29 February 2008

I'm Not Going To Choose Exile, Mexican Author Lydia Cacho Tells Her Tormentors

This is an extract of a response by Lydia Cacho, Mexican author, feminist social activist and campaigner who exposed widespread paedophilia in Mexico, in response to recent offers of exile by Louise Arbour, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, and by French and Spanish officials.
To leave Mexico or to remain? I have received hundreds of letters, some asking me to go away and others saying that I remain, that I do not back out, that I am not alone.

Families of parents or children who were kidnapped, some of them killed, some survivors of criminal ambition, write to me. Women and men in distress searching for their children snatched by “child robbers” in some park or corner of Mexico. Indignant housewives and businessmen who confess they do not have my courage but are in solidarity write to me. Fourteen-year-old children write to me who do not understand, nor wish to understand, man’s cruelty.

Families, lawyers, friends of hundreds of victims of pederasts all over the country write to me – of a boy violated in a school of the Legion of Christ (a Catholic order founded and headed by Marcial Maciel who has recently died and who was accused of widespread child sex abuse), a girl raped by her grandfather, three children abused by a politician. Friends of a lost childhood write to me; strangers from Barcelona, Madrid, Berlin, Italy, Portugal, Dublin; compatriots from Tijuana, Torreón, Nuevo León. Letters rain from nuns who save children. I read the letters of my nephew, Santiago, who discovered at 12 there is a Supreme Court in his country and is angry that the judges cannot see what “a Mexican child certainly understands: that a governor helped to protect some pederasts and tortured Lydia Cacho for this”.

I receive a letter from my friend, Itzel, who tells me she does not have my courage. And here the response: that to be brave, it is necessary to know fear and that the world would be much better is there were fewer brave and more happy and peaceful people.

I am not going away, I am not going anywhere other than forward, to shed light on everything. Because we lost in the court but gained in vindicating good journalism, our right to know the truth, to reclaim honesty, solidarity and the culture applied to our human rights.

I do not remain in Mexico to be brave, I stay for dignity. I, Lydia Cacho, will not give my liberty, neither my right to be near my loves and friends, to the political-business-criminal mafias. I will not give them another nightmare, nor give them my fury, only my inner peace. I will not give them the power to frighten me; only be aware of mean-spirited men and women.

Every year, 400,000 people flee Mexico, expelled by poverty, violence and corruption. We cannot keep adding to the Mexican exile. I respect those who wish to leave and change their life. Quitting the country is a brave act. There are millions of us dreaming of a different country. That is why I know, as you write to me, that I am not alone. To paraphrase the wonderful poet and affectionate friend, Eliseo Alberto, “If a moment is enough for dying, why is it not going to be enough for change?”

Those, the corrupt, the evil, are in reality very few. We men and women, on the other hand, keep being the majority, and so I do not lose the hope that Mexico can change.

[Cacho’s book, The Demons of Eden: The power behind child pornography, exposed a paedophile ring in her country involving millionaire businessmen protected by a powerful state governor. For her efforts she was arrested, harassed and sought to be raped in prison with the connivance of officials. Freed after an outcry following the exposé of a telephone conversation in which the businessman and the governor plotted to harm Lydia, she challenged her detention but the Mexican Supreme Court by a 6-4 verdict said the two men had no case to answer. Lydia has founded and directs a centre in Cancun for victims of sex crimes, domestic violence and trafficking.]

Source: http://www.lydiacacho.net/16-02-2008/respuestas-de-lydia-cacho-asilo-politico/

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