By Samantha San Romé
“Either you love or hate Milagro,” said a local when I visited Jujuy.  “But don’t believe all the bad things they say,” he added.  He didn’t say much more.  He spoke little, but enough for me to understand that this is what happens when you’re a rebel and you dare to think that we’re all equal and have a right to equality.  Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Evita Perón, Evo Morales, Hugo Chávez, Néstor Kirchner, Cristina Fernandez.  Love or hate.  Love.

You were abandonded when you were a baby, but you weren’t any ordinary baby.  You were a woman, indigenous, black, poor.  You lived in the streets, you were a prisoner, you became a peronist, you taught women to write, to read, to fight.  You adopted children, you made them study, you gave them a plate of food, a glass of milk, a reason, an identity to feel proud of.  You, your people, who were educated to be ashamed, to ask permission, forgiveness and respect, and to never fit in.  You created Tupac Amaru, you build houses, canteens, farms, factories.  You who, as a little girl didn’t go to the swimming pool because you were black, made swimming pools for your people.  And it’s difficult to know if they hate your for how you did it and with what money or because they can see indigenous children swimming in one.  Do you imagine a country for the indigenous?  A place in this miserable world in which your people aren’t oppressed and also enjoy life?  It’s like a story.  A dream.  A joke for the rich.  Revenge.  But you imagined it.  Like a miracle, just like you.