Alto a la Impunidad (Ines y Lina)

All the women lined up on the train tracks and stood facing the Guacabon, where the tracks almost came to the water and where the containers that had not been moved from ships to trains were stacked. This was the tenth day of the strike and all the women had come to support their husbands, fathers, brothers, sons who worked for the Ferrocarril Karaya. Ines and Lina stood among them.
Lina pulled her long hair into a tight bun. She'd forgotten to take her usual precautions before a demonstration. She took off her earrings and put then in the pocket of her jeans. Ines said, "No nos hagas mal de ojo." Did anything really help the evil eye? But she did the same. She tightened the rubber band that held her long black hair at the nape of her neck and also put her earrings in her pocket. Tears ran down Ines' face and Lina put her arm around her friend and whispered in her ear, "No se porque siempre lloras." But she knew why Ines was crying. She felt her own throat closing up and her eyes go moist. Standing together, fighting together, gritando with people moved her to tears. Lina called out, "Que queremos?" And the others responded, "Contrato". "Que queremos?" "Independencia." "Que queremos?" "Socialismo". "Hasta cuando lucharemos?" "Hasta que Karaya sea Libre! Independencia o muerte." The women chanted into the wind in the overcast morning. Rain was promised.
The guardias emerged out of the mist that was almost, almost ripening into rain. It was an entire peloton. They raised their armas largas, aimed, and fired. Ines and Lina watched them for what felt like a long moment, but was barely an instant. They ran. They jumped over someone, maybe Elvira. Alongside them women were running and falling while the guardias still shot.
Ines and Lina ran and ran and ran along the the bank of the Guacabon. Their long pony tails flew behind them. They strained the fabric of their blue jeans. They ran over the smooth river rocks. Their feet splashed in the puddles. Their sneakers were soaked. They reached their grove, a bower made by the branches of two sauces llorones. They raced inside, threw themselves on the ground on their backs and panted until they caught their breaths.
The wind was blowing their way and they could smell the gunfire smoke.
When their hearts had slowed down Ines sat up and clenched her fists. "We can not let them get away with this."
Lina nodded. "Those men have fought this strike too hard for this to happen now."
Both of them looked at the hollow by the roots of their sauce. They'd spied on El Gallego training the boys more than once and they'd made their own molotov cocktails. They had a row of three old vino seco bottles they'd gotten from Ines' mother's trash over several weeks. They'd filled them with gasoline they'd siphoned off the truck that belonged to Lina's father's vegetable delivery co-op. They'd made wicks from several of their old panties, already nearly in shreds.
They waited until there was silence and night fell.
Under cover of darkness they walked back to the tracks. The bodies still lay strewn. The guardias had not gathered them and nobody in Coral had yet dared come to claim them. The containers stood by the track. The strikers had refused to load them onto the trains and now there were no workers left to do it.
Ines and Lina each struck a match and lit a wick. They tossed one bottle onto one stack of containers. They tossed the second bottle onto another stack. Lina lit the last one and tossed it as high as she could. It landed on the very top of the highest container. The flames shot up into the black sky.
"Alto a la impunidad."