No Pill for You: How Governments Kill

Colombians are sensitive about the whole drug conversation. Colombia is the largest producer of cocaine in the world, and for some reason, very often we are at the center of drug jokes. To be frank, we don’t like it. In general, there’s a big misconception around the world of what drugs mean in Colombia.

In the US and Europe, where the consumers are, cocaine is synonym of endless hysterical wild parties that ended 3 days later when a XVII century pianist dressed as a playboy bunny confused the door handle with the fire alarm.

For us Colombians, drugs are the thing that fuels violence, the stuff people sell so that some can afford to perpetuate and foment all the social problems in the country.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that in Colombia everyone has been directly affected by the drug trade in some way or another. Our family reunions are full of stories about Jesus and saints and about the old drunk great grandparent that lost the family’s wealth in a hand of cards. Also, there is ALWAYS a story related to the drug issue. To the extent that production, transportation and delivery are the areas in the drug story played by Colombians, you can just begin to imagine the level of tragedy, and also comedy, of some of these stories. I dare you to take your mind to places you never thought were related to drugs: like hand-made submarines and talking your way out of deportation using your knowledge about Mexican soap operas.

Personally, I have found myself in many awkward and truly compromising situations thanks to all the Colombians that do run the cocaine trade. I have relatives that have struggled terribly cleaning their past faulty legal records and relatives that struggle every day to sell their agricultural produce because agricultural prices are artificially kept down by money laundry operations. But to be honest, I’ve had a pretty tough week and don’t feel like lecturing much on the political correctness, or rather the lack of it, in the drug jokes made about Colombians. Instead, I am going to share a very colorful little story about a type of Colombian drug that got incinerated by Canadian customs officials three years ago.

I have relatives that fled Colombia in the late 90’s trying to make a better future for themselves in a progressive and advanced economy, the socialist nation of Canada. Today, I have the privilege to have in my family a Canadian uncle, a Canadian aunt and two young Canadian cousins. As good citizens of a socialist country, my relatives did what other socialist Canadians do for holidays. They fled the winter lands and went on a holiday vacation to Cuba.

In Cuba, like in much of Latin America and the Caribbean, they call drinking water what really should be called DO NOT DRINK THIS WATER. Long story short, the entire family gets infected with some widespread parasite and immediately experiences what is commonly known as acute diarrhea. Of course, there is no doctor to be found in Cuba and the family has a very difficult time finding a pay phone or an internet café to make contact with their medical insurer. Finally, they are able to access the internet and they get in touch my father, who is a family physician and is very well versed in the diagnosis and treatment of third-world infections and diseases. My father tells them to buy a medicine that will help them temporarily with dehydration but urges them to visit the doctor as soon as they are back in Canada.

Back in Canada, oh Canada, the socialist country with public health care, my uncle, aunt and cousins are unable to receive any medical treatment. All due to the red-tape involved in the delivery of any service that comes to you at the convenient price of zero. So, the family makes multiple attempts at seeing a Canadian doctor, only to be rejected, every time, by a Canadian nurse that is unfamiliar with this terribly common tropical infection and who only prescribes test after test after test.

Five or six weeks have past and the family has lost a lot of their weight in… well, poop. They still have not been able to see a doctor. When you are a 2-year or a 4-year old, you can’t afford to lose much weight. So, things are getting complicated.

My father has been continuously skyping with my uncle to monitor the evolution of the disease. Enough is enough, he says. We are going to save the Canadians from their socialist system. But because it is Canada who we are dealing with, we are going to do so playing by the book, not Colombian style.

Parasite drugs used to treat acute diarrhea can be bought over the counter in Colombia. Of course, in Canada you need a prescription. So my father buys the doses required to treat the entire family for a total cost of $25 and he proceeds to write a prescription for the drugs. The prescription is in English, Spanish and French. He puts the medicines in a package together with receipts from the purchase and sends the package through priority international mail.

Because it is Colombia where we are sending the package from, we track it religiously. Just overnight, it reaches the US. Shortly after, it makes its way to Calgary. Then it is sent to Edmonton, the last large customs office before it is sent to its final destination in the North West Territories. The package stays in Edmonton for 1, 2, 3… 5, 6 days. The family is hanging by the edge of the seat and the Canadians keep losing weight to a simple diarrheal infection.

