Assorted Thoughts on Truth, Lies, and Paradoxes

However absurd this may sound, recently it is very common that we hear the truth labeled as lies and lies claimed to be the truth.

According to Perú's Ministry of Economy, Perú has the greatest economic growth in the region. What is not said is that there is also an increased growth of poverty and misery.

It is interesting that those leaders who always refer to "democracy" and "defense of human rights" when referring to their own countries are the same who vengefully and cruelly carry out and then justify the most objectionable violations of fundamental rights elsewhere.

Here in the Peruvian media, so-called "experts" are quoted repeatedly to exhaustion that prisoners are leading subversive actions outside of the prisons. This is simply not true. Even the Minister of the Interior has said this is not true. But this has not stopped the media from continuing to promote and sensationalize these falsehoods. And these falsehoods are burying political prisoners.

This is a world in which the dead, instead of being buried, are mistreated, humiliated, and exhibited as war trophies on CNN. Favorite photos are close-ups of heaps of motionless bodies stacked like wood and condemned to humiliating anonymity. However, the living are indeed buried, some in immaculate tombs of cement and iron, tombs with bars that close more and more each day over their bodies that still breathe, that still feel, that still think. Others are buried under the weight of poverty, hunger, and injustice.

As if their impunity wasn't enough, there are Latin-American ex-presidents who are organizing political parties, standing on the top of a stage constructed with bricks of abuse, death, and impunity and built with the mortar of their violations of human rights.

These are just a few examples of daily news stories in this paradoxical world in which corporate globalization means economic growth that only a very few experience, while the majority suffer the globalization of misery. Watching the campaign against Perú's Commission of Truth and Reconciliation, the impudence of those who committed crimes against humanity, like Rioss Montt in Guatemala and Fujimori in Perú, while the dead are denied a decent burial and those alive are being buried deeper, one finds a common denominator in lies, arrogance, impossible and inhuman contradictions in detriment to humanity.

Lori Berenson
Huacariz Prison
Cajamarca, Perú
August 23, 2003