Israel Caballero Sánchez
I'm not going to fail you, I'm going to finish and I'm going to watch over the family.
- Israel Caballero Sánchez
Israel Caballero Sanchez is well known as a protector; the brother who would wait in the street for his sisters to return home at night, the father who timidly held his newborn daughter because he was afraid of hurting her. “She is very little,” he said. Israel has the ability to anticipate the needs of others, and the desire to care for his family and community.
When he attended high school, Israel met Rocío Locena. They fell in love and decided to start a family. He worked in a restaurant for a year in order to pay expenses and save for the birth of their child. In order to provide a better life for his family, and to serve his community, he decided to study to become a bilingual teacher.
The Caballero Sánchez family is from the indigenous community of Atliaca, in the municipality of Tixtla, very close to the Raúl Isidro Burgos School in the hamlet of Ayotzinapa. Due to the demanding entry period in Ayotzinapa, Israel could not be present when Melanny was born on August 5, 2014. In the early morning hours of August 13th he was able to sneak away from school to return home to see his daughter for the first time. Two days later, his father who worked hard to provide for his family, suffered a heart attack and passed away suddenly. When Israel said goodbye to his father at the funeral he promised him “I'm not going to fail you, I'm going to finish and I'm going to watch over the family.”
The last time Genoveva Sánchez Peralta saw her son was on September 25th. Israel had returned home with a fever and Genoveva accompanied him to the doctor who treated him and prescribed medication and absolute rest. Genoveva wanted him to stay home but Israel told her he needed return to Ayotzinapa to prepare for the upcoming march to commemorate Tlatelolco, the 1968 student massacre. Israel was part of the group organizing the transfer of students to Mexico City. He told his mother not to worry and said he would return home on Sunday, September 28th, to celebrate his birthday.