David Choquehaunca hold this speech on Nov. 8 in La Paz at the inauguration ceremony of Luis Arce as President-elect of the Plurinational State of Bolivia
With the permission of our gods, of our older brothers and of our Pachamama, of our ancestors, of our achachilas, with the permission of our Patujú, of our rainbow, of our sacred coca leaf.
With the permission of our peoples, with the permission of everyone present and not present in this chamber.
Today in a few minutes, I want to share our thoughts.
It is an obligation to get along, an obligation to dialogue. It is a principle of living well.
As the peoples of ancient cultures, of the culture of life, we adhere to our origins stretching from the dawn of remote times.
We children have inherited an ancient culture which understands that everything is interrelated, that nothing is divided and nothing is outside.
‘Let’s Go Together’
That is why they tell us that we all go together, that no one be left behind, that everyone has everything and no one lacks anything.
And the well-being of all is the well-being of oneself, that helping is a reason to grow and be happy, that giving up something for the benefit of the other makes us feel strengthened, that uniting and recognizing ourselves in everything is the pathway of yesterday, today, tomorrow and always of where we have never moved away.
The ayni, the minka, the tumpa, our colka and other codes of ancient cultures are the essence of our life, of our ayllu.
Ayllu is not only an organization of society of human beings, ayllu is a system for the organization of the life of all beings, of everything that exists, of everything that flows in balance on our planet or Madre Tierra, Mother Earth.
Across centuries the civilizing canons of Abya Yala were fractured and many were exterminated. The original thought was systematically subjected to colonial thinking.
But they could not turn us off. We are alive. We are from Tiwanaku. We are strong. We are like the stone. We are cholke, we are sinchi, we are Rumy, we are Jenecherú, the fire that never went out. We are from Samaipata. We are jaguar. We are Katari. We are Comanche. We are Maya. We are Guarani. We are Mapuche, Mojeño. We are Aymara. We are Quechua. We are Jokis, and we are all the peoples of the culture of life who awaken larama, equality, rebellion with wisdom.
‘A Transition Every 2,000 Years’
Today Bolivia and the world is experiencing a transition that is repeated every 2,000 years. Within the framework of the cyclicality of time, we go from no time to time, giving rise to the new dawn, a new Pachakutiin our history.
A new sun and a new expression in the language of life where empathy for the other or the collective good replaces selfish individualism.
When Bolivians look at each other as all the same and know that united, we are worth more. We are in a time of being Jiwasa again, it is not me, it is us.
Jiwasa is the death of egocentrism. Jiwasa is the death of anthropocentrism, and it is the death of theolocentrism.
We are in time to return to being Iyambae, which is a code that our Guarani brothers have protected. Iyambae is the same as a person who has no owner. No one in this world has to feel like the owner of anyone.
In Bolivia in 2006, we began the hard work to connect our individual and collective roots, to return to being ourselves, to return to our center, to taypi, to pacha, to the balance from which emerges the wisdom of our planet’s most important civilizations.
We are in the full process of recovering our knowledge — the codes of the culture of life, the civilizing canons of a society that lived in intimate connection with the cosmos, with the world, with nature and with individual and collective life. We are in the full process to construct our suma kamaña from our suma akalle, which is to guarantee the individual good and the collective or communal good.
We are in times of recovering our identity, our cultural roots, our sake. We have cultural roots. We have philosophy, history. We have everything, we are people, and we have rights.
One of the unshakable canons of our civilization is the inherited wisdom around the Pacha. Guaranteeing equilibrium in all time and space is knowing how to manage all the complementary energies, the cosmic energy that comes from the sky and the energy that emerges from below the earth’s surface.
These two telluric cosmic forces interact, creating what we call life as a visible (Pachamama) and spiritual (Pachakama) totality.
By understanding life in terms of energía (life-force), we have the possibility to modify our history, matter and life as the convergence of the chacha-warmi(man-woman) force, when we refer to the complementarity of opposites.
The new time that we are beginning will be sustained by the energy of the ayllu, the community, consensus, horizontality, complementary balance and the common good.
Historically, the revolution is understood as a political act to change the social structure and thus to transform the life of the individual. None of the revolutions have managed to modify the conservation of power in order to maintain control over the people.
‘Our Revolution is the Revolution of Ideas’
It was not possible to change the nature of power, but power has managed to distort the minds of politicians. Power can corrupt and it is very difficult to modify the force of power and its institutions, but it is a challenge that we will assume from the wisdom of our peoples. Our revolution is the revolution of ideas. It is the revolution of equilibrium, of balance, because we are convinced that in order to transform society, the Government, the bureaucracy and the laws and the political system, we must change as individuals.
We are going to nurture opposing coincidences to find solutions between the right and the left, between the rebellion of the young and the wisdom of the grandparents, between the limits of science and unshakable nature, between creative minorities and traditional majorities, between the sick and the healthy, between the rulers and the ruled, between the cult of leadership and the gift of serving others.
