“An emotional moment each day” Jailed Justice Minister on the positive impact of receiving letters in prison

We read in Catalan News that Carles Mundó has written to Catalan radio station RAC1 to express his gratitude for the many letters he and the other prisoners have been receiving since they were incarcerated in various Madrid prisons. Describing how the days of the week are pretty much identical to each other, the jailed Minister of Justice wrote about the experience of receiving letters each day and his feelings as he opens each one. That experience is one of the most emotional moments of the day for him.

Mundó states that the prisoners have received “hundreds of letters”, each with a different story. Some are letters of thanks, other letters express anger at the injustice of the imprisonments, offer encouragement or express frustration at not being able to do more to help. It’s good to know that so many letters are reaching the prisoners and to hear about their positive impact. We hope this will encourage lots more people to spend a little solidarity time putting pen to paper and write to some or all of the prisoners whose addresses can be found on this site.

Here is a translation of Carles Mundó’s letter as published in Catalan on the RAC1 website:

LETTERS

In prison, the previous day looks a bit like the next day. It is easy to even forget which day of the week it is. Mondays are confused with Fridays and Saturdays with Tuesdays.

However, there are special moments that always have to do with what comes from the outside, whether a call to the family, hearing the voice of your wife and your children, receiving an unexpected visit or sharing the situation with the lawyer.

One of the emotional moments is the daily arrival of correspondence. The letters, which are counted by hundreds, keep us very connected with the beat of the people. The thrill of opening each letter without knowing which story is hidden in the envelope is a great experience.

Each week we dedicate hours to read hundreds of letters and, no matter how serious it is, it is impossible to answer the majority. We receive letters of all kinds.

Letters written by hand – some with impressive handwriting that you would not get tired of admiring – where they explain that they do not remember the last time they wrote to someone. They recognize that for a few years now they only write on a computer, but now they want to do it by hand to show that they write with their hearts.

Many letters written by mothers and grandmothers, who are suffering for our children and our families.

Letters with children’s drawings to express the most tender feelings and letters with poems chosen to keep us company.

Letters of friendship that begin with a “we do not know about anything but every day you are present in our house”.

Letters that deal with you to emphasize your esteem and closeness, and letters that treat you as an honorable minister to emphasize the validity and dignity of our institutions.

Letters of thanks, encouragement and hope and letters of indignation, rage and impotence for the abuse and injustice that supposes to have us locked in prison, spending 16 hours a day closed in the cell.

Letters that express incredible generosity, but who believe that they still do little to help us and letters of people who pray each day for our freedom and light candles to bring it closer.

Letters from strangers who tell us about how they fight for their children and their grandchildren, and letters from friends and acquaintances with greetings that recall moments we have shared. Moments that made us laugh, made us cry or moved us.

We are not alone. We know it and we feel it.

There are no words to explain it.

In these difficult times, locked up in prison, 700 km away from home, far from the beloved companion, the most beloved young children and our dearly beloved parents, it is a pride to be part of a country where there are so many good people. Honest and committed people, who never surrender or fail.

I think I will explain it well by remembering one of my favorite phrases:

“Maybe I’ll forget what you’ve done,
maybe I’ll forget what you said,
but I will never forget how you made me feel.”

Thank you so much! Eternal thanks!

Carles Mundó Blanch
Prison of Estremera (Madrid) November 23, 2017 (the day my middle child, Berta, was born 9 years ago!)

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