Speech given by David Andersson on Friday November 9, 2018 at National-Spanish Benevolent Society

First let me thank the Ecuadorian Journalists Confederation in New York for organizing this forum focusing on migrants and the Caravan. This issue of the caravan is a reflection of our dehumanized society. People are fleeing economic violence, physical violence, cultural violence, and political violence — violence which our so-called “developed” societies have done little to resolve and in some cases have accelerated. So far this year, 3,114 people have died or have gone missing on migratory routes across the globe, according to OM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP). Humanitarian organizations and forces are less and less successful at tempering these calamities. The capacity of these institutions is becoming each day reduced by political or religious barriers. Yemen, for example, is facing a famine beyond anything ever seen before. If nothing happens soon millions of people will die from starvation.

These are not natural disasters but fabricated and human made. We have created these caravans and we need to take responsibility for them. Today, everything has become barbaric, without any logic or sense. We could discuss here today what is going to happen at the border, asking ourselves will Trump send troops or a hundred other questions. But the time and energy spent gossiping about current events is only a way to discharge the tensions produced by this injustice.

My hope is that we could transform the meaning of this caravan, to make it a symbol of our dying, decadent society and the need to transform it. To see our need to place the human being as a central value and priority. We need to build the first human civilization and be done with this pre-historical system.

Many people are starting to recognize the need to do something, people are seeing the need to make some changes. But how can a fish change the water of his aquarium?

How do we transform our personal and social values and our social landscape? How do we change our set of beliefs? How do we stop asking people where are they coming from and instead show interest in where are they going and what they want to do with their lives.

The caravan is much more than an immigration issue, a poverty issue, a Latino or a discrimination issue. It is an illustration of a crisis of civilization. This civilization needs to die and give birth to a new one focusing and made for the development and well being of all human beings.