Silvia Carrera. Photo by Radio Temblor
Instead of moping, and puling, and
compassion; in such a situation we ought to with spirit, and vigor,
and alacrity, to bid defiance to tyranny, by exposing its impotence,
by making it as contemptible, as it would be destestable.
Daniel Dulany (1765)
about the Stamp Act
There is no call
deceived: the Ngabe nation is giving a well documented lesson to the
rest of the Panamanian state, about true democracy.
Contrary to the
Panamanian tradition of slinking by any subject that is of no direct
and individual personal benefit, these authochtonous people come
disciplined, mobilizing public opinion, despite enormous
disadvantages, unlike what "others" --- the political
parties, which receive subsidies --- do. Their leaders have brought
us more complete information about different national problems than a
government that's allergic to transparency, that's like a half-truth
And at great
sacrifice. In contras to the other non-clerical authorities in the
"dialogue," the Ngabe leaders don't receive a cent to
defray the costs of living and working away from their homes (for
almost one month when this was written). And 30 days is the
constitutional period within which President Martinelli must resolve
all respectful requests. Nevertheless, thanks to $150,000 per day
spent on advertising under the pretext of official "information,"
too many media portray the Ngabe leaders as intrasigent and
disregardful of the constitution.
in the forumulation of classic non-cooperation strategies, the
preparation for interviews for a well projected information policy,
and the organization of indignado tactics --- all with almost
Prussian precision --- embodies the willingness to look out for the
common good of future generations that has sustained such a long
struggle. We have no parallel in any other facet of the formation of
a sustainable Panama in our times, save for the recuperation of the
canal. In contrast, and as a strategy with prior approval, in the
face of this year's disorders the National Police withdrew its arms
and circulated orders to its units not to leave the station, thus
leaving the population of Changuinola without any of the protection
guaranteed by the constitution --- and shredding the motto "To
Protect and Serve."
Those of us who
times a day are obligated to speak up for those who don't eat, and
the best way to do it is to promote a rule of law that functions as
it should --- with the whole truth in hand.
author is an official translator and simultaneous interpreter