My name is Teresa de Jesus Caterina. I am a Me’phaa. Today I am old, but I am still suffering from the rapes I have suffered. That was in 1993.
My daughter and I went to work in the fields. On the way, we stopped along a stream to catch crabs. Military men arrived and demanded, in Spanish, that they be given water. I replied, in my native language, Me’phaa, “You have hands, use them! ». They then forced us to follow them to their military camp in the mountains. Two women from my community were already there. My daughter and I stayed two days with the soldiers without food or drink, being raped. Then we left the camp and walked.
On the road, we passed my husband, who was drunk and asked them to free us. They replied, “Here we are the chiefs, you are nothing”, before tying him to a tree and hitting him.
We resumed our walk, taking my husband with us; the women were raped at regular intervals, about every four hours. And as I was trying to defend myself, I was tied up with a rope and dragged by the neck. Then we arrived in our village, where they tied me up again and beat my husband.
Then they “offered” my freedom and that of my daughter in exchange for a meal that I had to prepare for them. “If you don’t serve us, if you don’t shut up, we’ll come back for you, now we know where you are! »
They are gone. It’s very hard for me to tell all this. My husband died. He didn’t want me to tell my story for fear of the community’s reaction.