one moment at a time

My mind has many recorded moments that I really want to forget. I mean on December 7th. I don’t know where to start, but what I remember most is that at 11 in the morning, after listening to the TV, I went down to see my mother, who, as I imagined, was praying and her eyes were full of tears. and I didn’t know what to do but ask God for his help.

That’s when my dad came saying we have to go because the navy are going to come to get us out. I got scared and ran to the second floor where Arnol and my little Alondra were, to whom I said “we have to go out”. We only took our personal things and the clothes we had on, we ran downstairs and our hearts were racing, but the cars where we always transported ourselves were outside ready to go and each car with its respective security.

My dad made sure that Arnol and I were in the second car and my mom, Alondra and my dad got in the first (I felt something strange because Alondra, Arnol and I always go together in the same car but this time my dad made sure that take Alondra with him, I think he was afraid) and Doctor Aníbal next to them.

My dad mentioned to security that we had to leave and we left at full speed. We advanced a few blocks. We were all very nervous, tense. I can’t explain that moment. The truth is that we didn’t even know where we were going, we just followed the car where my dad was. For a moment I felt safe because in the end we were all there: I mean my family. My gaze was fixed straight ahead. I never stopped looking ahead.

I felt relieved to leave the palace and suddenly I see that they stop and the truth is that I thought it was just a coordination. As always, security spoke on the phone but the minutes passed and I don’t know, people began to say “he’s fleeing to the embassy.”

This is the moment that hurts me the most to describe, the most painful. I saw two police officers wearing balaclavas pointing guns at me and Arnol. They asked us to move on. The truth did not understand anything. Security didn’t say anything anymore and I didn’t know Lima. Seeing that we arrived at the prefecture, I felt scared and just wanted to cry.

We arrived and no one said anything. Then I saw my dad come down and my soul broke. I knew it was the last time I would see him. I found out because he, who was in charge of that operation, had previously arrested me and I know how they work. I was afraid they would do something to my dad. I can only say that in my mind he was saying “he is strong”.

Then we went to take refuge in a friend’s house. After all, we arrived and my mother was in another dimension, she was a little pale and didn’t want to say anything. My surprise was to speak with Alondra. I did not know what to say. She is a very intelligent girl but she also felt my pain… I want to forget that day… a few hours passed and at that moment Alondra told us that she saw that they threatened us with a weapon, that she was clinging to my father. She says that the moment my dad saw that about the threat of the weapon is where she mentions “it’s fine but without violence.” Before getting out of the car, my father mentions the following: “I will never betray my people and if it is for them I will have to go to jail.”

When I talk to Alondra again, I feel her pain with every word she says. We carry a lot of pain inside, I feel guilty for so much pain towards my family. I am the oldest and I could not defend them. It’s hard to live thinking about my little Lark. She is very mentally ill. I don’t understand why power can violate all the human rights of an 11 year old girl.

I want justice for my little sister. I can talk about how illegal the detention was. I want to tell the world everything they did to us and it’s our faith in God and seeing my dad free that lifts us up every day and doesn’t keep us going. I can’t explain what it feels like to be a close family and suddenly be left all alone. I have my brothers and my mother in Mexico and my father in Barbadillo. There are days I don’t want to continue. My strength is leaving me but I remember that my father has not spoken to my brothers for two months (without telephone communication because they do not allow him to have a call, when here in Peru you do have the right to a daily call). We miss my dad so much.

My dad is a very good man who fought for his people every day and sacrificed many things for the good of the country. My family and I plead for international help, we will be eternally grateful.


* Daughter of Pedro Castillo,

President of Peru

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