Boris Tobías, 28, was killed by suspected gang members on November 7. It happened inside the taxi he was driving, not finding work after the pandemic.
At five in the afternoon on Saturday, November 7, two men knocked on the door of Maria’s house. “Go to the police, Boris was killed by the bridge,” they said. Boris was the son of Maria: the eldest. Now, 17 days later, on a table, next to two candles, a book with religious hymns and a crucifix, the photograph of the young man remains. He was 28 years old.
In that room, two by three meters, the darkness becomes dense. The candlelight warns of the duel. “There is my chelito, my boy,” she says, sitting in a chair in front of her son’s room.
“Until now, I don’t understand what happened,” he laments. Early that afternoon, two alleged gang members boarded the vehicle that Boris was driving at work as a taxi driver in Chalatenango.
Seven hours later, inside that same taxi, they found him dead, with blows all over his body and a bullet wound to the head. The police confirmed it, that is what María recalls and ensures that, since the day her son was murdered, she only thinks about questions that no one knows or wants to answer, not even the agents in charge of the investigation.
The murder of Boris took place on a bridge over the Sumpul River, in the section that leads from Chalatenango to the municipality of Arcatao, 26 kilometers from the streets where Boris usually used to work.
He lived, along with his mother and two younger brothers, in the urban area of the city. Boris went to work like he did every morning, early. Nothing out of the ordinary. Maria bought the vehicle she was driving after she couldn’t find a job after graduating from nursing in 2015. She used it as a pirate taxi.
The pandemic forced Boris to give up his dream of being a healthcare worker and look for a source to support his family. With the taxi he contributed, for several weeks, to the expenses of his home: since August and throughout the quarantine. “He worked for his daughter,” recalls his mother and describes him as a responsible father, who was always aware of his six-year-old daughter, now orphaned.
It took Maria less than an hour to reach the bridge where her son was murdered. He cried, remember. Inside the vehicle they found only the documents of the young man. That’s what the police told him, suggesting an assault, arguing that there was no money at the scene. She is not convinced, she thinks someone wanted to kill him, but she has no proof.
Forensic medicine returned Boris’s body late that Saturday. His family and friends watched him in the street in front of the gate where, just five hours earlier, Maria learned that he was dead. “People didn’t fit (in the candle),” María recalls and it seems that this memory comforts her.
A long caravan accompanied Boris’s coffin on its way to the Monte Piedad cemetery, in Chalatenango. They buried him around noon. The photograph that was on the grave, under the cruel sun, is the same that Mary has, in the shadows, on the altar of her house, next to a candle that breaks the dense darkness.