Giuliana, 18 as of March 2005
Here is a picture of Giuliana Llamoja Hilares. She and her mother got into another fight Saturday night, March 5, 2005. They have been getting in fights all Giuliana's life. And all Giuliana's life, as is so common in South America especially, the mother has been trying to control her. On that night, though, Giuliana finally had enough. All the pain trapped inside her for all those years created an explosive chemical reaction in Giuliana's brain. Though the exact details will never be known to anyone except Giuliana, the mother is now dead.
Giuliana stabbed her 65 times with a kitchen knife.
Giuliana is now in jail. The mother has already been burried in the ground.
This could have been prevented. Very easily.
It could have been prevented with some education on the things that matter most in life. The things I have been writing about on this site for 9 years now.
And it could have been prevented with some simple changes in the laws which treat teenagers like virtual prisoners and slaves. And now, Giuliana is in a different type of prison. But one where she will probably be less emotionally and psychologically abused. And most likely, less abused physically, since it is normal for South American mothers to hit, slap or beat their daughters whenever they disobey or talk back.
We can feel fairly certain Giuliana was beaten many, many times by the woman called her mother over her 18 years of life. So this would be where Giuliana learned to respond, and try to protect and defend herself, with violence.
Giuliana is a law student, by the way. She recently won a poetry contest. But making good grades -- good enough to get into law school-- studying law and writing poems didn't help Giuliana or her family. Giuliana also recently won a dance contest. Yet being a good dancer didn't help either.
And Giuliana is obviously intelligent. But being intelligent didn't prevent what happened.
Yet it could have been prevented. Very easily.
If you think I am making this up for dramatic effect, you are wrong.
Here is a picture of the article in the newspaper where I got the above photo, just in case you are having trouble believing this is all true. The headline says she has fallen into a deep depression.
And if you are still not convinced, just do a google search for "Giuliana Llamoja Hilares" and run it through a translator or ask someone who speaks Spanish what it says.
I will be writing more about this later. Right now it is too hard to write about.
Copies of some of her poetry
Copy of another newspaper article, online, in the Lima, Peru paper "El Commercio"
My original journal writing about this
Here is an article I started writing, which I planned to put in Spanish.....
Today I read that a 20 year old law student stabbed her mother to death. The paper reported the mother was cut 65 times with a kitchen knife.
The father and many others wonder how something like this could happen. How could an 18 year old law student kill her own mother? We must understand the answer to this question if we hope to prevent something like this from happening again one day.
Some people have already labeled the Giuliana a "psychopath", but this will will do nothing to help us understand the feelings and the pain trapped inside this young girls heart.
It is these feelings we must understand, and the reasons for them, if we want to learn from this painful lesson.
My original journal writing
Today I read that a 20 year old law student stabbed her mother to death. The paper reported the mother was cut 65 times with a kitchen knife.
-- Labeling her a "psychopath" will do nothing to help us understand the feelings which led to this anymore than labeling someone a "terrorist" helps us understand.
-- The girl needed help and she didn't get it. The whole family needed help and they didn't get it.
The young people need our help and they are not getting it.
I hold the psychologists partly to blame. They do not understand what is happening.
They are not educating people. They are not doing much of anything to help this.
The Catholic church is certainly not helping.
If the Catholic church had the solutions to the problem of violence, Peru would be one of the most peaceful country on earth. Instead it has some of the most domestic violence anywhere in the world. I have seen more fights on the street and have heard of more children and teenagers being hit at home than in any other country in the world out of the 38 countries I have visited.
I have seen more street fights in 5 months in Peru than I have seen in my entire life.
If people looked a little more closely at their own culture, they would have no reason to be surprised by what happened inside that home.
Violence breeds violence. It does not take a degree in psychology to understand this.
Yet what is being done to stop violence in Peru?
I have asked many teenagers and children if domestic violence is talked about in school. Usually the answer is no. And when it is talked about, it is only talk. The parents who are hitting the children and teenagers at home are almost never held accountable.
I have witnessed teachers hitting students with sticks. I have talked to children who have been hit in school with iron rods. This is supposed to be illegal in Peru, but it still happens.
I have also been told that it is illegal to physically or psychologically abuse a child in Peru, but what is really being done to stop the abuse in the homes? If it has not even been stopped in the schools, how will it be stopped in the homes?
The other night I asked a ten year old who sells candy on the Ovalo de Gutierrez every night if they have ever told her that in other countries it is illegal to hit children. She said no, she has never heard that before. I asked her to talk to her teachers about it and she said that one of her teachers told her it was legal for parents to hit their children when the children were "bad."
One of the major problems with telling a child they deserve to be punished is that they start to believe it. This destroys their self-esteem and they start to feel unlovable, which leads directly to a deep feeling of insecurity. Insecure people are always afraid the person they love and need will leave them.
If I deserved to be punished, how could I also deserve to be loved?
Verbally skilled people from abusive homes become experts at verbally attacking others.
We can be sure that Giuliana was verbally insulted hundreds if not thousands of times over her 20 years of living in that home.
I have no doubt that for each cut she inflicted on her mother, she has received many more times that amount in verbal assualts upon her character.
Each verbal assult hurts us. It is human nature to defend ourselves.
We don't know who reached for the kitchen knife first. But I would not at all be surprised if it was the mother.
The number of cuts represents the emotional suffering that Giuliana has lived with for 20 years.
-- What Giuliana needs now is our understanding. Our love. Our compassion. But she is unlikely to get much of this. The people will judge her and say "How could she do this to her own mother?!"
But if they say "How could she do such a thing" it only shows me how little they understand how how the educational system and all the psychologists have failed to inform the public about the cause and effect relationship between how a child and adolscent is treated and how something like this could happen.