A week or more after the package is sent, my uncle receives an very important call from the customs official in Edmonton. Really, the last call you want to receive if you are a Colombian immigrant. Is your name such and such? Are you Colombian of origin? Are you a Canadian citizen? Where you in Cuba recently? Are you aware we are holding a package of yours? Why are you getting drugs delivered to you from Colombia?

My uncle has nothing to hide and he explains the situation as it is.

Your answers are unsatisfactory, we will proceed to incinerate the package.

That’s how another package of legitimate Colombian goods didn’t make it to its destination. How drug dealers trashed the credibility of an entire country, how a socialist health system failed its citizens and how the socialist Cuban water sanitation system killed 4 Canadians. Just kidding, they didn’t die.


A quick look into a recent past

This is a piece I wrote in 2013 as part of an application (that I’m not sure I ever submitted) to enter a program in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Uppsala in Sweden. This text says much of what I still know and believe and helps explain why for me this whole plebiscite fiasco has been so shocking.

Brief Synopsis of Colombia’s Prolonged and Sanguinary Civil Conflict

Historically, political confrontations in Colombia have existed between ideologies that fall between a conservative right and a change-thirsty left. For centuries, the yawning inequalities across social classes have facilitated the delivery of highly polarized discourses. Thereby, as a result of decades of extreme political positions and extreme economic inequalities, the political environment in Colombia has long been plagued with resentment, enmity and violence.[1]

Colombia suffered a devastating civil war between the Conservative and the Liberal parties between the years of 1889 and 1902. This war, which came to be known as “the Thousand-day War”, was debilitating for the civic society and had long lasting effects on the political and economic institutions of the country. However, it was not until the fall of the Conservative party’s fifty-year hegemony in the 1930s that Colombia’s modern endemic conflict started.

The Conservative party had ruled the country since the establishment of the nation’s second Constitution of1886. The fall of the Conservative dominance and the rise of a Liberal regime meant that the long established status quo was at risk of reform.  The Liberal Party won the presidential elections for four consecutive terms after 1930 and was on its way to win yet another election. It became apparent that a major reconfiguration of the social order was inevitable. The political and economic elites became to feel threatened by the ongoing empowerment of the masses; thus, in a desperate effort to bring the Conservatives back to power, the assassination of the soon-to-be Liberal president, Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, was ordered. Gaitan was murdered in 1948; his murder triggered the anger of the people and a sanguinary episode of violence broke out. During the ten years following Gaitan’s death, both Liberals and Conservatives engaged in a large-scale witch hunt. Persecutions became so brutal that this historical period came to be known as “The Violence”.

In the elections of 1950, the Liberal party did not participate in the run for presidency. The Conservative party easily secured the executive power and gave rise to a military regime. To oppose the military regime, the Liberal party decided to support the creation of guerrillas and insurgent groups in the rural areas of the country. During the upcoming years, a multitude of small and disorganized armed groups spreading a Socialist and Communist discourse were established in the remote areas of the country.

In the meantime, the Conservative party withdrew support to its own presidential candidate as his practices became more and more questionable. In 1953, the political class in cooperation with the national military managed to organize a coup d’etat and General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla assumed power. Although Rojas Pinilla’s government was relatively successful at demobilizing the liberal guerillas, it soon became evident his assumption into power was turning into a military dictatorship. In an effort to avoid succumbing into a totalitarian regime and to avoid future waves of bipartisan political violence, in 1958, the last year of “The Violence”, a pact was signed between Liberals and Conservatives to alternate the presidency for sixteen years. This political arrangement, known as “The National Front”, was meant to put an end to the struggle for power and to end the enmity between the two parties.

The enactment of the “National Front” required the alignment of confronting political interests in the country. Not only did it force Conservatives and Liberals to put together agreeable terms but it later required the support of the electorate via a democratic plebiscite. To this end, it seemed as if the “National Front” was successful at putting an end to the violence and promoting cooperation among the political classes. However, it became clear that it also stymied other ideological parties from entering the political platform. Until this point, the bipartisan feature of Colombian politics had not been an issue since the only major parties that were active politically had been the Conservative and the Liberal Parties. However, the recent Cuban Revolution of the 60’s had inspired the creation of multiple Communist organisms interested in having their voice heard in the political debate.

