Sunday, March 3, 2024

Veracruz bar massacre leaves at least 20 orphans

The 30 people who have died and the many who were wounded weren’t the only victims of the vicious attack on a bar Tuesday night in Veracruz: 20 children were orphaned, according to municipal authorities in Coatzalcoalcos.

They are the children of waitresses and table dancers at the Caballo Blanco who died after attackers doused the inside of the bar with gasoline before throwing molotov cocktails inside.

One of the dancers, identified only as Yurai, 32, had told her mother just days before that she planned to stop dancing at the club in order to better look after her five children. She had planned to work until she finished building a house and had saved up a little money to start a business.

Yurai was aware of the risks associated with working at a place like the Caballo Blanco, but economic need had driven her to spend six years of her life dancing there.

Her mother said she was tired of having to dance for strangers and that each day it was harder for her to go to work.

“. . . she promised me that she was going to quit that job,” Rosa Villena said. “My daughter told me, ‘I’m going to tell you something, mom: the job I have is dangerous, very dangerous, and if something were to happen to me, I want you to look after my children. Please take care of them.’ I told her I would.”

Villena never imagined that the prophetic conversation would be their last.

Before working as an exotic dancer, Yurai had been a housewife but her husband beat her and she was ultimately forced to leave him.

“She was alone and couldn’t find work. One day out of nowhere, after weeks of searching, she told me that she was going to become a pole dancer, but that she would only dance. She assured me that it was only going to be temporary, but as things were going well for her, she spent six years working at the club. In that time, she was able to build this house,” said Villena.

Now those five children for whom Yurai worked so hard have a house, but no mother to raise them in it. Their grandmother fears she will be unable to provide them with the life they are accustomed to.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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