From the United Nations to the wounded Colombia


President Gustavo Petro made his debut this week ahead of the UN General Assembly, which includes 193 states. Serious, too harsh, too nice, but it’s like a gathering of co-owners of the world, where leaders go to present their achievements and proposals and complain about the neighbors, because there is a noise of atrocities , because there are smokers and addicts in co-ownership, because water is not taken care of, because the coexistence committee does not work and even extraordinary quotas are requested, for example To save the Amazon, as the Colombian president did.

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Petro delivered a speech that was harsh and semi-poetic at the same time. “I come from one of the most beautiful countries on earth,” he said at the beginning with a national pride and a clear accent. “I come from a land of bloody beauty.” That sentence must have shocked me.

He then went on to tell the world that the war on drugs and the fight against the climate crisis had failed. And he invited developed countries to change course. “I demand from here, my wounded Latin America, an end to the irrational war on drugs.” And he called on the world to save the Amazon.

Undoubtedly, the fight against drugs has been uneven, unsuccessful, and this has to change, because if there is consumption, then there is trade and production, which is what happens in our ‘wounded Colombia’. So yes, more commitment is needed from the United States and Europe, perhaps in less harassment and more medical treatment, more prevention, more education. I remember the brave former prosecutor Gustavo de Greif, who fought drug cartels to the death, proposed legalizing drugs and many smoked them. It won’t happen in a jiffy, but the ‘Pablotinement’, as Pedro Flintstone used to call it, the world will end it.

Drug trafficking has been a misfortune for Colombia and humanity. Here we have put down the worst part. This trade has killed our best men and women, politicians and magistrates, policemen and soldiers, it has addicted thousands of youth, it is the safe home of guerrillas and criminal gangs, which in turn have committed violence, thousands of soldiers , farm laborers and mutilated peasant children.

Well speech in front of the United Nations, but maybe the world looks to the rings of Neptune, without stopping to look for solutions, we can’t loose the fight here.

How can it be that we have a Colombian handicapped football team going to the World Cup in Turkey, starting on 30 September? 128 social leaders have been murdered in 2022 alone. One might say, Petro-style, that our rivers have risen with tears of pain.

So, speech in front of the United Nations is fine, but as perhaps the world looks to the rings of Neptune, without stopping to look for solutions, we can’t let loose the fight here. We must support our armed forces, continue to replace and eradicate and not leave farmers and cattle ranchers alone.

In land invasions, for example, the Office of the Ombudsman says illegal groups are behind one in ten. And illegal groups stay away from drug trafficking. It’s hard to have a “privilege dialogue” there, as the band might say “proper”. Invasion is perhaps the most serious problem in Colombia today. Private property, which the state must constitutionally protect, is at risk.

It can’t be too late, as Petro, in a very Colombian style, did at a New York dinner invited by Biden along with more than a hundred leaders. Like here, because of the “terrible traffic jam, damn it”, the president arrived an hour late, disoriented and sweaty. He was meeting with the Norwegian prime minister, Jonas Gahr Store, but Biden said ‘no Jonas, I can’t wait for him’ and there was no meeting.

There are many things that do not wait. Faced with increasing attacks every day, the authorities cannot remain in a stalemate, as they can turn back years after 48 hours.

Luis Noe Ochoa
[email protected]

(Read all Luis Noe Ochoa’s columns in EL TIEMPO here)

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