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Talk about what is not spoken

A taboo theme, which until today many dodge in the santacruceña city of Las Heras.

The worst thing about us
Hablar de lo que no se habla

 Las Heras, a  santacruceño  village of approximately 23,000 inhabitants, is located in the north of the province , 134 kilometers from  Caleta Olivia  and 80 from Pico Truncado. Next October 6 will be 106 years old.Fifteen years ago,  Leila Guerriero published Los suicides del fin del mundo,  a journalistic chronicle about  suicides that occurred between 1997 and 1999  . The  Juninense  journalist's book was republished this year again with the Tusquets label.

The story tells, from interviews with family, neighbors and friends, the suicides that happened in the  oil  city at the end of the millennium. One day a boy was killed; the other a girl, and so: twelve people in total, approximately 25 years old, known people and children from modest but traditional families.  The official list of deceased, however, was never made : they appear as family memories.

 The research was conducted in 2002, was published in 2005  and had a long route: the streets, some gravel, others asphalt, and a railway station burned in 1997, a lonely landscape of the afternoons of nap and  ferocious wind , Guerriero will say several times. Effort, loneliness, discomfort, desolation, cold: sensations of a journalist who investigated and who was strange to the village's everyday life, but willing to tell terrible facts ranging from horror, prejudice, uncertainty of young suicide and families that remained and continue to wander, working and playing in the streets of Las Heras.

 Being a “taboo” theme  — even these days — many labels and editorials rejected its publication  : articulate the fascination of a novel with the fear of a local reality, coupled with the indifference, prejudices and enigma of those young people who They wouldn't see in the small village anymore, it was hard. Despite this, the journalist investigated without falling into occurrences or testimonies that did not allude to this extreme situation.

Collaboration and solidarity with local journalists was essential to continue listening to stories about young people. The paternalistic gaze was never part of the talks with the Lasherans.The construction of urban legend of “pueblo maldado” was also not present; yes the stereotype of village “swallow”, which increases its density and population from good oil prices or, failing that, its decline due to lack of work.

The lack of support from the State and health professionals, a town divided by houses and/or neighborhoods, distant neighborhoods and incommunicado detention for lack of investment, in addition to a major crisis in the whole country, completed the southern journalistic experience and also,en, a little stereotype of people from the deep interior.

 In 2010, on the same research by Leila Guerriero, young director Leandro Listorti made a documentary film entitled The Young Dead. A kind of allegory that ventures into the fundamentals of the human being and his relationship-vision of death. The film is motivated by around 30 deaths that occurred in the city in the late 90s to 2010. The cases and history of these are known globally, as UNICEF has participated and encouraged the study because of the high level of youth suicide.

 Suicides from the end of the world was difficult to publish, but widely accepted among readers.An example of sensitive and strong chronicle, accurate and intense data that is read over 240 pages between horror and acceptance to look and learn from those facts, to think social policies that help, more than 20 years of them.

Publication Date: 03/09/2020

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