I translated a blog from a friend in Guatemala back in July, it was her battle cry for justice in a country that seems to spin further and further out of control. That specific blog was prompted by the disappearance of an old classmate’s sister: a wife and mother of two children. Since her disappearance, classmate’s have banded together, and have refused to let Cristina be forgotten as just another disappearance, or simply another statistic. Since her disappearance, events have continued to unfold, and evidence indicates that the night before her disappearance, her and her husband got into a serious argument, after which she ran out to the balcony of her home and screamed for help. No one did anything. Although her body has not been found, it seems the husband used the family car to dispose of her body, and disappeared with the children days later.
They have not found the father, or the children, and the plot is more convoluted than a simple disappearance (the father’s parents are politicians, I think his mom may be a judge, so there are beliefs that the initial investigations and judicial proceedings were hindered by his parents and their connections), but the light at the end of the tunnel is that people have not stopped demanding justice.
Some people have criticized the attention this case has received, stating that the only reason it’s getting as much attention as it has is because she was of a member of the higher social levels in Guatemala. It’s true that Cristina is only one of so many countless cases of victims of violence in Guatemala, but herein lies the difference: Cristina has friends who are not willing to give up. So many cases in Guatemala go unresolved, and those involved learn to simply move on with their lives: injustice is seen as something people just have to put up with…what else can they do? Seeking justice is seen as a waste of time, and so people remain disappeared, while those responsible are never even looked for.
But not Cristina. Cristina went to a school that has a strong alumnus, and that is being demonstrated today. Some of the women organizing walks, demonstrations, and creating Facebook pages, are women who may not have known her very well, but they went to school with her sister, and that is all they need to know: one of their own is in need of their voice and their support. I find this truly admirable. These women are demanding that their voices be heard, that the search for the man responsible for this crime be found, and be held accountable. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask, but in a country like Guatemala, it’s a feat to be able to carry on this kind of momentum a month after the initial disappearance. They were able to amass enough support to get news of her disappearance on national and international news channels, and Interpol has published information regarding the identity of the husband:
Instead of arguing classism or social divide, people should stand by this movement, and be happy that finally someone had the balls to demand justice. It’s more than many have ever done. The difference is not that Cristina was part of a more privileged society, it’s that she knew people who cared enough and were able to not give up. I applaud their dedication, and for the sake of a country who needs more people like them, willing to stand up to corruption and impunity, I hope many more will join them.