When I was little, I remember that one of my deepest fantasies was to have the superpower of the Invisible Woman and I used to think of all the things I could do, of all the things I could get away with, both the good and the pranks; but as I got older I realized that being invisible is not impossible, or a super power, I realized that, that little girl’s fantasy was not impossible, that in fact, regular people can become invisible and that we don’t have to look that far from us to see invisible people every day.
Yuliana was one of those invisible ones, she was an indigenous, colombian seven-year-old girl who, on that fateful December 4th of 2016 was raped, tortured and killed just a few miles from her home; the little girl in me who wanted to be invisible at the same age Yuliana was when she got killed, couldn’t help but to sob when I read her story, I started to wonder if Yuliana ever wanted to be invisible like me, if she had dreams of growing up and becoming a doctor, or a singer, or an engineer… I couldn’t help but to feel sorry, to have this need to tell Yuliana that I’m sorry for what happened to her, tell her that I’m sorry she didn’t have the chance to make her dreams come true. The woman that I am today felt this unspeakable rage, this impotence for not being able to do anything for her or for the 66,000 women who are killed every year, just for being a girl or a woman.
Lucía, a sixteen-year-old girl from Mar de Plata, Argentina, died on October 8th of 2016, murdered by two men who drugged, raped and impaled her. “Who does that to a 16-year-old?” Was my first thought as I remembered myself at 16 and how my biggest fear was to forget an assignment or that my friends wouldn’t show up atschool that day because then I wouldn’t have anyone to talk to. Lucia, as her brother described her, was "like art, like Rock & Roll, like love to the animals." As I read this, the 16 year-old in me couldn't help but thinking how much I would have loved to have met her, to have been her best friend.
They were invisible to us all until something happened to them, until they got raped and killed, but Yuliana and Lucía were seen by the world and will forever live through our fight: they were alivefrom the Obelisco in Buenos Aires to Plaza de la Independencia in Mexico City and from Alameda in Santiago de Chile to the streets of Sao Paolo, the day we marched to demand justice for them and respect for our lives. I like to think that on that day, the rock and roll soul of Lucía and the joyful innocent soul of Yuliana marched side by side with every single one of us, giving us the strength to walk and the force to shout.
They will forever remain in my heart as one of the reasons I fight, as one of the reasons I stood up and said, “Enough!”
I share my grief with their families, just as if they were my own, and I say to them: your daughters will never be forgotten. They will always be my motor to keep fighting, to keep struggling, to make sure that nothing like this ever happens to anyone of us.
We deserve to live without fear.