[OP-ED] Colombia (not Columbia) deserves another chance
The most misunderstood country in the U.S. are not Afghanistan or Iraq —mysteries to most of Americans—, although we have been entangled there for years, tied in protracted wars that continue costing us billions of dollars and precious lives of member of our armed forces.
Even more misunderstood is a country closer to us, South of the border, where a pernicious war have been smoldering for the past 50 years.
Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez said once Colombians have been killing each other “since the war for independence from Spain,” in 1819.
In reality, 200 years, if we go with Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez’s assessment of his own country’s history, where, he said, they have been killing each other “since the war for independence from Spain,” in 1819, giving painful inspiration to the Colombian literary genius to craft in the middle of such pain his masterful literary piece “100 years of solitude.”
An incredible number of 32 wars in the 19th century, and the war “of the 1,000 Days”, at the beginning of the 20th century, preceded the civil war known in the history books as “La Violencia,” during which 300,000 colombians were killed in an undeclared war that raged in Colombia over 5 years in the middle of the 20th century.
The most recent conflagration that has left 220,000 people dead, 45.000 “desaparecidos," and almost 8 million people displaced from the rural areas where the bullets fly day and night.
“El Bogotazo,” which was a storm of popular anger in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, after the indian-looking leader Jorge Eliércer Gaitán was gunned down when he was the favorite to win the presidency of the country, started the most recent conflagration that has left 220,000 people dead, 45.000 “desaparecidos” (people whose bodies were never found) and almost 8 million people displaced from the rural areas where the bullets fly day and night.
Colombian is a civil society that been called the oldest democracy of South America.
Under that carpet of civility, and nation that has been declared one the the happiest on earth, because of the people’s attitude, despite the despair, an unofficial war is about to officially end.
We just pray for the best to happen to the courageous people of Colombia in their political will to finally defeat of the terrible specter of war.
That noble Colombian people who has suffered the war, not profit from it, deserve one more chance.