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Wednesday, November 12, 2014


by Howard Pflanzer

Ayotzinapa, Mexico -- Students, parents, friends and residents of this town in southern Mexico are demanding justice in the case of a slain student they say was the victim of horrific torture. The slaying of Julio Cesar Mondragon, the shooting deaths of three of his fellow students and the disappearance of 43 others in Iguala, Mexico, are sending shock waves across the nation. What happened to Mondragon is difficult to describe. Those who knew the victim are outraged and fearful. The body of the 22-year-old college student was found lying on a street in Iguala in the early hours of September 27. The skin of his face had been peeled off and his eyes gouged out, according to witnesses and relatives who spoke to CNN. --Rafael Romo, CNN, November 6, 2014. Image source: Twitter.

I am Julio Cesar Mondragon
A student
Murdered by a hitman in Guerrero Mexico
My face gouged and bloody
Eye sockets staring at the sky
I came here to study
My family was poor
I had no other choice
An opportunity to change my life
Struck down with one blow
I was in the wrong place
At the wrong time
On a bus traveling to my death
My empty eyes stare at you
Give me back my life.

Howard Pflanzer is a poet and playwright.  He has performed his edgy short poetic plays and poetry Dead Birds or Avian Blues (published by Fly By Night Press in 2011) at  KGB, The Living Theatre, Theaterlab, A Gathering of the Tribes, LaMaMa and the Cornelia Street Café in New York. His hybrid performance piece Walt Whitman Opera adapted from Whitman’s poetry with music by Constance Cooper, was presented at the undergroundzero festival in New York this past July. He was featured poet in November 2013 of The Poetry Company.  His award winning plays and musicals have been performed at LaMaMa (The House of Nancy Dunn with Steve Weisberg/Andy Craft), Playwrights Horizons, Symphony Space, Medicine Show, Kraine Theater (Cocaine Dreams), The Living Theatre and broadcast over WBAI and WNYC FM. His multi-media theatre piece Alien created in collaboration with Teatr Palmera Eldritcha in Poland was presented at the 2011 Malta International Theatre Festival.