Mu­ro de Lá­gri­mas: Sí­si­fo en Ga­lá­pa­gos / Sisyp­hus in Ga­lá­pa­gos: Isabela’s Wall of Tears

Nan Magazine - - PUERTO VILLAMIL -

El Mu­ro de Lá­gri­mas de Isabela es una pi­la des­bor­dan­te de pie­dras de la­va, co­mo si ca­da la­dri­llo qui­sie­ra ha­cer­nos acuer­do de la des­me­su­ra­da cruel­dad so­por­ta­da por quie­nes cons­tru­ye­ron la es­truc­tu­ra sin sen­ti­do... Po­dría ser más lar­ga (190 m), y es­tá, evi­den­te­men­te, sin ter­mi­nar, pe­ro es an­cha (irre­gu­lar­men­te an­cha, en reali­dad), la par­te su­pe­rior más del­ga­da, ade­más on­du­la co­mo los cam­bios de hu­mor del mal­va­do que or­de­nó su cons­truc­ción... Su al­tu­ra de nue­ve me­tros es impresionante. Se sien­te co­mo si al­guien le hu­bie­ra di­cho a las po­bres al­mas que la eri­gie­ron, “pon­gan sus pe­nas don­de pue­dan”. Des­de 1946 has­ta 1959, la co­lo­nia pe­nal en Isabela aco­gió al­gu­nos de los re­clu­sos más pe­li­gro­sos de Ecua­dor. Mien­tras que otros cam­pos de pri­sio­ne­ros los for­za­ban a la­brar las tie­rras pro­duc­ti­va­men­te, el cam­po de San­to To­más te­nía un pro­yec­to ma­ca­bro: que los pri­sio­ne­ros crea­ran su pro­pia pri­sión. La pa­red los en­ce­rra­ría en un rin­cón inac­ce­si­ble de la is­la. Di­cen que una trein­te­na mu­rie­ron a cau­sa del ca­lor y el can­san­cio al cons­truir­lo.

Isabela’s Wall of Tears is a see­mingly over­flo­wing, form­less lump of la­va bricks, as if each brick wan­ted to re­mind us of the un­con­tai­ned cruelty en­du­red by tho­se who cons­truc­ted the use­less, sen­se­less, straight-up ee­rie struc­tu­re… It could be lon­ger (190 m), and it is evi­dently un­fi­nis­hed, but it is frea­kishly wi­de, irre­gu­larly so – fat at the bot­tom, thin on top – and un­du­la­ting li­ke the mood swings of the evil ty­rants who or­de­red its cons­truc­tion… It is al­so ni­ne me­ters tall. It feels as if so­meo­ne had told the poor souls who built the thing, “lay your so­rrows down anyw­he­re you can”. From 1946 to 1959, the pe­nal co­lony at Isabela hos­ted so­me of Ecua­dor’s most dan­ge­rous con­victs. Whi­le so­me camps for­ced pri­so­ners to work the fields and crea­te farms in a pro­duc­ti­ve sort of way, the San­to To­más camp had a most cy­ni­cal pro­ject in sto­re: the pri­so­ners had to build their own Sisyp­hian pri­son out of la­va. The wall was to lock them behind it, in an inac­ces­si­ble cor­ner of the is­land. They say thirty peo­ple died of heat and ex­haus­tion du­ring its cons­truc­tion.

El Mu­ro de Lá­gri­mas, 9 me­tros de al­to. / The 9-m tall Wall of Tears.

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