THE SECRET REFUGE
Norma no longer uses her cell phone. To speak to her, you have to leave a message, which she listens to hours later, surely in the early morning, when no one can call her. She lives in a secure neighborhood, watched constantly, part of what this 48 year old woman has imposed on herself in order to preserve her anonymity. "I don't even know how I let you come in here... excuse me if I do not ask you to come in." she says while the maid, wrapped in her checked blue and white uniform topped off with a hair net, passes behind towards the service area.
She remains silent for some seconds until she is sure that no one will hear. She wants to say something, but she has been quiet for a long time. Meanwhile, others have spoken for her. On internet blogs, comments abound since the secret daughter of the founder of the Legionaries was revealed: "Norma (daughter) is an excellent person, but I can also tell you that she was abused by her father, Maciel [...] she suffers from severe trauma from her childhood and I don't believe that she's ever going to get over it," comments someone who signs off as Angélica Galas. She even insinuates that Norma could have been complicit in this abuse. "Many lies have been told", mutters Norma Baños (the mother) from her Madrid home. "I want to clarify that I was a minor [when the Maciel thing happened]." Norma insinuates abuse. She speaks without saying it. It is her way of recovering some of the ground in her life that she lost when she met Marcial Maciel.
It was in Acapulco, a prosperous city in the third poorest state in Mexico, Guerrero, characterized by enormous social differences. She was part of the privileged class. She has indigenous features, brown skin, small stature..., but the tone of her voice is controlled, correct, and her dress is simple and elegant, in dark tones, the way she addresses the maid shows that Norma Hilda is an educated woman, probably wealthy like the rest of the women seduced by Maciel.
He left two homes in her name in the exclusive Madrid building where she lives and three places in the garage on the property, all valued at about two million Euros. On top of that, mother and daughter get a succulent monthly stipend, part of the price that the ultra catholic organization would have themselves pay for the silence of these two women by an agreement which was supposedly reached a few months ago. With others, like Flora Barragán, the great benefactor of the Legion, Maciel did not have the same generosity. He milked her for 35 million Euros.