“You left home never to return again”
‘You left home never to return again’ is the opening line from the text that Lidya wrote for this project about her daughter, who was brutally raped and murdered on the streets in the peripheral area of Mexico City. The written words and photographs are not enough to be able to express the pain and suffering that thousands of grieving mothers, daughters, and other relatives feel when a woman in their families is killed with no other reason than being a woman. Femicide is not uncommon in Mexico, the statistics suggest that 9 women are murdered every day, the complexity of the problem is so difficult to grasp as it involves almost all of the cultural, social, economic and political aspects of the country. Femicide is hardly addressed by the media, and it usually is focused on the scandalous details of the act itself, turning it into a sense of fiction which is so terrible that it’s hard to believe as an actual fact. The intention of this project is to shine a light on the personal and human side of femicide by photographing objects that belonged to five victims, the spaces they inhabited and the people who surrounded them, and who are now fighting to obtain justice and emotional support from a corrupted and broken justice and political system which fails to deliver any sense of comfort or protection.
Translation text (photographs #7)
On the 2nd of July 2017, you left home never to return again. Your name, Diana Velazquez Florencio, you were 24 years old.
Neither you nor I could have imagined such a horrible tragedy, just a few hours after you left the house you were killed. But before, they took your phone from you, they beat and raped you. And to show off all their hatred towards you they threw you in a pile of rubbish denigrated like a broken doll that’s no longer useful.
The police and experts from the M.P (Public Prosecutor) try to hide your case by saying you are an unidentified man. I don’t understand why they say that, if your body was so small and fragile, your white hands always soft, you were so careful of always putting hand lotion on them after you washed the dishes so that they remained soft and pretty.
I know that your body was manipulated way too much after the authorities found you, they buried your body amongst others in the SEMEFO (forensic medical service), thrown on the floor without a blanket to cover you. Even though they had your body there, and that we informed about your disappearance the police didn’t inform me either your sister Laura about your femicide. If it wasn’t for your sister’s persistence they would have sent you to the common pit and we would still be looking for you. It was the 6th of July when Laura was allowed to see you, she could only recognize you for the clothes you were wearing.
It was your sister who told me “she was killed”, I can only remember that I collapsed on the bed, on the floor, I feel someone graving me and I hear strangers voices, its people from an ambulance, they are trying to inject me with something, I didn’t let them, I tried to be well, since that day I try to be well, even if I feel dead.
Justice is a word that many people repeat, that many of us write and scream, something that we demand, but there has never been such.
© Alejandra Edwards