Sombath Somphone: Your spirit is also in Bolivia

Today I found this letter. I looked for it because it’s December and on the 15th of December of 2012, Sombath Somphone was abducted in Vientiane. After five years, the Lao Government still has not clarified his disappearance.

Dear Sombath

Today (May 30 2015) I left Asia. Among my memories yours is for sure the most brief and none the less the most deepest. We meet very shortly in Vientiane during the Asia Europe Peoples Forum in 2012 and we shacked hands saying that we would continue chatting. Nonetheless, that never happened. Few months later you were last seen going into a police station and since then the authorities of Laos have never giving an explanation of what happened to you.

When I came to Asia, more than three years ago, I just had finish writing the book about my brother José Carlos Trujillo Oroza who was forced disappeared in 1972 during the dictatorship of Banzer. I was able to finish his book before my mother, who searched for him for 40 years, past away. I must confess that when we presented that book I had the thought that the nightmare of enforced disappearance was something of old dictatorships. I didn’t thought that I would face again a situation like that and even less in Asia.

What the government of Laos did is not only an aggression to you and your family it is a crime against humanity that denigrates the human condition. After more than two years of total impunity I don’t have any doubt that high authorities of Laos were involved in your disappearance. How can it be possible that in a country which such control of the state over the society a very well known person like you can vanish after entering a police station? The car you were driving that night also disappeared. There is no public investigation with full participation of the family and no one has been detained.

Cowards! Excuse me Sombath for my Latin-American blood, but I simply cannot find other words and I feel that the truth will only begin to emerge when we call them by there names: bloody cowards that use their power to get rid of those that think different!

Those authorities that gave the order of disappearance, the others that cover-up them and the officials that executed the order sooner or later will face justice. At some point the fear that now prevails in Laos will be overcome. Impunity will not last forever and they will have to face justice for what they did.

These criminals have already lost because they can make disappear your body but not your memory. Your spirit is more alive than ever and a little bit of you is now flying with me to Bolivia, so I can introduce you to my brother and my mother that chat every sunset in the small square of the enforce disappeared that has the name of Jose Carlos. By the way your amazing wife, Shui-Meng, reminds me a lot of my mother because of her courage and tenacity. It is persons like them that give us hope in the future of humanity.

Un fuerte abrazo and see you soon.

Pablo