In 2018, after the triumph of Iván Duque as president of Colombia, one thing was clear: poor management would not only weaken even more the country’s institutionality but would finish opening the doors to radical ideologies that seek to widen the crack in Colombian society. In the midst of chaos, these ideologies seize power and impose a single thought on every citizen.
Although with the best intentions and against the most radical wing of his party (the Democratic Center), Duque has tried to lead a country in a spiral of corruption, a society with open wounds after decades of blood spilled by guerrillas, paramilitaries, drug traffickers and members of state forces, but he has not been able to. His weakness of character and his eagerness to try to look good with everyone have not allowed him to read the real needs of society, those that are lost behind the excessive noise made in moments of crisis by uribistas, petristas, fajardistas, charistas, robledistas, istas, and more istas. Duque is stuck in a bubble from which he is afraid to get out.
Thus, he has only managed to encourage those who see Colombia as a good haul. One of them, one of the bishops of the weakening of the clumsy democracy that has been built so far, is Gustavo Petro. In addition to seeking the Presidency, he has a more dangerous objective: to position a majority of people in Congress who are accountable to him and militate with his ideas. With the logical weakening of the image of our politicians, with the “gamonales” who are beginning to retire and leave millions of votes orphaned, and with the clumsy decisions taken by the Duque Government, the possibilities of more radicals in Congress are high.
It does not matter if due to his strategies and the evident exploitation he has made of the indignation of citizens, Petro’s image falls. For decades he has been spreading a narrative that, although fed by a true feeling of the citizenry, is full of deception. A discourse strong enough to co-opt a few million votes and put more of his own on his right and left.
On the other side, things are not looking good either. Parties whose foundations are full of farcpolitics, parapolitics, cocaine, and clientelism. Former presidents who have not understood that their moment has passed, that their words only feed the anger of Colombians, that their ways are no longer useful and that the best way to help the country move forward is to enjoy the pension we pay them away from the political arena.
The evils of our questionable politicians are only symptoms of a society that has not wanted to face its own decisions and has allowed itself to be convinced that it needs to be saved. “Relax, father state will have to help you,” we have been told for years. We have fed a monster whose stomachs are multiplying and Father State has become an aberrant predator. Its size is so appetizing that a large number of unpleasant beings are willing to give the lives of others to eat a slice.
The political renovation of Colombia is not in any of the heads that today seek to impose their ideas at any cost. There are no visible leaders who understand that the freedom of citizens should not be put into discussion, as long as – the most basic thing ladies and gentlemen – the freedom of others is not disrespected. There are no visible heads who understand that a giant State is a drain through which citizens’ money is lost. For the moment there are only “lesser evils” that end up paving the way to something darker and darker. If society does not understand how important its freedom and that of others is, how can we expect them to promote leaders who do?
Further enlarging the State with the money extracted from those who fight for it day by day and from those who generate wealth, so that it can be administered by politicians who have been parasitizing it for decades, is an idiocy of enormous proportions.
The decades of violence that we, Colombians, have lived through would be argument enough to convince some that we have learned from our past, but everything shows that a kind future does not await us. We are still struggling to build a prosperous nation for all, but we lay mud as foundations and demand from those who for years have been, in one way or another, in charge.
What is happening in the streets of Colombia is being exploited by those who only want to fill their hands with more power. But that cannot be an excuse to hide the fact that people are terribly tired. More than of the quarantines, of the shit they endure day after day from those who sell themselves as martyrs and heroes from ministries, Presidency, and Congress.
It is the citizens, from poor to rich, who keep afloat a nation that is being pulled to the bottom by those who claim to be saving it, while the dead are piling up at the door.