The latest news, the ones from last weekend, they put in doubt the official’s version from its foundations.The Argentine experts that are helping on the case of Ayotzinapa told the parents of the 43, and then to the American Agency AP, that they had doubts even about the only young man officially declared deceased: Alexander. They don’t know how his remains appeared on a table at the Colula dump site.
That’s Ayotzinapa’s case: doubt after doubt. It’s 4 months today that the young students from the Normal Rural Raul Isidro Burgos School in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero disappeared, and the Attorney General, Jesus Murillo Karam’s thesis is the only one that there is: that they are dead. Parents and activists associate the disappearance with militaries; there isn’t an investigation with regards to it. Parents and activists see the Federal Government with distrust to the point of suspending dialogue with them.
Four months, few answers.
But the case still serves as a reference for the world to see that It is Mexico, in live, and how it’s ruled.
By Shaila Rosagel
Mexico City, January 26 (however).- Julio Cesar Lopez wanted to be in the marching band at the Normal Rural Raul Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa.”I want to be in that marching band, you will see I will be admitted, he told his father in one occasion, I am sure”, he replied.
Rafael Lopez Catarino is the young man’s father. For four months he has dreamt that he comes back. And each time his dreams are more recurrent.
“last time he came he seemed in better health, not so skinny. He was a little bit plum-cheeked. I was worried, right, that he wouldn’t eat where they kept him. I can see him arrive and entering his room. I feel so excited. I can’t believe it. The joy of seeing him. I feel so happy to see him that I don’t talk to him right away. When I want to speak to him, I wake up. I wake up to the true reality:he is not here. That we have not found him”.
Rafael makes a pause. His throat is a knot while he goes over his dreams that with time accentuate, although he doesn’t get to, in them, speak to him, with his son Julio, one of the 43 youngsters abducted by policemen that, apparently, were handed over to the organized crime.
Just 4 months ago Rafael live a quiet life. He was dedicated to cultivate an hectare of land with maize, flower, and pumpkin crops, and even though the crop, he says, didn’t leave much, he would make ends meet with the fattening of some pigs and sheep.
His wife’s routine was to sell vegetables and wait for her children and husband to have lunch. But since September 26, the family’s panorama changed.
“Sometimes I feel that I can’t go on, without money. People are getting tired of helping us. But they are our children; we have to be here, with all our physical fatigue, the headache, and all the problems. My life has changed a lot: I am a farmer and if I was cultivating. I would get tired and I would go under a shade, and then I would get up again and keep going. Now I don’t sow, I left the fields, the harvest got spoiled, and I had to sell the animals”, he said.
According to Rafael, his wife is the one who gets the worst part. ” she has kidney problems and minutes, hours, days, weeks and weeks have past and we can’t see our son. Sometimes I’m on the bus and I hear people talking about us and I would like to tell them: since they are not your children, It doesn’t hurt’, but I keep it to myself”, he recounts.
Julio’s mom prays all the time to find her son, Rafael says. Prayer, is the only weapon she possesses to support the search, it takes her sleep away.
“It’s midnight and my wife is praying. She is really tired, she prays day and night. I understand her she is a mother in despair, but sometimes I tell her: ‘Go to sleep woman’, because she gets up at five in the morning to go buy vegetables. Sometimes replies in an angry tone, but I tell my other children that we have to show consideration for her. A mother suffers more for a child” Rafael remembers Julio. He is always on his mind. He looks for him and he will continue doing so. He does not believe in the Procuraduria General de la Republica (PGR) version, and hopes that they are kidnapped somewhere in the mountains.
Some have told them that they saw them alive.The muleteers, the ones that go up and down the mountains. Images that come alive in the father’s mind. He imagines him there, in the wilderness, working, being held, with no change of escape.
Julio took the exams to become a teacher in Ayotzinapa at the age of 24, since all his life he helped his father sow and worked in other plots to earn a little bit of money.”My son was good. He wanted to buy me a tractor when he worked, so I wouldn’t be working in the mud, because from dawn we are in the mud.Why does god take away good people?”.
“When we arrived at the Normal, his two sons that would always accompany him were not there. He was crushed. He saw us and hugged us with his eye full of tears.We told him that we would stay with him, but he said, ‘go and march, go on, the fight continues, it has to continue’. He was with his head held up high, filled with grief, but with his head held up high”, says Jose Isabel Garcia Mora, a relative of Alexander Mora Venancio.
It’s the scene that occurred months ago when Ezequiel Mora Chora, Alexander’s father, received news that a molar and a two centimeter bone that were amidst the remains found by the PGR in Colula, belonged to his son.
That day Ezequiel,a widower since five years ago, and a taxi driver in El Pericon, Tecoanapa, Guerrero, lost all hope of finding his son alive, and wept his death. He broke up in pain, without a body to bury.
Now, after a month and a half, I feel bad because I’m being fooled by the government, saying that they gave me my son’s remains, I don’t believe them, they have five days to give me Alexander Mora back alive”, said stirred up Ezequiel.
Ezequiel’s voice trembles: they didn’t even give him Alexander’s molar and the two centimeter bone, so he can bury them, take them to the Pericon cemetery.
“[The president Enrique]Pena Nieto has his children, if they kidnap one of his children or if they kill him, he would soon want vengeance”, says with despair.
There is rage in Ezequiel’s tone, the rage of a man that left his life behind him, his taxi, to be in Ayotzinapa day and night waiting for his son’s remains.
Nonetheless, there is a bit of solace in all this. The hope of seeing his son alive lit him up after hearing the PGR’s version who said that it is impossible to identify the other 42 who are inside black bags full of ashes.
