Antonio Pigafetta, a Florentine navigator who went with Magellan from the very first voyage around the planet, composed, upon their passage through our southern lands of America, a strictly accurate account that nevertheless resembles an endeavor into dream

The solitude of Latin America

That he had seen hogs with navels on their haunches, clawless birds whose hens laid eggs on the backs of their mates, and others still, resembling tongueless pelicans, with beaks like spoons in it he recorded. He penned of getting seen a misbegotten creature with your head and ears of the mule, a camel’s body, the feet of a deer together with whinny of the horse. He described the way the first indigenous experienced in Patagonia ended up being met with a mirror, whereupon that impassioned giant destroyed their sensory faculties into the terror of his very own image.

This brief and fascinating guide, which also then included the seeds of our present-day novels, is in no way probably the most staggering account of our truth for the reason that age. The Chronicles of this Indies left us others that are countless. Eldorado, our so avidly wanted and illusory land, showed up on many maps for most a long 12 months, moving its destination and kind to match the dream of cartographers. The mythical Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca explored the north of Mexico for eight years, in a deluded expedition whose members devoured each other and only five of whom returned, of the six hundred who had undertaken it in his search for the fountain of eternal youth. Among the numerous unfathomed secrets of this age is the fact that associated with eleven thousand mules, each packed with a hundred pounds of silver, that left Cuzco one to pay the ransom of Atahualpa and never reached their destination day. Later, in colonial times, hens had been offered in Cartagena de Indias, that were raised on alluvial land and whose gizzards included tiny lumps of silver. One founder’s lust for gold beset us until recently. A german mission appointed to study the construction of an interoceanic railroad across the Isthmus of Panama concluded that the project was feasible on one condition: that the rails not be made of iron, which was scarce in the region, but of gold as late as the last century.

Our freedom from Spanish domination didn’t place us beyond the reach of madness. General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, 3 x dictator of Mexico, held a funeral that is magnificent the best leg he’d lost within the alleged Pastry War. General Gabriel Garcia Moreno ruled Ecuador for sixteen years as a monarch that is absolute at their wake, the corpse had been seated regarding the presidential seat, decked call at full-dress uniform and a protective layer of medals. General Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez, the theosophical despot of El Salvador who’d thirty thousand peasants slaughtered in a savage massacre, created a pendulum to identify poison in the meals, and had streetlamps draped in red paper to beat an epidemic of scarlet temperature. The statue to General Francisco Moraz?n erected into the primary square of Tegucigalpa is really certainly one of Marshal Ney, bought at a Paris warehouse of second-hand sculptures.

Eleven years back, the Chilean Pablo Neruda, one of several outstanding poets of y our time, enlightened this market together with his term

Subsequently, the Europeans of good might – and often those of bad, as well – have already been struck, with ever greater force, by the unearthly tidings of Latin America, that boundless world of haunted males and historic ladies, whoever obstinacy that is unending into legend. We now have not possessed a moment’s remainder. A president that is promethean entrenched in their burning palace, died fighting a complete military, alone; as well as 2 dubious airplane accidents, yet become explained, cut brief the life span of some other great-hearted president and that of a democratic soldier that has revived the dignity of their individuals. There has been five turkish mail order bride wars and seventeen army coups; there emerged a diabolic dictator who’s performing, in God’s title, the initial Latin American ethnocide of y our time. For the time being, twenty million Latin children that are american ahead of the chronilogical age of one – a lot more than have already been created in European countries since 1970. Those missing as a result of repression quantity almost a hundred and twenty thousand, which will be as though nobody could account fully for all of the inhabitants of Uppsala. Numerous females arrested while pregnant have actually offered birth in Argentine prisons, yet no body understands the whereabouts and identification of these kiddies have been furtively used or provided for an orphanage by purchase associated with authorities that are military. Simply because they attempted to alter this continuing state of things, almost 2 hundred thousand women and men have actually died through the continent, and over a hundred thousand have lost their life in three little and ill-fated nations of Central America: Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. The corresponding figure would be that of one million six hundred thousand violent deaths in four years if this had happened in the United States.

One million folks have fled Chile, nation having a tradition of hospitality – that is, ten % of their populace. Uruguay, a small country of two and a half million inhabitants which considered itself the continent’s many country that is civilized has lost to exile one out of each and every five residents. Since 1979, the civil war in El Salvador has produced nearly one refugee every twenty mins. The nation that may be created of the many exiles and forced emigrants of Latin America will have a populace bigger than compared to Norway.

We dare to consider it is this outsized truth, and not its literary phrase, which includes deserved the eye regarding the Swedish Academy of Letters. A real possibility perhaps maybe not of paper, but the one that lives within us and determines each instant of y our countless deaths that are daily and that nourishes a way to obtain insatiable creativity, high in sorrow and beauty, of which this roving and nostalgic Colombian is but one cipher more, designated by fortune. Poets and beggars, musicians and prophets, warriors and scoundrels, all animals of this unbridled truth, we experienced to inquire about but little of imagination, for the important issue happens to be a not enough traditional methods to make our lives believable. This, my buddies, could be the crux of our solitude.

And in case these problems, whose essence we share, hinder us, it really is understandable that the talents that are rational this region of the world, exalted in the contemplation of these very own countries, needs to have discovered on their own without legitimate way to interpret us. It’s only natural with the yardstick that they use for themselves, forgetting that the ravages of life are not the same for all, and that the quest of our own identity is just as arduous and bloody for us as it was for them that they insist on measuring us. The interpretation of our truth through habits perhaps not our very own, serves simply to ever make us more unknown, ever less free, more and more solitary. Venerable European countries would possibly become more perceptive in its own past if it tried to see us. Only if it recalled that London took 3 hundred years to construct its city that is first wall and 3 hundred years more to obtain a bishop; that Rome labored in a gloom of doubt for twenty hundreds of years, until an Etruscan King anchored it of all time; and that the peaceful Swiss of today, who feast us with regards to moderate cheeses and apathetic watches, bloodied Europe as soldiers of fortune, as belated because the Sixteenth Century. Even in the height associated with Renaissance, twelve thousand lansquenets into the pay associated with the imperial armies sacked and devastated Rome and place eight thousand of the inhabitants to your blade.

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