Day 7: El Paso Press Conference to Texas...
Once again, we are overwhelmed and touched deeply by her warmth and generosity. It gets closer and closer to press conference time. Womyn are trying to pack up, grab food, finish preparing for our press conference.
It is time to go and we can not find Jasi nor Amayalli. One minute they were chasing each other around the house, playing with the dog, laughing and screeching! The next, they're gone. Disappeared. No evidence - like the girls and womyn of Juarez...NOT!
Cemelli is stricken, panicked, thinking her child has disappeared - she's been to Juarez, she lives here, she knows the dangers of El Paso; but most of all, she knows where the pedophiles live in this neighborhood - how many houses down, what color the house is, how many steps to our front door.
She has had to walk children from the bus past his house to this house where we are staying, where there is a school for young children - blocks from where a convicted pedophile is allowed to live.
Her panic increases exponentially with the seconds that tick by. We search the house, we search outside, Cemelli is close to calling the police. I know it is impossible that Jasi would go out by himself in a neighborhood he doesn't know. I know that will not keep him safe.
After many harrowing moments, the children are discovered in the closet, hiding - first they say they were playing hide & seek. Amayalli sees how upset her mother is and she weeps sorry, sorry, sorry Mama. Jasi says they were just hiding, they didn't want to leave, they wanted to keep playing.
We have to leave - the press has arrived at Cafe Mayapan and is waiting for us. We rush into our vehicles and race off, children safe in their car seats.
This time, this press conference is very successful! These womyn with La Mujer Obrera know how to get out the press. Gina and Cemelli also speak. We have TV cameras, radio, and written press.