“A child who dies from starvation is in effect murdered”

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

That is a quote from Jean Ziegler, former United Nations Rapporteur on the Right to Food (ABC, 11/6/12). “Every five seconds a child under ten dies of starvation”, he added. “The obsession with benefits, profit-making and the unlimited greed of the predatory oligarchies of globalized capital…”.

I have constantly repeated that all of humanity must bear on its conscience the fact that each day 4,000 million dollars are invested in weapons and military spending while over 60,000 people die of hunger… But the most powerful are accustomed to looking the other way. We must raise a loud popular outcry, a movement of solidarity in the social networks in cyberspace so that millions and millions of people may firmly request to power and contribute.

Matilde Donaire has written discretely and with fine literary sensibility and difficult restraint a few sketches of her enlightening “historical memoirs”. The other day, together with her latest "little book" (actually a "big" one) entitled “Stories and Chronicles”, she gave me a text by her friend, the writer and poet Rosario F. Cartes about “Fragrances and flavors: “true flowers”… It is a delightful description of the personality of Eustaquio Jiménez of Moguer, with very interesting episodes concerning Zenobia and Juan Ramón Jiménez. Truly an intricate narrative that I wouldn’t have mentioned here if it hadn’t also included a poem “The Eyes of the Sahel. The eyes of children are the skies of the world”, from which I’m transcribing a few lines for us to consider together:

“The powerful… have sealed your lips with planetary hunger… But it is all written in the dispirited summits of those childlike eyes, your children remembered with great sadness, forgotten children of ours. And is the dignity of their ashes our indegnity”…

Yes, indignity that is urgent dignify for once and for all, taking action, sharing and screaming at government leaders –to ensure that they hear us— to tell them that we fed up with risk premiums and failing banks. That we firmly demand that they punish those responsible, while immediately complying with our responsibilities worldwide.

“Every child that dies from starvation is in effect a murdered child”… and “the dignity of their ashes is the indignity of us all”. Let’s keep each of these ideas squarely in mind so that they may guide our conduct each day.