CORRERÁ POR SU HIJO ESTE DOMINGO EL MARATÓN DE NYC EL PADRE DE ESTUDIANTE DE AYOTZINAPA QUE FUE DESAPARECIDO A MANOS DE LA POLICÍA FEDERAL / FATHER OF MISSING AYOTZINAPA STUDENT WHO WAS FORCIBLY DISSAPEARED BY FEDERAL POLICE FORCES IN MEXICO WILL RUN THE NYC MARATHON FOR HIS SON (English version below)

PARA SU INMEDIATA PUBLICACIÓN

Contacto: Antonio Tizapa

tizapa79@gmail.com

Tel. 347–451–7542

· Dos años después, lejos de olvidar el crimen, ya se suman en solidaridad otros 30 corredores por Ayotzinapa y decenas de porristas.

· La carrera por su hijo: un acto pacífico y deportivo que busca sensibilizar a gente de todo el mundo con lo que realmente está ocurriendo en México

Desde hace dos años y un mes, el trabajador inmigrante mexicano residente en Nueva York Antonio Tizapa busca incansablemente a su hijo, Jorge Antonio Tizapa Legideño. Se trata de uno de los 43 estudiantes de la escuela pública rural de Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, que desaparecieron a manos de la policía federal cuando se dirigían a una manifestación, con la demostrada complicidad del gobierno a nivel local, estatal y federal, y del ejército mexicano. Según ha probado un grupo independiente de expertos investigadores internacionales, la versión que proporcionó el gobierno para explicar la desaparición de los estudiantes es falsa. Así lo demuestran datos tan simples como el hecho de que llovió toda la noche en el lugar donde las autoridades aseguran que los cuerpos de los estudiantes fueron incinerados a manos de unos narcotraficantes.

Desde entonces, los padres de los 43 desaparecidos y de los 3 asesinados exigen justicia. Como parte de este esfuerzo por denunciar la impunidad y la corrupción y por pedir la solidaridad del pueblo norteamericano para que el gobierno de Estados Unidos deje de proveer de armas a México, don Antonio Tizapa, inmigrante mexicano residente en Nueva York y deportista aficionado, correrá por segunda vez en el maratón más famoso del mundo a nombre de su hijo.

A esta innovadora acción de protesta no sólo se suma nuevamente Amado Tlatempa, primo de otro estudiante desaparecido, sino que ya son cerca de 30 deportistas mexicanos que también correrán este domingo en solidaridad.

El tiempo no ha hecho olvidar estos crímenes, sino que en estos dos años ha aumentado la indignación de la comunidad mexicana en Nueva York que es víctima también del crimen organizado y de las políticas comerciales injustas. Ahora serán más también los simpatizantes que acompañarán a los deportistas en distintos puntos desde el principio hasta el final del maratón, con pancartas y camisetas. Esta creativa protesta será grabada por videoastas solidarios, y al final todos los corredores por Ayotzinapa ofrecerán una conferencia de prensa a las 2 p.m en el Parque Dante (calle 66, entre Columbus y Broadway).

“La versión oficial presentada como verdad histórica resultó ser una mentira histórica y nos causó mucho daño a los padres — explicó don Antonio Tizapa — , pero no nos vamos a rendir. Queremos que sean solidarios, difundan, asistan con una pancarta o simplemente que tomen una foto. Eso nos da energía y fuerza para seguir resistiendo por un mundo mejor”.

QUÉ: Maratón de NYC, domingo 6 de nov. por los tres condados y conferencia de prensa al terminar.

CUÁNDO: Dom. 6 nov. a las 2 p.m.

DÓNDE: Parque Dante (calle 66, entre Columbus y Broadway)

Más información: http://www.proceso.com.mx/458675/maraton-nueva-york-correr-ayotzinapa

FOR ITS IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Antonio Tizapa

tizapa79@gmail.com

Tel. 347–451–7542

FATHER OF MISSING AYOTZINAPA STUDENT WHO WAS FORCIBLY DISSAPEARED BY FEDERAL POLICE FORCES IN MEXICO WILL RUN THE NYC MARATHON FOR HIS SON

• Two years later, far for forgetting the crime, about 30 runners for Ayotzinapa and dozens of supporters with t-shirts and banners will participate.

• Running for his son is a peaceful, sporting protest that seeks to sensitize people around the world about what is really happening in Mexico

For two years and a month, Mexican worker Antonio Tizapa has been tirelessly looking for his son, Jorge Antonio Tizapa Legideño. He is one of 43 students of the rural public school Ayotzinapa in Guerrero State, Mexico, who were attacked, kidnapped and disappeared by the Federal Police while headed to a political rally, with the proven complicity of the Mexican Government at local, state and federal levels, as well as the Mexican army. As proven by an independent group of international experts, the government provided a false version to explain the disappearance of 43 students. There is evidence as simple as the fact that it was raining all night long at the spot where the Mexican Attorney General said the students’ bodies were cremated by drug smugglers.

