Sunday, November 1, 2015

Father of Ayotzinapa Normalista honors his son by running in NY marathon

Lucio R. Borderland Beat

The massive New York marathon kicked off today with one of the 50,000 participants being a heart broken father, running in honor of his son.

In 2001, José Antonio Tizapa, left his native state of Guerrero in hopes of making it to the United States to secure a job to support his family.  At the time, the father of three was 33 years old when he left to the U.S. without the benefit of documentation.

One of his three children, only 5 years old when Jose left Mexico,  his son Jorge Antonio Tizapa Legideño.  The father says despite the distance from NY where he settled, and Guerrero, he was able to keep in close contact with his son, thanks to the technology of today. 

Jose was very proud of his son, who he says was studying to become a rural teacher, he was a student teacher, “a normalista”, who a year ago was attempting to decide, if he was going to remain in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, or transfer to the State of Mexico.

Jose recalls that on the night of September 26th, 2014, he sent an electronic message to his son, but received no reply. He says that drew concern as he knew his son was travelling to Mexico City to protest against the lack of funds the schools were promised and never given.

Later, his daughter telephoned Jose to tell him of the deadly attack against the normalistas as they
Shirt reads;
Your Son is My Son, and
My Son is Your Son" Ayotzinapa 43
 traveled through Iguala, Guerrero.

“That’s when I knew something very bad had happened,  I felt powerless because I couldn’t do anything about it.”

José began his life in New York as a construction helper, who became a plumber and lives in Brooklyn. 

He proudly points to the relentless determination of his wife Hilda, who, last February, with the support of NGO’s and Non Profit Orgs,  was able to travel to the UN Office in Geneva Switzerland.

She spoke to the Committee on Enforced Disappearances, asking them  to investigate the ex-governor of Guerrero, Ángel Aguirre,  and the negligence of the Mexican government in prosecuting  the former mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, for their role in the killings and disappearance of the 49 on the night of September 26. 

She and the Guerrero delegation explained how for two years people of Guerrero had traveled to D.F. asking for help of the federal government in the killings and disappearances in Guerrero, and that the feds had directed them back to Guerrero saying “it is a state and municipal problem.”

Jose said of the Switzerland trip, “my child’s mother is the one standing tall for justice, the impunity of the powerful is simply incomprehensible”.

The father says the last time he had a conversation with his son was on the 23rd.   “I like to run, so I sent him some pictures, telling him: Son, I’m going to run this 5-mile section. That was when a  marathon coming up,” 

“I told him: ‘When I’m done, I will send you pictures."
Hilda on left

“I want them to bring back my child. Many people say that the kids are dead, but we do not see it this way,” said the anguished father, who pointed out that the students were neither activists or opponents. “The Ayotzinapa school receives few subsidies, that’s what prompted them to put pressure on the government,” he said.

The father, has also participated in many demonstrations organized in New York in solidarity with the struggle of his wife Hilda and other Guerrero parents.

In the photo at top,  Jose is with athlete Miguel Castro, who with Jose organized the  “Ayotzinapa 43×43”: a 43-mile run between New Jersey, and New York.

“At this finish line, there were no trophies, “said Castro.  “It’s was a nameless, silent run that symbolizes México’s pain.”

“No parent can endure the pain of months of uncertainty, not knowing what happened to your child, the rage and frustration of living in Mexico, a country of so much injustice”. 
Hilda at home where she raised her three children
The real hero of this story, Jorge’s mother Hilda

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the true and tireless hero of this story, Hilda Ledigeno, mother of Jorge, and the wife left behind to raise three children 14 years ago. 

It is she who struggled against poverty and racism in Guerrero, a state which I know well and one of the southern states in which people struggle the most, with little help from any level of government. 

It is far and away from Brooklyn New York.

Perhaps it is unfair to judge, and certainly I have no inside knowledge of the personal story of this family.  But I have been up close and personal to dozens of families living the story of dad leaving Guerrero, or Michoacán and travel north for jobs, with a plan of sending money back south to their families, and one day returning to Mexico.   And sometimes this does happen.

But often the father assimilates to life in the U.S., acquires a new "wife" and family, discontinues sending support and closes the chapter of his life in Mexico.

I am not saying that is what has happened in this story. And obviously Jose remains close to his children, but it is what kept nagging at my mind when writing this story.  I see Hilda’s humble home with cooking facilities outdoors, and it is Déjà vu for me, having just visited Guerrero and the very cities highlighted in the story of the normalistas.  Seeing how many fatherless homes, mothers struggling, working wherever work can be found,  for dismal pay, when the money from up north stops. 

Those “fatherless” sons are not unlike the fatherless children of the U.S.  “Idle hands are the devils workshop” as the old proverb says.  It is an easy walk to the life of crime for children in these circumstances. 

