On people who knew people. Last week, a client not called Rita claimed that she used to work with someone who was killed in the Madrid Event. She said his name was Jos? Luis and he worked with her at Caja Madrid. There’s only one Jos? Luis on the lists, a seventeen year old called Betencourt, or Tenesaca Betencourt, depending on the list. I saw Rita the next day and, with some decorum, asked her how old Jos? Luis was. She immediately said 'not young', and guessed he was around 30-40. I asked if she was sure about the name, and she said she was. I asked if she had attended the funeral. She said that she had been pregnant in hospital at the time but her colleagues had attended. I asked if she had ever really seen him, perhaps touched him. She said yes, seemed slightly sheepish, perhaps unsure where my questions were going, perhaps insulted by them, perhaps entering that state cashiers enter as they’re handing over way too much change. Anyway, JL wasn’t on the list.
I met Rita again this week. She said she had emailed a former colleague and confirmed the name was not Jos? Luis, it was Jos? Miguel Valderrama. He was 26, which surprised her because she remembered him as? she used the word ‘father’. I suppose ‘fatherly type’? Seems she had been informed not reminded of this character.
JMV is on the lists, with El Pais adding the surname ‘Lopez’. The pics:
The blurbs give his age and place of work, gf name (Roc?o) and some bits and bobs.
Not sure what’s going on with Rita, but I suppose for the moment that she’s not consciously toying with perceptions. This is pdf file of a note from the Fed of Financial Services to members of Caja Madrid dated March 18th 2004, exactly a week after the campaign launch. I don’t know yet if Rita saw it at the time. At the end you see a long list of testimonies from JMV’s work colleagues saying what a great chap he was, interspersed with poetry and anecdotes. Many of the comments suggest a childlike and joyful man, even the letter refers to his youthfulness ('fatherly type', ‘not young’, '30-40'??).
First impression of the letter is heavy weight propaganda bent on making this prefabbed sprout a reality. There’s a largely functional translation below should you wish.
Rita is a friendly lady, slim, wide-eyed, strung like a gazelle, a political but comely smile. We meet again next week. I’m thinking of putting together some mug shots to see if she can identify JMV. Any other ideas for a continuation? Stress positions? Perhaps I should leave her alone.
Letter from "Las Secciones Sindicales de CC.OO., ACCAM, UGT, Alternativa Sindical y CSICA en Caja"
For us at CajaMadrid, the attack has been particularly hard. In this massacre we have lost a colleague and various relatives of employees; at the same time, six members of La Caja have been injured. On behalf of the staff, we offer our sincerest respect and commiserations ? We put ourselves again at your disposal and will do everything that it is our hands to do. We have set up [poor choice?] an account for contributions for the thousands of victims of this massacre, that will help them to deal with the various circumstances that come from a situation like this. The account number is?. We encourage you all to give, although we know that no economic help will erase the profound imprint of this event, especially for the more than two hundred families that have lost loved-ones forever.
As we have said, among the fatally wounded we find our colleague, MJV, who worked in the building in Plaza Celenque in Madrid, in 0735-Activos Adjudicados. JM was 25. An economist, he joined the company in 2000. A good worker and colleague, he had brilliant professional prospects ahead of him. Sensitive to his surroundings, he was one of those who keep one step ahead when circumstances demand. This is why he had no doubts about going to Galicia to help with ‘chapapote’ [clean up after Prestige oil spill of 2002, an emotionally charged event; just chant ‘nunca m?s’ everyone knows what you’re talking about.]
Also, he was a candidate in the last elections of the union, to which he had been affiliated since the beginning of his professional career with Caja, convinced of the necessity for staff to organise themselves and the role that unions must play in modern working relations.
JMV brought together in his personality all the best values of a youth that is not always judged fairly: nobility, generosity, high vision, solidarity and commitment, as much as permanent kindness and a smile that rubbed off on everyone. His hopes and dreams for himself with his parents, his girlfriend and his friends, have been tragically cut short.
The representatives of the workers at the Council of Admin have suggested for this Organ[ ?? translation breakdown] that the name JMV be given to one of the Social Work initiatives with a permanent character, such as a facility or a grant? The Council unanimously supports the suggestion.
But without doubt, it is JM’s colleagues who can best speak about JM. We shall let them speak, as a reminder and a tribute to our companion and to the rest of the victims of this brutal massacre.
Followed by gushing tributes aplenty.