“EMO” strikes again!
Another teen has committed suicide up in the Cayo District, this time in Buena Vista village.
Seventeen-year-old Glenda Carranza drank Gramoxone last week Monday, and died yesterday at the Western Regional Hospital.
The group of young people (EMO) to which Carranza reportedly belonged, based mostly in Benque Vejo Del Carmen, has drawn members from surrounding villages, and there are fears that there are more people who will join them in the future.
Amandala spoke to Buena Vista’s village chairman, Eddie De La Rosa, who told us that there is actually a leader of this group, which allegedly targeted Glenda because she had had a somewhat strained relationship with her family. (De La Rosa explained to us that this group, EMO, targets young people who have strained relationships with their family or financial problems.)
De La Rosa told us that the young man who leads the group (who call themselves “Evil Must Overcome” — EMO for short) approached Glenda and told her to join them. He promised her that if she drank the poison, she wouldn’t die; she would live past it and her family would become rich. According to De La Rosa, Glenda’s family has been struggling with finances.
He told us that he had spoken to Glenda’s mother, who told him that she and Glenda had been at odds over how she spent her leisure time and that she had ordered Glenda to limit the amount of time she spent on the phone (both the home line and her mobile phone), because it was getting to the point where Glenda had been spending 2 hours at a time speaking to different people, and this had been getting in the way of her studying.
Her mother told De La Rosa that they had fought over the phone usage quite often, and a growing distance had resulted between the mother and daughter.
He said that he is concerned because he found out that there is a list of people who are slated to commit suicide at later times. There are 2 more people from his village whose names he is sure are on the list, he said.
De La Rosa said that he would try his best to reach out to them to prevent their attempted suicides and assured us that he would work arduously with the police to try to stop this group from continuing their “cult-like” behavior.
On that point, we asked De La Rosa about what else he has learned about the EMO group. He told us that from his conversations with Glenda in the hospital, he knows that they go to the burial grounds in Cayo and pray to the Devil (or Satan).
Interestingly enough, from our research we understand that the “EMO” concept is derived from a type of music in American culture. It is a type of punk rock music which typically through its gloomy, emotional lyrics expresses the pathos and pain of teenagers who are “tragically” misunderstood. Followers of the music often call themselves “EMO” — derived from the word “emotional”.
Followers of this music tend to wear black clothes, artfully ripped with designs and “catchy” phrases printed on them which make dramatic statements. They sometimes use leather bands on the wrists and necks with metal spikes, which are said to signify the “tortured life” they’re in and also they may wear black make-up and nail polish, along with a few body piercings. EMO followers often have self-esteem issues — which are typically experienced during adolescence and are usually overcome later in life.
They often have long hair, which is swept over a part of their faces. Some travel with razor blades stashed in the most unlikely places, and use these to cut themselves. It is reported that they band together to compare their individual misery in an effort to see whose life is the most depressing.
We spoke to several members of the public who at one point considered themselves “EMO” who told us that these young people in Benque and other villages in Cayo are blurring the line between EMO and cults.
They told us that this group of people are disgracing what it means to be EMO because “EMO people” don’t worship the devil. “They often feel boxed in, misunderstood, maybe borderline suicidal, but that is in rare cases. EMO people often use the music and the cultures to act out a bit, get angry at the world, and then get over the universe being out to get them,” we were told.
Amandala spoke with Kelly Guerra, a community activist, who told us that Glenda Carranza was a quiet person who seemed sufficiently well-adjusted. She told us that they were all shocked at the fact that Carranza joined the group. She said that it was not until she saw Carranza’s family background that she figured out how the group was able to get her to join.
Guerra said that currently, there are no major governmental organizations involved in addressing this threatening “EMO” phenomenon. She told us that she is in the process of trying to form a non-governmental organization, Y4L (Youths 4 Life), whose main purpose will be to raise awareness about this EMO group. She said that currently, the group consists of some positive youths and herself, but they are looking to expand.
Guerra told us that she has found out more about the enlisting process of the group. She said that the EMO group enjoys using the Ouija board (pronounced “wee gee board”) and the aspiring members need to use the board to join. This is their initiation process, and if the board “communicates a certain message,” the aspiring member must commit suicide for the cause.
She told us that she is doing her best to raise awareness and to try to curb the number of suicides because she recognizes that the movement is gaining strength.
The police officer in charge of the investigation into this group told us that they are doing what they can to investigate, but at this point, there is a division in the group. There are those members who are drawn to the idea of EMO, and then there are the core members. The officer told us that infiltrating the group has proven difficult because the membership is fluid.
Group members try to change their habits and the way they identify themselves. The officer also told us that there are many rumors surrounding this situation, and that he has actively tried to investigate all new leads, but it has proven difficult when the information he receives is useless.
He told us that the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health are also assisting in Benque, and that there is an expert who is currently studying the group of young people who have identified themselves as “EMO”. Amandala