Without the possibility of participating in the democratic process, Communist organisms opted to advocate for social and economic reform through violent means. Insurgent groups like the infamous FARC, the ELN, the EPL and the M-19 took arms to form a revolutionary opposition. Spreading the Marxist discourse, the guerrillas were a diverse mix of ideological and military structures formed by peasants or university students. The communist guerrillas pursued political reforms as well as socio-economic amendments such as land-redistribution, greater government spending on health and education, and the nationalization of foreign businesses. These proposals slowly gained popularity in the more remote regions of the country where the state had neglected its duties and had limited presence. During the second half of the 60s communist armed groups functioning at the regional level became critical players in the writing of Colombia’s history.

The guerrillas were stubborn and delivered a populist message that appealed to many. They soon became an economic and security problem for the State. Thus, between the late 70s and the early 80s, the government pursued a violent crackdown against communist guerrillas. The national army reached the countryside and the war against insurrectionism scaled to dramatic dimensions.

To make matters worse, the country saw the rise of a third group of militant organisms in conflict zones. Right-winged paramilitary groups were born as counter-insurgent associations between landlords, entrepreneurs, and drug-dealers to protect their possessions from the always-furtive guerrillas. In 1982, the mafia entered the conflict and added yet another layer of complexity to an already difficult situation.

Up until the 80s, the conflict in Colombia was mostly ideological and characterized by a dialectal struggle for power between political actors and sporadic episodes of violence in rural areas. However, in the 80s, drug lords and mafias that had the financial power to finance private militias became involved in the hunt for communists and conflict turned a full-blown war. The foundation of the Muerte A Secuestradores or the MAS (“Death To Kidnappers”), an army of 2000 men financed by the inexhaustible fortunes from drug trafficking, turned the ideological war and the social conflict into a shameful circus of greed and corruption.

Hitherto, Colombia had become a dangerous country, a synonym of failed states and an example of lawlessness. Yet, it was not until the paramilitary realized it could have the support of Colombian elites and the American military if it used its military power to fight communists that the country entered the downward spiral that turned the countryside into an apocalyptic landscape of death. As the paramilitary dedicated its resources to the killing of communist guerrillas and the extortion of innocent people, a few politicians became aware of the potential benefits of cooperating with the mafia. Some political representatives adopted the anti-communist discourse characteristic of the MAS and became direct beneficiaries of the windfalls of drug trafficking. This is how the paramilitary gained access to political power and began to control large extensions of land. The social war had grown into unmanageable dimensions.

With the death of Jorge Luis Ochoa and Pablo Escobar (the two principal leaders of the Colombian drug cartels) came the end of the mafia as an armed association with a political structure of national character and political ambitions. After the fall of its leaders, the MAS turned into a series of disarticulated groups without political cohesion. However, in 1997, in an effort to coordinate criminality, Carlos Castaño founded the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia or AUC (“United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia”) as a federal organization. Castaño understood that the AUC had to control the supply of cocaine to be fully financed by the windfalls of drug trafficking. Since then, drug trafficking became synonym of paramilitarism in Colombia.

During the late 1990s, the aberrations of the war in Colombia were at its climax. The communist guerrillas were not the only groups that killed, extorted, kidnapped, and engaged in drug trafficking. The far right-winged paramilitaries, with the support of more than just some in the government and the elites, did the same.  A series of massacres of unprecedented cruelty shook the entire nation and the entire world. People from rural areas began an exodus away from their homelands into the shantytowns around the large cities. The statistics of human rights violations, the so-called statistics of shame, skyrocketed.

Today, with more than 2 million internally displace persons and dozens of thousands of deaths, the tragedy of Colombia is comparable to that of the Sudan; it is without doubt the worst humanitarian drama in the Western Hemisphere. We are a country of orphans, widows and parents who have lost their children. Yet, statistics show only the symptoms. The war, the struggle for power, the insatiable greed, the shameless corruption and the moral deprivation of our leaders have put the country on its head and have sent it straight towards political and social mayhem.

