Syrian refugee Amer Almohibany/Stringer

Los refugiados como armas de destrucción masiva

CAMBRIDGE – En el verano de 2015, parecía seguro que el ex Primer Ministro canadiense Stephen Harper iba a ganar su cuarta elección consecutiva, la que tendría lugar en octubre. Sin embargo, su Partido Conservador obtuvo solamente 99 de los 338 escaños de la Cámara de los Comunes. Dicho partido no triunfó en ninguna circunscripción en Toronto, ni en todo el litoral del Atlántico. Por su parte, el Partido Liberal, liderado por Justin Trudeau, terminó consiguiendo la segunda mayor victoria de su historia –184 escaños– a pesar de haber estado en tercer lugar al inicio de la campaña electoral.

Este rápido revés fue gatillado por hechos que ocurrieron a miles de kilómetros de distancia. En horas del amanecer del 2 de septiembre de 2015, en Bodrum, Turquía, una familia sirio-kurda abordó un bote en el que pretendía llegar a Grecia. Sin embargo, el bote zozobró a los pocos minutos y Rihanna Kurdi, junto a sus dos hijos, Ghalib y Aylan, se ahogaron. Un fotógrafo turco, Nilüfer Demir, publicó en Twitter la imagen del cuerpo del pequeño de tres años, Aylan Kurdi, que yacía en una playa. Esta fotografía sacudió al mundo –y puso fin a la carrera política de Harper–.

Durante la primavera anterior, Harper había ordenado al ministro de Ciudadanía e Inmigración, Chris Alexander, que revisara la política de refugiados de Canadá para cerciorarse de que no se estaba permitiendo la entrada de terroristas, una directiva que prácticamente paralizó el sistema. Un mes antes, Harper había contemplado prohibir el uso del niqab en lugares donde se prestan servicios públicos, lo que hizo que surgieran sospechas acerca del motivo al que verdaderamente obedecía la decisión sobre los refugiados.

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