Justicia es reconciliación

En Sudáfrica, y de hecho en todo el mundo, nos educamos creyendo estrictamente en la justicia como desquite. Con la alarmante alza de los crímenes violentos y el aumento de terribles crímenes de violación y abuso infantil, en la actualidad hay frecuentes llamados para reinstituir la pena capital, los cuales tienen un amplio respaldo público. Misericordiosamente, la Corte Constitucional de Sudáfrica ha determinado que la pena de muerte (que los sudafricanos eliminaron al mismo tiempo que fueron liberados del apartheid) es inconstitucional.

Es lamentable el que en algunos lugares del mundo parezca que los hombres y mujeres no han podido ir más allá de la admonición bíblica del “ojo por ojo” en su ansia de desquite. De hecho, algunos países musulmanes amputan en público las manos de los ladrones convictos, pero ese adagio bíblico se invocó originalmente para evitar que en las contiendas se reclamaran las vidas de los parientes inocentes de una persona que hubiese cometido un crimen. El “ojo por ojo” pide que el culpable sea el único objetivo, y no otros cuyo único crimen era haber estado emparentados con él.

Así es que este adagio no tenía en su origen el significado que terminó adquiriendo, es decir, que un crimen se pague con otro. Considerando la brutalidad de la época del apartheid, eso nunca hubiera funcionado en mi patria.

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