Operation Mutum – THE ORIGIN
Mutum, contrary to what the name may suggest, is not one of those modern and overpopulated metropolis like São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte or Salvador, with which it only has similarity because it is also located in Brazil. On the contrary, it is a small city in the state of Minas Gerais, distant by highway some three hundred and a few kilometers from Belo Horizonte, the state capital, where the people of Mutum come, the name given to those born in Mutum, when they want, as they say, to take A bath of civilization.
They just do not like, when they are in the capital, to be called inland people. And in this they are right, since Mutum, in fact, in a straight line, is no more than seventy or at most, eighty kilometers from the sea that bathes the back of the Holy Spirit. Mutum, therefore, is a more coastal city than Belo Horizonte. This, yes, a city of the interior. It was there, in Mutum, that I was raised.
My birth occurred days before my parents moved from the small village called Assaraí, belonging to the time to the neighboring municipality of Ipanema, where they lived, to another city, Aimorés, also near Mutum, where, they thought, life would be more Promising The district of Assaraí today belongs to the municipality of Pocrane. The municipality of Pocrane was separated from Ipanema municipality in 1948, to read as districts, and Assaraí, Figueira da Barra, Cachoeirão village and Taquaral Village.
To reach the town of Aimorés, where they were moving, they would have to pass through Mutum, where my grandparents lived, Olívio and Cotinha, my mother’s parents.
As I was told much later, when I understood myself, I, at the time of the change of my family, became ill, and at two months of age I was left at my grandparents’ house to take care of me until I could , After being cured, go to the company of my parents and my brothers. But none of this happened because I simply, after being cured, about six months old, refused to leave the company of my grandparents, demonstrating this through very convincing sobbing and tantrums.
My grandparents, in turn, reinforcing my desire to stay, did not want to give me back, promising to take care of me as if they were my parents. So I ended up staying and living with them for over twenty-two years.
Later, my parents finally moved to Mutum, where my mother became a state primary school teacher and my father City Hall clerk.
Even though I lived in the same city where my parents lived, I continued to live with my grandparents. I visited my parents at home every day. But I lived with my grandparents. I had a special way of addressing them. To my grandparents I called Father and Mother. My father was called Paiplício (he was called Simplício) and my mother called Mother (my mother was Geracy).
In Mutum I lived my childhood and my adolescence. I began my studies, and in the only college in the city in my time, I conclude the first and second degrees.
As a bookworm and eager to write, I soon became embroiled in the cream of local culture, made up of a privileged elite who had access to up-to-date information from all over the world.
I was always well informed and stocked with books, newspapers, and magazines to quench my hunger for reading. As a consequence, I was always involved in the creation of literary guilds and academic journals, which gave rise to my desire to one day be a journalist. So, before becoming what I am today, teacher, I ended up being a journalist, after moving to the Capital in 1969, where I remain residing until this year of 2016.
It was in Belo Horizonte, in 1975, that the events I am about to report reached me.
(Continues next week)