30 novembre 2006


You're thirty-one-years-old, a successful doctor El Salvador. It's December and you're glad to be off work to go do some Christmas shopping. You cross the street. You think about what you'll get each of siblings. You smile at a few people passing, but otherwise seem absorbed in your thoughts. You don't even notice the group of men holding machine guns, afterall they're as common on the streets now as stray dogs. And then everything changes.

Three men have surrounded you. Before you know it they've secured your arms behind your back tightly. You struggle, dropping your medical bag. Another man walks over. You keep resisting.

The last thing you see is the butt of a an M-16.

People from your office and those who witnessed this abduction later tell your family that the men continued to beat you until they were positive you wouldn't get up. Your family learned that these men bound your hands and legs, gagging you so when you awoke you wouldn't be able to call out. How many people watched as they tossed you in the back of a truck, like a bag of garbage, before driving off? Regardless, every single person looked down and kept walking, praying that next time it wouldn't be them or one of their loved ones.

The people you love don't know where you are. They try desperately to find out the answer to the biggest question of all: why? Why would they have taken you away? Government officials are contacted, as friends and family search for you. But you're gone. We don't know where you are, we just pray - and hope. And after twenty-five years, we still hope that somewhere you're alive, that you're safe, and that someday you'll come home.

You've become one of the desaparecidos, the dissapeared. A collective group that were abducted during the Cold War throughout Central and South America during times of revolutions and civil unrest.

Carlos Vargas is part of this group. He was adbucted in December of 1981. This blog is about him; about me finding out about him. This is about a man and his family. It's also about a time period many people have forgotten and which few will ever forget. This is about a girl finding out why she never had the chance to meet her uncle.

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