Last March we celebrated the International Working Women Day. In the event that took place in the central offices of the Socialist Workers’ Party [PST – Colombia], we counted with the presence of Alix Mery Ardila, mother of our comrade Carolina, disappeared four years ago. Alix has been a key element in the struggle for clarifying Carolina’s disappearance. Painfully, during those days, also two Argentine young women traveling through Ecuador had been victims of the brutal male-chauvinist violence this rotting capitalist society assaults women daily. As a tribute to Carolina, and encouragement to our struggle, we transcribe Alix Mery’s words during the occasion.
By PST Colombia.
“Working, struggling, forward-looking and free woman”
Good afternoon, comrades of PST:
March 8th, 1908, four thousand industrial seamstresses of large factories declared the strike, demanding for their right of joining the unions, for better salaries, a shorter work-shift, vocational training, and rejection of child labour.
During this strike, 129 workers died burnt out in a fire inside the Cotton Textile Factory, in Washington Square, New York. The owners had locked the workers inside the factory to force them to stay at work and not join the strike. It is in memory of what happened that March 8th that every year we highlight the role of working women, strugglers, forward-looking and free as a high tide or a snowball that grows bigger every day, organize and mobilize to struggle against male-chauvinism in a patriarchal system as the one we live in.
You might ask where I come from with this historical exercise of struggling women. Well… I want to confess this exercise is thanks to a woman that has been always present during the last 25 years of my life. And even though I have not seen this woman in the last four years, because they took her from me, my restless quest continues, and this quest has made me known more about women’s struggles, and better know this great woman I want to celebrate today: my daughter, Carolina Garzón.
Carolina, a great woman, consequent in her daily work, as much in her studies as in her life as a militant, actively in this, her party. A woman given day by day to the social and workers’ struggles, human rights and the most excluded sectors.
Today, March 5th, celebrating March 8th, Day of the working women, of the struggling women, I want to congratulate and mention the role of all women present here: comrades, partners, friends and pals of my daughter Carolina.
I also want to thank all comrades of the Socialist Workers’ Party of Colombia, part of the Fourth International, for their unconditional support during all this time; for their compromise and solidarity, you are, to Carolina and to us, a second family. This collective of persons represents the other part of the wide family in search for Carolina. You are the makers of struggles and commitment in every corner of the planet where you are present, and where you have vindicated the memory of Carolina. Thank you very much for that.
I want to mention my daughter is known internationally because of her militancy and political education in this party, the PST. If it was not because of my daughters’ militancy, she would only be just another number in some statistic. (…) And the struggle in Ecuador has helped expose the many disappeared ones in the country, whose cases were closed, or [the perpetrators] were unpunished.
I immensely thank the party and my daughters’ militancy for this. If it weren’t because nowadays my life is fully dedicated to finding my girl, I would become a member of the party right now. But I still hope to find her, to know about her location, to bring her back home, to our second family… and become a member of this great party, the PST.
Thank you very much.
¡Si luchamos como hermanos, a Carolina la encontramos! [If we struggle like brothers, we will find Carolina!]
¡Se vive, se siente, Carolina está presente! [We can see it, we can feel it, Carolina is present!]
April 28th it will be the fourth anniversary of our comrade Carolina Gazón Ardila’s disappearance, in Ecuador. During these four years we have been giving a hard political and legal struggle, demanding to the governments of Ecuador and Colombia the clarification of the facts. In this struggle, we have counted with the support of her closest family, but also with the solidarity of many social organizations. Our international organization, the Internationalist Workers’ League, through its national parties, has contributed decisively in all the denounce tasks and political demands in several countries of Latin America and Europe. Thanks to the systematic activity, Carolina’s case has become a symbol of the struggle for the disappeared ones in Ecuador, exposing the drama silently suffered by hundreds of families in the neighbor country, and serving as a boost to the constitution of the Association of Disappeared’s Relatives in Ecuador [ASFADEC], what has forced Rafael Correa’s government to respond to this huge social problem with priority.
Nevertheless, there is still not clue about what could have happened with Carolina. This is why, this April 28th, as 10 AM, we will concentrate to protest in front of the Chancellery of Colombia, San Carlos Palace (5-51, 10th Street), in the center of Bogotá, aiming to maintain our demand to Santos’ government to overtake all the necessary actions for the investigation, in coordination with the police and legal institutions, to reach Carolina’s location and the ones responsible of her forced disappearance. We invite all organizations in solidarity to join us this day.
If we struggle like brothers, we will find Carolina!