Costa Rica’s First Vice President, Epsy Campbell, this week expressed her solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in a video shared on her social media pages.
Campbell, the country’s first Afro-Latina Vice President, said that while she cannot the pain felt by George Floyd’s family and friends, she’s encouraged by a younger generation that refuses to be “complicit in injustice, brutality and pain.”
Watch the speech below, and scroll down for a complete English translation:
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Below is our English-language translation of Epsy Campbell’s speech:
I would like to express my solidarity with the family of George Floyd, with his friends and with all of those who have shed tears at seeing how a police officer, with the complicity of his coworkers, tortured him until killing him.
As a mother, as a sister, as an aunt, as a cousin, as a friend, and as an Afro-descendant vice president, my heart cannot imagine the deep pain that his brave family felt upon seeing how Floyd begged for his life.
George Floyd’s mother is not physically on this earth, but for him it was a sacred involvement: With his last breaths he called her name as a guarantee of her memory.
“Mama, I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe!” he clamored until they violently ended his life.
She was not on this earth to save him with her immense love as a mother, the same love as so many Black women in the world who see how racism and discrimination end the lives of their sons and daughters.
The African-American community has united under a fierce cry: “Black Lives Matter.” Because, certainly, their lives have not been treated with the same importance.
Black Lives Matter has been the motto of salvation that young Black people in the United States have created. But even so, after decades of seeking equality, the silence and complicity of many has allowed for innocent human beings continue losing their rights and their lives solely for the color of their skin.
Today, young people across the world embrace the lives of Afro-descendants, and they launch a desperate cry for equality, a cry of love and respect, because they believe that it has been enough — ruthless death and discarded discrimination can’t be tolerated.
It’s a new generation that doesn’t pretend to imitate the errors of their parents: to guard silence and be complicit in injustice, brutality and pain.
It’s the generation of light, which we adults need to follow and from which we need to learn, because it’s no longer possible to tolerate any deaths due to discrimination.
Today, I make a tribute to Black mothers, and to all Afro-descendant women, for whom love, work and commitment haven’t been enough to save their sons and daughters. I am sure that we are walking toward a new humanity where all people have all rights without discrimination.
That is why I extend my heart and my deep admiration to young people, men and women from across the world, of all ethnic groups and nationalities, of all identities, who have decided not only to put themselves in the shoes of Afro-descendants but to march and lift the ideals of justice, equality and love, reclaiming a fight that generations of Afro people had once done alone.
Today we must all shout loudly that Black lives do matter.
Black Lives Matter.