2014 Changemakers in Colombia

Is Justice Blind?

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“That Justice is a blind goddess
Is a thing to which we black are wise:
Her bandage hides two festering sores
That once perhaps were eyes.”

-Langston Hughes

 

We arrived for our visit to the town of Tamarindo and found that most of the families that make up this small town were anxiously awaiting our arrival. The people of Tamarindo are small farmers. Their lives and livelihood are tied to the land. They generously shared food made fresh with the chickens and vegetables from their land. But was it really their land? You see the stories that we heard next were about displacement. I came to learn that these heartfelt, courageous and powerful stories would soon leave me speechless, breathless. How does one speak about people who have been forced to leave what is is called home, not once, not twice, but three to four times? How does one speak about the pain and sadness of being forced off the land by violence? How does one speak about watching a bulldozer take down the home where the woman standing before you slept last night with her family? How does one speak about the pain on the face of this woman who describes how just yesterday her home was right there, but today the bulldozer wiped it away, along with every possession in it, and wiped out all of the crops while she stood by pleading, crying for mercy?

This time the people of Tamarindo are being forced to move to make way for a Free Trade Zone.

The people of Tamarinda stand tall and proud. They stand with backs that are bent, but not broken. “Help” say the people of Tamarindo, but the cry is not for handouts. They only ask that we tell their stories to the world as Tamarindo fights for the right to relocate to land that is equal or better, education for their children, a potable water supply, health, safety and dignity.

Let us keep the people of Tamarindo in our prayers. Let us tell their stories. Let us refuse to allow justice to turn a blind eye on Tamarindo.

-Di