Two runners and a supporter. Photos: Ali Glembocki

Eighteen runners wearing Ayotzinapa 43 shirts participated in the New York City Marathon on Nov. 5. They ran in solidarity with Don Antonio Tizapa and the 43 Mexican student activists who were forcibly “disappeared” by Mexican police on their way to a demonstration in Mexico City in 2014.

In a show of support and solidarity, members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, ANSWER Coalition, People’s Congress of Resistance, Somos Los Otros and individual activists from the tri-state area lined the marathon route. Wearing Ayotzinapa t-shirts and holding individual pictures of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa, they cheered and chanted, “Porque vivos se los llevaron, vivos los queremos” (Because they took them alive we want them back alive!) when one of the runners passed them.

Don Antonio, an athlete, explained that he runs to deliver a message of conscience in a peaceful way via sport awareness. One of the disappeared from the Normal School is his own son 19-year-old Jorge Antonio Tizapa.

This father has participated in other marathons, spreading the message through running and through independent media. He has been campaigning to uncover the details of the military action that took the students, and to expose the participation of Mexico’s the state, federal and ministerial police. Another chant associated with this campaign is “Fue el estado” (It was the state!)

Additionally, every 26th of the month Don Antonio and various supporters stand in front of the Mexican consulate here to demand the return of the 43 students.

Parents pledge to continue the fight

Don Antonio said, “Time hasn’t made us forget the forced disappearance of the Ayotzinapa 43 on the hands of the state.” He explained that he, and the other parents, will continue their fight for the truth and for the return of their sons. In the humble way of a father, he added “Tu hijo es mi hijo. Mi hijo es tu hijo.” (Your son is my son. My son is your son).

In Mexico, justice has taken a leave of absence due to the corruption in a government closely associated with the U.S. Three years should be enough time to clarify what occurred on Sept. 26, 2014, in Guerrero, Mexico. But the government of Mexico has neither responded to the student’s parents, nor made efforts to expedite an investigation of the disappearance of the 43 students.