On 11th December David Ravelo’s book of poetry was launched at an event in Barrancabermeja prison: “Acúsame, cuentos y sueños de libertad” (“Accuse me, stories and dreams of freedom”). Friends, family and human rights organisations from Barrancabermeja came to the event to show their solidarity with Mr Ravelo. According to the human rights defender and poet, the book’s purpose is to show human beings’ capabilities in the face of limitations. It is based on his own story.
Accused of aggravated murder, David has been incarcerated since September 2010 and was sentenced to 18 years in prison, despite numerous procedural irregularities.
David has always maintained his innocence. “The book is a day to day account of what happened to me … it’s an attempt to show the reality and the human side of those of us who have been deprived of liberty”, says the author.
David describes himself as a life-long human rights defender; in the five years since his incarceration he has been nominated to represent the inmates five times and he has tried to make Colombia’s prisons more humane. David is an economist and founding member of the Regional Corporation for the Defence of Human Rights, (CREDHOS).
Below is one of David Ravelo’s many poems:
My tears are invisible,
invisible like the wind,
I don’t see them but I feel them,
they are tears that make me feel,
tears that don’t express feelings,
they flow inside they hide the suffering,
tears that don’t run down the cheeks,
they fall to the depths of the soul and like seeds are sown,
invisible tears that are hidden,
they are tears that purify the soul,
and they say there are ways out of adversity,
Oh! Invisible tears, they teach you to stay calm.