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Rosita inside her house (Photo: Anne-Cécile Esteve for AJAR)

Rosita Maria da Costa

Rosita Maria da Costa has said enough.

In 1975 Rosita’s family fled the invasion to Aileu, chased by paramilitaries. They kept moving over a number of years, often without enough food. At last they surrendered, but their problems continued. Her family members were detained and her father-in-law was killed because he was accused of spying for the clandestine movement.

They held my father-in-law then Hansip killed him, and before he was dead they dragged him to his grave and buried him alive. At that time it was difficult to find his body, because the situation was still tense, and we had to wait to go and collect his body.

Rosita was taken to the military base and forced to dance with the soldiers.

At that time I was still very young, Hansip came and took us to dance with the soldiers. They threatened us, “If you don’t go and dance, we will shoot you dead.” Every night for two months we were taken…

She now works in her field, planting corn and sweet potatoes and selling the produce. Sometimes her husband works on road projects to supplement their income.

About ACbit

The saying “Chega Ba Ita” underlines our belief that the CAVR report was written based on the experiences and voices of the people, for the people. It is not a document that should be shelved and forgotten. It is a living document to be understood, debated, and re-invented for generations to come.

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