Translated by Marvin Najarro
Painful have been the humiliations suffered by the undocumented Central American migrants trying to cross Mexico to reach the United States, seeking to escape the institutional violence of the narco-state, namely Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The notorious Northern Triangle that opportunistic politicians toss around in their speeches on behalf of the transnational corporations, which in exchange for some crumbs they throw around, sack the entrails of the land, destroying what it doesn’t belong to them but to the peoples who have been reviled for centuries.
Victims of corruption, impoverished and mistreated, these people have been forced to migrate in massive pilgrimages to which the media does not longer pay attention because they are a daily occurrence. Violations, kidnappings, murders; nothing scares anymore. They are migrants, the wretched ones. For the last decade, entire families have been migrating with their children in tow, tears streaming down their sunburned faces. Chapped and bleeding lips, cracked feet, broken soul.
Honduran women, due to their physical features, that is to say, solid flesh, robust, broad backs and mare hips, are the most exploited in sex trafficking along the migration route. The clandestine graves in Mexico are full of them, because once they become useless they are disappeared. And those Central American mothers clamoring year after year for their beloved ones will never find them alive. But hope dies last.
Canada and the United States are full of these migrants, who will slave away in the fields, in the gardens of large mansions in the northern suburbs, in construction, and as maintenance employees in homes, offices and shopping centers. The menial jobs are performed by the Latin American undocumented, and it is a well-known fact that the Mexican and Central American migrant is the most sought after because he is the most productive and the one who is paid the least. He is the one who migrates from the arrabal and inhospitable places, most of them without knowing how to read and write.
The coup d’état against Manuel Zelaya in 2009 was a blow to Honduran people’s heart; we know the outcome: Entire families migrating in large caravans. The narco-state of Felipe Calderón and Peña Nieto were detrimental to Central American territory. The unscrupulous scoundrels decided to make Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras the Central American version of Colombia.
The story repeats itself, seas of tears have been shed, the pain like an open wound pulsates in the memory of the migrants who mourn their dead and disappeared ones. That raising our voice, having a different ideology, seeking justice and fight against impunity does not cost us our live, nor seeking food, shelter and an opportunity.
In the post pandemic year, the improbable happened; Honduras decided to stand up, honoring all those who were forcibly silenced, sent to exile and into oblivion; all those lost on the migration route; those who will never return; those who dream of returning home; all those who yearn.
To those who love that little piece of land: a jícara of pinole, a piece of green mango with lemon and salt, the fresh water of the rivers, the roaring waves of the open sea, the shade of tamarind trees, the wet tile at dawn. The smell of seasoned wood, the ocote wood burning in grandma’s polletón, the hands of the grandfather whose eyesight withered waiting in vain. To those who dream of visiting the town’s cemetery to lay flowers on the graves of their dead.
To those who wait with open arms for the return of their own, for the land to bear fruit, and for the orange flowers to scent the afternoons. For the people to be able to walk without fear on the streets of a country prostrated by ungrateful children who desecrated the womb that gave birth to them. To those waiting for the abortion law, equal marriage, the right to education, health care, retirement and agrarian reform. In short, to those who dream with the rebirth of Honduras.
It won’t be an easy task for Xiomara Castro, but we know that with dignity, love, humility, memory and effort she will be able to carry out the responsibility that the Honduran people have placed on her.
The Central American proletarian women, in memory of Berta Cáceres and many others, we salute Xiomara Castro, expecting she fulfills her campaign promises without forgetting the indigenous peoples, the arrabal, the gender rights that we need so much, and the thousands of Hondurans who yearn for the return from the diaspora.
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Ilka Oliva-Corado @ilkaolivacorado