February 2, 2011

Helping for the sake of help vs. Paying taxes

Maybe the first part of the title of this post is not correct if you understand what the patronas are actually doing. They are a bunch of women in a village in deep Veracruz (Amatlán de los Reyes) cooking food everyday for around 200 people, mostly beans and rice. They pack it in plastic bags, fill plastic bottles with water and go to the railway. As the train heading north comes, it is full of immigrants from Central and South America countries traveling towards USA. They look like flies messing all around. They have been traveling for days, are exhausted, hungry and thirsty, some have already desisted, some have had accidents and lost limbs under the train wheels, 60% of the women have been or are going to be sexually attacked, some have even died up to this point.

To those who are still on the track, they receive a precious help from the patronas. For free, for the sake of helping other people. Because they are nice to other human beings.

Catalan and Spanish filmmakers Nieves Prieto and Fernando López made out of this story a touching minidocumentary film called El tren de las moscas (14'), which is worth watching. Although it is in Spanish without subtitles, the images of the last minutes talk by themselves. Check out the trailer.

I felt particularly touched, since last night I watched an interview with Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world with 73 billion dollars (as much as Ecuador's GDP). He criticizes Bill Gates and other billionaires for giving half of their money for charity. Charity, he argues, does not help the people, it makes no change in society. What really helps is to grow the own business and pay taxes.

To help or not to help, that is the question.


Anonymous said...

Dazu gab es letztes Jahr einen beeindruckenden Dokumentatarfilm von Stephanie Lamorre auf arte http://www.arte.tv/de/Die-Welt-verstehen/Der-lange-Weg-der-Hoffnung/3382618,CmC=3384116.html

Enrique G de la G said...

Wie krass!

Yaotzin Botello said...

Krass. Und das ganze kann auch von den Film "Sin Nombre" ergänzt werden.

Y por lo de Slim hay algo que me hace pensar en lo que dice. No todo es donar, creo que tiene razón. Donar y llamar la atención, donar y evadir al fisco. Donar y ser buena persona. Y no digo que Slim sea una buena persona, porque con un monopolio y una ambición por mas y más, no se hace más humano, pero donar es un concepto con varias acepciones.

Piensa en el ejemplo de dar dinero a la gente de la calle: ¿lo damos siempre? y si no, ¿cuándo y por qué?

Y llego a lo del tren de las moscas. El corazón que tienen esas señoras es enorme, pero su trabajo, definitivamente, no debería ser donar.