English Jose Carlos Trujillo Oroza

43 years ago, he was 22: The struggle to find Jó and to bring justice continues

Tunup@ Nº 02/2015 E 

#Jo43años (version en español)

On February 2, 1972, 43 years ago today, José Carlos Trujillo Oroza, was last seen by his mother Gladys Oroza de Solón, and would never be found again. He had only been 22 years old. Jó, as he was fondly called by his loved ones, had been in the infamous State prison called «El Pari» for 41 days. He had been detained by the members of the Political Control Department (DOP) of the city of Santa Cruz. He was brutally tortured, but thinking of the pain it would cause his mother, who would visit him regularly, he had tried unsuccessfully to hide his grotesque wounds from her. Jó was a young activist full of hopes and dreams inspired by Che Guevara. This was very dangerous in times of the cruel and brutal dictatorship of Hugo Banzer Suarez.  And in the blink of an eye, Jó was gone, disappeared from within the steel bars he was imprisoned in. Two other prisoners disappeared with him that fateful day, Carlos López Adrián and Alfonso Toledo Rosado.

His mother, would spend the next 40 years of her life, until her death in 2012, looking for her son and fighting to hold the perpetrators to account. Walter Solón would also dedicate his talent and skills to the struggle for not only Jó, but for his fellow disappeared, creating tapestries, paintings, sculptures and other works of art, depicting what could not be fully expressed in words – of a family’s pain, agony, grief, and undying commitment to find Jó and bring justice to him and all those who had been violently snatched away from their loved ones. A book, El Jó en la Piedra, has been written by his family to document these stories and artworks.

In commemoration of those 43 years of that unending search for truth and justice for a son, brother, friend, comrade – Fundación Solón launches today, a new section to its website, dedicated to Jó. It is his story but also the stories of those who disappeared with him, and all those who searched for him tirelessly, and fought for justice for Jó and all the enforced disappeared – as told with words, images, letters, and artworks. But of course, these are only the stories that are known. There will always be a story that will only be known to Jó and his executioners – and for Solón, that will only be known to the stone. This stone, in the imagination and artistic depiction by Solón, is a representation of the memory of the collective unconscious of the story that no one and nothing can escape. This stone bears witness, but so do we.

It has been 43 years, but he is still 22. We will never forget. We will never stop looking. The struggle for justice continues, join us: #Jo43años

Read the stories here: Jo in the Stone (El Jó en la Piedra)



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