Dear Papá and Mamá:
I read your letter of June 9 and was so happy to find out that you’re doing ok, or I suppose you’re doing ok. Not many important things happen in everyday prison life, yet, even so, I can’t deny that it’s a pleasure for me to write about them. I know I haven’t done it very often, but right now I feel like it.
This month we’ll have been prisoners for five years, but in addition to what this means to us as a family and to the people who care about us and have shown their solidarity with us all this time, it’s also important to talk about the political and social context of this anniversary that we never wanted to observe. In spite of all the changes in our prison conditions (all for the worse), I haven’t been able to extract myself from the social reality that we prisoners are also part of, and I don’t think Hector has either.
So I’ve seen and listened to some news reports, not all of them and not for as long as I’d like to because they still haven’t given me permission to buy a tv, but enough to give me a general idea of what’s happening outside.
I share my analysis with my brothers and sister and some friends who still write me, and I also share my concerns and questions.
At times (almost all the time), I’d like to be able to read newspapers and magazines or consult some books so that I’d have a stronger basis for theorizing about current reality, but I suppose part of the punishment is to deny these activities to the prisoners.
Even with all the limitations built into these prisons and the whole penitentiary system, we’re able to find out what’s happening in the “outside world” (at least partly) so as not to feel so isolated. But we’ve had to learn to be very patient observers because besides observing, we can’t do anything else to transform reality.
I’d be lying if I told you that I’m happy that I’ve been a prisoner for five years, but I’m not really sad either, maybe a little nostalgic because these years of prison life haven’t gone by quickly and, unfortunately, we still have another stretch to do before we’ll go free. I’ve always been aware that our prison conditions could be worse, but as long as they’re not, we have to do our best not to be totally inactive.
Of course, one very important thing that’s helped us deal with this situation has been the solidarity of many people and organizations, to whom we are grateful for their stance and their steadfastness.
But what really worries me is the situation resulting from the decision of the Elections Tribunal (TRIFE) because there’ll probably be even more intense repression. Now they can claim to have the legal right to use violence against the social movement opposing the PAN party staying in power.
I don’t know, but it looks to me like we’re going to have some very turbulent times in the future. I hope this doesn’t mean more prisoners, but what I want may be quelled by implacable reality.
I’m not going to write you about all my doubts and fears because just imagine how long this letter would be...No, that’s not really the reason. I think all prisoners have these. They’re part of the everyday reality we have to deal with and, after all, they’re not that big a thing.
Well, my dear parents, I’ll say goodbye for now. Let me say once more that I love you, that I’d love to be able to talk to you and spend some time with you, although that may never be possible.
I love you, Antonio.
¡ Prisoners today, forever free !