Imagine everyday I insult you and criticize you and verbally attack you ten times. I do this from the age of 5 until the age of 20. So for fifteen years I say things like
Por que... Por que no.... (Why... Why not....)
Imagine I invalidate you for 15 years. Imagine when you are crying that I tell you to stop crying.
Imagine that when you are worried I tell you not to worry.
Imagine I constantly order you around and treat you basically like a slave, like the Spanish treated all the native Peruvians when they came with their weapons.
What Giuliana needed all her life was understanding. But instead, she got insults, invalidation and orders. And we can be sure that she also received painful punishment when ever she disobeyed or defied her mother.
What we need to teach all students and all future parents, and all lawers and all police is this:
You will never understand a person by insulting them. You will never understand a person by invalidating them. You will never understand a person by giving them orders. You will never understand a person by punishing them.
In Peru I have often heard people saying "Escuchame" but you will never understand someone by telling them to listen to you either.
She is obviously an intelligent person. Intelligent people always have reasons for what they do. They can always explain their actions if you take time to listen well.
There is a confusion between listening and obeying. People say "My son doesn't listen to me, when they really mean "My son doesn't always immediately obey me."
In Peru there is no tolerance for disobedience. I have seen how the system works here. If you don't obey and do it quickly, you are punished. It is a very simple sistem. And if you "talk back" you are also punished.
The cultural myth is taught to young people that it is a "lack of respect" to talk back to your parents. This justifies the parents in hitting the child or adolscent when they want to speak up.
All her life, Giuliana needed her mother to listen to her. She had a lot she wanted to share with her mother, but her mother wasn't interested. Intelligent people have more thoughts and emotionally intelligent people have more feelings. They want to share these. It is human nature.
The people we most want to share things with are our own mothers and fathers. Children come into this world wanting to share. It is normal for them to say "Look Mommy" when they see something as simple as a butterfly. But what if the mommy doesn't look? What if time after time she isn't interested? Or what if she insults the child by saying something like, "It is only a common butterfly. Stop pestering me."?
This is a direct wound to the soul of the child. It hurts. We can say it is like taking a knife and stabbing into the precious little heart of a child. If it were a real knife, we would have the mother arrested and punished, but it is an invisible knife so nothing is done. I have noticed that if the child cries when the parent hurts their little soul, South Americans are quick to say the child is a crybaby. a "llorona."
I have never seen a country where the mothers treat the daughters so badly. They hit them, they insult them, they control them.
There is nothing which surprises me in this news story. What surprises me is only that it doesn't happen more often. -
A child who feels understood would never, ever do this to her mother.
So who is to blame? People always want to find someone to blame. So let's ask ourselves, who is really to blame? And let's ask who could have prevented this?
I feel very sorry for this young person. Very, very sorry. She did not ask to be born into that family. She fought a losing battle all her life to be accepted, respected, understood. It is not a question of love. It is easy to say "Her mother loved her." But that does not help us understand why this took place. In fact, it only misleads us, sends us searching down the wrong path.
If we say "Her mother loved her", we stop looking for evidence of what the mother did to provoke her daughter.
The evidence is there. We only would have to do a little investigation to find it. But the police are unlikely to do this kind of investigation. The psychologists are unlikely to do it. Most psycholotists are also parents. They are unlikely to say "If my child wants to seriously hurt me it is because I have done something very wrong as a parent."
But really is this simple. Psychologists, though, don't want to make things simple. They want to make it seem complicated. They want to pretend that only they understand the complexities of the human mind. But I have found that in reality, they don't understand the human mind very well at all. And even less the human heart.
I have met children in all parts of the world. I have have never met one single child who wanted to hurt his or her parents without justification. There is always a reason when a child wants to hurt a parent. And it is always that the child was hurt first by the parents. If I constantly treat my child well, why would they want to hurt me? The answer is, they wouldn't.
i want to meet this girl that killed her mother. she is just 18.
so full of pain. and now more pain. but the source of her pain is gone at least. if she can now forgive herself.
it will be hard to forgive herself, to understand her mother deserved to be stopped, needed to be stopped. and to understand she was taught to be violent. she knew nothing else. but she can learn now. from pain we have the opportunity to learn, to become much better people than we were. this young person can still have a very important place in society. she can help a lot of people. she has passsion she has strength. i admire her. i want to help her channel her power in a more positive direction.
i suspect she was going to law school to fight against abuse, injustice. i suspect her father is interested in money and she is interested in justice. i want to know if i am right. i want to write about this person. do a documentary.
people will pay attention to this case. it will cause them to think a bit. not much probably, but a little. it is a chance. a chance to be heard by a few or a lot more people.
i want to go to the newspaper tomorrow. to the radio maybe. do a talk show maybe. -- she also had tried to poison her mother.
so everyone who knew this failed her. school failed her. her university failed her. the psychologists of peru failed her. the government failed her. the church failed her.
no one explained things to her. no one understood her pain. no one got her away from her mother.
she would have been better in another country. far from her mother.
the sad thing is there is absolutely nothing she could study which would help her understand her family problems. there is no course in peru which would help her. not one single university or highschool course.
there are books probably but no one led her to those books. and there are not enough magazine articles. not enough shows on the news. not enough talk about family violence and no talk at all about invalidation.
dancing instead of solving family problems
here in peru. dancing and drinking and ordering people around
no value in punishment she is not a danger to society. she could teach us much. tell us her true feelings help prevent this in the future
speaking to students, parents would do much more to prevent future deaths and domestic violence than locking her up.
In the USA they think the answer to everything is found within a bottle of pills.
Who doesn't believe the mother had hit the dauhgter when she was younger?
I have an 18 year old friend whose mother hit her recently with a kitchen knife. And I was threatened with by a woman one in Quito when I was taking pictures.