Miguel Ángel Hernández Martínez
My boy is a noble and studious young man. He loves to dance in the traditional dances of the region here, especially one that’s called, “The Dance of the Tlacoleros.” I want to see him come back home.
- Pablo Hernández Morales
Miguel Ángel is a tlacololero, passionate about the oldest popular dance in the state of Guerrero, a mestizo dance that represents a pre-hispanic ritual dedicated to the god Tláloc to ask for rains that favor harvests. Tlacololero refers to a person of the land, who works the land, a definition that Miguel Ángel has always related to, whether he was sowing, teaching in farming communities, attending the Rural Normal, or dancing to exalt the men of the earth. His dream is to form his own group of tlacololeros and to be rural teacher.
When Miguel Ángel dances, he represents the “Perra Maravilla”, a character of the tlacololeros that fights with a tiger so that it does not bring devastation to the harvest. His outfit is the envy of his fellow dancers; a white mask with blue eyes in the shape of a dog’s head that was made for him using money he saved from his wages as a community instructor. In Tixtla, his hometown, Miguel Ángel also participates in the dances dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe and other figures or saints of the Catholic Church. "I never ask the Virgin for anything, I give, I offer my dance.”
Miguel Ángel entered the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College twice. The first time, during his first months as a student, he was run over in an accident at the entrance to the school, and spent three months in the hospital where he underwent an operation and extensive treatment for a broken leg. For his mother María Martínez Ceferino, it was an agony, and she believed that those days would be the worst of his life. In 2014, Miguel Ángel passed the entrance exams again and was given the nickname “Botita” (little boot) because his older brother, who was also studying at Ayotzinapa was called “El Bota” (boot.)
The last time María and Pablo saw their son was the week before the attack when Miguel Ángel returned home for two days to celebrate his birthday among family. His parents are now rarely home themselves, as they persist in the search for their son who they are so proud of.
Each year the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mexico summons all ambassadors and consuls of the Foreign Service, to hold a conference over several days in which they address the lines of work for the upcoming year. The conference always concludes with a guest speaker. At the XXX Meeting of Ambassadors and Consuls, which took place in January 2019, María Martínez Zeferino, mother of Miguel Ángel Hernández Martínez, spoke to the representatives of Mexico throughout the world. Doña María shared the podium with the Undersecretary for Human Rights of the Ministry of the Interior, Alejandro Encinas. On January 9, at the conclusion of the panel: Iguala Case: The 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa, Alejandro Encinas instructed the members of the Mexican Foreign Service to explain in the nations where they are commissioned that in the Iguala case “the truth is that there is no truth.”