Blanca have have two girls: América and Gabriela or “Gaby”. Since her father was disappeared América, who is 8 years old, has had to help her mum out, and everyday she sets up a small table with sweets, chewing gum and chicharrones (pork scratchings) to sell outside their house. Gaby had her first birthday on the 29th of July. She was just one month old when José Ángel was disappeared. His grandmother, Petra, died on the 30th July, without knowing the fate of her grandson.

El Toro Rabón

Por toda la Costa Chica
se baila el Toro Rabón,
si esa víbora te pica
te queda la comezón,
no hay remedio en la botica
ni tampoco curación.

Qué bonitas, qué bonitas
son las costas de Guerrero,
de mujeres sensitivas,
hombres fuertes y de acero,
de mujeres sensitivas,
hombres fuertes y de acero.

Cotorra del pico chueco,
prima hermana del perico,
si denuncias mis amores
que me traje de Tampico,
te he de correr de mi milpa
y si no, te tuerzo el pico.

Una aguililla chillona
me quiso tronar el pico,
yo le contesté: pelona,
no soy pobre ni soy rico,
soy puritito costeño,
no me agrando ni me achico.

Qué bonitas, qué bonitas
son las costas de Guerrero,
de mujeres sensitivas,
hombres fuertes y de acero,
de mujeres sensitivas,
hombres fuertes y de acero.

Yo soy el toro rabón
que habito en la serranía,
dejo de pasearme un año
por pasearme noche y día,
como soy becerro de año
no habito en la pastoría.

Qué bonitas, qué bonitas
son las costas de Guerrero,
de mujeres sensitivas,
hombres fuertes y de acero,
de mujeres sensitivas,
hombres fuertes y de acero.

José Agustín Ramírez Altamirano

Listen to Banda Los Morales – El Toro Rabon

or to Dueto Caleta – El Toro Rabon