Reflections by Comrade Fidel
BETWEEN EMIGRATION AND CRIME
Latin Americans are not born-criminals nor did they invent drugs.
The Aztecs, Maya and other pre-Columbian human groups
The Quechua and Aymara were capable of producing nutritious foods on perfect terraces that followed the mountain level curves. On the high plateaux that often exceeded three or four thousand metres in altitude, they grew quinua, a cereal rich in protein, and potatoes.
They knew about and also grew the coca plant whose leaves they chewed from time immemorial in order to lessen the ravages of high altitudes. This is an ancient custom that the peoples practiced along with products such as coffee, tobacco, liquor and others.
Coca originated on the steep slopes of the Amazonian Andes. The settlers there knew about it from times that pre-dated the Inca Empire whose territory, at the height of its splendour, stretched over the area covered today by southern Colombia, all of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, eastern Chile and north-eastern Argentina; it totalled about two million square kilometres.
Consumption of coca leaves became a privilege of the Inca emperors and the nobility at the religious ceremonies.
When the Empire disappeared after the Spanish invasion, their new masters encouraged the traditional habit of chewing leaves in order to prolong the natives’ working hours, a right that lasted until the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs prohibited the use of coca leaves other than for medical or scientific purposes.
Almost every country signed it. They hardly discussed any topic regarding health. Cocaine trafficking then was not as huge as it is today. In the years that ensued extremely serious problems have been created that require profound analysis.
On the thorny issue of the relationship between drugs
and organized crime, the UN itself delicately states that “
Information printed by different institutions varies due to the fact that the matter is a sensitive one. Data at times are so complicated and varied that they might lead to confusion. What we can be absolutely sure of is that the problem is rapidly getting worse.
Almost one and a half months ago, on February 11,
It goes on to explain “…that year the Juárez murder rate was 35% higher than that of Qandahar, Afghanistan, number two on the list, and 941 % higher than in Baghdad…”, in other words, almost ten times greater than the capital of Iraq, the city occupying the number 50 spot on the list.
Almost immediately it adds that the city of
Thus one can see that
According to that report, the Colombian city of
The speech of American President Barack Obama in
In my Reflection of March 21st, I criticized his lack of ethics in not mentioning even the name of Salvador Allende in Chile, a symbol of dignity and courage for the world, a man who died as the result of the coup d’état promoted by a president of the United States.
Since I was aware that on the following day he would be visiting El Salvador, a Central American country that is the symbol of the struggles of the peoples of Our America that has suffered the most as a consequence of US policy in our hemisphere, I said: "There he is going to have to be quite inventive because, in that sister nation in Central America, the weapons and training received from the governments of his country spilt much blood.”
I wished him a good trip and “a bit more good sense.” I have to admit that in his long trek, he was a little more careful in the home stretch.
Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero was a man admired by
all Latin Americans, whether they are religious or not, just as the Jesuit
priests who were cowardly murdered by the henchmen trained, supported and armed
to the teeth by the
The Salvadoran people granted victory to the Party that emerged from the heart of those glorious combatants; it is not yet time to construct their profound story.
What is urgently needed is to face up to the dramatic
Obama himself stated that around 2 million Salvadorans
are living in the
What is new is that added to the desperate situation
of Central Americans is the fabulous power of the terrorist gangs, the
sophisticated weapons and the demand for drugs, originating in the
In his brief speech that preceded that of his visitor, the president of El Salvador stated, verbatim: “I insisted to you that the subject of organized crime, narco-activity, citizen insecurity, should not be a subject that only concerns El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras or Nicaragua, and not even Mexico or Colombia; it is a subject that concerns us as a region, and that is why we are working on building a regional strategy, through the CARFI Initiative.”
“…I insisted to you that this is a matter that should not only be dealt with from the viewpoint of persecuting a crime, through the strengthening of our policies and our armies, but also by emphasizing our policies of crime prevention and thus the best weapon to fight crime per se in the region is by investing in social policies.”
reply, the American president said: “President Funes is committed to creating
more economic opportunities here in
“I know this is especially important to the some 2 million Salvadoran people
who are living and working in the
“…I updated the President on the new consumer protections that I signed into law, which give people more information and make sure their remittances actually reach their loved ones back home.”
we’re also launching a new effort to confront the narco-traffickers and gangs
that have caused so much violence in all of our countries, and especially here
“…, we’ll focus $200 million to support efforts here in the region, including addressing, […] the social and economic forces that drive young people towards criminality. We’ll help strengthen courts, civil society groups and institutions that uphold the rule of law.”
I don’t need one single word more to express the essence of a painfully sad situation.
The reality is that many
young people in
Wouldn’t it be fairer –
I wonder – to have an Adjustment Act for all Latin Americans? Just like the one
they invented to punish
Fidel Castro Ruz
March 25, 2011