A few years ago, the largest political scandal to date was uncovered; and it is so closely connection to the country’s constitutional heart that it will take Colombians many years to recover. In 2006 it was found that many of our elected representatives had been cooperating with the paramilitaries for years. “Parapolitics” is the term used to describe this scandal.

In 2001, a group of congressmen, politicians and paramilitary leaders signed a secret document, “The Pact of Ralito”. The text of the document called for the re-foundation of the country. It was, in effect, a new illegitimate social contract. Ever since, the Supreme Court, which has miraculously survived to political pressures, has been in charge of the investigation of the ties between paramilitary groups and congress. By April 17 of 2012, 139 members of Congress were under investigation, and five governors and 32 lawmakers, including the former President of Congress (who happened to be the former president’s cousin) were convicted. In short, one third of our elected representatives have been found to be a direct beneficiary of drug-trafficking and war. In early 2013, Colombia’s general attorney reopened an investigation into alleged links between the former president, Alvaro Uribe, and right-winged paramilitaries in the 1990s while Uribe was a regional governor.

The challenges Colombia face are numerous, varied and tightly intertwined. War causes populations to become fearful, resentful, and anxious. Communities become insecure and paranoid as they continue to see opportunities vanish. There are no guarantees about the future, and people lose their faith on destiny. A large population of victims has no reason to believe in its leaders or in their alleged “good intentions”.  A country without trust and with high levels of uncertainty cannot possibly grow into a peaceful and healthy society simply because individuals lack the means and the incentives to engage in market or simply social interactions.

However, the country’s economic and human potential is vast and its thirst for peace and prosperity unquenchable. In October, 2012, the current government and leaders of the FARC began the first round of peace negotiations in Norway. In January, 2013 a second round began to take place in Cuba. There is hope in the political horizon. Also, the country’s economy has performed exceptionally well in the last few years, largely due to newly found natural resources and recently established trade agreements and financial breaks for foreign investors. I truly believe, and this is my opinion, that a corner has been turned in the history of Colombia’s development. There is enthusiasm in the air, and somebody has to take advantage of this momentum to further growth.

Personal note

My grandfather was a student of engineering at the National University when Gaitan was murdered in 1948. In 1967 my father was attending first grade in the city of Ibague, 97 kilometers away from the place where Manuel Marulanda was consolidating the foundation of the FARC. I was born in a country at war. I was raised in an environment where socio-political aberrations and impunity remain widespread. I flourished while a sinister genocide was taking place in the remote towns of my country. The most puzzling part of all this is that I barely noticed the symptoms of this social, political, cultural, economic, environmental and even religious imbroglio.

I grew up believing and feeling that my country was a land of sorrow where happiness was only an ephemeral illusion that could not be sustained unless one’s existential strength laid on the conviction that God is immense and that He alone understands why we are confronted with difficulties.  I grew up as an observer, surrounded by the sad and nostalgic faces of broken-hearted people who have been deprived from their past and forced to redefine, and sometimes even erase, their expectations for the future. I have seen the scars of the war in the bodies and souls of my fellow brothers in nation. I have also witnessed the asphyxia the young feel after the recurrent frustration of their dreams. I have seen in the eyes of the homeless and the orphans hunger for food and for love. I have merely perceived the symptoms of war.

It has been said that experience shapes expectations. Well, my experience—as anecdotal as it may be—is the motivation behind this application:  My understanding of the world dictates that the vulnerable segments of society bear most of the costs of war—through land expropriation, environmental damage, cultural detachment of communities, and the aggravation of existing social and political violence and instability. I am still just a compassionate student who wishes to expand her understanding about the dynamics of the intricate relation between conflict resolution and economic development so that I can help bring happiness to the vulnerable and the abused and peace to the land of sorrows.

I was once told: “If you forget where you come from, you’ll never know where you are going”. I am beginning to understand the place I come from. I come from one of the most beautiful places I know; I belong to it and it belongs in me. However, there is something I regret about it: there is no peace. That is precisely what I want to help build at home one day.

[1] Until the crafting of a new Constitution in 1991 there had been just three effective political parties in the Colombia: the Conservative (far right), the Liberal (centrist/left), and the Communist (far left). However, for most of the country’s history, the Conservatives and the Liberals had been the parties dominating the political debate through legitimate political means. Meanwhile, the Communist party had very limited outreach in the political platform and conducted most of its political activity by supporting the creation of peasant militias.

