Letters to Gemma / Cartas a Gemma
Dónde se fue...
Cuándo fue que el corazón se me salió del centro,
cuando se cayó todo, que ahora me sorprende verme tan desnuda
luciendo los huesos del recuerdo,
dónde fue que se me fue el suspiro y me quede así, conteniendo el aire para no morir…
- Poem by Gemma Mávil, missing since 2011.
Today I walked through your door, the one that remains open waiting for you to come in smiling, as if anything had happened, a delay on the bus, a meeting with a friend, or as if you had just lost track of time reading a book, as you liked to do. As if these years had not rotted the walls and turned off all the lights of the house. But today, only I arrived.
You were my age when your dreams were destroyed, and since I heard your story I am afraid that someone will turn off mine, if I today I disappear, when they hear your story they would read mine, because I inhabit your spaces, I feel you in mines, I embrace the tired eyes of your parents and I cry your uninterrupted story.
Your kindness, the religious union with your mother, the flowers you cultivated, your connection with water, and the sad memory of your desire to live, will always be breathed painfully in these spaces and I, without knowing you, do not cease to feel you.
Hoy caminé por tu puerta, la que permanece abierta esperando a que tú entres sonriendo, como si hubiera pasado cualquier cosa, un retraso en el autobús, un encuentro con alguna amiga, o solo perdiste la noción del tiempo leyendo algún libro, como te gustaba hacer. Como si estos años no hubieran carcomido las paredes y apagado todas las luces de la casa. Pero hoy, solo llegue llegué yo.
Tenías mi edad cuando te destruyeron los sueños, y desde que escuché tu historia, tengo miedo de que alguien mate los míos, y si hoy desaparezco, al conocer tu historia leerían la mía, porque habité tus espacios, reconocí y abracé la mirada cansada de tus padres y lloré tu historia interrumpida.
Tu bondad, la religiosa unión con tu madre, las flores que cultivabas, tu conexión con el agua, y el recuerdo triste de tus ganas de vivir, siempre se van a respirar dolorosamente en estos espacios y yo, sin conocerte, no te dejo de sentir.
Gemma left her home for a job interview, after a few hours her father received a call, they had her kidnapped, Gemma’s screams were heard in the background. They asked for a million pesos, he could collect 40 thousand. It has been missing since then.
With the help of a witness Pedro Mávil came to official documentation that referred to the location of the lifeless body of a woman in an abandoned plastic bag in the streets of a colony of Xalapa. A bone sample was taken to obtain his genetic profile, but it was never entered into the database of unidentified people, it was not until Don Pedro discovered the research folder that he and his wife’s genetic profiles were collated that of the unknown body and they agreed. Since 2016, exhumations have been promoted in three graves to locate his body in the Palo Verde Pantheon, Veracruz. These exhumations exposed the irregularities in five of the 10 bodies examined, none was Gemma’s.
Most of the actions aimed at the search for truth have proved unsuccessful for having acted late and inefficiently, resulting in the denial of access to justice. There is no order in the municipal pantheons, there is no clear space for common graves and bodies without genetic profile of unidentified people are inhuman.
The disappeared in Mexico disappear multiple times.