Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Hope Is a Paradox amid Mexico's Poor Mountains

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Hope Is a Paradox amid Mexico's Poor Mountains

Article excerpt

In January, on a trip to the interior of Mexico, I was invited to an evening of reflection with members of the underground church. The circle included an anthropologist, an architect, a psychologist, a veteran leader of comunidades de base, several members of a workers' rights group and several members of Mothers of the Disappeared.

The youngest member, 21-year-old Juana (not her real name) shared her story with us:

In 1972, while yet a newborn, Juana lost her mother to the Mexican army. To this day, her mother remains disappeared, though never charged with a crime, never brought to trial.

Juana knows her mother is alive because back in October members of the Mexican government approached her. One man held out a key and said, "This opens the door to your mother's cell. Simply denounce the actions of some of our political foes, and your mother will walk."

Juana asked, "But what about Dona Dimona's son? What about Don Jorge's sister?' The government agent replied, "No, only your mother goes free." After a moment of silence, Juana said, "No. Unless they all go free, no one can be freed."

Someone asked Juana how she kept her hope alive.

"In my room at home I have a small trunk,' she said. "Each Christmas, I buy my mother a present. I wrap it up, and place it in the trunk. I also place in there all my school notebooks. On the top of the trunk I have a sign: 'For The Day When You Will Be Able to Know Me.'I focus on that day, the day she comes home. That's how I do it."

Later, Enriqueta told of a young woman she had met during a demonstration in November. …

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