We continue building walls

The world seems not to have understood the purpose and since then more walls have continued to be built.

Tourists visiting the Berlin wall.

Tourists visiting the Berlin wall. / Photo: Pixabay – Reference Image

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

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Leer en español: Seguimos construyendo muros

Thirty years were completed from the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9. And although this is a historic day for globalization, whose message behind the wall's fall meant openness and coexistence between all kinds of beliefs, races, and ways of being, today, in the 21st century, the walls are they make them bigger, more imposing and difficult to collapse.

On November 9, 1989, after having been built since 1961 as a symbol of the Cold War, the wall that divided the world (literally Western Europe from communist Europe) fell. However, today the divisions persist. In many cases, they remain as tangible as that wall that is now a tourist attraction in Germany.

This day meant the commercial opening in the world: the emergence of new intra-state relations that would lead to the development of globalization. For this reason, it meant a world unity in which communists and capitalists, leftists and rightists could co-exist without the need for walls.

At least that was the intention. However, the world seems not to have understood the purpose and since then more walls have continued to be built. According to a study by the University of Québec in Montreal, in 1990 there were 15 walls and today there are more than 70. Many of these walls, or border fences are built in areas where there are latent conflicts, in some cases due to terrorist threats – as in the Middle East – in others due to conflicts between States and in others, the majority, as a reaction to the great migratory exodus in countries that are in crisis.

You just have to look at the United States and its current president, whose campaign motto to get to the presidency “Make America Great Again”, carried with it an anti-immigrant speech. The construction of a wall would be the foundation of this political propaganda, where the solution to the problems of the Americans would be to build it on the border with Mexico to prevent the passage of hundreds of thousands of immigrants arriving from Central America every year.

Read also: Trump says goodbye to the Paris Agreement

This is one of the most popular examples in recent times, especially for the mood Trump has sown, making it almost a hate speech against migrants. However, according to the study, migration is the main reason for building partition walls, and not just for the United States. On the contrary, Europe has a large number of walls to curb the illegal immigration pass.

According to the BBC, figures from a UN show a step from 50 million migrants to more than 82 million in Europe from 1990 to 2019. In the past five years specifically, the conflict in Syrian territory has increased the number of walls in Europe, from 5 to 12.

Thanks to this growing migratory flow, nationalist speeches such as Donald Trump's have drawn attention, especially in countries where the arrival of immigrants seems not to cease. "According to a study by the Transnational Institute, an independent think tank, the influence of the extreme right in European migration policy has resulted in the criminalization of migration and migratory movements," said BBC. For this reason, countries such as Italy and Germany, among other Europeans or Brazil in Latin America have been turning towards anti-immigrant extreme right speeches.

The fall of the Berlin wall, then, has been a historical fact. But the celebration of last November 9 comes as a memory of an era that Europe would like to leave behind, but that the world continues to perpetuate every day. As usual, in society, we usually forget the past and repeat it again.

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