During Semana Santa (Easter Week) here in #Chile, south America, we’ve largely escaped the worst excesses of the catholic church’s hysteria, but we couldn’t escape this concrete monstrosity towering over #Coquimbo & the surrounding areas in central Chile.
Named the ‘Cross of the 3rd Millenium’, built for the 2000th anniversary of the birth of that mythical figure JC (no not Corbyn!), the colourless ugly grey concrete monstrosity stands an absurd 90m tall, and has been plonked on the highest point of the Coquimbo headland (where the old port town is located). Given the tendency for earthquakes in these parts it may not have been the most sensible place to put it, but the lives of the locals are no doubt of little concern to those who put it up.
Surrounded by a number of huge bells, and by depictions of the 12 so-called ‘Stations of the Cross’, this abomination stands perhaps as a testament to the Catholic church’s history of inquisition and complicity in the genocide of the indigenous peoples on south America. In Chile this includes the Mapuche people amongst others, who’ve been oppressed & hunted down for over 500 years – see news & solidarity (english) and more info (english & spanish).
Walking around the perimeter of this grossness (it costs 2000 pesos to enter) and the nearby streets, it was quite apparent what a devastating effect this overwhelming structure of oppression has had on the local people living atop the headland, many of whom live in poor conditions & poverty. Numerous homes were bulldozed for the cross, and it blights their daily lives – the lights, noise of the bells, increased transport including large buses on narrow local streets. Some examples of local opposition to the cross remain today (see image).
Across south America we have noted the regular repressive occurrence of large crosses or statues to JC perched on top of hills & mountains overlooking the towns, cities & countryside below. Acting as a permanent reminder (and warning no doubt) of the domination achieved by the catholic church through coercion, myth, bribery, forced intermarriage, weakening of indigenous bloodlines (ie by rape of the women), starvation…and ultimately the murder of those indigenous peoples who would not bow down before the church, or resisted being ‘civilised’ by such hypocrites. In south America the catholic church is an institution built upon abuse & cruelty, this concrete monstrosity is just a late addition to the history.