Our truth is very simple — the condor takes flight only when its right wing is in perfect balance with its left wing. The task of forming ourselves as balanced individuals was brutally interrupted centuries ago. We have not ended it, and the time of the ayllu era, community, is already with us.
It requires that we be free and balanced individuals to build harmonious relationships with others and with our environment, it is urgent that we be able to maintain balance for ourselves and for the community.
We are in the times of the brothers of the Apanaka Pachakuti, brothers of change, where our struggle is not only for ourselves, but also for them and not against them. We seek the mandate. We do not seek confrontation. We seek peace. We are not from the culture of war or domination. Our struggle is against all kinds of submission and against the sole colonial, patriarchal thought, from wherever it comes.
The idea of the encounter between spirit and matter, heaven and earth of Pachamama and Pachakama allows us to think that a new woman and a new man will be able to heal humanity, the planet, and the beautiful life that is in it and return beauty to our mother earth.
We will defend the sacred treasures of our culture from all interference. We will defend our peoples, our natural resources, our freedoms and our rights.
‘We Return to the Qhapak Ñan’
We will return to our Qhapak Ñan, the noble path of integration, the path of truth, the path of brotherhood, the path of unity, the path of respect for our authorities, our sisters, the path of respect for fire, the path of respect for the rain, the path of respect for our mountains, the path of respect for our rivers, the path of respect for our mother earth, the path of respect for the sovereignty of our peoples.
Brothers, in conclusion, we Bolivians must overcome division, hatred, racism, discrimination among compatriots. Now no more persecution of freedom of expression, now no more prosecution of politics.
Now no more abuse of power. Power has to be to help. Power has to circulate. Like the economy, power has to be redistributed. It has to circulate. It has to flow, just as blood flows within our body. Now no more impunity, justice brothers.
Nevertheless, justice has to be truly independent. Let’s put an end to the intolerance, to the judicialization of human rights, and of our Mother Earth.
The new time means listening to the message of our peoples that comes from the bottom of their hearts. It means healing wounds, looking at us with respect, recovering the homeland, dreaming together, building brotherhood, harmony, integration, hope in order to guarantee peace and happiness for the new generations.
Only then can we achieve living well and governing ourselves.
The Achachilasare supernatural spirits of the Andean world and the protectors of Aymara communities. These spirits inherently exist or reside in the mountains and the snow-covered altiplano.
Along with the Kantuta flower, Heliconia rostrata, known as patujú (also known as hanging lobster claw or false bird of paradise) is the national flower of Bolivia.
1 “Abya Yala, in the Guna language means ‘land in its full maturity’ or ‘land of vital blood’…. Some indigenous peoples of North and South America use the term to describe the two continents [as a united whole].” (Wikipedia)
2 Pachakuti | Pachacuti: “1) A cataclysmic event separating eras in time. (2) Coming back to source. A return to the essence of the cosmos.” (Inca Glossary)
3 Pacha | Often used in conjunction with other words in Quechua: “(1) Location in time and space; where time and space are in conjunction. (2) Life phases; the in-between space … . (3) The physical world. Time, earth, space, universe. (4) The Divine Cosmos. It includes quantity, other realities, Divinity, what is still a mystery. (5) Age; era; time. (6) Oneself; a being. (7) Soil; nature; place.” (Inca Glossary)
4 Pachamama | “Pachamama, Pacha Mama: (1) Mother Earth, Gaia; both the physical planet and the goddess archetype. Universal feminine energy in time and space; cosmic mother. Wife of Pachacamac [Pachakama]. Goddess of the earth and overseer of planting and harvesting. seen as a huge dragon which causes earthquakes. The Earth Mother of the Chincha of Peru. The supreme god Pachacamac emerged from her. She is also mentioned as his consort. Goddess responsible for the well-being of plants and animals.” (Inca Glossary)
5 Pachakama | Pachacamac, Pachakamak: (1) Literally, he who animates the world. Universal masculine energy in time and space; creator of the world. (Inca Glossary)
6 Suma Kamaña | Suma Qamaña: “Suma Qamaña (fullness of life). “Suma qamaña operates in a special social, environmental and territorial context, represented by the Andean ayllu …. It is a space of well-being with people, animals and crops. There is no duality that separates society from Nature, since one contains the other and they are inseparable complementarities.” (P2PFoundation Wiki)
7 Chacha-Warmi: “In Andean philosophy, everything has a complementary partner; that is, everything is composed of the concepts of male and female people, animals, plants, and even objects such as rocks. At a specific point, these two aspects are joined together to build a relationship that is equal and complementary. This is the case with chacha-warmi. (Chacha means ‘man’ in Aymara, and warmi means ‘woman.’).” (The Dichotomy of Chacha-Warmi)
8 Jallalla Bolivia: “Jallalla is a quechua-aymara word that unites the concepts of confidence, celebration and well-being. This single term expresses the idea that our dreams are always accompanied by a strong desire for their realization, raising our request to God, the Pachamama or the Universe and working intensely in order to achieve it.” Facebook page [Translated from Spanish by VME]