The Castle

“Avant, nous avons effectivement de nombreux morts plus importants que la notre” Dalton

End of May, this year Roque Dalton would have turned 81 years old.

In 1960 he was apprehended and filed by the former National Police for his clandestine activities. It is possible that he was taken to the “The Castle”: the National Police Central Headquarters. Many entered through its gates in the 60’s-80’s to be questioned, tortured and disappeared. Ironically The Castle lies next to the “Church of Mercy” were the first independence outburst took place in 1811. Dalton came out and lived for another 15 years , perhaps the real irony is that death came at the hands of his partners in arms and not from the police.

20 years after the end of the war, 50 after Dalton´s filing and 200 after the bells of the neighbor church called for freedom,  I was able to visit The Castle as part of the Bicentenary Route. Now this beautiful victorian building constructed in the 1930’s by an Italian architect  is a national cultural patrimony accessible to the tourists who want to admire its architecture and gardens.

Around 6:00pm I saw across the central yard the back door of the Castle.  I could not help but to think about Roque crossing the gate, his hopes untouched,

and a suspicious gaze nailed in his back.


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