On February 17, 1938 Olga Camacho Martinez was raped and brutally murdered in Tijuana. She was only 8 years old. Soon after a soldier named Juan Castillo Morales was accused of the crime. Angry crowds rioted and demanded the alleged perpetrator to be delivered to them and to kill him. To calm the rioting masses, a military court quickly prosecuted Morales. A day later they applied the law of flight, when they shot him in a staged attempt of escape. After his death some people felt he died innocent and thought strange things are happening at his grave. After all, he was an nice looking boy of only 20 years, a stranger from the southern state of Jalisco, a low ranking member of the military - someone to easily feel sorry for. Juan Morales was turned into Juan Soldado. He became an unofficial saint, who is worshipped in Tijuana and beyond until this day.
Olga Camacho Martinez' story on the other hand seems hardly known to anyone anymore. People learn about her only, when wondering about and inquiring the historic appearance of Juan Soldao. Young girls (and boys), who are murdered, raped or who disappear, cause strong and violent reactions from the public. Yet, the rioting crowd that wanted to lynch Olga's murder, let her name slip into the collective unknown soon after. Both were victims of violence, but Morale's life was blurred into the story of a saint, while Olga and many other young victims were forgotten. Actually I can't think of a single example of a killed girl, whose name and life story survived her death. Instead they joined the ghostly forces of those forgotten by history.
Believing in ghosts means to recognize and embrace the presence of the disappeared and dead. But how to make contact? I propose in the same way you make contact to a living person. Just say their name : ¡Hola Olga! But don't expect an answer, especially not, if you are not related in any way (through, for example, family, age, gender or ethnicity) - like I am not. Yet, I believe, I can experience her presence and I can say I am sorry. How to make their traces visible? - By recognizing the gap between what we see and what we know. The specters can enter our lives through this gap. You can experience their presence by embracing the things you don't understand (yet). Look at the world like a child, who sees a strange place full of wonders, scary monsters and unexplained sadness, and you might make contact with the ghosts of those, that disappeared to soon.