The Motherland is Now     

Translated  by Marvin Najarro 

 When Otto Pérez Molina won the elections, I thought that Guatemala had hit the bottom; a society that was unable to prosecute him for crimes against humanity was taking him to the presidency. To the victims’ relatives that was a stab in the back, and disrespect to Historical Memory and dignity.

We had had to put up with them until, all of a sudden, justice began to gasp, a trample down justice, desecrated, disappeared, buried in every clandestine grave in Guatemalan history. An affront with the face of children agonizing by famine, of girls transgressed in the purest of their being, of the historically exploited peasants and day laborers. Of the thousands of migrants who in the estrangement of the diaspora and the sacrifice of remittances, dream of the return to the homeland that threw them out.

The impossible happened in Guatemala, the genocidal Pérez Molina was made president. We fell into the abyss.

I thought that we had hit rock bottom, but on the contrary the last straw was when they backpedaled on the National Constituent Assembly (because to say revolution is another matter), and in the name of God and the bogeyman they voted for Jimmy Morales, who was worse than Perez Molina, for denying the Genocide, and for the opportunism to insult once more the soil that has seen so much blood spilled. Disloyal to the motherland, to identity and congenial to injustice and corruption. A Dantesque character, ad hoc to that part of the fanatical and pliant society; in the name of hatred and empty threats.

From that recalcitrant society nothing surprises anymore, it is the carpet over which parade those who make of faith and double standards the most powerful weapons to plunder a people. We have seen what the novel “neither corrupt nor thief’’ has turned out to be. We cannot fall any deeper, we got to the bottom of the abyss, it is time for us to remove the stakes, get up and stand for collective dignity. Guatemala needs a revolution; uproot impunity, corruption, and the core of misery in the country. 

The time has come, and revolutions can be made in many ways, but we need to change patterns, we need to really rise in revolt, we need to feel in our own flesh the opprobrium that the hardest hit of the system are going through. We need to dignify ourselves collectively. In order to change Guatemala it is not enough to shout and make noise wit bedpans and maracas for two hours in front of Congress on Saturdays.

Guatemala will not change by retweeting and exploding the social networks with whatever amount of verbosity coming from the comfort of being behind a computer screen or cell phone; social networks that few people have access to. Pleased we become revolutionaries of the social networks where there is no greater effort than typing a sentence or a paragraph. Share a photo or video on that parallel world to reality. And with that we feel that we have already put our daily dose of love to the motherland. The motherland which wanders in every bundle hauler, in every glue sniffer, in every child locked up in a jail because the state abandoned him.

The motherland that cries every femicide, every chopped down tree, and every poisoned river; the motherland that cries when in the name of mining and social cleansing, ecosystems got mutilated. When in the name of conventions and shortcomings culture is spat and trampled on.                  

A motherland we have mistreated, a motherland we don’t deserve. Some for their actions, and others for covering them up.

Celebrating impunity and corruption in the name of religions and double standards makes us equally corrupt. Being revolutionaries of social networks, doesn’t dignify us collectively either. It is just bragging and nothing else. Here the big question is, will 14 million Guatemalans allow themselves to be duped by 105 congressmen and a criminal clique that uses the bogeyman to cover itself up whenever it can? 

It is now, the motherland is now. Guatemala deserves to be born again.

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Ilka Oliva Corado @ilkaolivacorado

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