Monday, July 23, 2007

Family mourns slain son


Some cried, others stared with drawn faces as the hearse carrying 16-year-old Lorenzo “NemoCarachure’s body pulled away from Holy Cross Catholic Church yesterday afternoon.
Carachure’s brother, Martin, wept openly as he embraced family and friends that came to offer their condolences, his white T-shirt marked with tears. Many in attendance wore black or a white shirt with a photograph of Carachure framed by the words “In Loving Memory, Lorenzo Valentin Carachure.”

With more than $2,000 given by the community and donations from the Hospice of Santa Barbara and Holy Cross, Carachure’s family sent his body to his birthplace, Villa de Nicolas, in the state of Guerrero, Mexico, on a plane that left yesterday evening. Family members there will hold a nine-day vigil-like ceremony following his burial.
A group of teenagers standing outside the church a few minutes before the funeral began had little to say, other than that Carachure always seemed like a quiet kid and that they found it hard to believe someone wanted to kill him.
“Just another one gone, you know,” one of Carachure’s friends said.
Carachure died from stab wounds sustained in a gang brawl on the 700 block of San Pascual St. on July 16. He is the second teenager to die in a gang-related fight in recent months, the first being 15-year-old Luis Angel Linares, who was stabbed to death in broad daylight at State and Carrillo streets in March.
As hundreds entered the church for Carachure’s funeral service yesterday, many passed the gray coffin waiting at the back of the church, some pausing beside it for a moment. Others stopped to write a farewell to Carachure on a piece of poster board displaying several photographs and the Spanish words “Decansa en paz, Nemo. Siempre estaras en nuestros corazonez.”
As the funeral services began, Holy Cross Parish Father Ludo helped drape a white pall over the coffin, representing baptism and purity. Father Ludo’s words, all delivered in Spanish, included biblical passages about morality and life, Funeral Director Ruben Rey said, translating parts of the ceremony.
“When you seek revenge, it will come back doublefold for either you or your family,” Rey translated.
He later echoed Father Ludo’s plea to those present not to use violence in retaliation, and to make a commitment not to hurt one another.
“I do not want to direct funerals in this manner,” Rey told those in attendance, pointing to the coffin. “You are the only ones who can change the attitude. Don’t seek revenge for Lorenzo.”
On the altar behind the coffin, three white candles burned during the ceremony. Rey explained that Father Ludo described the first as representative of shame and greed, the second as community and unity, and the final candle as hope and promise for the future.
As Carachure’s coffin rolled back down the aisle, a group of young men in the audience turned to watch it pass, their faces somber, several bowing their heads to wipe away tears.
Later, after family members lifted the casket and placed in the waiting hearse, the family gathered at the back to thank those who came and embrace each other as the hearse slowly drove away.
Along the grass, a group of young teenage boys stood watching. From the back pocket of one dangled a blue bandana.

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