Hear My Testimony: Maraia Teresa Tula, Human Rights Activist of El Salvador

By María Teresa Tula; Lynn Stephen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 11

TORTURE AND DETENTION

We used to get a lot of visitors at the CO-MADRES office when it was on Second Avenue. My job was to receive them and talk to them about our organization. That's what I was going to do on May 6, 1986 when I was abducted.

I got off the bus four blocks from the office. (We always tried to vary our routine to avoid being followed.) All of a sudden, I felt someone come near me and grab my shoulder like they were going to turn me around and hug me. I was surprised because there was no one around whom I expected to be hugging me. I stopped and turned around to see who it was. I thought that maybe it was someone I hadn't seen for a long time, someone who was grabbing me very hard out of happiness. But when I turned around, I saw it wasn't a friend. I felt a pistol in my ribs, and it was in the hands of a large man.

He said, "Keep on walking and don't make any noise. We are going to make you talk. If you don't talk, we'll kill you." Then I felt a stinging slap, like a whip across my face. Then I saw a car.

"Come here," the man said, "and don't dare to make any noise." He wrapped his arm around me tightly with the pistol in my back. He held me as if he knew me, pretending he was being friendly.

" Get into the car, into the back seat," he growled. He pushed me in and blindfolded me. "Take away this driveling fool," he said. Then I felt the car speed up and zoom away. I couldn't see or hear anybody. The only thing I could feel was the movement of the car as it careened down the street. I felt frustrated because I couldn't tell where we were going. I couldn't see anything. I have no idea how many times we went around in

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