April 24, 2016
All life is sacred. Yet Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales makes a mockery of life; no surprise considering his country’s atrocious human rights violations against its own people.
The fate of 13 year old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano was cast the moment the Europeans decided the people they met in the so-called New World had to be subdued and controlled. Julio entered this world with few human rights, despite the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the International Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Guatemala is a party.
Fast forward to his growing years. He grew up in poverty, a child laborer in dangerous conditions, his family denied adequate land to make a living. In desperation he believed as he was taught, that his neighbor to the east was claiming land that rightly belongs to his country and that therefore was his for the taking.
In death, Julio is being further violated, this time by the president of the country he was so unfortunate to be born in. In death, he has become political fodder in a thinly veiled attempt by his president to victimize another people in order to fulfill personal ambitions and that of his country’s foreign political and capitalist corporate bosses.
Last week’s irresponsible tirade blaming the would-be victims, smearing their good name and threatening military force, the blind lashing out by the Guatemalan president on national television before the facts were established surrounding the loss of Julio’s life, would be comical if the story were not tragic.
At the same time Belizeans, the targeted victims, are essentially drowning, for several reasons not least of which is a leadership that is accommodating to the point of sacrificing boldness. It is also of their own doing in that they will not accept the fact that no knights in shining armor are lining up to come and save them. What is happening is as real as real can be and the days of the slave-master benefactor are long gone, even though that psychology is alive and kicking, to the detriment of those who wait. There are too many who believe in treading water and yelling “Help!”, never considering using what strength they have to strike out and swim toward shore. The predictable end is hopeless death by drowning, not the fueling of hope, determination and strength to survive that naturally emanates from action. It is said that self-destruction comes from the lack of a sense of self-worth and self -confidence.
Belizeans living in the thick of this nightmare have to realize and demonstrate they can and must first of all help themselves. They have the ability to do this. The institutions and organizations, religious, educational, professional, student, artistic, business, the civic groups and trade unions, need to start talking to one another. They must come together as one. Be cautioned: egos and any desire for recognition must be left at the door; this is about service to country. Who will lead such a coalition? Not to worry – a leader will naturally emerge. The question is: who will make the first move?
Realize how blessed you are, Belize, and that in your hesitation you are participating in the loss of that blessing. Time is of essence. Despots must be kept out of this haven.
Long live Belize, land of the free.