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Central American University - UCA  
  Number 412 | Noviembre 2015
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For a pact of dreamers

Since 1987, the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights has annually awarded the Rafto Prize, in memory of Norwegian economic historian and human rights activist Thorolf Rafto, to a person or institution that promotes three fundamental human rights: freedom of expression, political freedom and economic freedom. This year, this prestigious award was given to Honduran Jesuit Ismael Moreno, director of Radio Progreso and of the Jesuit Reflection, Research and Communication Team (ERIC), and envío’s courageous correspondent in Honduras for the past 23 years. Father Melo received this greatly deserved recognition in Bergen, Norway on November 1, with these words:

Ismael Moreno, SJ

What satisfaction my heart would feel if they were to tell me that I would not receive the Rafto Human Rights Prize because Hondu¬ras was no longer a State that violates human rights.

If they were to tell me that death squads were no longer organized to kill young people and women and the State was no longer the protector of the corrupt who become Presidents.

If I knew that never again would people be discriminated against because of their origin or sexual preference and that natural resources and wealth would no longer be uncontrollably exploited and pillaged.

If I knew that no one would be forced to migrate for lack of opportunities. If all people could freely express all that they think and feel, in the manner they wish, because there was no longer official restriction and explicit or hidden censorship of free expression.

This is not the case, yet despite all these realities many people are hurriedly searching the world map to see where Honduras is, to go meet its peaceful and welcoming people, its enterprising and democratic youth.

I am here receiving this award when the thankless reality of violence and impunity in my country is also laying waste with a single stroke to our right to dream.

And I am here because this recognition compels me, together with my team and many other generous, noble people, to search with greater strength for the peace with equality and justice so urgently needed in Honduras and in all of Central America.

It moves me to sow dreams of solidarity and tenderness in the very place where a fistful of people are determined to make sure they never take root.

This award can only have value if it confirms in us the mission to which we are called, to be perpetual sowers of dreams and promoters of our beloved peoples’ lost happiness.

But to be sowers of dreams, our feet must be set firmly in our reality. We need the organized, united convergence of all those who dream to confront the pact organized by three sinister forces: the multinational corporations allied with the governments of the world’s wealthy countries, the local economic elites linked to illicit activity and the politicians who see the State as a lucrative business.

These three forces have made a pact to accumulate riches without measure by exploiting human beings and Nature’s resources to the infinite degree.

This pact produces extreme poverty and extreme wealth at the same time. This pact is the mechanism that triggers violence, the source of inequity in the world. It is the principal enemy of peace and peaceful co-existence between peoples.

In receiving the Rafto Human Rights Award, I call upon us all to make our own pact, a pact of dreamers.

That in every country, beginning with the most impoverished ones, those of Central America and Africa, we form Organized Communities of Dreamers in Action, people who stand up as witnesses of this pact of the multinationals, local economic elites and corrupt politicians to reject their alliances and their projects that violate human rights and the rights of Mother Earth.

Organized Communities of Dreamers in Action to lead a worldwide campaign against extreme wealth.

No more successful multi-millionaires in societies overflowing with those in misery.

No more predatory and extractive companies that threaten and destroy biodiversity and violate the territories and cultures of our original peoples.

No more corrupt politicians who manipulate the people’s will to become governors that protect the exploiting companies.

I propose this pact of dreamers to give strength and voice to the victims of the dehumanizing pact, the women who are victims of the abuses of patriarchy and machismo, the victims discriminated against for their sexual diversity and the boys and girls prematurely forced by poverty to work.

To give strength and voice to the original peoples threatened by the globalization of the powerful.
To give strength and voice to the communities of faith threatened by the top-down nature of official religions, to the youth whose rebellion and right to create their own spaces are truncated.

I propose that we invest energy and resources to extend the network of radios, multi-media and social networks in countries and regions to mobilize the victims’ strength, voice and presence so they may become the leaders of these Organized Communities of Dreamers in Action.

I come from one of the most impoverished, inequitable and violent countries in the world to find myself here in Norway, one of the most economically secure and socially stable societies.

I come full of love and faith in the future. As we join together in this event from these two extremes, I affirm the “sweet hope” that between the North and the South, between the people of rich and stable countries and the people of impoverished and crushed countries we can build bridges to cross together in the struggle to end those other extremes: extreme poverty and extreme wealth.

I offer my faith and my entire life at the service of this humanizing pact of
peace. And it is to serve this humanizing pact that I receive this prestigious Rafto Human Rights Award today.

The future can only be one of peace. This peace, which is worth both risking and living life for, is on its way. I invoke this peace with these simple and rustic words:

We see you coming, slowly and hurried,
with your soft breeze that whispers
and your bold wind that blows.
We see you coming, with the child’s innocent smile
and the wise gaze of the old woman,
with your voice that lights the fire of solidarity in the North
and with your cry for equality and justice for the South.
We see you coming to release us and to bind us,
to empty us of anguish and fear
and fill us with encounters and hope.
Peace, you have just arrived once and for all,
embraced by justice, with your baskets full of life,
with your demanding and bold tenderness
and with your song that overflows with futures.


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