I want to begin this letter with a huge hug for all the compxs who are on the run, all those who are fighting for their liberty, and all those who are locked up and for whom this world of domination is trying to quell their rage. There is no cell, no wall, no authority to whom I give enough power to quiet my rage and my desire for liberty. I’ve had these feelings since I was a little one and now, in my heart and my head, they are stronger than ever, and there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think of you guys, my friends. I can imagine, and they tell me as well, that the situation outside is very precarious. This doesn’t surprise me, as us deciding to be in conflict comes with repression. It isn’t simple, it isn’t easy, and there are many emotions that are all mixed up, but the specific emotion that we all have in common is our force; individually and collectively. No-one can cage this feeling—neither a prison nor a border. Friends, I am thinking of you all with much love, especially Marc, who is locked up in a prison in Kingston, and I’m thinking of the compxs from the Che who were tortured by the comite Cerezo, of the cumbia ballerina, and of Tripa, Amélie and Carlos. Let’s stay strong, regardless of the distance!
I feel a little weird writing a letter without any specific destination, I have the feeling that I’m writing to a galaxy that seems a little bit far away. I want to say one thing: I want to be clear that I am not writing this letter to retain support or to portray myself as the victim. My intention is to use the pen and paper to communicate with friends, and to share analysis.
I think that the situation of being imprisoned is a very special opportunity to get away from the ‘fetichisation’ of prison and to make it a reality in a contextual manner. Today, I am writing this letter from Santa Marta, but who knows what is next.
When we were arrested, January 5th 2014, to me, it was a bit of a joke, with the 7 cop cars blocking the street, it felt a bit like a scene from a play, and from this moment onwards, this feeling never left. Everybody has their role. I remember this moment, at 2 or 3 in the morning, when we were transported from the PGJ to the scientific centre for tests. We were three, in 3 different cars, with 2 cops on either side of us, and with a minimum of 10 cop cars with their lights flashing in the deserted streets of DF, and with the scientists who were still almost asleep when we arrived at the Centre. It was such a show; CSI Miami in Mexico.
And the Arraigo Centre, ouf!
This was the most theatrical thing I’ve lived through in my whole life. When we got there, the street had been closed off for our arrival. The men with their soap-opera muscles and machine guns were outside in the street, as well as inside the car with us. I couldn’t stop laughing—laughing at their authority that I don’t even have the smallest amount of respect for, laughing at the way they take themselves so seriously. “Ken and Barbie” with federal police uniforms. And the prisoners, who don’t have names but instead have the good luck of having a colour. Mine was orange. The worst was that the girls in my cell were taking on the roles of submission, of fear, and of authority between each other, so seriously, as if they were in an audition for a Hollywood movie.
Sorry to the people who think that I’m making everything seem absurd, but, this is the way it is! A joke, the playing of a role.
And here, in Santa Marta, there are many neighbourhoods from A to H, there is a ‘park’, apartments, and neighbours. There is a corner store, sex workers, drugs everywhere; there are people who reproduce the gender roles of ‘girls and boys’, and there are also tons of babies. There is a school, a doctor, a court. There are studies to classify us in Santa Marta, there is corruption, formal and informal power, schedules, and many emotions, many histories, lots of time to share together, rage, and definitely lots of cigarettes and coffee to share. If it isn’t already clear (here my spanish fails me a bit), but now, Santa Marta is my new city, ‘A’ is my new neighbourhood, 107 is my new apartment, and Amélie, my neighbour. For me, this is clearer than any theory.
And so, I end my letter.
First, I wrote this in spanish* because, it’s sometimes easier. So, I also want to give a big thanks to all those who do the translation, I will try to translate other letters into Français and English.
This is the first letter I’ve written in a long time because in the Arraigo centre it was very difficult; pens, like everything else, were prohibited!
For me, it was important to write this letter with a touch of humour and sarcasm, not because I want to minimise the impact that prisons can have on people, but to minimise the impact prison can have on me. What I tried to express, in simple spanish (I hope to one day master it) (I also hope it’s understandable), is that since my imprisonment, the elements that have had the most impact on me have been the game of roles and city-prison, prison-city. I won’t lie to you—it isn’t always easy, we are surrounded by barbed wire, but there is one thing I am certain of and it’s that freedom starts in our heads, regardless of where we find ourselves. In mine right now, there’s a lot of rage, a lot of force, and yes, despite everything, there is more freedom than ever.
Thanks to the friends who came to visit! To those who took our collect calls. To those who are organizing, despite the tensions. And to those who nurture the fire and who attack this rotten society RAGE AND ANARCHY!! (A)
And solidarity with Marc, the compxs from the Che, Tripa, the witch cumbia dancer, Amélie, and Carlos.
Santa Marta, Mexico, March 14, 2014
And Happy March 15! (A)
*The letter was originally written in both spanish and french.
To write to Amélie and Fallon:
Centro Feminil de Reinsercion social Santa Martha Acatilla
Amélie Trudeau / Fallon Rouiller
Iztapalapa No 4037
Colonia Santa Martha Acatitla