miércoles, 26 de agosto de 2009

2666: La parte de los crímenes #2

Sergio González Rodríguez

"La siguiente muerta fue encontrada entre la carretera a Casas Negras y una vaguada sin nombre en donde abundaban matorrales y las flores silvestres. Fue la primera muerta encontrada en marzo de 1996, mes funesto en el que se encontrarían cinco cadáveres más. Entre los seis policías que acudierion al lugar de los hechos estaba Lalo Cura. La muerta tenía diez años aproximadamente. Su estatura era de un metro y veintisiete centímetros. Llevaba zapatillas de plástico transparente, atadas con una hebilla de metal. Tenía el pelo castaño, más claro en la parte que le cubría la frente, como si lo llevara teñido. En el cuerpo se apreciaron ocho heridas de cuchillo, tres a la altura del corazón. Uno de los policías se puso a llorar cuando la vio. Los tipos de la ambulancia bajaron a la vaguada y procedierion a atarla en la camilla, porque el ascenso podía ser accidentado y en un traspié dar con su cuerpito en el suelo. Nadie fue a reclamarla. Según declaró oficialmente la policía, no vivía en Santa Teresa. ¿Qué hacía allí? ¿Cómo había llegado allí? Eso no lo dijeron. Sus datos fueron enviados por fax a varias comisarías del país. De la investigación se encargó el judicial Ángel Fernández y el caso pronto se cerró".
(Roberto Bolaño, 2666, 627)

De las docenas de muertas describidas en La parte de los crímenes, ésta se destaca por la edad de la víctima y por la reacción del policía que se puso a llorar. No obstante, el lenguaje mismo es muy típico del estilo de Bolaño en esta parte: una prosa seca y franca que a veces se lee como un informe forense. Aunque el tema del femicidio santeresiano basta para explicar la elección de este acercamiento por parte del autor, es posible que otra razón tiene que ver con la amistad entre Bolaño y el periodista mexicano Sergio González Rodríguez. González Rodríguez hace su entrada en 2666 en la página 470 como personaje ("Por aquellos días el periódico La Razón, del DF, envió a Sergio González a hacer un reportaje sobre el Penitente"), y dentro de poco aprende que hay algo peor en la ciudad que un mero profanador de iglesias ("En Santa Teresa, además del famoso Penitente, se cometían crímenes contra mujeres, la mayoría de los cuales quedaba sin aclarar" [474]). Afuera de las páginas del libro, el periodista de carne y hueso se había convertido en amigo de Bolaño antes de la muerte de éste, compartiendo información sobre los asesinatos de Ciudad Juárez por correo electrónico. En 2002, un año antes de la publicación de 2666, un libro de no ficción de González Rodríguez se publicó bajo el nombre de Huesos en el desierto. Huesos en el desierto es una obra que merece más tiempo que tengo en este momento, pero es un trabajo que alterna crónicas periodistícas sobre los asesinatos con ensayos de índole sociológico (por ejemplo, acerca de cosas como la relación entre el crimen organizado y la política en México). Además de esto, la obra contiene un capítulo particularmente conmovedor dedicado a la memoria de las victímas de Ciudad Juárez; les dejo un extracto del capítulo a continuación para los que quisieran comparar el acercamiento de Bolaño a los asesinatos con el acercamiento del periodista del DF. Para mí, no hay duda que los dos escritores quisieron llamar la atención a las dimensiones humanas de los crímenes no aclaradas. ¿Pero qué piensan ustedes?

"29/03/96, no identificada, joven, Lomas de Poleo, violada y estrangulada, 15 días de muerta. 29/03/96, no identificada, joven, Lomas de Poleo, violada y estrangulada, 30 días de muerta. 28/03/96, Guadalupe Verónica Castro Pando, 16 años, Lomas de Poleo, violada y estrangulada. 23/03/96, no identificada, joven, Lomas de Poleo, violada y estrangulada. 18/03/96, no identificada, joven, Lomas de Poleo, violada y estrangulada. 13/03/96, no identificada, joven, Lomas de Poleo, violada y estrangulada. 09/03/96, no identificada, 9 a 12 años, acuchillada, violada, carretera a Casas Grandes, kilómetro 27". (Sergio González Rodríguez, Huesos en el desierto, 268)
*
"The next dead female was found between the highway to Casas Negras and a riverbed without a name where there were scrub and wildflowers in abundance. It was the first dead female found in March of 1996, an ill-fated month in which five more cadavers would turn up. Lalo Cura was among the six police officers who showed up at the scene of the crime. The dead girl was approximately ten years old. She was about four feet tall. She wore clear plastic slippers fastened with a metal buckle. She had brown hair, lighter brown in the part that covered her face, as if she wore it colored. Eight knife wounds could be observed on the body, three at the level of the heart. One of the police officers began to cry when he saw her. The ambulance attendants went down to the riverbed and proceeded to strap her into the stretcher because the ascent could be tricky and a stumble might throw her little body onto the ground. Nobody went to claim the body. As the police officially declared, she wasn't a resident of Santa Teresa. What was she doing there? How had she arrived? That part they didn't say. Her vital statistics were faxed to various police stations around the country. Ángel Fernández of the Federal Judicial Police took charge of the investigation, and the case was soon closed." (Roberto Bolaño, 2666, 627 [my translations here and below])

