She, The Sergeant Matacho
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She, The Sergeant Matacho
October 8 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT
In 1948, El Libano municipality, Tolima: as a retaliation for the liberal guerrilla attack, the “chulavita” police kills Rosalba Velasco’ husband. She is a 24-year-old peasant and mother of a female child. The young lady, known as “la Mona”, with a desire for revenge, starts up a criminal life which will leave a long succession of dead policemen. Her heinous crimes are rejected by the army which is after her diligently.
The guerrilla and their liberal allies are suffering the repression consequences exacerbated by Rosalba’s overkill and they in turn are looking for her to neutralize her. Two years later, she is taken captive by Feliciano Pachón’s command and then included as part of it. “Sergeant Matacho” as la Mona Velásquez was known from then on, makes part of the command more because of survival reasons than political or ideological ones. She ends up being Feliciano Pachón’s partner and mother of his second child.
Year 1952: Feliciano Pachón, tired of the guerrilla fight and disappointed with his former allies, the liberal politicians, decides to disband the group and to release Rosalba. Many of Pachón’s followers switched to Richard commander’s orders, a young guerrilla member who leads a large number of armed rebels. Rosalba takes part in the battle as an equal with men. She becomes Richard’s partner and has her third child.
Year 1953: in the middle of a political crisis General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla’s dictatorship begins. The parliament is dissolved and the government’s three basic assumptions are: peace, justice and freedom. Many armed groups, among them Commander Richard’s group, answer the government’s call-up for implementing peace. Villarrica is relinquished in 1953. The former fighters give up their guns and as a substitute they are granted a change of clothing, a Pielroja packet and an amnesty certificate which will help them to integrate into the civil life. When Matacho shows up in the plaza for surrendering the arms, her arrest is ordered. She successfully avoids it with the help of his friends and right then she starts labour. Richard’s baby is born and she goes back to the jungle. War gets worse and worse.
Year 1957: General Rojas Pinilla falls and “Frente Nacional” takes over. Matacho is finally caught and put in jail in Ibague from which she will be out thank a general amnesty decreed in November the following year. But peace is elusive for Matacho. Getting into civil life amidst so much hate and desire for revenge is impossible.
Year 1960: Sergeant Matacho is part of the people of the renowned Desquite and she is expecting her fourth child. On her due labour day, they fall into an ambush planed by the armed forces. Desquite flees with the help of her partner but she passes away being 36 years old at the hands of the army.