Xenophobia is a big problem that is affecting many countries in Latin America and social networks only help to increase this
The inability of the leaders of Honduras, Venezuela, El Salvador and Nicaragua to work for the welfare of their people, assuming their governments as an act of serving to maintain a general welfare and not as a personal economic gain, added to other problems product of massive violations of human rights, has caused an outflow of migrants throughout Latin America.
Leer en español: Dejemos el odio y vivamos en paz
"There is no way to live" is the phrase in which the majority of migrants agree when they respond to international media that inquire into the causes of their exile. In their attempt to seek a better life, mothers who are heads of family, pregnant women, children, young people, and older adults walk exposed to the sun, to the hunger, to the cold, to the diseases and to something more serious: the xenophobia.
But how to mitigate the rejection of the migrant? The answer, in the case of Colombia, can be making visible the good migrant. That is the migrant who adapts to the laws of the country, who does not infringe them, who is grateful and who knows how to behave.
In such a scenario, the media plays an important role. If the type of migrant that I mention is mentioned on television, radio and the press, the Colombian will begin to have a positive image of the Venezuelan migrant. As a result, I am sure he will be treated in a more friendly way.
However, the media lost the power to be the only ones to inform and present their point of view. Today social networks also inform and do it without any kind of filter.
The problem is that the information shown is contributing to increasing xenophobia. If you simply browse your social network you can find videos or images that show that migrant who breaks the law and does not know how to behave.
This, without a doubt, increases xenophobia and puts at risk the image of those who do know how to behave. Despite this problem, social networks can also highlight the good migrant in order to mitigate xenophobia.
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Beyond the networks, there is another problem and it is the high level of competence that the migrant represents in terms of work. In Colombia, weak employment generation policies have Colombians competing with Venezuelans for a job. Unfortunately, some companies decide to hire more Venezuelans than Colombians but paying them much less. As a consequence, this has created a collective anger towards the Venezuelan.
Therefore, Colombian companies would help mitigate xenophobia by hiring Venezuelans and Colombians equally and with the same salary, that, of course, will depend on their level of experience and study. This would avoid making the mistake of preferring one over the other and would mitigate xenophobia.
If we stop naturalizing xenophobia towards the migrant and reject it from any place where we witness, we would help to mitigate xenophobia. If we are not part of the solution, we become builders of the problem.
LatinAmerican Post | Edwin Guerrero Nova
Transtaled from "Dejemos el odio y vivamos en paz"
* The opinion of the editor does not represent the average
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