Absences. Graciela Suazo, and words to describe losing her.

Former LIBRE mayoral candidate and beloved teacher Graciela Suazo Solano was murdered by a single gunman who accosted her outside her residence in La Ceiba on the evening of December 6. He shot her once through the heart and fled. Her cell phone was taken; her laptop and wallet were left in her bag, by her side.

News articles reporting on the murder quoted local police and “witnesses,” who claim that multiple attackers tried to rob her, and that they shot her multiple times because she resisted the robbery. Everyone in Honduras knows that you never try to resist during an armed robbery, although almost everyone also has at least one story of cleverly managing to escape such an assault with something the thief wanted. But the story serves two purposes: it obscures the possible political motive of the murder in the context of a wave of post-election extrajudicial assassinations of mid-level LIBRE candidates and activists, and it directly blames Suazo for her own violent death.

I traveled to Suazo's home in Barra Patuca for the funeral, and have been here since. I have not found a way to write about the pain that her death has caused here, not publicly at least. That inability has also made it difficult for me to write about anything else, despite all of the things that so badly need to be written.

Here is the picture of Suazo that was used in most newspaper stories:

And here is my favorite picture of her: