FunCulturalI shot the indigenous minga (Stories and reflections)

I shot the indigenous minga (Stories and reflections)

We have not only shot the minga with rifles, but also with oblivion and marginalization. It is time to stop and reflect.

Since I was a child I pulled the trigger. In school they taught me that indigenous people had no souls. I learned that their gods were satanic, I memorized that their beliefs were evil, and I imagined them as two-legged animals. I also recited thoroughly that their clothes were rags and that their music, dances, paintings and literature were not art, because art was made and bought by good people . Kindly, I prayed for their souls, because, as they did not believe in the God of clay, the rib, the fruit, the serpent and the dove; then, they were doomed to hell.

My mental brutality was God level, but that changed. It changed when I understood that we, those educated with the sword (today the rifle), the Bible (today the same) and the crown (today governments), are the true savages. Today, when the world suffers a humanitarian and environmental crisis more than devastating, we do not have the solution in the cities, roads, buildings, banks and mansions of the whites with Toyotas. Today, if there is such a solution, it is precisely in indigenous knowledge, in their relationships with nature, in their care for the other, in their wisdom when sowing and harvesting, in their values for the land, air, water and time. .

Now, I do not come to pontificate on the different indigenous civilizations to say that there was always peace among their own peoples, because there were wars. Of course, wars also had the Chinese, the Greeks, the Turks, the Romans, the gringos, the Christians, the Germans, the French, the English and the rest of the peoples that you remember and that, in a classist and racist way, believe superiors. However, no matter how many wars that existed here, there was never such an extermination of human beings as the one committed by the conquerors. Millions were slaughtered in the name of God, kings, and greed for land and wealth.

Demobilization, poetry and oral wisdom

My process of demobilization of thought began when I learned about the poetry of Nezahualcóyotl and the story of the Inca Atahualpa. The defenders of Spanish will surely say that I would not have known them without the language of Cervantes, but I will change them: give me back the more than 60 million indigenous people massacred on this land and, if they succeed, I will give them back their language.

Faced with this, I remind you that the poet, warrior and architect Nezahualcóyotl asked before Columbus arrived: “Does one really live with roots on earth? / Nothing is forever on earth: / just a little here. / Even if it is made of jade it breaks / even if it is made of gold it breaks, even if it is made of quetzal plumage it tears ”. This question and its answers go to all those who believe, even in the midst of a pandemic, that the essence of life lies in expanding their hectares, trucks, properties and shooting indigenous people. They did so with Daniela Soto, who, seeking peace, was shot and today is fighting in an operating room to survive.

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(It may interest you: Social mobilization in Cauca, beyond the indigenous minga )

Let’s go back to Columbus, these kind lands saved that lousy sailor and his crew from a safe shipwreck. He himself wrote in his diary that the natives were beautiful, that their skins were the color of canaries and their hair was never seen before. He even pointed out how they received their admirals with devotion: “they received them with great solemnity, and they kissed their hands and feet, marveling and believing that they came from heaven .”

However, the reception of our native peoples did not stop the massacres. Atahualpa, the last Inca emperor, had his life taken away from him because when the priest Valverde and the conqueror Pizarro handed him the Bible to convert him, Atahualpa, owner of an invaluable oral wealth, heard nothing. His wisdom was oral, not written. The writing did not speak to him as his ancestors always spoke to him. He threw the Bible to the ground and with that he emulated the gesture that the Spanish made with the chicha that he offered them courtesy. Outcome: he was arrested and killed in the name of God and the Catholic kings.

From there, with tons of blood spilled, the history that teachers and schools tell us has been written. That same story forces us to answer that the first “man” who saw the two oceans on our soil was the Spaniard Vasco Núñez de Balboa. Faced with this, the immortal Eduardo Galeano asked a question that invites us to demobilize from the educational creed: “Were those who lived there blind?”

Indigenous intellectuality

In modern times, a pedagogue like few others and manager of the idea of Our America, José Martí, made clear the place where our wisdom germinates and the role that this place should have, yes or yes, on the continent: “American intelligence is an indigenous plume. Is it not seen how from the same blow that paralyzed the Indian, America was paralyzed? And until the Indian is made to walk, America will not begin to walk well ”.

Martí proposed, from his exemplary Cuba, that Our America should grow with the indigenous people, with their knowledge, with their teachings, with their crops and that they should not be, as we have them, on the violent and forgotten margins of our nations. We do not listen to him, nor do we listen to the children of Moctezuma and the Inca Atahualpa.

(You can also read: Daniela Soto, the young indigenous leader wounded in an armed attack on the minga in Cali )

In the Colombian land, the panorama is more horrifying. Just yesterday, in 1967, a llanera family massacred, by regional tradition, 16 indigenous Guahibos. The episode was documented by Germán Castro Caicedo, who pointed out that the llaneros involved were taught, from an early age, to hate the indigenous people and to dispose of their lives.

In his text, “The Massacre of La Rubiera”, Castro Caicedo makes clear the beginning of this savagery. The voice is that of one of the murderers, who, by tradition, declared himself innocent: “the first one I killed was a small Indian, with a machete blow. The second we killed him with Carrizales, with a revolver. The third we killed him with Anselmo Aguirre: that one was wounded and I stabbed him with a knife. And the other was a little Indian. I shot him two times. I also killed a small Indian woman with a revolver and shot her in the back […] Then I ran to a girl like she went and stabbed her in the belly and she fell later ”.

The foregoing, if the armed Colombians from Ciudad Jardín who shot against the minga in 2021 are interviewed, there would be no difference in the degree of severity. But our story does not stop there, another forceful moment was told by Jaime Garzón. He was in charge of translating the Constitution into indigenous languages. In that process, he visited La Guajira and learned from the wayús. They taught him a lesson that we still haven’t heard today. They translated article 12; that is to say: “No one may be subjected to forced disappearance, torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The Wayús, from their intelligence and communal vision, rewrote: “No one will be able to carry anyone above his heart, or harm him in person, even if he thinks or says differently.

The chair that the Wayús gave must be learned, but we have not done it yet. We have not only shot the minga with rifles, but also with oblivion and marginalization. And this is not exclusive to Cali, it happens in all Colombian cities where there are Toyotas driven by people who wear white and have wholesale escorts. Therefore, it is time to pause and reflect individually on how we treat the indigenous people we meet on the streets, in shopping centers and in any part of the territory usurped since 1492. If your answer is close to the behavior of the good people , I invite you to demobilize. Believe me: your homeland and ancestral family await you.

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