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Leonel Castro Abarca

My son is a great person, very noble, sincere and concerned about the welfare of others. This is why he wanted to study at Ayotzinapa and now we’re in this situation. And, we’re not going to rest, we’re going to continue in this fight, in this battle for justice and at very least, at a minimum until we have some sort of legitimate answers about what happened.

- Santa Cruz Castro

Leonel Castro Abarca is from Los Magueyitos, a community of 750 inhabitants in the municipality of Tecoanapa, in the hot and green Costa Chica region of the state of Guerrero. He had to leave his family to continue his studies and moved to Buenavista de Allende, where he attended high school with Saúl Bruno García, also forcibly disappeared in Iguala on the night of September 26, 2014. As soon as he finished high school, Leonel traveled to the Normal Rural Raúl Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa. He was able to obtain the last of the 140 spaces in the 2014-2018 generation after another student did not attend due to a personal problem.


The Castro Abarca house has no doors. "We do not have anything that they can steal from us, it does not make sense to put doors on.” says Leonel’s father. Photos of Leonel adorn the walls of the house of no more than 400 square feet, where his parents and six siblings live. In the pictures of Leonel, he gives the impression of being a serious boy but in reality he is a joker, master of imitations, dancer, actor, and prankster.


There are 49 towns that make up the municipality of Tecoanapa. The 3,000 inhabitants are engaged in agriculture with the planting of corn, squash and Jamaica. Following the attacks in Iguala on September 26-27, 2014, a teachers' movement to support the parents of the eight missing normalistas from Tecoanapa was formed to organize marches and demonstrations. The Guerrerense Popular Movement, which is comprised of members of Tecoanapa, demands truth and justice for the sons of their communities:


Abel García Hernández, from the municipal capital of Tecoanapa 

Dorian González Parral, Xalpatláhuac 

José Luis González Parral, Xalpatláhuac 

Jorge Aníbal Cruz Mendoza, Xalpatláhuac 

Marcial Pablo Baranda, Xalpatláhuac 

Leonel Castro Abarca, Los Marillitos 

Saúl Bruno García, Los Marillitos 

Alexander Mora Venancio, El Pericón

Leonel Castro Abarca
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