rip — rest In peace — Eduardo Galeano

3 September 1940 – 13 April 2015


One of my practices to keep up my Spanish skills and stretch my mother tongue language skills is translating short essays from Eduardo Galeano’s book Children of the Days. I set myself this little task this year in February and I do this at random and when I manage the time. This is my fifth one.

Galeano died last week, on Monday 13 April 2015. We have lost a great writer and people’s historian. He began writing in the 1960s, part of a generation inspired by the Cuban revolution. Over the course of his career as journalist, poet and artist he painted a brilliant political landscape with words and images across centuries and continents. His books are and will be Latin America political and historical classics.  Read his obituary here.

Today’s blog post is a translation of the 28 April essay ‘this insecure world’. Rest in peace Galeano, I will miss you.

28 April This Insecure World

machine_sm_yesicanmachineToday, on Work Heath and Safety Day, it’s worth noting that these days nothing is more insecure than work. Every day more and more workers wake up asking –

How many of us are not needed? Who will buy my labour?

Many lose their work, and many lose their lives working: every 15 seconds a worker dies in what is called a ‘workplace accident’.

To win elections politicians prefer to use public insecurity to unleash public hysteria. Danger, danger they exclaim: on every corner lurks a thief, a rapist, a murderer. But these politicians never denounce work as dangerous;

Or the danger of crossing the street, since every 25 seconds a pedestrian is killed in what’ is called a ‘traffic accident’;

change your realityOr the danger of eating since whoever survives starving to death will die poisoned by the chemicals in food;

Or the dangers of breathing since clean air in the cities is, like silence, a luxury;

Or the danger of being born, since every 3 seconds a child under 5 dies.

want to know more?



Mark Fried’s translation


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