Nobel Peace Prize: I don’t know if it is fair, but it sure is timely

Yesterday, October 6, 2016, the Colombian president was awarded the Peace Nobel Prize.Ironically, this occurred just days after he had failed to establish a peace deal in his country. Supporters and critics are divided about how to interpret this move by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. I do not know if it the decision is fair, but I think the prize, with its symbolism, comes just at the right time.

This post is a very much a pure hit for those of you who are history junkies. In honor of the academic spirit, I’ll start with a disguised quiz but I promise to reward you almost instantaneously with a story that has shocked the international community and driven an entire country into absolute social, political, religious and cultural crisis.

Some of you may have heard the concept the “D-Day”. The “D-Day” is in military lingo a day in which an important operation is to begin or a change is to take place.

It originates in World War II and refers exactly to the Battle of Normandy, which resulted in the liberation of Western Europe from the control of Nazi Germany. The invasion of Northern France was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history and it required extensive planning. The day that this crucial battle began was June 6, 1944. The original “D-Day”.

Although this “D-Day” may trigger little emotional distress to you, the contemporary politically and socially active student, I dare you to bring the word up to any Colombian that crosses your path.

You see, for some of us Colombians, it means a hell lot more than a hell lot more than hell.

Last Sunday, October 2nd, 2016 was our “D-Day”. The day the Colombian society would vote to bring an end to a devastating 52-year long civil war in our country. The so-called Day of Demobilization and Disarmament.

For me and my close community the day started full of illusion and hope and optimism. Change was in the air. At last, our country would know peace and we could begin to repair the damages, to help the victims, to bring justice, and perhaps most importantly for us young people, we could begin to plan ahead. Finally, we were going to be able to dream about growth and progress and about returning to the motherland to build a future close to our families and our friends and our culture.

That is how the day started for me. A few hours later, I found myself sitting on the floor, helplessly crying over the phone with my mother. That D-Day became a Dreadful day. And every day after that Sunday, has been the longest day of my life. That Sunday, the majority of voters in Colombia rejected a peace deal that had been signed on September 26th by the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). That Dreadful Day, 6 years of negotiations in La Havana felt like a waste.

The results of the vote were disheartening. Only 37 percent of the electorate went to the polls and the vote was almost a coin toss. The margin of defeat was depressingly narrow: the NO camp won with 50.2 percent of the vote. The actual difference was about 53,000 votes. That’s like a small neighborhood in my home city of Bogota. The vote was also not geographically representative of the suffering experienced in the rural areas. Most of the NO votes came from the metropolitan cities and urbanized provinces while the YES received overwhelming support from people in the countryside, where war has actually been fought, the drugs have actually been planted, and the people that die in this war everyday have actually been born.

Ponder on that score for a bit, 50.2 to 49.8 percent. We got so close to peace we could taste it. And it was sweet and sour and a bit spicy. It burned a little bit but we wanted it.

October 2, 2016. I didn’t sleep that night. After 52 years, this is the closest oeople in my country had been to bringing an end to this malice that has torn the country. And now, it seemed as if we were never going to have peace. The majority of the Colombian society had just expressed that they didn’t want to forgive.

That the NO won meant a lot of things. First of all, it meant that all the demobilization processes that had already started to take place would be frozen. These include the demobilization of child soldiers, the surrendering of arms, the eradication and substitution of illicit crops, among others.

The rejection of the peace deal also meant that the contract was invalid: that it could not be implemented by law. Finally, it meant that if the government, the FARC, the opposition and the Colombian society decided they wanted to continue their pursuit of peace, they would have to start the negotiation all over. That a new deal would have to be formulated. But given the polarized political spirit in the country, that option seems impossible.

The YES supporters have been restlessly searching the constitution, the laws, and any legal document trying to find whatever loophole that would allow the agreement to remain valid legally. One of their desperate attempts includes asking the Supreme Court to rule constitutional the repetition of the vote due to the weather. You read correctly. Ironically, Hurricane Matthew hit the Colombian Atlantic coast on Sunday and kept many people from voting. The YES camp is truly desperate.