Of the dozens of dead women described in The Part About the Crimes, this one stands out both for the age of the victim and for the reaction of the policeman who was moved to cry by the discovery. However, the language itself is very typical of Bolaño's style in this part: a dry, matter of fact prose that sometimes reads like a forensic report. Although the subject matter of the Santa Teresa femicides is enough to explain the choice of approach by the author, it's possible that Bolaño's friendship with Mexican journalist Sergio González Rodríguez is another reason. González Rodríguez makes his entry as a character in 2666 on page 470 of the Spanish edition ("In those days the Mexico City newspaper La Razón sent Sergio González to file a report on the Penitent"), and before long he realizes that there's something worse in the city than a mere desecrator of churches ("In Santa Teresa, in addition to the famous Penitent, they were committing crimes against women, the majority of which remained unsolved" [474]). Outside the pages of the book, the flesh-and-blood journalist had become a friend of Bolaño's before the latter's death, sharing information on the Ciudad Juárez killings by e-mail. In 2002, one year before 2666's release, a nonfiction work by Gónzález Rodríguez was published under the name of Huesos en el desierto [Bones in the Desert]. Huesos en el desierto is a book that deserves more time than I have at this moment, but it's a work that alternates journalistic chronicles on the killings with essays more sociological in nature (on things like the relation between organized crime and politics in Mexico, for example). In addition, the work contains a particularly moving chapter dedicated to the memory of the victims in Ciudad Juárez; an excerpt's available below for those who'd like to compare Bolaño's approach to the killings with the Mexico City journalist's approach. For me, it's abundantly clear that both writers wanted to call attention to the human dimensions of the unsolved crimes. But what do you think?

"03/29/96, unidentified, young woman, Lomas de Poleo, raped and strangulated, dead 15 days. 03/29/96, unidentified, young woman, Lomas de Poleo, raped and strangulated, dead 30 days. 03/28/96, Guadalupe Verónica Castro Pando, 16 years old, Lomas de Poleo, raped and strangulated. 03/23/96, unidentified, young woman, Lomas de Poleo, raped and strangulated. 03/18/96, unidentified, young woman, raped and strangulated. 03/13/96, unidentified, young woman, raped and strangulated. 03/09/96, unidentified, 9-12 years old, knifed to death, raped, highway to Casas Grandes at kilometer #27." (Sergio Gónzález Rodríguez, Huesos en el desierto, 268)

5 comentarios:

  1. Realmente me impresionó mucho el fragmento que acabas de poner. qué miseria la del hombre no? imagino, debe ser la parte dle libro más cruda y por ende real. ya lo tengo el la compu,
    saludos

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  2. Sergio González Rodríguez was a real person then? That's interesting because I just read a post on another blog questioning the ethics of using real, living people as characters in fiction. (She brought up American Wife, which was basically a fictionalized retelling of Laura Bush's life.) I don't quite recall what Rodríguez's role in 2666 was. Did he just appear that one time or was he more involved?

    I should probably re-read some of this book before writing about it. The characters kind of blurred for me.

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  3. *Hola Mariano: Sí, ese fragmento es muy duro. En cuanto a la quarta parte en general, me gusta lo que has dicho acerca de "la parte del libro más cruda y por ende real": mis pensamientos exactos también. Un abrazo.

    *Hi E.L. Fay: Sergio is indeed a real person, a journalist just like his character in the book. I forgot to mention it in my post, but Bolaño himself also appears as a character in Javier Cercas' superb 2001 Soldados de Salamina from Spain. I don't have a problem with the "ethics" of this technique myself, but I'd be interested in hearing why bloggers might get so bent out of shape about it (esp. over someone as inconsequential as Laura Bush!). To answer your question about SGR in 2666, I think he was actually a pretty important character; in addition to his function as a bridge between the stories about the church desecrator and the killings of women, he's one of the journalists who later interviews the suspected German serial killer in prison and is the reporter urged on by the powerful politician at the end of the book to continue bringing the crimes to the public's attention using the fruits of her research. Hope this helps--thanks for the visit!

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  4. That is so very interesting!

    Sergio Gonzalez was one of the characters I liked the most. I assume he'll make more appearances in the last section, being that he's now been asked to investigate on Kelly Parker's disappearance.

    I'm quite interested in reading Gonzalez's book now, although it seems like it would bore me. :D

    I don't remember Javier Cercas! I should look it up again.. lol.

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  5. I'd like to see more of the Sergio character also, Claire, but I'm not convinced that any of the characters from the previous sections will have major roles to play in part 5. Very interested in finding out, though!

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