Is migration wrong?
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- Edad 21
Hello guys! I´d like to talk about something that’s been concerning to me very deeply ever since I came to Chile. A couple of months ago I was at the PDI office (sort of a police investigation device) looking for a personal document, and there was a woman, Colombian by the way (I could tell because by her accent), and when I first arrived she was already having a discussion with someone while holding a baby, but I didn’t even came close to her.
However at a certain moment she started crying loudly and people
turned around to make sure everything was fine - but it
wasn´t. Apparently the lady had lost a document or something
related to a trip she was having had gone wrong. She was
desperately asking for answers on her case, however someone from
the office answered “Why don’t you (referring to Colombians) get
any trouble when you come her to prostitute and drug deal?”
People were shocked, and I could barely hold my tears to hear
The saddest part? Nothing happened, but it gets worst, I have witnessed these kind events taking place many times not only against Colombian people but also against Peruvian, Bolivian and Argentinian.. basically any country that’s “below” “Chilean standards” and I want to make something very clear before I keep on, I have personally had a great experience here. Most people have kindly opened up their hearts to me as if I was a member of their families, and going out is a marvelous experience knowing that most people I´m surrounded by are very polite and loving about asking and commenting about Colombia. So this isn't by any means a post against Chilean people, it´s against xenophobia simply because it is not “fear” against foreigners, rather it is hate.
I'm not going to deny that some foreign people (in this specific case from Latin America and the Caribbean) travel in order to continue crime practices they developed in their home countries, some of them don’t even know a “way out” besides delinquency, (and I hope justice comes on them as to any other citizen) However many of them, or many of us come from countries where the “State” is not present everywhere, where political institutions are flimsy, where education standards are low, where the “drug dealing culture” IS a topic. I'm not justifying the fact in itself, but based on specific experiences or stereotypes reinforced with soap operas that make Mexicans look like hired murderers and Colombians like cocaine kings, people shouldn´t support segregation of people who have migrated in search of realizing their personal goals and dream.
Many people, and I would dare to say must of the people that travel specially from conflict-affected countries to places like this one - just like in my family´s case - do it to have a decent education, a good job, to learn, to gain experiences, to have better opportunities. I came here a year and a half ago, and I don't do, nor sell drugs, I don’t prostitute, I don’t steal. I'm not trying to make a little Chilean guerrilla, I don’t even believe in violence.
However for some reason there are still people who find the fact that people like me exist as something unlikely - even a protest held "against Colombian, Peruvian and Bolivian"- does anybody actually think a Peruvian person leaves their country for necessity thinking they are going to continue to have a life of struggle in Chile? Same as it happens with Vietnamese people in Australia, Egyptians in Turkey, Africans in Italy or Germany. Some people do their best to “fit in” and some other simply don't, but those who do work hard to get what they want, build social skills, develop good relations and try to enhance their chances to have a better future even if it takes a lot of time and sacrifice and that is sincerely admirable.
Reading, traveling and having a wider understanding on different circumstances can open minds! Migration flows have gone through consistent changes during the past years. Thus, countries where tourism was the foreigner experience par excellence had face transformations that many people didn’t expected and in many cases don’t accept.
There are Haitians asylees in Argentina, displaced Colombian families that depend on one of their family members salary - perhaps a Brazilian salary. Many Peruvian people are safer walking downtown Santiago than they are walking downtown Lima, Chile is not heaven compared to the nearby countries but certainly this place doesn’t share a lot of detrimental features that many other Latin American countries have, in fact some of our homeland´s have poor people figuratively swimming in oil and gold; people come here as in any migration case for special reasons, and many of them sadly face frustration and threatening circumstances such as social-occupational downgrading involving degrading work conditions, however this is just a call not to put the “foreigners stealing our jobs” or the “foreigners stealing our “men”, as an excuse to raise hate speeches, hate initiated in ignorance, based on discrimination and conductive to violence.
Thanks for reading! enjoy!