Today, October 7th is the 6th day after the D-Day. The 6th of the longest and most emotionally exhausting days I remember having (at that time, of course, Donald Trump was not yet President of the United States). After the results were revealed, the country fell in a very dangerous legal, political and social limbo. Much like in Brexit, nobody in Colombia, not the people behind the YES nor those behind the NO, had foreseen the outcome. There was no Plan B. The country was very much lost. I was totally disoriented.

The first to pronounce anything were, ironically, the FARC who expressed willingness to continue with the peace process and their desire to abandon the weapons and become a political party. The second day after the D-Day, the coalition of political parties in the opposition expressed a similar desire: they wanted to participate in the formulation of a new deal–with whatever unrealistic conditions they are demanding. On day three, the president, Juan Manuel Santos, announced the legal possibility of ending the bilateral cease of fire as early as October 31st. The head of state announced that at least until October 31, the government will continue to respect and recognize as legal the bilateral cease of fire that is being overlooked and monitored by the UN. On day 4, the president and his nemesis, the former president Alvaro Uribe who led the NO campaign with his hateful rhetoric, met for the first time in 6 years in a very symbolic event. On day 5, the NO camp suffered a terrible political hit as one the supporters revealed the campaign’s strategy to inspire rage and fear in the Colombian society and to manipulate the public’s mind using the social media and distorting the message that the actual peace deal carried. That day, thousands of students took it to the streets in an organized march in support of peace. Almost comically, all the students that didn’t vote on October 2nd, decided to go out for a walk on October 6th. That day, Colombia also beat Paraguay 1-0 in an important soccer match that was defining of whether or not La Selección Colombia would go to the 2018 Mundial in Russia (we are going, by the way).

Every day has been a roller coaster. And it looks like it wont stop. The last few days had been packed internal with political fuzz. Now, the international community is also involved. This morning, I woke up to learn that president Juan Manuel Santos had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.

As with everything else these days, the country is divided on what to make of the news.

In many occasions, the prize has been granted to both parts to a confrontation, for instance in 1994 when Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Perez got the prize for their effort in the development towards fraternity in the Middle East. Even Nelson Mandela shared the Nobel with his counterpart, Frederick de Klerk, in 1993. However, only president Santos received the prize this time.

Some people say it is unfair that only he is receiving the award. Those who oppose his rule even feel offended by the award. I can only speak for myself. I don’t know if the award is fair, but I think it comes in good time.

The Nobel Prize for Peace is traditionally a controversial one without a clear objective. In the past, the international community has used it to recognize honest efforts but also to influence future political outcomes. I think that may be the case now. I don’t know if president Santos deserves the award. Clearly, he has worked hard for peace. In fact, the peace deal has been the defining factor of his entire campaign.

I am very happy that the international community recognizes the honest and genuine effort of the social and political groups involved in this issue. But I am even happier for the fact that the international community is WATCHING us, that they also care for the Colombian people and that their vote is for the Peace camp.

I think that awarding a Peace Nobel Prize to a president who has already announced an end to the cease of fire is, to someone extent, a game of reverse psychology. I think that the international community is clearly posing a tacit threat. After all, what Peace Laureate would resume a war after October 31st?

Whatever the reason for the prize may be, in the end it doesn’t really matter to us, Colombian citizens. Ultimately, the prize that we all want and DESERVE is not the Nobel Peace Prize… but the prize of peace.


Small wins-pequeñas victorias

Despues de que se hubiera revelado que la iglesia cotlica en Colobmia estaba alineada con la ultra derecha y estaba promoviendo los ideales politicos de los simpatizantes de NO (la campaña en contra de la ratificacion por medio de valota publica del acuerdo de la paz) mis padres, que son catolicos devotos, se sintieron sumamente defraudados y desorientados. Ellos le ponen mucho valor a la direccion religiosa que la fe catolica ofrece.

Yo soy muy esceptica de la insitution religiosa, me parece que va en contra del progreso social y por eso rechazo identificarme con cualquier tipo de movieminto religioso. A lo largo del ultimo año en particular, he tenido muchos enfrentamientos fuertes con mis padres sobre temas sociales. Mis padres dejan que la direccion catolica influya en su postura polica en frente a temas como el matrimonio (punto), el aborto, el matrimonio gay, el derecho de adopcion de las parejas homosexuales, la eutanasia, la legalizacion de la marijuana, etc.

