Bosejour, The Mapuche Warrior With Afro-Haitian Roots

By Julio Vergara – FLAF Americas

Jean André Emanuel Beausejour Coliqueo is the name of a football player, left back, who has defended the colors of the Chilean national team on numerous occasions, as well as various Chilean football teams. “El bóse”, as he is generally known, was born in the working-class commune of Estación Central, in Santiago, Chile, in 1984. From a Haitian father and a Mapuche mother, this player, since he was a child, knew how to fight against prejudice due to his skin color. He found in football an escape route to get ahead and avoid prejudice and discrimination.

When Jean was a child, they gave him the nickname “Palmatoria”, a black character from the Comic “Barrabases”; popular cartoon based on the Chilean soccer team, which has around 80 years of history in the country, that “Palmatoria” was the reflection of the time, of a discriminatory and partly racist society.

Jean knew from childhood that he wanted to be a footballer, having a broad curriculum of clubs in which he has participated; either in the Chilean national tournament, or in European clubs. “The bóse” finally signed a contract for the 2021 season with Coquimbo Unido, a Chilean football club that belongs to a port city, of the same name, located in the IV Region of the country.

What can we highlight about the new Jean Beausejour club? Well, the answer may be very extensive, but in a few words, Coquimbo Unido is the faithful reflection of a city-port, inserted in a territory that formerly belonged to the “Changa Culture”, an aboriginal people, who lived in that territory for centuries, until the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, when it was violently reduced by the ‘conquerors’.

The Changa culture practiced fishing and the harvesting of shellfish, for which they were considered as “the people of the sea,” they made rafts with sealion leather and crossed the seas to seek their livelihood, therefore, it is not surprising, that until today, the inhabitants of Coquimbo, call themselves “changos” with honor and pride. Both Beausejour and the supporters of Coquimbo Unido have something in common: carrying in their veins the blood of warrior peoples, which is a powerful mix to bring the best results to the stands, with the fans that characterize the pirate team as it’s crest and as on the pitch, with Jean, as the saying of a part of the club’s anthem goes …