Ever since then, the parents of the 43 missing and 3 who were murdered are demanding justice. As part of this effort to denounce the impunity and corruption, asking the American people to show solidarity by demanding the US Government to stop providing weapons to Mexico, Antonio Tizapa, a Mexican immigrant living in New York and amateur athlete, will run for the second time in the most famous marathon in the world on behalf of his son.

Not only Amado Tlatempa, cousin of another missing student, will join this innovative protest again, but about 30 Mexican athletes. They will all be running this Sunday in solidarity.

Time didn’t make the collective memory of these crimes disappear but quite the opposite. The outrage of the Mexican community members in New York — also victims of the organized crime and unfair trade policies — has increased. This year, there will be more supporters of the runners cheering them on various points from the beginning to the end of the marathon, with banners and T-shirts. This creative protest will be recorded by videographers in solidarity. In the end, all the runners for Ayotzinapa will offer a press conference at 2 pm in Dante Park (66th Street between Columbus and Broadway).

“The ‘historical truth’ from the Government proved to be a historical lie and caused us parents a lot of damage” Antonio Tizapa said. “We won’t give up though. I ask you to help us spread the word, show solidarity, attend with a sign or just to take a photo. It gives us energy and strength to continue fighting for a better world.”

WHAT: NYC Marathon, Sunday, Nov. 6. and press conference afterwards.

WHEN: Sunday November 6th. at 2 pm.

WHERE: Dante Park (66th Street between Columbus and Broadway)

READ A RELATED NOTE ABOUT THE LIFE OF THIS MAN:

Tizapa’s Marathon*

By Gustavo Martínez Contreras for Proceso Mexican political magazine / Oct/15/16

NEW YORK (Proceso Magazine). Every step Antonio Tizapa walks is always headed to the same destination: finding his son, Jorge Antonio Tizapa Legideño, one of 43 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ School in Ayotzinapa who have been missing for two years now.

From his apartment in Southern Brooklyn, this immigrant worker runs a campaign demanding the return of his son and his classmates — a fight that is literally set in motion with his legs.

Tizapa runs marathons to raise awareness of the parents’ outrage and demand for justice for their 43 missing students; his walk is something he calls a “silent protest” fed on the memories of the second of the three children he had with his wife Hilda Legideño.

“When I run, I have in mind the words of my son,” he says. “These are memories about his childhood. This is something that gives you the strength to continue. My memories of him are make me feel the outrage, the impotence, but most of all I also feel the love that you have for your child. And you’re doing everything for him. That’s the feeling in every race I run.”

The walls of his room are covered with the tournaments’ numbers in which he has participated. There are trophies on a shelf and from the window frame are medals hanging with the names of the races in the New York Boroughs.

On these days Tizapa is training to run for the second time the New York Marathon, a competition where he participated the last year protesting, wearing a white shirt reading in red letters: “Ayotzinapa 43. My Son is Your son. Your Son is my Son.”

He also raises his voice

When not running, Tizapa marches. As a supplement to his silent protests, he leads rallies outside the Mexican Consulate in New York City or visits schools to talk with students about the situation in Mexico.

“We are taking the message to wherever is possible. We have talked to students at universities and other places where people have shown their solidarity. We do not want to stop putting pressure on the Mexican Government,” he says.

On September 26, he and Amado Tlatempa, cousin of two other boys forcibly disappeared on the Night of Iguala [the city where the Ayotzinapa students were attacked], were at the front line of a demonstration that brought together about 250 people outside the office of the UN Permanent Mission of Mexico and closed the traffic of the Manhattan streets on their way to the touristic center of Times Square.

At that spot they met with the remaining Colombian demonstrators who had been there earlier that day celebrating the signing of the peace treaty in Colombia, which was aired on giant screens. The merry Colombians joined the voice of the march counting up to 43.

“Is not easy. These 24 months of tireless struggle is something you don’t wish on anyone, not even the government people. That’s why I ask the government to bring me my son back and his classmates,” Tizapa said before breaking into tears at the end of the rally.

However, Tizapa does not have all the doors open. Last August 16 he found himself in an awkward situation when he went to the screening of the documentary “Mirar morir,” by journalist Témoris Grecko, in a classroom of the Institute of Latin American Studies at the Columbia University.

The filmmaker was connected via Skype for a conversation with writer and political scientist Denise Dresser and visual artist Andrea Arroyo. Tizapa went to the event after his monthly protest outside the Mexican Consulate.

He was accompanied by about 15 people and the event organizers told them they could not enter because the place was full and did not want to interrupt the screening. After a few moments of tension, the organizers agreed that Tizapa could enter the room to speak.

