One of the historical characteristics of those who have lived in the heart of empires is ignorance. Self-reference prevents them from looking around. Those who live outside the wall are for them the barbarians, or else it is unknown where all the outside places are, as polls with certain citizens of the United States sometimes show. Our country is not an empire, but it is the most centralized in Latin America, which is why the idea that Santiago is Chile has been subliminally imposed. One of its consequences is the lack of knowledge regarding what is happening in the regions, which is especially delicate due to the large number of powers that central power authorities have.
We say this introductory to refer to ignorance, if not fraud, with which migration policies have been conceived and implemented in our country. There has been, at least, a negligence in not approaching the territories, especially in the north, and letting problems accumulate and explode, with all the consequences that this has for people. Meanwhile, the same communication discourse has been raised about migrants as about barbarians -that is, dehumanizing them, attributing criminal behavior to them and persecuting them- instead of approaching and seeing their reality and their motives. Regarding the camps in cities like Antofagasta, someone wisely told me: they are the same as those that appear in the film Machuca, but 50 years later.
Approaching the territory is to verify, in the first place, the ridiculousness of trying to pursue migration, as the Government does with its permanent allusion to illegal migrants, or to prevent it, as the candidate José Antonio Kast has proposed with the unacceptable idea of building a ditch in Colchane, which unfortunately was not subjected to the resistance that came in the last presidential debate. Migration will continue and even more so in landscapes with borders of hundreds of kilometers of desert, regardless of what a Santiago leader says or does.
The second ignorance lies in not appreciating the almost inhuman conditions in which these people live, the vast majority of whom are migrants. We would never want for our loved ones to live in a scorching desert by day and cold at night, in tiny houses where everything sneaks in, with landscapes where a blade of grass does not grow, without any basic services, with adults exposed to the abuse of precarious employment , who do not have access to any benefits from the State (because they officially do not exist) and with children exposed to malnutrition, unschooling, diseases, dog ticks and other scourges. All that happens in today’s Chile.
It would not be much to ask that Minister Delgado, Undersecretary Galli and the Director of Migrations Bellolio, among other authorities who have executed and vindicated the migration policy of the current government, spend a day of their lives visiting and looking at the situation with their own eyes. from the North camps. If they did, it would surely be very difficult for them in good faith to sustain the measures and the speeches that we have known them so far.