Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
2Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Profile Delia Susana

Profile Delia Susana

Ratings:

5.0

(1)
|Views: 35|Likes:
Published by Ann Davenport
A profile of a good friend of mine, a Chilean midwife who is brave, conscious and humble. A promoter of women's health rights.
A profile of a good friend of mine, a Chilean midwife who is brave, conscious and humble. A promoter of women's health rights.

More info:

Published by: Ann Davenport on Sep 13, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

12/21/2012

pdf

text

original

 
 Ann Davenport Profile “Delia Susana” 
 
1
DeliaSusana
WhenImetDeliaSusanathreeyearsago,Iwasimmediatelyattractedtoherdeepbrowneyes-asdeepasanightskyinPatagonia–andherquickwit.SheistallforaChilean,andattributesthistohavingMapucheIndianancestorsandgrowingupinthefreshairoffarmlandsandsmallfishingvillagesalongthecentralcoastofChileinthe1950’sand60’s.Sheusedtoliketoswimintheocean;likedthefeelingofbeingoverwhelmedbythetideandwavesastheysuckedherfeetoutfromunderherandthesaltwaterrusheduphernose.DeliaSusanagraduatedinthetop2%ofhermidwiferyclassattheUniversityofChilein1972.ShewaspracticingmidwiferyinoneofthelargesthospitalsinSantiagowhen,inOctoberof1978,herlifewassuckedoutfromunderher.Shehadbeenmarchingwithhermedicalcolleagues:hundredsofdoctors,nursesandmidwiveswereprotestingPinochet’shealthpoliciesthroughdowntownSantiagointhemiddleofabrightSundayafternoon.Suddenly,shewassweptawaybyawatercannon,ablastofwateruphernoseandmouth,suckingherbreathaway,chokingher.Shewaswashedintoastorefrontwindow,wheretwomilitarymenhauledherup,pickedsomeglassoutofherhair,handcuffedher,andtossedherintothebackofthepolicetruckwithothersoggyandsobbingdemonstrators.“Itallhappenedsofast,”shesaidtome,“wewereallsinging,andthat’sprobablywhynobodyheardthetruckscoming.Wesawthepoliceonhorseback,butnobodysawthatwatercanon.Itwasjustunthinkable.”Sheremembersthesmellofsweatfromthehorsesand
 
 Ann Davenport Profile “Delia Susana” 
 
2
thepolicemen,remembersthinkinghowfunnyitseemedtosmelllikethebloodofchildbirth,too.“Ilookedaroundatthepeopleinthebackofthepolicetruckandtheywereallstaringatme.ThebloodIsmelledwasmyown,fromtheglassbeingbrokenonthatstorewindow.Myneckwasbleedingandmyarms.Ididn’tevenfeelthat,canyouimagine?”sheasked,stillslowlyshakingherheadindisbelief,alltheseyearslater.WewereshuckingoystersfreshfromanunderwaterfarminthelittlefishingvillageofHorcón,upthecoastfromValparaiso.Wehadthesaltywindinourhairandface,concentratingoncrackingopenthoselockedtreasures.Shewouldn’tlookupatme,justfocusedonthetaskathandwhiletellingherstory.“Allthepeopleinthebackofthepolicetruckweretakentothenationalstadium,wheremeandtheotherwomenweresegregatedfromthemen,”shesaid.Theywerestrip-searched,giventheirclothesbacksmellingofinsectrepellent,thenfingerprinted,photographed,andputintoasmallroom.Threewomenperroomhadthreearmycots-nosheets,nopillows,notoilet,nosink.Noonetotalktoorask,“whathappened?”excepteachother.Mostofthetimewasspentinsilentshock,orweepingintotheirhands.Theyallassumedtheywouldbethereovernightthenallowedtogohome,togobacktotheirshiftatthehospitalthenextday.Butthenextday,DeliaSusanawastransferredtoanotherplace,inthemiddleofthenight,inthebackofanarmyvehiclewithblacked-outwindows,andthistimesheknewitwasnotgoingtobejustovernight.Shelivedinthatcompoundforthenext13months.Shewaskepttheretodoprenatalcareforthepregnantprisonersandattendtheirbirths–iftheguardondutywassleepinganddidn’tgiveawomanwailinginlaborenoughconsiderationto
 
 Ann Davenport Profile “Delia Susana” 
 
3
transferhertothehospitalontime.Inthose13months,DeliaSusanahadalotofpracticewithpregnancyandchildbirth.Asfornewborncare–thefemaleguardsalwaystookthebabiesawaythenextday.Becauseofaninternationaltreatybetweencountries,establishedaftertheGenevaConventionwiththeUnitedNations,peoplewhoareconsidered“politicalprisoners”canbetransferredtohostcountriesasrefugeesduringtimesofcrises.ThistreatywasunknowntoDeliaSusanaandtheotherprisoners.OnewarmSouthAmericansummernightin1979,DeliaSusanafoundherselfonboardaplane,with9otherwomenfromtheprison,notknowingwheretheyweregoingorwhy.TheyhadheardrumorsofpoliticalprisonersfromArgentinabeingthrownfromlowflyingaircraft,alive,intothesea.“Wewereallcryingandprayingsoftlytogether,”shesaid,“untilwefellintoanexhaustedsleep,holdingontoeachother.Thatwasallwecoulddoagainstthatterrible,black,unknownfear.”Twelvehourslater,intheirsummerdresses,noluggage,eachwithapassportthathad“Terrorist”stampedinredinkacrosstheirphoto,theydisembarkedontothefreezingtarmacandnorthseawindsofLondoninNovember.IttookheraboutayeartolearnEnglish,andsheworkedtowardvalidatinghermidwiferydegreefromOxfordUniversitywhileattendingpregnantimmigrantwomeninalargepublichospital.ShesubsequentlybecameinvolvedwithaBritishmissionarygroupgoingtoEsteli,Nicaragua,helpingtheSandinistagovernmentestablishhealthclinicsandprograms.Shefellinlovewiththatwork,withthepeopleofNicaragua,andwithahandsome

Activity (2)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
Helen Winslow Black added this note
Midwives are not terrorists, regardless of what Pinochet ever thought

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->