Being a prisoner
Next April 18 will it will complete 51 years of the first night I had to sleep on the cold floor of a prison. I was 21. The prison was the Cabaña Fortress in Havana, Cuba, which was then ruled by a sinister character: Ernesto "Che" Guevara. That night, in addition to cold and hunger, the cries of my companions, who were shot without trial in front of the infamous wall, destroyed our dreams. Virgilio Campaneria and Alberto Tapia Ruano, still teenagers, were killed, to justify the tyranny of the Cuban island.
Four years later, in the heart of the South American Andes, on Christmas´s eve, again I had to sleep on the cold floor of a prison. It was in the city of Loja, Ecuador, on the border with Peru. A military junta ruled the country and saw terrorists everywhere. For two weeks, I was considered one of them, until they realized the error.
Days ago, I became prisoner one more time. Ity was just for a few minutes, but it hardly matters. The feeling of being a political prisoner is the same. This time those who arrested me were not men in uniform. It was a primate called Carolina, practically my stepdaughter, who wanted to show me and other humans what it is to feel like a prisoner without having committed any crime.
I was with baby Suzi and Carolina in her enclosure. I was beginning the process of integrating Suzi, 10 months-old, with a primate mother. We were in a hallway between the cafeteria and a dormitory. Suzi was earning the trust of her new possible mother, who is twice the size of her biological mother. Samantha was enjoying a few days off with her group and Jimmy was taking care of the other two Samantha´s daughters, adopted by him: Sofia and Sara.
I went out with Suzi to the open area and Carolina stayed in the hallway. When she realized I was away, she carefully got near the door and closed it. Carol, as everyone calls her, had become the warden and we - Suzi and I – became the prisioners in the twinkling of an eye.
I asked her to open, but she ignored she was listening. I pretended I was crying, I asked for help, etc.. but Carol wanted to show me and every human what they felt being prisoners.
Freedom is the treasure of living beings, no matter they are humans or not. I could not imagine that, from a political prisoner , I was going to convert into a director of Prison, where innocent beings, sensitive, intelligent and rational have to live, because the "higher beings" who run this planet did not found another solution to make them survive, after having pulled them out of their home and destroyed it.
All those who imprison innocent animals in cages, pens and cages should, for some time in their lives, also try to be prisoners. Without a doubt, they would not arrest no one anymore for entertainment and enjoyment of them and their inner circle.
Reflecting about prison and presenting conclusions which would give an end to the captivity of animals with no reason or sense, we think a solution would be to prohibit the manufacture, sale and display of cages, so that there would not be capitiviy facilities, nor Pet Shops or dealers, nor the commercial breeding, which encourage the captivity.
Not only Breaking the current Cages we will avoid captivity. We should prevent others from being built. Then nobody could have animals in absurd and traumatic captivity.
What happened 51 years ago in my life, and that could have had a more dramatic end, if my captors had identified myself properly, and not wrongly as it happened, allowing me to escape from their clutches, was for me a life lesson .
Chimpanzees are prisoners of our sanctuary, but this is the only way to keep them alive. years. Thus, all our investment focused on improving the premises and living conditions in that prison, to make it more tolerant.
Think of the thousands of zoos and circuses, hundreds of millions of pet shops, commercial breeders and thousands of millions of homes hich have billions of animals trapped, with the purpose of fun and entertainment. The day that this irrationality and hel will be over,maybe we will recognize that the planet is truly free.
Let´s fight for THAT ... IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE!
Dr. Pedro A. Ynterian
President, GAP Project International