Alejandra Rajal

Documentary Photographer
     
Violence in Mexico
Location: Puebla, Mexico
Nationality: Mexican
Biography: Alejandra Rajal is a documentary photographer born and based in Mexico. Her vision focuses mainly on creating awareness of different realities through photographs, aiming to social conscience, empathy and sensibility to others. Currently, she... read on
Public Story
Violence in Mexico
Credits: alejandra rajal
Date of Work: 06/20/18 - 09/24/18
Updated: 09/26/18
Assignment for NPR

Tepoztlan, Morelos known to be a getaway destination for many Mexicans for a quiet weekend, became one more place where victims of violence in the country seek to be silenced.

Albino Quiroz of 72 years, disappeared on March 16, 2017. That day Albino was fixing the bathroom of his house and went to the hardware store, he usually walks but due to the intense heat decided to take the car. Maricela, his wife, was waiting for him while she was still at home caring for the cars of his business; a public parking lot for tourists, time passed and Albino did not return, Maricela says: "it was gone, I got lost in time that day, it was until 6 in the afternoon that I woke up from this dream". Albino never returned.

His car was found parked outside some premises about 10 blocks from his house, security cameras showed how he drove to that place. Later, a witness said he saw how Albino was being beaten inside a store while they closed the curtain of the business. The place turned out to be a lawyer´s office who was also a former police officer, when they inspected the place they found it drenched in chlorine.

Maricela says that the lawyer repeatedly asked for money borrowed from Albino, although they did not have any relationship, he used to say his daughter was hospitalized, however, Maricela felt that something was not right and they began to see that Albino was not the only one that lent him money and that anyone who tried to collect was threatened in a violent way.

To this day Albino is still missing and his absence is felt throughout his home; the armchair where he used to watch television, the garden with mango trees where he spent the day reading and taking care of the cars, as well as the memories his family keeps of him.

Maricela has become the voice of Albino in a country where the forced disappearance seeks to silence the stories of the victims of a violence that prevails in a country where justice is not for everyone.
Tepoztlán Morelos conocido como un sitio tranquilo, ideal para pasar un fin de semana por muchos mexicanos se convirtió en un lugar más, en donde las víctimas de la violencia en el país buscan ser silenciadas.

Albino Quiroz de 72 años desapareció el 16 de Marzo del 2017. Ese día Albino se encontraba arreglando el baño de su casa y salió a la ferretería, normalmente camina pero debido al intenso calor decidió tomar el auto. Maricela, su esposa, se encontraba esperándolo mientras seguía en la casa cuidando los autos de su negocio; un estacionamiento público para los turistas, el tiempo paso y Albino no regresaba, Maricela dice: “se me fue, me perdí en el tiempo ese día, fue hasta las 6 de la tarde que yo desperté de este ensueño”. Albino nunca regresó.

Se encontró su auto estacionado afuera de unos locales a unas 10 cuadras de su casa, cámaras de seguridad mostraron como manejó hacía ese lugar. Más adelante un testigo comentó haber visto como Albino era golpeado dentro de un local mientras cerraban la cortina del negocio. El local resultó ser de un abogado que también era ex policía, al inspeccionar el lugar lo encontraron bañado en cloro.

Maricela cuenta que el abogado le pidió en reiteradas ocasiones dinero prestado a Albino, aunque no mantenían ninguna relación, el decía que su hija se encontraba hospitalizada, sin embargo, Maricela sentía que algo no estaba bien y comenzaron a ver que Albino no era el único que le prestaba dinero y que cualquier persona que intentaba cobrar era amenazada de forma violenta.

Hasta el día de hoy Albino sigue desaparecido y su ausencia se percibe en todo su hogar; el sillón donde solía ver la televisión, el jardín con arboles de mango donde pasaba el día leyendo y cuidando los autos, así como los recuerdos de su familia.

Maricela se ha convertido en la voz de Albino en un país donde la desaparición forzada busca silenciar las historias de las víctimas de una violencia que prevalece en un país donde la justicia no es para todos.
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