Being the change

Today, I’m going to tell you about a cause that is close to my heart, for many reasons.

In no particular order, one, it is about human rights, free speech in particular. I don’t think I need to explain why free speech is so important. Right?

Two, it is for people in Africa. I feel deeply for people there, for all their struggles, the hardships, the social injustice issues, the lack of health and education resources, etc. Life is impossibly hard there. War after war, epidemic after epidemic, genocide after genocide, they get back on their feet, dust their clothes and keep on living without losing hope. You gotta love and admire such peoples.

Third, this cause was started by a dear friend of mine, who happened to work there in 2013. It is close to her heart and therefore it is close to mine.

In her words:

A station I used to work in Burundi was founded 12 years ago to promote nonpartisan news coverage and dialogue between the different ethno-political factions.

Last month there was an attempted military coup in Burundi, and like other nonpartisan media platforms, “my” radio covered it.

The coup failed and the next day loyalist cops attacked all of the radio stations, including “mine”, with sticks, destroying computers, mixing equipment, transmission equipment, even portable recorders, window glass and vehicle tires.

As a result, they can’t broadcast anymore

My friend – who rocks – decided to do something about it and as I previously said, started this fundraiser: Help save peace radio in Burundi

I’m asking you to please take a moment to read it.

I know there are thousands of worthy causes going around. I know one cannot help them all. I know one has to choose and pick one’s battles.

But after reading it, if you are so moved, then donate and/or share it through your social networks.

Any help will be greatly appreciated by those brave people in Burundi. Thank you!



On September 26, 2014 a group of students were on route to Iguala, the capital of the State of Guerrero Mexico, to hold a protest. However, their trip was cut short by the Mexican police who had blocked the roads leading to the Capital. Hell ensued. By next morning, 6 people were dead, 25 more were wounded and 43 students had been forcibly disappeared.

The rest is a surreal story that should belong only to the realm of the dystopian future genre. Yet, stories like this one are common in many parts of the world, including Colombia. Not in the history books of those countries, mind you. Oh no. In their every day reality.

I invite you to read the Wikipedia entry if you dare.

And if you do, I hope it doesn’t escape to you that those students in Guerrero were allegedly planning on attending the upcoming anniversary march of the 1968 student massacre in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas* in Mexico City. How’s that for an irony of fate?

I did a quick Google search for the 43 murdered Mexican students. I used mexico murdered students as key words. Google spat back about 17,600,000 results after 0.65 seconds.

Here’s an excerpt of the results in chronological order, not Google’s hierarchical one.

Nov 7 – Drug Gang Killed Students, Mexican Law Official Says

Nov 9 – Notorious hitman brought missing Mexican students to garbage dump, shot them and burned their bodies

Nov 11 – Remains could be those of 43 missing Mexican students

Nov 14 – Mexican mayor charged with murder linked to students’ disappearance

Nov 19 – Americans ignore the mass murder of students that is roiling Mexico

The newest article** (second first on the list, after the Wikipedia entry) is from November 19.

There are more recent news, of course. But you have to dig deeper to find them. The truth is, America and the rest of the world doesn’t really care.

As the Chicago Tribune aptly puts it:

After the mass murder of these students, Mexico is on the brink. But America is largely oblivious

However, there are 43 families who will never forget. They will grief their children forever. There is no possible comfort for them.

43 young men were forcibly taken, tortured and murdered because they dared to dream of a better future. Because they loved their country and they believed in standing up for justice and in changing things for the better.

Instead, they were betrayed by their own corrupt government. They were handed over to a drug gang by the police under orders of one of Mexico’s elected Mayors.

Let me say that again. They were handed over. To a drug gang. By the police. Under the Mayor’s orders.

And the world doesn’t care one bit. The 43 are yesterday’s news. Just another Wikipedia entry, like the Tlatelolco Massacre, la Noche de los Lapices, or la Matanza de las Bananeras.

People – MY people, continue to be kidnapped, tortured and murdered with impunity. Every day.

The world may not not care but they matter to me.

Every life matters!


* Incidentaly, I visited  Plaza de las Tres Culturas in June 1983. I have a picture of myself with the three historical buildings in the background but unfortunately it is currently in storage. Perhaps I’ll add it at a later time. Also, this little bit of history was hidden from us tender tourists by our tour guide.

