So many years struggling in the streets in demand of our rights, but instead of advancing, we’re going backwards.
By Maryorit Guevara (Confidencial)
HAVANA TIMES – Diana Gutierrez Hernandez was raped, murdered, and her body was dismembered and hidden in a latrine where it remained for nearly a year after her disappearance. It remained hidden until her murderer could no longer contain the urge to boast of his crime, and began to talk about it in the neighborhood of La Primavera, the same neighborhood where the twelve-year-old had lived.
She was female, she was poor, her life was marked by disregard. Her mother and grandmother, two lone women, visited all the public medical centers, and of course also went to what had previously been the institution charged with investigating crimes. But they, too, did nothing.
No one saw anything. No one knew. No one investigated anything. The media published her story and that of another three girls, but since it was exclusive content you had to pay to read it. But the poor don’t have enough money to eat, nor for the internet, much less to pay for exclusive news items that should NEVER be charged for.
Now she’s been found to be a murder victim, but no one has said anything. No one was outraged. No one lifted a finger to demand justice for her life. A girl whose life was ripped away by macho violence, like many others every year.
The crime hurts me, it fills me with rage. No one cares about the life of women. We women are worth nothing, except when we go out on the street to show our face to Ortega, because then we’re fighters and brave and they make songs and videos about us. But – poor you! – if you have the audacity to demand that they treat you like a citizen, a human being, like a person.
We’re worth nothing, because our killers aren’t only red and black, but also blue and white, orange, green, red. They wave different colors, but are always united by the sentiment that our lives belong to them. And in that same way, they take those lives, they rip them away, they discard them.
They’ve killed 24 of us so far this year, but no one says anything. And if you choke on indignation, on rage, on fury you’ll never be seen as anything more than an exaggeratedly hysterical woman, who in addition is “barking up the wrong tree” because it seems that the only important issue at this moment is to get the Ortega-Murillo duo out.
But really, the life of women has never mattered to the powers – not under Violeta de Chamorro, nor under Arnoldo Aleman, nor under Enrique Bolanos, much less under Daniel Ortega. So many years of struggle in the streets in demand of our rights, and instead of advancing we’re going backwards. Now there aren’t even institutions where the investigation of women’s murders is given priority.
The state holds the blame and the responsibility for the fact that every year the number of women murdered increases, but this problem should matter to all of us. It’s a question of commitment, reflection, unlearning, giving up privileges, recognizing the other, detaining the violence, that violence that doesn’t stop by locking the murderers up for life. So, don’t be hypocrites, beating on your chest or calling yourselves allies… at least face up to the fact that for you, women’s lives aren’t worth anything.
You don’t touch girls! You don’t rape them! And you don’t kill them!