Of all written testimonies, this one is the first that was born spontaneously, not because of command, but because of necessity and justice, in the name of my children and of so many others who “are dying” in desperation and anxiety. This is not an homage but justice, because I desire them not to die in anonymity and forgotten like many other who already have.
Yesterday I received the news from four of my daughters, in the vespers of the judgment against those who harmed them so much, not supporting the pressure, loneliness and fear, committed suicide. Their eyes haven’t seen justice. Time hasn’t waited for them. They died out of loneliness, I wasn’t able to talk to them, to accompany them, in this most profound state of vulnerability. And this fills me with impotence and pain.
Four stories of pain and loneliness, four lives marked by horror. Four adult rescued women, victims of trafficking in persons. Kidnapped in between 3 and 9 years. Whole life of this hell.
Sometimes it is easy to judge: “Why they don’t change their lives, if they are adults? If they live like this, is because they want, they looked for it, they shouldn’t grief”. when it is about children and teenagers, it dwells and moves us, but when it is about adults, many times it makes us fall into judgments and doubt about pain, the history and the cross of tese women; judgments that are made mighty because of ignorance, of not knowing how deep and destroying is the pain of these women, the holy land of their stories.
With permission of one of them, who in one moment told me: “Hopefully one day you could tell my story so the world might know that I am not a ‘whore’ and more, that I have my wounds, that I also dreamt something different for my life”.
Mary was rescued when she was 26 years old; kidnapped when she was 3, since then closed in a hell, tortured and raped. Her oppressors told her than if she would achieved 18, they would set her free. She embraced life with all her strength, didn’t want to die from the hands of horror, she wanted to be free. She supported all wounds and tortures, dreaming about being 18, being free like butterflies; only that was a motive for her to live.
The awaited day arrived and she was happy because she would be free, they couldn’t harm her anymore, they wouldn’t have to support anymore nor resist, she would be free, she would live again. She claimed her right, and her oppressors, with irony in their voice, told her: “You are free to go, nobody stops you. But if you stay, you will work in this business freely and you will be fine”.
For a moment Mary felt strong, free, able to do anything, and gathered all her stuff (almost nothing) and gave signs of wanting to leave. At door, laughing, her oppressors told her: “Go if you want, but have you thought what you will do? Where will you go? Where will you work? You only know to do one thing?” Mary’s life came down, her hopes felt on the ground. Her oppressors were “singing” to her an apparent truth. When she was three years old, she has been kidnapped, she has already forgotten where did she come from, so many times she was changed of place. She didn’t know to write nor read, and in all her short life she only has learned to be in this place.
She replied them that she would look for some help, that she would go to authorities. And she did so, but they treated her like “lier” and “whore”, someone who wants to take advantage of situation, and they even asked her to respect the fact that many “true victims” were really kidnapped and lived this hell.
And it happened that Mary came back to her oppressors, and they demanded from her to beg them to stay. And she did so, she had no other place to go, she was alone in the world. Since that day, her hell and loneliness became deeper than before, she had no dreams nor hopes.
They convinced her that she was nobody, that she had no value, that she only served for that. She didn’t choose this life, others chose it for her.
“One more time we arrived late”, that’s what resounds in my heart, as society, as humanity, as Church. Already in that time it was too late for Mary. Yesterday was too late for these women and tomorrow will be also too late if we do not commit and wake up.
I experience myself as a part of this eclesial body and because of this I feel part and responsible for their wounds. I see our hands full of blood, of blood of our brethren and children, who by many circumstances (also this horror of trafficking) are dying without us “arriving at time”, blood of those dying in loneliness, without feeling loved, listened, understood, helped. Blood that overflows of impotence and injustice.
It is true that it dwells us, and it is true that we desire that so many things might change. But meanwhile we keep thinking on how, when and in what manner we would commit, it keeps being too late for many of our brothers and sisters.
It is necessary to wake up, it is necessary to go out of ourselves and our comfort zones. Pain doesn’t wait! Horror doesn’t stop! Injustice doesn’t cease!
I am sure that my daughters are already with God. Who else, witness of so much suffering, could give them an embrace and love that they need? I would like to have arrived “on time”, been there and told them that they are not alone, that someone loves them, that there is still hope. I also arrived too late, I also feel responsible of their deaths.
I also need to ask their forgiveness.
Marcela Macagno CMT