second attempt on her life, Maria Santos Gorrostieta Salazar was interviewed by
El Universal. She was addressing critics who doubted the severity of her
injuries. As a sign of respect, I thought it would be appropriate to translate
a letter that she made public in which she explains what kept her going. I
decided to translate the entire letter instead of the abridged version most
commonly seen in news reports. She was a brave lady. -un vato]
There is no
doubt that life at times lacerates us with sufferings and humiliations that not
all of us are able to understand completely, many times we tend to appear
arrogant and stubborn before God's will. However, despite everything, I have
had to bear losses that I would not wish on anyone, and have had to accept them
with resignation and with the knowledge that it is our Lord's will, and have
gone on, even with a wounded soul.
that life surprises us at times, hurts us, makes us complain even about
ourselves; it is well known by those around me that my life has not been easy,
it has been permeated by sorrows and misfortune.
Despite that, and despite my
own safety and that of my family, what occupies my mind is my responsibility
towards my people, the children, the women, the elderly and the men who break
their souls every day without rest to find a piece of bread for their children.
It is a great burden to know that among my responsibilities as city mayor is
that of obtaining the benefits, the programs and the aid that I know will
represent great improvements in the economy and in the quality of life of the
people of Tiquicheo.
One of the
greatest sorrows that a human being can suffer is that of pain in the soul.
This is seldom understood by people around us because they simply have not
lived it or are indifferent to the suffering of others.
My life these past few
months has received blows that I sincerely believe I do not deserve, since my
efforts have always been focused on leading my people, my city, towards a
better quality of life, to provide them the tools that will help them face the
difficult economic situation that we are all going through.
Despite that, for
some, my efforts and dedication have not been enough and they have regretfully
celebrated the misfortunes I have suffered.
The inner strength that has moved
me to get up, even when I'm dying, has served to demonstrate and make tangible
the great commitment that I have with my ideas, my projects for the future,
and, of course for the people who witnessed my birth and for whom I will get up
however many times God allows me to, to keep on searching, scratching,
negotiating plans, projects and actions for the benefit of all of society, but,
in particular, for the vulnerable ones.
This is who I
omitted poetry here that Maria Santos Gorrostieta attributes to an anonymous
source.-- un vato]
stage in my life, perhaps I would have resigned from what I have, my position,
my responsibilities as the leader of my Tiquicheo. But today, no; it is not
possible for me to surrender when I have three sons, whom I have to educate by
setting an example, and also because of the memory of the man of my life, the
father of my three little ones, the one who was able to teach me the value of
things and to fight for them; and, although he is no longer with us, he
continues to be the light that guides my decisions, each of which, it goes
without saying, is dedicated to getting my city out of its backwardness.
they have attacked my physically and morally; one can still feel on my body the
wounds from the bullets and from the disbelief of some who have doubts about my
mutilated body. I struggle day to day to erase from my mind the images of the
horror I lived, and that others who did not deserve or expect it also suffered.
To them, my recognition, respect and love for the courage with which they faced
their troubles and for their unconditional support for myself and my work.
I wanted to
show them my wounded, mutilated, humiliated body, because I'm not ashamed of
it, because it is the product of the great misfortunes that have scarred my
life, that of my children and my family.
It is a living witness to the fact
that I am a woman of strength and integrity, and that, despite my wounds, both
physical and mental, I am still standing and still in the constant struggle to
become a better person and a better leader of a city that still trusts me and
expects results from its mayor.
You may ask,
what is it that so attracts Maria Santos Gorrostieta Salazar today? Where does
the power of her integrity reside, this public and political figure, from
Tiquicheo, from Michoacan, Mexican and universal: in her works, in her life, or
in her wounded body and her serene face? It is difficult to answer you from
this hemisphere of my life, however, I would point out that transgression and
resistance are conjugated in perfect harmony in my being.
have mistakenly doubted the severity of my injuries; today, the proof is in
their hands, my mutilated body speaks for itself, evidence of how vulnerable we
are, of our life's fragility and of God's wishes, which are always present in
our daily sorrows.
To many, it
may seem an act of insolence to show my wounds such as they are, but it was
necessary because I had to give my version of the facts, what it really meant
to be attacked like that and the traces that these attacks left on me and my people.
Because everybody else could say, unsay, talk, invent, defame, except me; and
now is the time and place to do so.
What you can see doesn't need much of an
explanation; I simply want your understanding, support and consideration,
because despite the fact that I show myself as somebody strong and unbreakable,
inside of me, I am still a woman, fragile, a dreamer, a romantic, a mother, but
one thing for sure, with an unquenchable determination to continue with my
mission of service as head of this administration to which I was elected, and
to help those who have less and that still live in a state of great
believe, in fact, I am certain, that my conduct during my term as mayor has
been correct, since every one of the decisions I've made has been focused on
serving my people. If the opposite had been true, it would undoubtedly have
already been noticed. This is why I make available for anybody who wants to
look at what has been done up to now. The accounting and my conscience are clean,
the projects and actions are in plain view.
A year after
a bloody incident
this year, I am here with an open mind and a quiet heart, several memories come
to mind that no doubt history will judge me on; all I want to say is that
walking on this rocky path has not been easy, that it has been permeated with
disappointment and despair. I'll tell you that whatever trench I get, I will
defend it with sword and cape, I am faithful to my ideals and to achieve my
conviction and my objectives, always convinced that truth and authenticity will
set us free. I am grateful with all my heart to those persons who have trusted
in my work, to my children, my mother, my brothers, friends, collaborators and
to the city that has given its unconditional support.
I have walked a long road
towards freedom, and I have tried not to hesitate. I've stumbled along the way,
but I've discovered that great secret; that after climbing a hill, one finds
that there are many more behind that. I've given myself a moment of rest to
look at the glorious landscape that surrounds me, the view back towards the
road I've traveled. But I can only rest for a moment, because freedom brings
with it responsibilities and I don't dare fall behind. My long road is not yet
finished; the footprint that we leave behind in our country depends on the
battle that we lose and the loyalty we put into it. Today, it is a privilege to be
part of the history of Tiquicheo.
Santos Gorrostieta Salazar
Below is an uplifting video of her in life conducting her duties as mayor
Sources: youtube videos-video at bottom contributed by Magic