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  • I saw Dora just once. A stocky woman in her late fifties, who looked quite a bit older than she was. A fierce woman.

    "What I learnt from my husband many years ago," she declared," Is that all bad things in our lives here in Latin America are the fault of the Gringos ( (People in the US). We were political activists, even though we are not rich, he just was a car mechanic and owned his little workshop, even though we had 3 children by then, we kept fighting, we were involved in groups, revolutionary groups. CIA agents were everywhere. My husband felt he was persecuted by them. He hated and feared them, the Gringos, the CIA and one day, after not having been able to sleep for weeks, he just disappeared.... he never came back from wherever he went or they took him, never returned to me, the kids or his workshop.

    That was more than 20 years ago. The Gringos took him, he had always feared that. Who knows what they did to him! Maybe he also was a bit mentally sick, but in case the Gringos took him: I am still involved in secret political groups trying what I can to fight the USA.

    I have supported my kids by being a social worker for all these years. We barely get by, but the three of them got a good education. My oldest son cannot do anything with his education, though, he is depressed, he is paranoid about the world and since ten years he has not left his room. I don´t know how to help him, sometimes I get so desperate I just want him to go ahead and kill himself and have it all over with, all this suffering.

    My middle son was my pride: bright, happy, smart. He studied business and as soon as he finished his career found work as a manager in a good hotel here in town. I was so happy, I was sure, now - finally - better times would come....But then - he fainted during the first month on his job and he would not wake up again. He soon was diagnosed with a mortal brain tumor. He was just 23 years old and the hope of the family for better times, but he died within a month.

    That was 3 years ago and I just cannot get over that.

    When I think that some chemicals the Gringos try out on us were maybe the reason for my son´s cancer I feel better. But maybe it is just that God hates me, because I never believed in him. I have fought so fiercely for so very long, but I seem to have lost it all. There is just my daughter now. She is finishing High School, she is a fighter also. I am afraid to plan on a better life for her, because as soon as I feel hope, catastrophes seem to reach me."

    She had not cried a single tear. She did not wait for others to ask her questions or express their feelings, instead Dora took up her handbag and stood up.

    "Thank you all for listening", she said," I needed to share this for once, but now it is good, I am strong again, I will keep being an activist until I drop dead!"

    And out the door she went and was gone.....

    She never returned. Even though this is a small town, I have never again spotted her anywhere.

    After having read Amy´s Ghost story I today also ask myself, if, maybe, Dora was a ghost: an angry, very hungry, desperately sad ghost, whom I just cannot forget....
    Art by Kiki ( "Gone")

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