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Abelardo Vásquez Penitén

We are as we started, without answers, without information, without our children

- Ciriaco Vázquez Flores

Abelardo, “El Abe,” is described by his fellow students as quiet, respectful, skilled in mathematics, and serious. He would laugh at the antics of his classmates but would seldom participate, preferring instead to explain math lessons to his peers. He loves to read and is a soccer enthusiast. One of his favorite photographs is of himself with the trophy he won in the Emperador Cuauhtémoc High School tournament.


Before leaving high school in Atliaca, Guerrero to enter Ayotzinapa, Abelardo used to help his father, Ciriaco Vázquez, who is a builder. He never refused when asked to help during vacations, weekends and free time. Days before entering the normal school in July 2014, he told his best friend that it was time to build the path to be a good man and that he had found an opportunity.


With great effort Ciriaco and Abelardo’s mother, Bernarda Penitén saved enough money for Abelardo to attend a computer course during high school. This allowed him to obtain a job during school at the office of a group of engineers, who encouraged him to continue his education. His short experience at Ayotzinapa changed his way of being: “Before, he almost did not speak, but when he entered the school he began to talk with us," his father says. He told us about Lucio Cabañas, Che Guevara and other fighters. He explained what the government does which is very good, because I did not know anything about it. It is true what he told us, it is the truth. For example, when we went to President Peña Nieto, he promised to look for us, and to date we have no answer."


Abelardo is a dreamer. He dreams of becoming someone who will make things better for his family, and for his community. He has said, time and time again, that he can withstand any test in order to become the man he dreams to be.

Abelardo Vásquez Penitén
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