By Edgar Avila | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat
When violence knocked on the door of his house, it struck everyone equally, even the smallest in the family.
The disappearance of the head of the family left in the limbo any explanation that could be given to Marcos, 6, to call it somehow, because the fear left by the incursion of crime in his home still does not let them fully adhere back into their old daily life.
The father of the child, Juan Manuel, 28, was swallowed up by the land in the port of Veracruz, as well as the other 2,312 veracruzanos who only exist in the official figures of denouncements, but who were physically absent from their homes in the middle of a war between drug cartels, the official fight against crime and many other factors.
It was in 2013 when they never again heard from the man, although they discovered that the last time he was seen alive, he had been “detained” by alleged police officers, a version that they have not yet been able to verify.
“How do you explain to a child that his father is missing, that he isn’t dead, that he’s alive, but that he is not with us,” says his mother. They have not yet found a way to tell him, because she doesn’t even known if her husband “went to heaven” or if he’s still in captivity.
When he last saw his dad, he was three years old, but to this day, he keeps asking about him and he always asks older people if he went to heaven, because he would like to reach him. No one dares to confess to him that he died, because everyone is hopeful that he will appear alive someday, but they also won’t tell him where he is. The child became more withdrawn and sometimes even has nightmares at night, most of the time when “by accident” he listens to adult conversations about remembering or giving details about who might be behind it.
In the street, seeing police officers, especially those who are armed to the teeth, he tries to get away from them, and although he says nothing to his mother, she realizes that he does it because he has heard that the police are identified as being the ones for causing his father to not return home.
He continues playing because – according to specialists in thanatology – because of his age, he still doesn’t understand what is happening, but there are days that he feels distant from the world around him, a world of fondness and love.
On the contrary, in the municipality of Tierra Blanca, Elvira Gómez López still does not dare tell her five year old granddaughter that her father, Rodrigo Gómez López, disappeared on September 19, 2013.
“There is no explanation… I don’t have to explain why; we only think that they disappeared and that the government is responsible for all this, because they don’t put a stop to this,” says the woman.
That day, on the Tierra Blanca-Córdoba highway, they disappeared to of her sons: Rodrigo Gómez López, 19, and Juan de Dios Gómez López, 17.
Everyone was affected. One of the sisters of the disappeared tried to commit suicide at the age of 15; another one still doesn’t understand what happened, and the daughter of Rodrigo still hopes to see him with millions of pesos in his pockets because they made her believe that he went to work in the United States.
“Her daughter thinks that her father is going to come back with a lot of money because he’s working a lot, when I go out looking for him, or at the meetings, I tell her that I’m going to go get him and she says, ‘Ay, my dad is going to come back really rich from where he works,’” she says.
“Everyone is more rebellious and one of my children, who is now 16, asks me why this happened; the other was about to take her own life when she turned 15.
“Overnight, they are snatched away without being able to ask why, when, or who was it…nothing,” she says.
Source: El Universal