[Video] The Search for the Desaparecidos is a Resolute River – AFAD-FIND Holy Wednesday presentation

The Search for the Desaparecidos is a Resolute River

AFAD-FIND Holy Wednesday presentation
It has been a Lenten tradition of the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) to commemorate Holy Wednesday with outdoor activities depicting the injustices committed against the disappeared and their families.

This year, the enhanced community quarantine and physical distancing aimed to contain the COVID-19 contagion prohibits these public events. The lockdown, however, can never lock up the pain inflicted by the State’s failure to bring the perpetrators of enforced disappearance to justice.

The families of the disappeared may not be able to meet physically, hug and kiss and draw support from each other, or share memories of their disappeared loved ones; but today they renew their unwavering commitment to fight for justice and end impunity. This, not for their missed kin alone but for all victims of human rights violations and abuses.

This Holy Wednesday, the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) warmly joins FIND share a poem of steadfast struggle and fervent hope for truth, justice, and peace.

I.
Like clockwork:
Fear for the lost in each footstep, visits to police stations and military camps, prisons, and to offices of non-governmental organizations and others who may help find the disappeared.
Look everywhere. Ask anyone, anywhere.
The search, perhaps futile. Maybe, forever.
But the answers are out there somewhere.

II.
A raging sea it was, within body and soul of those left behind, upon news that the wolves had pounced and snatched their kin; oftentimes, the family’s breadwinner.
Then the years passed into decades; a century lapsed to the next.
Through court hearings, campaigns, commemorations. Covered in the news, or not.
Still missing. They are still missing.

III.
Now, the rage remains but has steeled into a resolute river of steady sadness.
A river of a still open and festering wound.
Still missing. They are still missing.

IV.
The wolves: some may have passed away, and perhaps accorded military honors in burial.
Whereas, their victims: where were they laid to rest after abduction and torture?
In land? Sea?
By the river? Down the river?
They remain missing and the faceless wolves
have yet to face justice.

V.
This is a river flowing through a continuing crime, a poem that has yet to find its rhyme.
The search continues.
The struggle continues.
Like clockwork.

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