18 | JUL | 2019
Parents of missing students suffer from diabetes and anxiety
When it came time to actually get up, he could not bring himself to it. He was tired, limp, dehydrated. His wife, Calixta Valerio, took him to a doctor - Photo: Salvador Cisneros Silva/EL UNIVERSAL

Parents of missing students suffer from diabetes and anxiety

26/09/2018
13:25
Arturo de Dios Palma
Mexico City
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Four years have passed since the disappearance of the 43 students and their parents still suffer

One night, at the beginning of 2018, Eleucadio Ortega found himself unable to sleep, even though he was extremely tired due to accumulated fatigue. More than once he got up to go pee in the bathroom until he glimpsed the sunrise outside the window. When it came time to actually get up, he could not bring himself to it. He was tired, limp, dehydrated. His wife, Calixta Valerio, took him to a doctor. His glucose levels were high and the diagnose was certain for diabetes.

During the following days, Eleucadio ceased to be the sturdy man with broad arms and broad chest that he used to be. He started losing weight at an alarming rate. Eleucadio blames his own concern, leaving aside all the late and sleepless nights that have tormented him since his son’s disappearance four years ago.

Four years after the disappearance of the 43 rural students of Ayotzinapa, the toll of the tragic events on the health of the parents has become more and more evident: Diabetes, facial paralysis, asthma, arterial hypertension, body aches, anxiety, and oh so much insomnia.

During their investigation, the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) documented 180 direct victims and 40 wounded. Among the victims count, the GIEI took into account the families of all the direct victims, which make a total of 700 people; one of them is Eleucadio.

The disappearance of the 43 students, the attacks occured during that terrible night, and the wall of silence created by the Government of Mexico to conceal the facts have had an expansive effect on the parents. The 43 missing students are definitely not the only victims. Eleucadio is the father of Mauricio Ortega Valerio, one of the students who disappeared during the night of September 26, 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero. He and his wife are of Mè Phaa origin, from the community of Monte Alegre, in Malinaltepec, located in the famous Mountain of Guerrero.

Now, Ortega has to hold his pants to keep them from falling down as he walks or stands in the sidewalk. At this time, he does not have enough money to buy pants his size. He is unemployed, and has not been able to work in the countryside, where he once grew maize, beans, pumpkins, and coffee. He has not even set foot in his own house in three months. He sits before a school desk in one of the classrooms that have been made into bedrooms. Despite his current situation, he is optimistic; he says that he has begun to regain weight, though he claims that his diabetes will not stop him from searching for Mauricio.

Although Eleucadio is also concerned for his other five children, he does his best to raise them at a distance, through a phone. “My 13 year old daughter calls me everyday asking me to return to the village, but I have to be here. It has been hard on the kids, they are sad because we are not spending time with them, they miss their brother. We are not the same anymore,” he commented.
 

Artículo

Ayotzinapa: four years later

How can 43 students, in a small city, disappear in a matter of hours?
Ayotzinapa: four years laterAyotzinapa: four years later

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