Santa Evita

"The fear that some fanatic would take possession of Evita had always existed. The triumph of the military coup also emboldened those who wished to see her cremated or profaned. Two sergeants who had survived the Peronist purges in the army took tuns standing guard on the second floor. On occasion, the embalmer allowed civil servants from the foreign diplomatic missions to enter the laboratory, hoping they would cry out to high heaven if the military destroyed the corpse. But what he got out of them was not promises of solidarity but incredulous stammers . The visitors, who arrived prepared to witness a sientific miracle, left convinced that what had really been shown them was a magic act. Evita was in the middle of a vast room draped in black. She lay on a glass slab, suspended from the ceiling by transparent cords, so as to give the impression that she was levitating in a state of perpetual ecstasy. Hanging on either side of the door were the purple ribbons of the funeral wreaths, with their inscriptions still intact: Come Back, Evita My Love, Your Brother, Juan; Evita Eternal in the Heart of the People. Your Inconsolable Mother. The visitors fell to their knees before the marvel of the body floating in the pure air and rose to their feet with their minds reeling."

from Santa Evita,
by Tomás Eloy Martinez