Dispatches From Guerrero

Enrique Martínez Celaya, The Transit. 2012, Oil and wax on canvas, 108 x 120”. Courtesy of LA Louver, Venice, California.

On September 26, 2014, forty-three normalistas (student teachers) from a school in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Mexico, were kidnapped in the town of Iguala and allegedly murdered by a drug gang with the cooperation of the mayor and local police. Originally published in the December 2014 issue of the Mexican magazine Gatopardo, Alejandro Almazán’s reportage explores the larger catastrophe of the drug war in the state where the kidnapping took place.

“I’m really out of sorts,” he apologized. “I just dropped off a lady, I took her all around, collecting money, but then I made her get out.” I didn’t understand what he was talking about, until he told me the story from the beginning. That’s when I understood that the lady had a clothing business, and her husband, a high school teacher, had been kidnapped. The lady needed to gather two hundred thousand pesos for her husband to be freed. “She wanted me to accompany her to pay the ransom,” the taxi driver told me.

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