In Chile, rivers are being dammed at an increasing rate. Activist citizens including authors, indigenous peoples, and environmental activist groups such as the Chilean free-flowing rivers network are advocating for granting special standing to rivers that would make such development more difficult. If rivers had the legal standing of “personhood”, they would have protections under the law similar to those of human citizens, with a higher burden of justification if corporations attempted to interfere with them.
Just before Christmas, prisoners serving long terms for human rights abuses during Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile received a mass and asked for forgiveness from the families of their victims. Some families of the victims protested the mass, and many human rights advocates dismissed these moves by the prisoners as empty, and not genuine steps towards earning forgiveness.
Forgiveness is often seen as a virtue, a good-making feature of a life well lived. To forgive is to let go of the blame we feel towards those who wrong us. Letting go of negative feelings can seem like an obvious good, a move towards a more positive way of living. When we hurt each other and let one another down, we make amends, apologize, and aim to get past states of blame and hurt. When someone who harms us apologizes, forgiving them is how the relationship can move forward.
Fourteen years have passed since September 11th, 2001 and now 9/11 has become a phrase that signifies the terrorist attack of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001. The post-9/11 memorial events, memorial buildings, related films and literature have indoctrinated us to believe that 9/11 marks the day of terrorism attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda. The occupation of 9/11 in of our collective consciousness signifies how some histories are remembered over the expense of others.