— Mommy, when am I gonna get rid of these scars?
The young boy who made that question to his mother is named Héctor. He's one of the 76 kids who was able to be rescued from the fire that claimed the lives of 49 little children, 5 years ago, in the ABC daycare center in Hermosillo, Sonora. Like most of those survivors, Héctor will have to deal with the consequences of that tragedy for the remainder of his life —which explains why his mother would choose to be honest in an attempt to 'toughen him up' & improve his self-confidence, instead of giving him false hopes.
And as for the parents who lost a son or a daughter on that fateful day of June 5th, 2009, they keep clamoring for justice before an unsympathetic government that wishes to sweep the matter under the rug; a government that insists on backing the conclusion of the official 'investigation' —that the fire on the adjacent warehouse run by the local government of Sonora, was caused by a short circuit in a cooler— whereas there's every reason to suspect the fire was deliberately started, and went out of control while someone was burning sensitive government documents.
The loss of those 49 lives was a tragedy. The silence protecting the culprits is the real crime.
5 years ago I wrote the post The ABC's of Impunity; 5 years have passed, and many of the scars brought up by the fire & the silent complicity will never be fully healed.
But some scars do heal in time; and even horrific events such as these can bring up the best aspects of the human history.
The above image shows little Héctor, the boy I mentioned at the beginning of this post; with him is Julio César 'El Negro', the young man who saved him from the flames. 5 years ago, 'El Negro' and his friends were near the day care, getting high; when someone rushed to them alerting them of the fire, he didn't hesitate & forced his way into the burning building, found Héctor & other children & put them to safety.
After that literal trial by fire, 'El Negro' decided to change his ways & rehabilitate from his drug addiction. In saving the life of Héctor, he also managed to save his own.
This post started as a public & personal denouncement of the impunity surrounding the ABC daycare fire; but it has morphed into a homage to recognize the bravery of all those anonymous heroes who rose to the occasion, and risked their own lives in trying to save the lives of the children.
"There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends," reads the Bible. I dare say an even greater love, is when you do it for strangers.