"The waiting has been hard and it will continue to be hard because I can not accept that this is

them. I cannot accept that my compañero, Mario, is one of these bones. I have to find the entire

body. I cannot have someone tell me that this is Mario's tooth. I can't accept that. I am 52 years old.

Maybe I have ten more years of fighting and I have no children so who will go on fighting for him

and the others? When I saw the bodies found in Pisagua, I thought they were pretty. I thought they

would be even prettier here because the earth conserves better. It is drier here. I had an image of how

I was going to find Mario. I knew what clothes he had on. I need to see the body and say, "this is

Mario," not that someone comes and tells me that this is part of Mario's body. I imagine how I

would see him - maybe with a face of pain. But it would still be pretty for me. So I am still



Paula Allen, Copyright 1996