The Joy Of The Dignified People

Translated  by Katrina Hassan

There is a time when abuse and injustice tires the people and awakens them with indignation. This is how they begin the search of liberty and democracy. Some people take longer than others. Each has their own process and history. If they unite, they achieve defeat of impunity and can end all forms of dictatorships. They are rare, that’s for sure. That is why these awakenings are like flowering meadows, all full of hope. The joy of them is as contagious as if part of a great big town festival.

To join, there needs to be common sense and an intense thirst to live free from neoliberalism. To live without governmental abuse, without the ransacking of natural resources, censorship, states of emergency, and full freedom of thought. To fight you need guts. Not just to spew phrases on social media or protests at the town plaza on Saturday afternoons, catching a tan and a beer while you are at it. Not just celebrating the feat of posting a new profile picture.

A lot of blood has been shed on this continent so that today, we, the morality thieves, with our useless pretensions, carry out a half assed job when in reality we need dignity and courage. This is what happened in Ecuador, when the police and military shot at their own people. Colombia did the same to its people, and for the same reasons. Those same reasons made the people of Chile spill out onto the streets to show the world how outraged people fight back. The people of Bolivia, also outraged, went out to vote so they could recuperate democracy. The Haitian people have permanently lived outraged, but, who is listening to them?

How did Bolivia do it? This apotheosis that generations have passed on, this feat, it has become a mythical story. As mythical and grandiose as Tupac Katari and Bartolini Sisa. Fabulous Chilean youth on the frontlines of protests, defending everyone else behind them. That first line of defence in Guatemala is always the indigenous people. They are always at the frontline. They cover their own backs because between the racist state and the classist society, they know the stab in the back is coming from somewhere. It was not in vain that in dictatorship times, they raged against the indigenous people. So much that their land was stolen to be given away to the usual theives. The exception of course is the mestizos that gave up their life for the struggle, for a more just society, and for those who survived the time of collective torture.

In Colombia the indigenous people that fled from their territories, shacked up in any which place, all becoming displaced. They aren’t important to the state. The state’s paramilitary and violence forces people to leave their lands. The Minga dignifies them, they are the resistance, the voice of the struggle, the word of the people, strong and firm in the demand of their rights. When the Minga takes to the road to find a tyrant, the tyrant hides. They know that the indigenous people’s dignity is so great that impunity cannot dim their light. Latin America is mortally wounded. It’s rivers run dry. The jungles have been burnt and cut down. One ecocide after another. Minerals leave our territory to be utilised in another, far, far away. They only leave mockery behind. The alms are taken by the usual thieves. When the thieves’ time comes, they are usually given in kick in the ass. Education and healthcare are privatised, a sickly and ignorant country is necessary for impunity to rule over the territory. 

Forced disappearances, social cleansing, stolen land, assassinated leaders, all this because a country that is fearful and worried is necessary for the state that pillages and abuses to function. Brazil in the last four years is a perfect example.

Let’s celebrate the courage of the Colombian Minga. With a feat like the Bolivian people’s and the dignity of the Chileans, we should ask ourselves “When will the rest of Latin America, those that live on their knees, in systems of impunity and neoliberalism, ever get tired?” When will courage and indignation ever take to the streets and put a stop to the pillaging? When will the memory of those who fought for freedom of their territory ever be honoured? When will they think of the legacy they are leaving for the next generations to come? The legacy is the country. What kind of country is left for the future? The same country we received or a more just one? One with public education and healthcare? A country in which one is free to walk without fear of being forcefully disappeared.  A country where being born a woman, homosexual, native american or black will not be punished.

A country where the development of a wholesome life is not just text on a magisterial plan.

A country where the beauty of morning dew on a flower’s petal is not a pipe dream. A country where the joy of dignified people is permanent. Who dreams of this? I do.

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Ilka Oliva Corado @ilkaolivacorado

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