My son is all that I have in this life. I pray every day and every night that he comes home…. he’s all that I have. I pray every day and every night that he comes back home. He’s all I have, nothing more.
- Macedonia Torres Romero
José Luis Luna Torres is the youngest of the four children of Macedonia Torres Romero. Widowed when her husband Zosimo Luna died, she is both mother and father to her children, and supported them by selling corn, peanuts, and amaranth candies typical of the region in public squares and outside schools. The family lives in the indigenous community of Amilcingo, in the state of Morelos, about 125 miles from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College.
As a child, José Luis played with balls and marbles but his favorite activity was flying kites that he made himself. He is a devoted caretaker of his pets, his cat and dog. He brushed them, bathed them, and they were always impeccable because he also slept with them. "Although I scolded him, the cat and the dog were always under the blankets," says his mother. Jose Luis worked as a field laborer and a mason's assistant to help his mother with the family expenses.
With an eye on the future, José Luis entered the rural normal, despite his initial hesitation because of its distance from home. In the weeks before he left for Ayotzinapa, José Luis worked to raise money for the shoes he would need in class. In the normal, his classmates nicknamed him Pato (duck,) because according to them he has "the voice of Donald Duck.”
The last time Macedonia saw her son was in September, a week before the attacks in Iguala. José Luis was ill and spent eight days at home. During those days it was Macedonia's birthday and José Luis told his mother that he couldn't give her anything more than a hug. It was the last one given. Macedonia has always told her son "The best gift is for you to study.”
Jose Luis is one of six sons from Morelos that went to study in Ayotzinapa, and the only one who has yet to return. His sister Marisol describes his disappearance and the feeling of not knowing his whereabouts as being like “dying little by little.”