Hilda parented well, her children cared about education and making a difference.  All the texts, skypes, snapchats in the world never replaces a hands on parent.

I will say, at least Jose kept a connection to his children, but he is not the hero of this story, it is all about Hilda.

Some  material used in this post was accessed from: reforma, el diario, village voice, voice of ny


  1. I agree that Hilda is the true hero. Watching what my wife does for our son is admirable and I know she would do anything to protect and care for our child. I can't even imagine what she would do if he were to go missing!

  2. What does this story have to do with the "borderland" or Mexican Drug Cartels. You stories are getting weaker and irrelevant.

    It's time to step up.

    1. If you don't like it then don't read it simple as that now get the f out of here

    2. Are you stupid or you are just pretending? It's got everything to do pendejo,the government is the one moving the dope working together with the malandros,are you new on this site o what?or a you a wish I was mexican but am a fucking "pocho" type of guy?
      If this was a member of your familia you wouldn't be posting a stupid comment like that.
      Straight Out of Chiraq.

    3. Time to step it up? At what point inn bb history has the site never run sstories like this? From the beginning it has, so your comment is pointless, as well as uninformed.
      On a different note, before i read the story below the picture, i looked at her house, and thought "where is all that money going?' Cant be to mexico. New york is an expensive place to live, if you live in the city, otherwise its pretty comparable to any other place in terms of cost of living. Plumbers make very good money... so where is that going? Adding that bit about the men leaving mx and finding a new life in the us and not sending money back to mx was a good thing to add.. could seen harsh to someone who doesnt know aby better, but then again, so is reality

    4. 8:40 you are one lucky sanabagan, chirac wonders if you are stupid...
      --I don't have any doubt, you are estupido and a pendejo, we come here to read the offerings, propose offerings and exchange comments, NOT to pick content posted or to whine like a little girl who made popó in her undies and it is falling on her shoe

  3. The education system in mexico does not work, because government and union leaders corrupt it by stealing the resources, and now the government wants to steal the education resources before they make it to the unions or the teachers...
    --to give them to "private education corporations" doing their own private corruption operations on government and union "leaders" like peña nieto, la chaky, and emilio chuayffet chemor " the sorry excuse for a Sally Boy they call in mexico "la emilia, secretario de educacion..."

  4. José Antonio Tizapa is not wanted in the US. He's ran his race, now it's time to GET OUT!

    1. 6:57 Keep checking on him, he ain't going anywhere, even obama has cut short other deportations, so, there...but I wonder, why the racism?

    2. In NYC he is wanted. It is a sanctuary city.

      and you are correct 10:42
      6:57 is a racist, and an ignorant one, although most are ignorant.
      they complaint they want a wall to keep out the gangbangers, narcos, terrorists, and I guess plumbers.

  5. At 8:40 you are wrong...all this is result of the mexican drug cartels actions

  6. Such a sad situation for the parents to be in. I can't comprehend why the Mexican government is acting like this incident never happened. As an American I take so many civil liberties I have for granted everyday. I can't believe something like this could happen in 2014 with no real results other than a few arrests. And what of the mayor and his wife. I know they were arrested also but is there more info on the charges they are being held on?

    1. I have always stated that the case against the mayor and wife was very, very weak. At most Luis involvement came after the first attack

      Luis (Mayor) has been charged in the death of social activist Arturo Hernandez corona. and three others.2 men got away and gave witness testimony at the time of the killings and the government did nothing, until after the Iguala killings of the 49.

      His wife Maria is suspected of being there at the site of the killings, but since the witnesses could not be 100% sure i was her watching in the car that Jose pulled up in, she was not charged.

      I suggested at the time of their arrests that they would not be conivcted of the crime of the normalistas and the hernandez killing was the better case against the mayor.

      that said, both have been charged with other crimes which there is ample evidence of against both of them. Organized crime and money laundering are two of them.

      Here is my article about Hernandez

    2. Mayor jose luis abarca, maria "de los angeles" pineda (specially de angel aguirre) and their sicarios are real pigs, they can not even kill all of 6 or 8 guys and proper hide them 2 bodies...
      -- but the military have the manpower, the means, the cover up capabilities, the experience, their orders and the resources to do it, especially the orders from above very high up, the commander in chief or the secretario de gobernacion...

  7. Hilda's luxurious dwellings and appliances show the kind of people the mexican governing narco-mierdocracia is fighting to keep down, murdering them to steal their only hope, a rural teacher graduated from a school that may cost the state 20.00 dollars a year per student but finds it more profitable to steal the money and murder or just disappear them,
    --I don't know if the father sends them money, but Hilda was there with her sons, her only claim to wealth, and she had to be robbed by the state, the federal state, straight from "los pinos".


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