Maria admits that she want to stop, mostly because of her children
Last Updated: Aug 26, 2016
Author: Tatjana Vlasic
The Philippines are located in the middle of a brutal crackdown on drug dealers. Specifically since their controversial president Rodrigo Duterte urged the citizens and the police to freely kill drug dealers, the situation is quite chaotic. According to statistics in recent weeks were killed more than 2 thousand people.
A young woman, with whom talked the BBC reporter Jonathan Head, is one of the government's killers, her job is to kill on the orders of the authorities.
When you meet the killer that has so far killed six people, you do not expect to find before you a young, somewhat nervous woman carrying a child in his hands, writes reporter BBC.
"My first job was two years ago in this province, near here. I was very scared and nervous because it was my first time, "says Maria, which is not her real name. It is part of a team that includes three women, who are quite valuable to the authorities because they can come near to their victims without arousing any suspicion.
One last hit https://t.co/qTSt9sbUrY
- BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 26, 2016
More work brings more risk
When President Duterte was elected, he called citizens and police to kill those dealers who resist the arrest. Maria has since killed five people, all of them she shot in the head. On the question about who gave her orders to do so she says that was her boss, who is a police officer.
That afternoon, when she was talking with a BBC reporter, Mary was told that the house in which she lives with her husband, was compromised. They had to be urgently relocated.
This controversial war with dealers for her means a lot more work, but with that came a much higher risk. He says it all started when her husband was given the task by police officer to kill a debtor, who was also a drug user.
Her husband brought her into the job
"My husband was ordered to kill a man who has not paid what he owed." This has turned into a regular cases, and her husband eventually become increasingly exposed. "Over time, they needed a woman .. husband took me to do the job. When I saw the man I was supposed to kill, I came up to him and shot him, "she recalls.
Maria and her husband come from a poor district of the Philippine city of Manila, before the activities they currently carry out, they never had a regular income. Now they earn about 327 euros per job well done, which is pretty good for Philippine standards. But the problem is that out of this situation there is no way out for the young woman as Maria.
Shabu drug that destroys the brain
Such contract killings are nothing new in the Philippines. But after the latest decisions taken by the Philippine president Dutertea they are busy as never before. Duterte has very clearly announced that in the first 6 months of its mandate he will kill 100 thousand criminals. He also addressed the dealers themselves: "Do not destroy my country because I will kill you," he told them.
What caused such a revolt with the controversial Philippine president is that more and more people were turning to the business of drug trafficking, especially often used so-called. shabu drugs. Actually it's slang for methamphetamine used countries like Japan, Hong Kong, Philippines. Methamphetamine is sold in a crystallized form. It's pretty cheap but it has a devastating effect on the brain.
Life in constant fear of bullets
In Tondu, the port area of the city of Manila, which is one of the poorer sections, the majority of the population actually encourages the president's campaign. They consider 'shabu' responsible for a large increase in crime, but also for the destruction of life. However, they say that they are somewhat concerned that the president's move to kill the dealers might be a little out of control and so can hurt innocent victims.
One of those whom the government 'death squads' seek to arrest is Roger, that is not his real name. He became addicted to shabu as a young man. Little by little he realized that a drug business was far more lucrative job than any other jobs he could do.
Now on the run, he constantly moves to cover up his tracks. "Every day, every hour, I can get a bullet in the chest. It is hard and scary to hide all the time. I do not know who is in front of me, or if will start shooting, it's hard to sleep at night. As soon as I hear anything, I wake up. The hardest part is that I do not know who to trust, where to hide every day, where more to go. "
If I surrender to the police, they will kill me
He feels guilty for having participated in the sale of this destructive drug. "I really believe that I was wrong. Lot of times. I've done terrible things. I've done many injustices, they have become dependent because of me. But what I would say is that not everyone who uses drugs is able to kill or steal. I'm addicted, but I do not kill and do not steal. "
He sent his children to live with his wife's family in the village, in this way he wanted to protect them from drugs. He estimates that between 30 and 35 percent of people in his neighborhood are addicts.
Roger admits that the threats Philippine president made to dealers during the campaign he did not take seriously. "I thought it relates to large, those who produce drugs, not to small dealers like me. I wish I could turn back in time. But it's too late for me. I can not surrender, because police would probably kill me."
She worries what her kids will think
Roger's not the only one who regrets his choice - Maria repents also. "I feel guilty, it's difficult for my nerves." She worries about what her children will think. "I do not want to go back to them and say that we need to do that for living, that we had killed for money." Her older son already knows how to ask questions about how she and Dad earn a lot.
There's one more task she has to perform according to the contract, and wants to be her last. But her boss threatens all who leave the team to kill them. She feels trapped. She asked her priest to forgive her sins when she went to confession, but she did not dare to admit what she does.
I feel justice because it implements the policy of the president, helping to solve problems with drugs. "We only talk about how to implement something. When you're done with the job, you never talk about it, "she says. But her gesture reveals more than what she wants to say. Her hands were restless, his eyes were closed as long she talked about her work, haunted by thoughts that she does not want to share.