“they want to stop the movement by saying that the students are dead. To me my son is not dead, he is alive. Nothing proves otherwise, not even the molar nor the piece of bone they took from him, I want my son alive”, he said.
Ezequiel and the rest of his family’s life suffers for Alexander’s absence, because he was the youngest of five siblings.
One of the siblings lives in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, another one is a laborer in the US, and two of the youngest ones dwell with him in El Pericon.
“There’s a lot sadness, he is the youngest of them all.I want him alive”, insisted.
Alexander was an educated young man that lived in a house with a laminated roof, dirt floors, two siblings and his father.
He was on his first year, he was 19 years old when he disappeared from Iguala along with other 42 schoolmates.
When he decided to enroll at the Normal of Ayotzinapa, his father was against it since the beginning.
However, Alexander’s desire to be a in that school, and having passed the admission exams, convinced Ezequiel to allow him to attend school.
Even though it’s been four months of absence, and that he is the only one out of 43 that has been officially, according to PGR, identified, his father hasn’t given up yet, and awaits for him in Ayotzinapa.
Since four months ago Ayotzinapa has been home for Macedonia Torres Romero, mother of Jose Luis Luna Torres, another one of the students that went missing on September 26 in Iguala.
There, between the corroded walls of the old classrooms where he studied to become a rural teacher, and in front of the saints altar placed in the center of the school’s forecourt. Macedonia lives and prays among other dozens of mothers, that like her, awaits for news.
She arrived days after the disappearance of the student and she has only moved from here to participate in the marches and activities to find Jose Luis.
I used to sell corn and peanuts in Cuautla, and know I don’t work, I’m always here, because if we all go home to live our life, who is going to look for our children?only us”, she said.
Three months ago, however, Macedonia spoke to us for the first time in Ayotzinapa. In that occasion Jose Luis’ mother could barely speak because of the pain of loss. Now the woman is blunt and her words are harsh.
“Now my son needs me. The only thing all the mothers want is to find the 43 students and that those wicked men that have them, are feeding them and not mistreating them.we are going to continue in the fight until we find them”, she said.
Macedonia like other parents, do not believe in the PGR version. She doesn’t accept ashes, she asserted.She wants her son alive.
“Alive they took them, alive we want them.They were students not vandals like they say. They were farmer’s children. If I had money, I would have paid for private school, but we are poor. I don’t believe them that he is dead in those ashes, I didn’t see him”, she sentenced.
In Ayotzinapa the students’ mothers add their voices and pleads together. They comfort one another, explained Macedonia.
There, they recall their children’s anecdotes. They relive those days when they were with them in their homes. they laugh and cried.
“we are all together here, we help each other, we build up each other, If one gets sick, the other one helps her, but waiting for them to tell us something about our children”, she related.
Macedonia gets excited when she remembers Jose Luis, a young man that wanted to study at the Normal in Ayotzinapa to have access to better opportunities.
Even though, the woman’s acquaintances warned her of the dangers of studying there, her insistent son convinced her so.
“He told me: ‘Come on mom let me study so I can have a special job and have more, we don’t have anything, let me so you can live with me in a better house’, because we are poor, we don’t possess anything over there in Morelos”, she said.
In Morelos, Macedonia was a street hawker, and she traveled for one half-hour by bus to Cuautla every day. She inherited from her deceased husband, a two bedroom house in Amilcingo. One built with concrete and the other with laminated material.
“The concrete room he built it working in the fields, he said:’ wife what do we do with the sorghum money, god multiplied it.wife, should we buy clothes and shoes?’, because I wanted clothes for my children”, she recalls. “But he tells me:’There are always clothes, there are always shoes, but not a house’, then we built the concrete room”.
That night they sat at the table to talk about the boy’s future: Cristian Alfonso Rodriguez wanted to be an agricultural engineer, but they didn’t have the resources, but they did have other options.
Cristian told Clemente, his father, that he would study to be a rural teacher, that way he would progress.The school was some 15 minutes away from downtown Tixtla, Guerrero, where he lived, also a place that could shelter a poor young man, like himself.
That’s how he started school in Ayotzinapa, with the dream of one day to have enough resources to change his family’s panorama: Poverty.
But those dreams crumbled said Clemente Rodriguez Moreno, Cristian’s father. Now he is poorer than ever, since before September 26 the man used to sell water gallons on the streets of Tixtla.
Having three daughters ages 21, 17, 14 and all of them studying, for Clemente, that stopped working to dedicate himself to look for his missing child, the situation is devastating.
There is no money for lunch, clothes, nor shoes and his wife, Cristian’s mother, who he wished to help financially, so she wouldn’t have to work, continues doing so with great endeavor.
“My son would tell me that he wanted to work and have a good salary. My wife makes tortillas and sells them for a living and my son would tell her: ‘ That can cause you sight problems in the future, when I start working you are not going to make tortillas’, he wanted to open for me a water purifier business, with workers, well those were his dreams, but everything crumbled, they took away all his hopes” related.
The scene for Clemente and his family is sobering. Cristian was the only male child and the a supporting hand for his family.
“All of us parents are going through the same situation. I don’t complain, people help us and I thank them for it, they take out a peso from their wallet, from their purse to give it to us”, he said.
In addition to the financial problems, the psychological impact on his daughters has been hard.”There is always someone at school who his asking about his brother. They tell them that he might not come back and they suffer. My family has changed so much, we are not the same anymore”, he assures.
At home Clemente’s wife and daughters are crestfallen, they relate, they don’t rest nor sleep.
We are getting by. I tell my wife to not give up,because we are going to fall into sickness, that we are going to overcome this”.
Photograpy By Antonio Cruz para SinEmbargo.mx