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The English Pen Colombian Government

From: Daniela Salas
Date: 20 May 2001
Time: 04:18:49
Remote Name: 64.152.139.18

Comments

"Making The Crisis Worse" By DANIELA SALAS / El Heraldo / 20-Mayo-01'

"Colombia is going through a crisis. We all know that. What the Colombian government doesn’t seem to realize is they are making this crisis worse. Colombians agree who the most logical way of flourishing is supporting people that are working for our country.

Ironically, what has been going on is that instead of supporting our people they tie their hands up and interfere with progress.

Manuel Elkin Patarroyo is one of Colombia’s brightest research scientists. He has developed the world’s first safe and effective malaria vaccine. The vaccine has been proven effective between 30 and 60 percent. At a 30% effectiveness rate, it has protected 100 million people from malaria, and has saved more than 1 million lives. No vaccine has ever protected that many people.

Patarroyo was currently working on the vaccines of lesmaniasis, tuberculosis, hepatitis and malaria. In January of the current year, he was notified of 5,000 million debt; so he had to move his institute and his labs to another place because he could not pay for rent and expenses. In any other country, Patarroyo would have received support from the government. It is reasonable that if this scientist is working for humanity, he has to be sponsored by the Colombian government since he will contribute enormously to Colombia’s prosperity. Once the vaccines are proven to be effective, they will not only save millions of lives every year, but will bring wealth to the country. Paradoxically, what the Colombian government has been doing is tying his hands up. By showing total apathy to the embargo, the government has shown that it is not supporting Colombia’s affluence.

Patarroyo has been unable to carry on with his work for more than three months know. He has to pay all the debts of the institution. To get money he has had to sell many of his machines. As a result, he can only continue with 30% of his work. The malaria investigation, which was close to being a success, has been canceled and will be retaken as soon as the problems are solved.

Patarroyo loves his country. He has gotten offers to build scientific institutes for his investigations in Europe and the United States. Patarroyo has not accepted the offers because he believes he should work in his country, because he wants to give all credit to Colombia. Manuel Patarroyo has also showed that he is not interested in material wealth, but instead he aspires to contribute to world health. Once he said: “It is not my project in life to become a millionaire, or to be powerful or famous, but really to solve what I want to solve. That is my life project, my life is purpose,”. His humility led him to turn down many lucrative offers from pharmaceutical companies and, instead, he donated his vaccine to the World Health Organization in the name of the Colombian people. Isn’t it ironical that he is giving everything he has to Colombia but that the government can’t give him a hand?

Personally, I do not agree with the position of the Colombian government. What is expected from the government is to support and encourage its people. Instead of giving Patarroyo a helping hand, they have placed more obstacles for him. I believe this is not the attitude the government should have, since the country is in a crisis and its own people are the ones who can help the country. This situation is ridiculous. With situations like this, we understand why the economic crisis has lasted more than 4 years and why the problem is still at its pinnacle".

Al menos 500 nativos visitaron la tumba de Quintín Lame.

From: Diego Alfonso-El Tiempo.
Date: 13 Jan 2003
Time: 18:53:54
Remote Name: 64.152.141.141

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En el municipio de Ortega, Tolima, le rindieron culto al defensor de las comunidades paeces y pijaos, además de proponer la creación del día indígena.

Hasta un cerro del resguardo indígena Chiquinima, en Ortega, llegaron ayer cerca de 500 personas para rendirle tributo a la memoria de quien defendió los derechos de las comunidades paeces y pijaos: Manuel Quintín Lame Chantre.

En lo alto del cerro, en un pequeño cementerio compuesto por 18 tumbas, está la del líder indígena payanés que murió en tierras tolimenses y quien en vida escribió su epitafio: "Aquí duerme el indio cacique Manuel Quintín Lame Chantre. Fue el hombre que no se humilló a la injusticia".

De la reunión quedó la propuesta de celebrar el segundo domingo de enero el Día Indígena, en el cual, después de la visita a la tumba de Quintín Lame, las diferentes comunidades se sentarán a conversar sobre los diferentes temas que preocupan a los aborígenes del país.

Según Albeiro Tique, gobernador de la comunidad indígena Cacique Ibagué, en esta ocasión los indígenas del Tolima van a protestar contra el referendo porque creen que fortalece los movimientos tradicionales en contra de las minorías étnicas.

"Nos van a dividir entre buenos (los que apoyan al gobierno) y malos. Por eso, estamos invitando a nuestros hermanos a que no voten para que no queden en ninguno de los bandos y poder mantenernos al margen", expresó el gobernador indígena.

Aunque los rumores que se escucharon en el encuentro, que reunió a los representantes de diferentes resguardos tolimenses, insistían en que los restos de Quintín Lame están en Bogotá o en Estados Unidos, el senador indígena Jesús Piñacué dijo que lo importante era mantenerlo en el pensamiento y no abandonarlo.

"Él fundamentó los principios que sostienen la resistencia indígena. La unidad, el territorio, la cultura y la autonomía. La idea es que rescatemos y enriquezcamos la historia nuestra, la historia de Colombia", dijo Piñacué, quien le cumple una cita sagrada cada año a la tumba de Lame Chantre.

Para Tique, el propósito del encuentro indígena es seguir el ejemplo del "líder que nos dejó la sinceridad, la honestidad y el respeto por nuestros derechos y que no se doblegó ante el establecimiento".

Después de la procesión al campo santo, los indígenas se instalaron al borde del río Ortega y degustaron sancocho de hueso y carne asada, y, además, calmaron un poco el intenso calor con un baño en las aguas del río.

Igualmente, prometieron no faltar a la cita del próximo año donde, una vez más, le rendirán un homenaje a quien luchó por la igualdad de las razas y les dejó un legado de pluralismo que hoy reconoce la misma Constitución.

~Tolima 7 días-El Tiempo/Nación,Enero 12 de 2003.

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