Tizapa was asked to have a seat within the audience, on a chair in the first row; They gave him a few minutes to speak and then walked him to the door so that they could continue their agenda for the night [without him].

Tizapa waited for the panelists outside the room and spoke with Dresser, who was the first person to leave the room.

“Being out here while you people are inside talking is something that feels bad. I don’t understand why you shut me and take me out. Listening the voices, your voice, other people’s voices, and not hearing mine first — that hurts quite a lot,” he said to Denise Dresser, who listened and tried to calm people accompanying Tizapa.

Running for Ayotzinapa

Tizapa trains during the time left between protests and work. He trains in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. He runs 5.6 kilometers in less than half an hour.

“Sometimes I do not have time to train. I leave work, go to a protest and I’m left out of time. That’s why I couldn’t make 100% of the marathon last year,” he confesses. That time he made 3 hours 44 minutes and 16 seconds.

However, beyond the stopwatch, Tizapa led a dozen runners and several volunteers along the route. Athletes wore T-Shirts about the 43 of Ayotzinapa shirts, while supporters showed portraits of the students on the sidewalks.

With the finish line a few meters away, Tizapa struggled with himself because he felt he did not have enough fuel to finish the race. That’s when his brother with the portrait of his son Jorge Antonio jumped out of the watching crowd. Tizapa took it and crossed the finish line wrapped in the image of his son.

“That was an incredible feeling, ending the race accompanied by my son. I also felt the support of the people. That was the only way I was able accelerate that last stretch I needed to cross the finish line,” he said on that occasion.

Tizapa decided to use the marathon stage because he thought that sports was an unusual way to make pressure on the Mexican government.

“I like sports and I realized that our professional athletes in Mexico have not taken a stance on this. At least we have not received any word from those professional players and professional athletes we have in Mexico. So I saw myself in need to do and I’m here.”

Tizapa is not alone. His group of runners went from being just a few of them carrying the 43 number on their t-shirts to about 20 who are now uniformed as a club of runners who will participate in the New York Marathon on November 6 next under the name Running for Ayotzinapa.

“They are people who like to run and have sympathized with me,” he explains. “They bring across the message of this struggle. Running a marathon is not easy. It requires a lot of discipline and willpower. We have all that, but we also have this great heart and great anger that we have inside against the Mexican government.”

This will be a date for runners who have already extended the demand for justice for Ayotzinapa to other competitions, such as the Boston Marathon this year, where Amado Tlatempa ran.

“I do not know anyone there, but there were people shouting they supported us during the race. That feels good. It is very positive because people know what we are facing and what we are doing to not let this die,” he says.

Antonio Tizapa left Tixtla, Guerrero, for the United States, in 2000, as so did 4 million Mexicans the last decade.

He settled in Southern Brooklyn and began working in the construction industry as a plumber to send money to his wife Hilda Legideño and his three children: Carol, Jorge Antonio and Iván.

Living away from them, Tizapa heard their children grow through phone calls that got them a bit close. Now the memories of those conversations with Jorge Antonio are the few things he can hold to as the uncertainty of his whereabouts feeds his agony.

“I have my son’s words in my mind because those are nice things we used to talk on the phone. When he was seven or eight years old, he used to lay down on his bed with me on the phone and I listened to him while he fell asleep.”

It was precisely by telephone how he learned that night that something had happened in Ayotzinapa. Her daughter Carol sent him a text message saying he had to call urgently.

“She said to me, ‘Dad, there are problems in Ayotzinapa. Contact my brother.’ I dialed and he did not answer me. Then I sent him a message and he did not answer me. I did not know what was going on,” he recalls.

More than two years after his last conversation with Jorge Antonio, Tizapa uses his phone to talk all the time about his son. As soon as he finishes an interview on a radio station, he responds to another on the phone to a reporter from a NYC newspaper.

Tizapa’s food gets cold while he answers all these phone calls, except the one most expects.

“I have not changed my phone number. And hopefully tomorrow or the day after tomorrow I’ll receive a message from him saying, ‘I’m already here at home’. Or something else, I don’t know, but I don’t lose hope of that happening,” he says.♦

*Mr. Tizapa invites everyone in NYC to show their solidarity on tomorrow’s marathon and for a press conference afterwards:

WHAT: NYC Marathon, Sunday, Nov. 6. and press conference afterwards.

WHEN: Sunday November 6th. at 2 pm.

WHERE: Dante Park (66th Street between Columbus and Broadway)

Contact: Antonio Tizapa

tizapa79@gmail.com

Tel. 347–451–7542

Original version of this story in Spanish at: http://www.proceso.com.mx/458675/maraton-nueva-york-correr-ayotzinapa