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Luis Ángel Francisco Arzola

He went to study at Ayotzinapa because he simply wanted to go somewhere in life and be a teacher. He wanted to be able to financially help us here as poor farmers.

Luis Ángel Francisco Arzola is from San Cristóbal de Tlacoachistlahuaca, located in the Costa Chica of Guerrero. He is the middle child of Lorenzo Francisco Gálvez and Benigna Arzola Cruz. When they were younger Luis Ángel and his siblings Janeth and Victor Manuel helped their parents grow corn, beans and squash. When he was old enough Luis Ángel took part in his father’s business and became a route driver between Ometepec and San Cristóbal, which he enjoyed because he was able to play music on the radio at full volume. Don Lorenzo is also a driver and taught his son about cars. After finishing high school, Luis Ángel decided to study mechanics. With great effort, his parents Lorenzo Francisco Gálvez and Benigna Arzola Cruz, paid the tuition of a private university in Chilpancingo. Luis Ángel went to school in the mornings and to the auto workshop in the afternoons. His sister was already in Chilpancingo and they stayed together in a small room; Janeth had gone on her own, and worked at a stationery store in order to pay for her studies in history.


In his house and in his town they know Luis Ángel as “Lenchito.” He is very serious, very quiet, and doesn't show his feelings to others much. After a year at the mechanics school Luis Ángel told Janeth that he no longer wanted to study there because he preferred to spend the entire day in the workshop where he felt he was learning more. Shortly after, he decided to revisit a dream he had pursued before moving to Chilpancingo.


Luis Ángel had entered Ayotzinapa a few years earlier but left during the test week because he had injured his knee. He decided to try again, was accepted, and this time made it through. His parents did not want him go but Janeth supported her brother, as she always has and always will. In the Normal Rural, his classmates called him "the Cochilandia,” a nickname that he won the day he had to clean the pigsties of Ayotzinapa. 


September 14, 2014 was the last time the family saw Luis Ángel. He was thin from the physical exertion of test week but happy and eager to begin studies. He had even discovered a new artistic interest in the painting workshop.


On September 26, before the attacks began, Luis Ángel texted his sister to tell her he was in Iguala. She told him to take care of himself and he replied: "Sister, I love you so much. When I finish school you will be my godmother. You are my inspiration. When I finish I will dedicate my degree to you.” 


Since Luis Ángel’s disappearance, the Francisco Arzola family has struggled with their father’s worsening asthma and deteriorating health, and in their efforts to provide an education for Victor Manuel. “Now practically our life is over. It is no longer life. My parents despair. My brother cannot talk about Luis Ángel because he gets sad. I feel that we are no longer living.”

Luis Ángel Francisco Arzola
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