Our democracy doesn’t have to spend its life fighting over the country between two antagonisms. We are free to rebel against the karma of polarisation and overcome this mania for trading fears like footballer’s monkeys. We can choose to be citizens rather than castaways, take control with the duties and rights that this implies, and stop drifting at the mercy of the egos of the moment. We owe it to ourselves to have a sensible, structured and objective opposition, one that does not wear itself out by fracturing itself from within, but that dedicates itself to rebuilding the country.
We have spent three years and five months under a government that disguises the catastrophe as perfectionism and the sabotage as legality. The economy is in tatters, which is unacceptable if they would stop comparing it to a year synonymous with national and world tragedy; the double-digit unemployment rate is in tatters; the red rags and the small and medium-sized companies that have gone bankrupt (this is not exclusive to Colombia and is not only attributable to the government). Shreds in the lives of murdered social leaders and ex-combatants. Shreds in the increase in massacres and displacements: according to OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), in Colombia between January and November 2021 more than 72,000 people had to leave their homes, that is an increase of 200% in the number of displaced people (compared to January-November 2020); more than 50% are Afro-Colombians from the South Pacific and 15% are indigenous. Shattered by the threat of that chemical monster called glyphosate and by the lack of knowledge of what the voluntary eradication and crop substitution programme achieved (while it was left in place). Shreds because of the short-sightedness of believing that the absence of the state and the violence in the territories can be solved by sending more soldiers to patrol death. Shattered in the rural areas now occupied by the proliferation of armed groups, while the issue of total peace has become a sick piece of ice, with the General National Freezer (one of the things we needed to increase the bureaucratic fortress). In 2021, more than 57,000 Colombians (78% indigenous people from Chocó and 18% Afro-descendants) were victims of the confinement caused by the potion that results from mixing the shootings between armed groups with varying doses of ignorance and complicity, indifference and impotence.
And we could go on with the list of failures that hurt but do not surprise, because from the president on down and up, examples abound of what one would never have wanted to happen to one’s country… or to anyone else’s country.
With honourable exceptions, for decades and because of cowardice, we have lacked the firmness to reject violence and correct its origins. We have come to kill each other so much, in part, because we have refused to solve our differences rationally; we have become accustomed to coexisting with inequalities and watching people die as if the country were a video game with easy and falsely reversible death.
There is no deserved violence, no good dead, no perfect target for bullets. There is no acceptable torture, no defensible attacks. This was understood by the peace signatories who have acted courageously and accordingly. But it is ignored by some members of the state and illegal forces such as the ELN, FARC dissidents and drug clans. And so, amidst vicious circles of violence and anachronism, barbarism remains on a leaden platter, for certain swamp weeds to capitalise on with their traditional chicanery. Nobody knows who they work for! Or do they?