Mother: Amelia Seguia

Place of origin: Ermera

Manuel Martinz from Ponilala, Ermera (military policeman and neighbour):

‘Veronica’s parents lived in Ermera next to the military post. When I worked for the military police in Ermera in 1977 I saw what happened to Veronica.

A military policeman from my unit often visited Veronica at her parent’s place. I saw the policemen carry her around and bathe her. He gave baby Veronica milk and clothes. I think that the policeman liked Veronica as he did not have a daughter of his own.

A bag of rice and a promise

One day the policeman came to the house and took Veronica. He didn’t discuss with Veronica’s family his intentions to take Veronica. He just left them a bag of rice. He told them that he would send her to school in Indonesia and return her when she had completed her education.

Two other children were taken away at the same time as Veronica by this same military police unit. One of them returned to East Timor before 1999. She had married a Javanese. The other did not return; some people thought they heard that he became an Indonesian soldier.

Alexander dos Santos (mother’s brother):

Mother’s suffering

‘Veronica was born in 1977. She was eight months old at the time she was abducted. Since then our family has never heard of her again.

The abduction of Veronica caused her mother great grief. She suffered for many years, and eventually she experienced a mental breakdown. Now she is 60 years of age and lives in Liquica [in 2003].

She still wants to see her daughter.’