Does everyone have the right to choose their own destiny? I firmly believe the answer to this question is yes. Concerning a community, do they have the same right of choice? The importance of the question lay in the right of choice. In practice, the possible right of choice of a community or outcome of self-determination often determines responses of a government. Even though, self-determination is an international law and right of process that belongs to the people and not to states or governments, this is being ignored by Colombia’s government, who firmly decided not to listen to the claim of the people, who struggle for political, economical, cultural, and social autonomy. The Raizal people of San Andres Island have the right of choice to self-determination.
Self-determination of people is a right recognized in International Law. The law makes of it a universal principle. The principle of self-determination is in Article I of the Charter of the United Nations. It also forms part of the hard law that had been affirmed by the International Meeting of Experts for the Elucidation of the Concepts of Rights of Peoples brought together by UNESCO. As a result of it, self-determination is recognized as a right of all people to voluntarily define their political situation and liberally make decisions concern value of the land and use of the territory.
Nationalism system creates laws and regulates them. These facts cause pressure, tension, intolerance, violence and anxiety in a society. For more than one hundred years the island has retained his identity because of geographical isolation. During the last fifty years, Colombia’s government is re-enforcing a nationalism authority with regulation and laws. This system has changed people life and generates niches of poverty, prostitution, intolerance and violence. Hence, the government’s underlying uses two forms of empowering nationalism: cultural and civic. The first transform perception, tradition, and language of the people. For example, the islanders, who by custom speak no other language but English-Creole and read English, are facing the fact that the predominant language had changed to Spanish. The laws are written in Spanish and there are few public employees who speak English. Therefore, our islanders are losing their lands and they are confined to their home, to their neighborhood. The music and dances are also disappearing. This fact –loss of the language and custom- create discontent atmosphere among the elder and a despairing environment for the young people.
The second kind of nationalism, civic, derives political legitimacy and it is being used by Colombians leaders in a very subtle manner. Due to the fact that our leaders are elected democratically, they don’t have influence or power on the decisions made about the island. Case in point, the island had been recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve and Marine Protected Area (MPA). Political leaders should...