Ilka Oliva: It has been the written words that have given voice to the unfathomable emptiness that inhabits me

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  By Mariela Castañón Ilka Oliva is a Guatemalan writer who has lived in the United States for almost 15 years. She migrated to the United States without the proper documentation after a professional disappointment. The challenges she has faced have not kept her from exceling in writing. He has published 12 books that have been translated into several languages. Oliva gave an interview to La Hora Voz del Migrante and explained the reasons why she is away from Guatemala, the situation of the migrants, the challenges and the goals accomplished. LH Voz del Migrante: How long have…

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The Charm of Che

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  The United States is a country with an impressive diversity of cultures. At a traffic light stop, waiting to cross the avenue, there may be fifty people from different countries, and they all have a history, a past, a root. The number of religions and of political thinking is also that diverse. In a social gathering, in a restaurant, in a simple supermarket or in the park you can find a variety of cultures and languages that are impossible to identify. And I have met people from countries that I did not know they existed and…

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Why is Neoliberalism Advancing in Latin America?

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  By the natural self-destruction gene that we as humanity have. Our own ego, the “yoismo,” (egoism) as they call it in psychology; grab as much as possible regardless of the other being left with nothing. Starting from this gene we can break down the different aspects that lead us to try to analyze the collective behavior of our societies in the face of neoliberal policy that drags us.

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In football Soccer, As in Life Itself

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  Football soccer is the passion of passions, and this is something that is not under discussion. We all know that. As a passion it has the irreverence of making us trill in unison, wherever we are, speak the language we speak; by its universal character. The goal is the closest to touching the firmament with the fingertips; who scores a goal has achieved immortality, it does no matter whether the game is played on a poor neighborhood street and with a rag ball. Passion, (as I like to call football soccer) is one of the most…

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Write

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  Write, write, write, write. Write if it rains, if it is sunny, if it is cloudy, with candlelight, amid the noise, the silence, at dawn, at noon, in the bathroom, on the bus, on the street, in the confinement of alienation. Write in drunkenness, sobriety, distress, tears, loss, and abandonment. In alienation. In abundance. In addiction. Despite the circumstances, write.

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The pariahs in the loneliness of oblivion

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  They don’t even come to be the last of the line, they are those of the subsoil, those of the sewer, those of the ditches by pickax and iron bar who carry in their shoulders the insult and scorn of an indifferent and double standard society that dishonors them. Those exploited day and night, every day, anywhere. Those of the weather-beaten back and the cracked hands, those of the wounded soul since time immemorial. Those of the transparent gaze and riddled chest.

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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…

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Unbreakable

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  Most times, if we decide to follow our dreams, that which makes us happy, we will find opposition among family and friends, society and the system; by upbringing patterns, stereotypes, ignorance or by simple imposition. Our only tool to defend ourselves is resistance: resist, resist, resist until the last day. Resist with passion, dedication, rapture, and love. Resistance often take us to loneliness, to absolute solitude, and it is in that solitude, in the turbulence of the battle, that our fears are revealed and from the depths of our being the most sublime of our unshakable…

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Migrant children and adolescents as cannon fodder

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  In 2014, Obama came out with his eleven sheep to give a press conference as a matter of urgency; it was early in the summer. He spoke of a crisis of migrant children traveling alone to the United States in search of their parents or fleeing violence in their home countries. Of course, there was no talk of institutionalized violence; he referred to maras (gangs) as criminal cliques. The “crisis” as he called it, is more than 20 years old, and has had an urgent character ever since.

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The day I learned I was not poor

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  In the early days of the 1990s, Ciudad Peronia began to fill with shacks and people who came from other poor neighborhoods and from the country’s west to invade the sector now known as El Mirador. It consisted of brushwood, tepetate streets, and an open-air market; a dusty place where vendors threw empty sacks and cardboard boxes to serve as a table to display their products on.

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Defeated Generations

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  Latin America, with its multicolors, its fecundity, its Native Peoples and its martyrs, is a land of contradictions, among them, the defeated generations accommodated in the shadow of brazenness, opportunism and indifference. Generations that refuse an identity of their own and who trample every trace of memory and dignity. Inept, lethargic generations, unable to fend for themselves, to dare to create, to question, to formulate an analysis of their own, who became accustomed to copy and paste, and to hide behind other people’s words and actions, because doing so, does not demand any responsibility for their…

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Trafficking and Abuse of Undocumented Migrants in Transit

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  Already the nightmare of migrating without documents is terrible enough as to add to it being the victim of trafficking for sexual exploitation, labor, and of organs of men, women and children, with the latter two being the most vulnerable. Not to mention the LGBTI community which besides being discriminated against, suffers a great deal of abuse due to homophobia and patriarchy. The undocumented is a population constantly exposed to all types of abuse, both from mafias and government authorities of the countries of origin, transit, destination and return. A migrant in transit lives in a…

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Let's talk about patriarchy

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  Patriarchy should be a topic of conversation, as when we talk about football, music, literature, art, movies, etc., etc. We should speak of patriarchy and its consequences, in school, college, social gatherings, everywhere and at all times. Why? Because it is our enemy to defeat, and it is not a theme that involves only feminists, we do not have to be feminist to talk about patriarchy; patriarchy is hurting us all, some more than others, because a man doesn’t get killed because of his gender, but women do.

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