Dateline: 28 September 2021
On 22 September 2020, André Vltchek, quietly passed away – on a night-ride from the Black Sea in Turkey to Istanbul, accompanied by his wife, Rossie. He just fell asleep in the back seat of a chauffeur-driven car and didn’t wake up. His legacy is diverse, heavy in substance and revealing – revealing about the world, about the dark forces that command the world. He never really referred to them as “dark forces” because for him the wars he investigated, photographed, the conflicts he witnessed, the misery he experienced and filmed – was real. The “Dark Forces” came to the surface – no shade, no cover – but NO LIGHT.
André was always there where it was burning – or where there was great danger that soon it might burn – and the population blown apart.
We had some remarkable experiences together on the Greek island of Kos, following the refugee tracks. Refugees from Turkey – to Greece – to the European Union. Their sad fate in refugee camps with the most horrifying sanitary conditions – their patience – their HOPE – hope is what makes these refugees tick and breathe. Not just those that come from the Middle East and Africa, to seek a better future mostly for their children in lush and wealthy Europe. Refugees all over the world live from hope. If we lose hope, life ends…
Similarly, we visited Puno in Peru, and from there to Rinconada – the world’s highest gold mine, a series of many small and large independent gold mines – controlled by a deadly mafia – some 5,100 – 5,400 m above sea level – indescribable conditions, of cold and misery – some 70,000 people are living there – in extreme destitution, but all on a voluntary basis, all in the hope to finally “hit the riches” – GOLD. They work for 29 days a month for free – and what they find on the 30th or 31st day – they may keep. That’s an old mining law that is still the rule for many of the Andean mines.
No heat, no running water – girls of all ages make a living as prostitutes to uncountable miners, who leave their families behind – well, in the HOPE to get rich. Huge fields of garbage – endless plastic waste – and ever-so-often in the midst of such mountains of waste – a cross protrudes – a grave.
These are some of the experiences André and I lived together. They created a bond – and throughout the years we knew each other from writing from exchanging ideas - - friendship in the virtual world, practiced in the real world – philosophizing during half a night in a cheap café in Athens - are unforgotten; their richness cannot be taken away – André, you are dearly missed.
May your soul rest in Peace.
And remember: VENCEREMOS !
A D D E N D U M
La Rinconada I Peruvian Gold Rush
Aug 25, 2015
This is a film by Nick Neumann and Walker Dawson
The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of The Greanville Post. However, we do think they are important enough to be transmitted to a wider audience.
Covid-19 has put this site on ventilators.
DONATIONS HAVE DRIED UP…
PLEASE send what you can today!
JUST USE THE BUTTON BELOW
YOU ARE FREE TO REPRODUCE THIS ARTICLE PROVIDED YOU GIVE PROPER CREDIT TO THE GREANVILLE POST
VIA A BACK LIVE LINK.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License