La Voz de Galicia – December 16, 2022 →

Cristina PatoThis Sunday the International Migrants Day will be celebrated, and according to the report by the United Nations’ International Organization of Migration, the number of international migrants in 2020 (281 million people), triples the number since 1970. And even though the numbers help us understand the magnitude of the matter, I can’t stop thinking about the millions of stories hiding behind each one of the people who decide to leave their place in the world to find life, because we cannot forget that many of them leave because it is no longer possible to remain alive in their place of origin. The images of desperation that the media showed us this year remain the tip of an immense and incalculable iceberg. And in most of these cases we are not conscious of either the life circumstances that drive people to undertake this journey or of the reality that those who manage to arrive alive at their provisional destiny will find. How many women? How many children?

The non governmental organization Open Arms, whose mission is “to protect in the sea those people who try to arrive in Europe escaping bellic conflicts, persecution, or poverty,” says it saved 66,511 lives from September 2015 and November 2022. And even though this is a number filled with hope, I can’t even imagine the number of lives that were lost in those sea journeys, and the number of heroic narratives that will never be heard…

The UN invites us to reflect about hate speech, about the politicization of migration, about xenophobia, and I, each day, invite myself to take off the blinders of selfishness that surround the lives of those who have a secure place to live and food to remain alive, especially around this time of year…

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