Adán Abraján de la Cruz

Yp, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quier saber dónde está Adán Abraján de la Cruz: Digital art: Jan Nimmoo ©

Adán Abraján de la Cruz is from el Fortín, a barrio of Tixtla in Guerrero. He was forcibly disappeared on the 26th Sept 2014 along with another 42 students who were studying with him at the Normalista School at Ayotzinapa. He is married to Érica and is the father of two children, José Luis and Alison.

I read that Adán loves to play football and then learned from a couple of his team mates (thanks to the Tixtla Facebook page who helped me find them) that his team plays in the Las Chivas strip. Las Chivas is the popular name for Mexican football team, Club Deportivo Guadalajara. Adán played for Los Pirotécnicos de Fortín and for the Vaqueros de Fortín too. I have included a quote from his team captain, Christiam: “Lastima mi Adán me iso ganar un trofeo era mi portero” – “What a shame about Adán, he helped me win a trophy – he was my goalkeeper”.

Over the last 10 months football stadiums have been the arena to express solidarity with the 43 disappeared students. Mexican footballers like Miguel “El Piojo”, a player for the Mexican national team, have shown 4 and 3 fingers to the fans while crowds have carried massive banners in protest of what has taken place. Real Madrid forward, Javier “Chicharito” Hernández tweeted a black and white selfie with the hashtags:  #TodosSomosAyotzinapa #UnidosPorAyotzinapa.  More in an article here.

When I googled “Ayotzinapa” and “futbol” I was surprised to see that even at Liverpool matches there were fans carrying a large banner in protest at what happened to the 43 students in Iguala. And I love this image of solidarity from a women’s football team from the barrio Güemes, Buenos Aires, Argentina (from the blog Southern Perspectives).

La Nuestra Fútbol Femenino, Barrio Güemes, Villa 31, Buenos Aires, Argentina, en apoyo a familiares de los normalistas secuestrados en México.

La Nuestra Fútbol Femenino, Barrio Güemes, Villa 31, Buenos Aires, Argentina, en apoyo a familiares de los normalistas secuestrados en México. (Southern Perspectives ©)

Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, commenting on the murder of Colombian defender Andrés Escobar in 1994 said. 

“Violence is not in the genes of the people who love to celebrate and are wild about the joys of music and soccer. Colombians suffer from violence like a disease, but they don’t wear it like a birthmark on their foreheads. The machinery of power, on the other hand, is indeed the cause of violence: as in all of Latin America, injustice and humiliation poison people’s souls”.

He was talking about Colombia but sadly the same applies to Mexico. Now there is a team missing a goalkeeper and a family missing their dad, husband and son.

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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

Jorge Antonio Tizapa Legideño

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está JorgeAntonio Tizapa Legideno

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está Jorge Antonio Tizapa Legideño. Digital Art: Jan Nimmo ©

I have been away in Spain for the last two months and so haven’t had the means of making my Ayotzinapa portraits but there hasn’t been a day when I haven’t thought about the boys and their parents. Every morning, as I walked up the Cuesta Palero, I would take photos of the wild flowers. I especially love the blue chicory flowers (Cichorium intybus) and planned to use these in an Ayotzinapa piece, and so now I have. The flowers are illusively shy and don’t like the heat so are only open between 8.30 in the morning and are then tightly closed, like they never existed, by 11.30 am.

This portrait is of Jorge Antonio Tizapa Legideño who was 19 years old when he was forcibly disappeared alongside 42 other students training to be teachers at the Escuela Rural Normal “Raúl Isidros Burgos” in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. He is now 20, his birthday is on the 7th of June. Neither of his parents, José Antonio and Hilda, have had any news of him although they campaign tirelessly for answers. Messages on his Facebook account from friends who miss him and struggle to deal with his absence, mark the months since his disappearance on the 26th of September 2014.

His mother, Hilda, in an interview for desInformémonos describes how Jorge Antonio has a little dent in his cheek, but that it doesn’t show up on any of the photos of him. She talks about how he is a loving father to his daughter, Naomi, who is just a year and a half old. She also relates that he worked as a bus driver on the Atliaca/Tixtla route, that he loves driving and that he used to have a motorbike.

Jorge Antonio loves music, especially the songs of the Sinaloan band, La Arolladora Banda El Limón de René Camacho. I have used some lines from one of their songs, “Contigo”, in this piece.

Jorge Antonio’s father, José Antonio, had to emigrate to the US 14 years ago to support his wife Hilda and their three children. He lives in New York and spoke as part of the Caravana 43, which toured the US earlier this year to raise awareness of the case. Jorge Antonio was only five when his father left but he always kept in touch, mainly thanks to modern technology. He is heartbroken by his son’s disappearance and like Hilda, just wants to see him again.  He calls for President Obama to abandon Plan Mérida, a security agreement between the US and Mexico intended to combat drug smuggling. There are fears that the many of the weapons funded by P.M. end up in the hands of drug cartels, like Guerreros Unidos, a criminal gang who are implicated in the disappearance of the 43 students and the death of three. You can watch an interview with José Antonio on Democracy Now here. Hilda has has spoken to MEPs at the European Parliament as part of Caravana 43’s visit to Europe. She toured Canada too and in Ottowa said “Everything that I am doing here I’m doing out of love for my son.”