She is the fourth child of a family of five daughters and two sons. Other notable siblings include Sasha Campbell Barr, a well-known singer, and Shirley Campbell Barr, a world renowned poet. Epsy Campbell is named after her paternal grandmother, who migrated from Jamaica to Costa Rica as a child. Her Afro-Costa Rican grandparents migrated to the country at the turn of the 20th century to build the country's first railroads. She married at a young age and became a mother when she was just starting her university studies. She has two daughters, Narda and Tanisha.

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By Allen Perez. To my countrymen, whom I love as humans not another minor thing can be expected of me I beg you to change together certain mirrors that lie to us, that we hide insolent wrinkles and bad intentions: we are racists and misogynists to the degree that is.

Much or little, shame in any case. We are ashamed to declare it, we forbid talking to it, because we are comfortable with the mirrors in which we reflect ourselves, with supposed unblemished faces, with which we condemn perfidious fantasies, against the current of human dignity. We can not erase or flee from certain birthmarks with the racism of the cover that gave birth to the Costa Rican social being. Our colony and our Republic, although they had chapters of heroism, are also creditor of a stormy, dark past, whose skeletons continue to talk to us from a closet that we do not want to locate, to pass by clueless and ignore a past that still haunts us and that today it continues to reflect.

We refuse to remove the skeletons from the closet because they embarrass us and a lot. The idea of finding out and overcoming a historical heritage that we can not erase but transcend with radical honesty and athletic disposition frightens us.

Epsy Campbell Barr, First Vice President and Chancellor of the Republic pays dearly for the boldness of being a woman, black, and influential political leader. If the Chancellor was a black "gentle", brilliant yes, but that went unnoticed, as invisible, would be a black "well behaved", knowing its place in society.

Luckily Epsy Campbell Barr is not the submissive human being that some people would like to see. If it is a question of killing 2 birds with an infamous stone, to the blackness of Epsy we would have to add another color: that of being a woman.

Woman and black is the end according to our inherited prejudices, and if we add to them in our collective unconscious misconceived hysteria to the grievance of an imagined purity that never existed, which can never exist, and that a decent and sane Costa Rican can never dream, we will understand why our country needs to ventilate, from secondary school, the vital issues of race, gender and social class.

Costa Rica should not have the luxury of walking through life simulating the non-existence of controversies. In general, on these issues, that of sexual diversity is the most talked about, but clearly its affirmation has been insufficient.

In questions of class and race, the conversation remains lukewarm and discreet. Why is it so hard for us to even mention these issues? Why do we register them as nonexistent? Epsy Campbell Barr is charged what she is, because she is also a woman invested with a legitimate political power, because she is a black woman very influential in public affairs, and because she also knows how to speak with authority, without looking down, with an assertive verb come from his intellectual corpulence.

These qualities that are to be celebrated in it, rather raise gross suspicions and high-sounding blows on the table at the first opportunity. A moment, of course, I have read everything that is accused and nothing has been proven. It is clear that the Minister is a public official and as such must respond for their actions. Democracy is nurtured and strengthened by political control over its officials. The issue I'm talking about is another. I speak of a rage always present, denied or disguised when the diverse comes out of its enclosure to settle on the heights of the public agenda and political power.

Because regardless of whether or not Mrs. Chancellor is responsible for bad administrative practices, an issue that remains to be seen, the truth is that she is attacked with rancor because she is an influential and relevant proof of the commitment of this government and the previous one with the diversity agenda and human rights.

The feverish attacks against it contain an ideological rancor from the most conservative and retrograde sectors to everything that smells of feminism, reproductive rights, diversity, and racial justice.

In the end, this is the battle of those of us who are engaged in stimulating a positive qualitative leap for our democracy. Democracy must always be our north and human rights our light. Can we get to have a black president?

Or a gay president or a lesbian? Or an indigenous president? Are we really as free and unprejudiced as we think we are? Nothing is as false as saying that the ghost of racism and sexism does not feel to travel between us, the Costa Ricans. What really struck me was the sudden buffeting, loudly executed, by the political forces of social regression.

Did we realize how much guile went through the spout of social networks? Little was the vehement public protest. Racism and misogyny still pass as currency. What does this atrocity tell us?

It says what it is: that our democratic culture has starved, regrettable nuances, incompatible with the profile of a vigorous democracy. He says that our democracy demands, with urgency, a thorough conversation about the scourges of racism, class differences, misogyny and, of course, xenophobia. Do we not know that they are already going for 25 years without the fundamental demand for autonomy of the indigenous peoples having been taken care of by the successive Legislative Assemblies?

The answer is one and unambiguous: for our racism. Because for so long the legislative body has decided, with its negative attitude and violation of international treaties and agreements that the country has signed and ratified, that the human rights of indigenous peoples do not deserve priority and less promptness.

That is the truth that few see or the truth that others do not want to see. And few want to see the racist and misogynistic attack that the Chancellor is subjected to. Because, how to enter the ugliness of the national soul that we inherited from the colony? Does the value of being honest help us? Does it build to overcome bad historical heritage? Convinced of the pertinence of the previous questions, before which, for the common good, an attitude of openness comes.

Since when is it illegal or bad practice to go out accompanied by your spouse? Since when is being an entrepreneur a tax to travel with the husband in the case of the Chancellor? Is it worth insinuating and not trying? Is it worth offending for free? Is that the argument? It is appropriate to mention the life of my paternal grandmother, the Licda. Lita Chaverri Matamoros.

She was the first professional woman graduated in Costa Rica. He entered the pharmacy school in and graduated from it in She was undoubtedly a woman of temper who faced public and private tirades. The legacy of my grandmother has inspired me to write these words.

Noticing the public career of Epsy Campbell Barr -who is not my friend, or know in person- stands out unequivocally for her merits as a Costa Rican and Afro-descendant woman. This is a historic milestone that I celebrate.

Many years ago, being a teenager, I met Marvin Wright Lindo, "Callaloo", a black political leader and founder of the Autonomous Limonense Party, who led me to campaign in Limoncito for the elections.

For me it was all a school. It introduced me to the racial dilemmas of our nation. Since then I have not lacked smell in this matter. From "Callaloo" I learned about the value of being black, of being afro-descendant, and I understood that racism is not an accidental evil of history, but one, as in our environment, that was born of unjust social structures that still do not leave us in peace.


Epsy Campbell Barr








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