COLOMBIA POEM: We Are Like YOU

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by Jhon Henry

 

1

How much pain have we had to endure
How much pain will we have to endure
If, for the sake of losing, we have lost everything,
even life.
If, for the sake of winning, we have won everything,
even a life.

 

2

When does one lose? When does one win?
Do you know? If our lives went by in the struggle,
In a struggle, in our struggle for freedom,
That freedom that was never ours,
That freedom that they tore away from us,
that freedom that we tore away from them.

 

 

3
They have told us that it is alright to die,
To die for something just, but how many years are just?
If our yesterday is the same as our tomorrow,
if our future doesn’t go forward
If this is alright then I prefer life,
that life which we have lost,
that life which we have gained.


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I

We are like the thousands of oppressed who walk barefoot through life,
We that majority that rise every day to fight for their lives,
We are like all the condemned to survive.

 

II

We are like all those who have been denied their rights,
Those who are silenced yet struggle everyday to be heard,
Those who have lost everything, have little or nothing.

 

III

Our children also suffer the hunger of our country,
Our children are also victims of war,
As all who resist violence,
We are targets of weapons and excuses for hatred.

 

IV

We are like those who still see a possibility,
Like those who see education as transformation,
Like those who those who still see hope in education,
Like those those who flee from gases today.

 

V

We live in the same country as you,
In that country that is bleeding from the war,
A war led by the rich and executed by the poor,
We are like all those poor children of Colombia,
who die among the bullets.

 

VI

We are those without water, without land, without property,
We are of that 93% that resists violence,
We are of that majority impoverished, displaced and murdered,
We are the last in line,
Those that nobody values, those who are ignored.

 

VII

We are the ones whose water they polluted,
Those whose house and land has been taken away,
We are like those who no longer have a home,
We are like those who sleep in the street,
We are like those who beg for alms.

 

VIII

We are human rights defenders.
Our job is to defend life,
Defend the water, defend the earth,
Our work is for you.

 

IX

We are like you, because we love life,
We are like you, because we still have hope,
We are like you, because we fight every day,
We are just like you.

 

This poem makes reference to a Campaign called We Are Like You! which aims to change that negative image of human rights defenders and social leaders to one that shows their true face and life circumstances.