Esta semana, el dia en que mis padres– especialmente mi papa quien es un hombre que ama la estructura, el orden y las reglas– estaban tan desepcionados y “perdidos” y tristes y furiosos con el la iglesia, le dije a mi madre: “mama, la iglesia catolica en Colombia es una institucion vergonsoza y lo unico que vale la pena hacer en relacion a ella es vomitarle encima y luego hecharse a llorar sobre el vomito”.

Ella me dijo: “Hoy estoy de acuerdo contigo. Empiezo a entender tu posicion”.

Yo declare un triunfo enorme en mi gran batalla familiar.

Luego mi madre termino diciendo: “por eso me voy a pasar a escuchar las emisoras catolicas de Costa Rica. ellas traen un mensaje mas positivo”.

Bueno… a cada quien o suyo…

(esta es la iglesia de Ubate, una de mis preferidas…[por lo menos de las mas impactantes en mi memoria infantil)


Sobre el Plebiscito Colombiano por la Paz

Ultimamente ando muy callada en esta pagina. Basicmanete porque toda mi actividad intelectual, politica y emocional esta 95% concentrada en seguir el desarrollo del estado politico y social en Colombia despues del vergonsozo y desdichado resultado del Plebiscito por la Paz este pasado domingo 2 de Octubre.

Este voto ha desatado una crisis social, politica, psicologica y emocional sin antecedentes en lo que respecta al pequeño universo en el que yo vivo y que me rodea. El desepcionante y en verdad deprimente resultado me ha obligado e invitado acuestionar todos los fundamentos de la sociedad Colombiana: los fundamentos politicos, religiosos, y culturales. He revisitado la historia del conflicto pero tambien la historia de la sociedad Colombiana y he cuestionado y criticado las bases y el proposito del conformiso intelectual y el papel de la fe catolica en la manufactura de una sensacion falsa de “calma” y en su participacion junto con las elites economicas y los grupos de interes politicos especiales en el esfuerzo de perpetuar la ignorancia del pueblo y el status quo.

Le agradezco a la campaña del NO por haber causado un terremoto devastante que ha inspirado un movimiento social gigante hacia la refleccion y la auto-critica. Algo que los Colombianos, y en general los seres humanos, nos hacemos muy a menudo.

Visito con disciplina militar y devocion religiosa las paginas web de fuentes de noticias que respeto y considero serias como la revisate Semana y el periodico El Tiempo. Ademas de interesarme pior posts que comparten mis “amigos” en las redes sociales.

Tengo la idea de en un futuro cercano dedicarle un tiempo importante al analisis o por lo menos a la organizacion de mis pensamientos sobre el desenvolvimiento de esta crisis. Por ahora, quiero hacer publica la crisis emocional y espiritual que se ha liberado en mi y tambien quiero compartir el interes por esta historia que, fuera de chiste, es muy muy compleja e interesante.

Voy a compartir mis reacciones en la red social que uso (facebook) y las respuestas que he recibido. En general, este medio ha traido un gran alivio para mi y me ha conectado fuertemente con compatriotas con los que comparto la desorientacion, la frustracion, la rabia, el miedo, la desilucion, pero osbre todo, el deseo de optimismo y esperanza. Por fortuna he encontrado en mi comunidad cercana gran apoyo y empatia. Encuentro en mi comunidad un eco muy real de los gritos de dolor y rabia y angustia que emite mi alma.

Voy a organizar este post cronologicamente.

Primero lo primero: ganas, esperanza, ilusion. Fuerza. Buenos deseos para el dia. Especialemte sabiendo que era para mi imposible participar mediante el voto ya que mi cedula no esta registrada en ningun consulado Colombiano en los Estados Unidos.

Los resutlados del plebiscito los conoci el Domingo 2 de Octubre sobre las 7 pm. Lo primero que hice fue llamar a mi mama y atacarme a llorar totalmente poseida por una sensacion de impotentia, vulnerabuilidad y absoluto shock. Y luego… bueno empezo la montaña Rusa.

Cronologia de mis reacciones al plebiscito: testificada por mi comunidad virtual de Facebook