‘Although they broke me down, they could not take away my yearning for freedom’

Véase a continuación la versión en español

Nota del editor: Queremos dar las gracias al Colectivo Contra la Tortura y la Impunidad A.C. (CCTI) para este blog

Editor’s Note: Rehabilitation works and is a torture survivor’s right: this is the theme of this year’s 26 June campaign for the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. During the next two weeks, we shall be posting testimonies, stories and experiences from torture survivors themselves. Their testimonies explain clearly – rehabilitation works and is a torture survivor’s right.

 

 

Italia (Atenco, México)

Six years ago, on 4 May 2006, I was arrested and tortured physically and sexually by agents working for the State and Federal Police in San Salvador, Atenco, Mexico.  This left a brutal mark on my life. I recognized the horror that engulfed me with feelings of fear and depression.  I felt violated and I was unable to find a reason for what had happened to me.  I could understand the feelings of repression conceptually, but I was unable to control my emotions and the physical effects suffered as a result of the torture.

The sexual nature of the torture which I suffered aggravated in many respects my status as a victim – the stigma was something that affected me deeply.  It filled me with indignation and anger that as victims we were referred to in the media as “The rape victims of Atenco” and that the authorities called us “Liars”.  I remember that my capacity to make decisions was completely lost, to distinguish between things I should or shouldn’t do – it made me feel that I wasn’t doing enough, or the right thing.  It made no difference the nature of the decision, guilt washed over me.

Now, after six years of intensive work to recover from the torture, I can say that I feel better.  Inevitably I will never be the same woman as before, however, I have managed to regain my ability to make decisions, I am more in control of my emotions and I am capable of dealing with fear, without it paralyzing me.

In my experience, there have been two fundamental axes that have helped me to continue with my life.  On the one hand, at the individual level, having a safe and secure place for psychotherapy, which allowed me to unravel the traumatic events and make significant progress in relation to identifying the damage to my body and mind in order to rebuild myself.  On the other hand, at the collective level, having a space in which my testimony is heard attentively, and with empathy, not only in order to publicly denounce the repressive acts I suffered, but also as a space in which I can let go of the stigma attached and reaffirm my status as a woman activist and continue to be politically involved.

Fortunately, the biggest achievement I have accomplished is to overcome the hopelessness.  I survived the torture; although they broke me down, they could not take away my yearning for freedom.  This world is not the horrible place that those perpetrators showed me.

 

 

Italia (Atenco, Estado de México)

Hace 6 años, el 4 de mayo de 2006, fui arrestada y torturada física y sexualmente por agentes de la policía Estatal y Federal en San Salvador Atenco, Estado de México. Este hecho marcó mi vida de forma brutal, conocí el horror que me sumió en miedo y desesperanza, me encontraba quebrantada y no lograba significar lo que me había ocurrido. Entendía la represión conceptualmente, pero no conseguía controlar mis emociones y los efectos físicos derivados de la tortura.

La connotación sexual de la tortura de la que fui objeto agravaba en muchos sentidos mi condición de víctima, el estigma fue un hecho que me afectó gravemente, me llenaba de indignación y rabia que se refirieran a mi y mis compañeras en medios de comunicación como “Las violadas de Atenco” o que en las declaraciones de las autoridades nos dijeran “Mentirosas”.

Recuerdo que mi capacidad para tomar decisiones se encontraba totalmente comprometida, discernir entre hacer o no cualquier cosa, implicaba sentir que no estaba haciendo lo correcto o suficiente, no importaba la índole de la decisión, la culpa me invadía.

Ahora, tras 6 años de trabajo intenso por recuperarme de la tortura, puedo decir que me encuentro mejor, que irremediablemente no puedo ser la misma mujer que era antes, sin embargo he logrado recuperar mi capacidad de tomar decisiones, estoy más en control de mis emociones y soy capaz de lidiar con el miedo, sin que me paralice.

En mi experiencia han sido dos ejes fundamentales los que me han ayudado a continuar con mi vida, por una lado en el ámbito individual contar con un espacio de psicoterapia seguro y de confianza, en el que he conseguido desentrañar el hecho traumático y conseguir avances sustanciales respecto a identificar las afectaciones que hubo en mi cuerpo y mente para reconstruirme. Por otro lado, en el ámbito colectivo generar espacios donde mi testimonio se escucha con atención y empatía no solamente con el único fin de realizar una denuncia pública de la represión, sino como un espacio en donde puedo deshacerme del estigma y reafirmarme como mujer militante y continuar con mi participación política.

Por fortuna el mayor logro que he conseguido es abatir la desesperanza, sobreviví a la tortura, aunque me rompieron no pudieron arrebatarme el anhelo de libertad, este mundo no es el lugar horrible que ellos los perpetradores me mostraron.

Advertisements

, , , , , , , ,

  1. #1 by April DeJarlais on 19/06/2012 - 23:03

    “This world is not the horrible place that those perpetrators showed me.” – So lovely. Thank you for sharing your story.

  1. #26June: What are you doing to support victims of torture? | World Without Torture

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s