Guilty of being a lesbian

That was the main evidence that led a jury to convict Dolores Vázquez of murder. For being for being a woman who didn’t comply with the norms

Ivan Gelibter
IVAN GELIBTER

It’s taken twenty years and, I’m sure, hundreds of sleepless nights, for Dolores Vázquez, to break her silence. The case that brought Spain to a standstill due to the magnitude of the miscarriage of justice was really a mirror that reflected an unfavourable image of the society of the time, very different - and quite a lot worse - than 2021.

In the docu-series about the Wanninkhof case that HBO Max has premiered in Spain this week - the first three episodes were released on Tuesday - the deputy editor of SUR, Javier Recio, makes a statement that sums up what was happening at that time.

“In 1999 there was a lot of homophobia.”

In fact the case against Dolores Vázquez was based on just that: she was a lesbian; or in other words, a woman who didn’t not live up to what was expected of her.

Dolores liked judo and was rude to employees who didn’t do their job properly. Dolores had short hair.

That was the main evidence that led a jury to convict her of murder. For being a bad woman. A vengeful, cruel and ruthless woman who was driven by what bad women are supposed to be driven by: jealousy.

And so, now time has passed and things have gained some perspective, we can reach the conclusion that Dolores Vázquez was convicted for being a woman who didn’t comply with the norms laid down by the patriarchy.

Yes, that word that many shy away from, but which academically ends up explaining almost everything that is wrong in our society.

Twenty years after Dolores’ life was ruined as she did not fit in with what men wanted her to be, the shadow of the social deterioration is longer than ever.

We have to keep this in mind, for what could happen in the future. So that they don’t burn any more witches.