** Yes, I know one can select “news” instead of “web” when doing a Google search in order to get up to date results but honestly, how many people are aware of this?

Humpday Musings

While talking to a wise friend of mine and fellow blogger, I commented with sadness “and that is precisely the tragedy of human beings. To be utterly incapable of communicating with each other.”

Even with the best of intentions, we seem incapable of getting our point across without getting angry, offended, or at the very least, misunderstood.

Life, the universe and everything have a very bizarre way of hinting things at me, I find.

All of this was brought about by three things that pretty much appeared at the same time on my FB newsfeed, one after the other. 1. An article, 2. A meme, and 3. A quote.

The article: 12 things white people can do now because Ferguson.* Now, if you know anything about me, you know that I have never had a problem with thing # 10. I’ll go ahead and put it here in case you don’t feel inclined to read the whole thing**.

10. Don’t be afraid to be unpopular.

SSG doesn’t understand

Posting from my phone today. Too tired to even grab my laptop.

Yesterday evening, something had me annoyed. My Twitter feed was full of people complaining about Ben Affleck being chosen as the new Batman. I kid you not. For a while, every single tweet on my feed was about it. Wish I had taken a screenshot of it.

Generally, I have a very low threshold for shallow complains like those. Last night, I was downright intolerant of it.

Normally, I would have filtered it out but I decided just to close my HootSuite tab instead.

Then this appeared on my FB feed today

Sorry Ruby, I’ll try and find the source some other time.

Continue reading

It’s a Soapbox kind of day

Good grief.

I looks like I can’t get down my soapbox today (a couple of posts on Facebook too)

I apologize.  But like I said before, I can’t take the side of the oppressor by being silent about their stupidity discriminating opinions.

So, I came across this article and I just have to share it here because I think it is well written.  Or at least it expresses many of my sentiments about the issue


I really have to get around writing that post on my view on religion(s), before I get labelled as a religion hater.  I am not a hater of any kind.  My therapist can attest to that.   He’s mentioned how he finds it interesting (medically-speaking, I suppose) that I’m so completely incapable of hate.

Oh, I’ll use the word.  As in, I hate heat.  Or I hate asparagus.  Or I hate stupid people. Continue reading

Broken inside

*warning* there might be triggers for some of you.  Please be careful.  Death & Violence

My mother was murdered.  Shot in the head.

My father was murdered.  Shot in the head.

There have been many times when I wished I had been shot in the head too.

Is that the fate that awaits my son?

Remember, I am not be fatalist here.  He HAS BEEN threatened.

Let’s look at the facts.  Homicide is still the leading cause of violent death in Colombia.  According the a report released by the Geneva Declaration in October 2011, Colombia is the fifth most dangerous country in the world. A report published by the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, through its National Reference Center on Violence, states that the homicide was [still] the leading cause of violent deaths in Colombia during 2011. Continue reading

What makes the Summer Solstice Girl sad

Children dying of preventable diseases (like of lack of potable water or starvation, for example).

War, hunger, torture, inequality of any kind. Violence, specially against women and children. A child that has lost her parents because an absurd war.  A child that is not loved because of her gender.

Mistreated animals (what is wrong with people?)

Not being able to help a friend.

Polluted rivers, lakes and oceans.

People killing other people in the name of God.

Animals disappearing from the face of the earth because of man’s greed and obtuseness.

Stepping on an earth worm that has been washed out of the lawn by heavy rain.

Caged animals (again, what is wrong with people?).  Incidentally, my mother used to keep birds in cages.  Very beautiful there were and they also used to sing and chatter all day.  But that didn’t make me happy.  On the contrary, all their beautiful songs sounded very sad to me.  It seemed to me they sang about their desire to fly to the sky.  About their lost freedom.  I used to sneak out at night an open the cage door so they could fly away.  I was around 6 or 7.  After that she just gave up on the idea. Never had a caged bird again.  My poor mother :P

This article made me cry today.  South African reserve’s last rhino butchered for her horn They cut off her horn and let her bleed to death.  LET HER BLEED TO DEATH.  I wonder how would they feel if someone cut their penises off and let them bleed to death… not that I’d condone such an act but it just makes me wonder.  A very sad Summer Solstice Girl here :(