Results tagged “Columbia” from onegoodmove

How to Change a Country

contributed by Charles Lemos

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“If a fish needs to swim, a man needs to walk.” —Enrique Peñalosa, former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia

The agony of Colombia is well known. For over forty years, Colombia has suffered an interminable guerrilla war whereas the rest of Latin America has seemingly put guerrilla activity behind them. Some of the reasons for our continued nightmare are due to factors outside Colombian control, namely the drug trade that continues to allow the FARC an invaluable source of income. And yet Colombia is turning the corner by becoming a bold experimenter and innovator in urban planning and sustainable development.

As the Colombian national anthem notes, en sucros de dolores el bien germina ya, in furrows of pain good now germinates. We are an exceptional country and an exceptional people. What other country would elect a poet, yes that was his profession, as President as we did in 1982 when we elected Belisario Betancur Cuartas. A Conservative and yet a Progressive. His speech given in 1983 to the United Nations General Assembly is considered by many to be the most august, lyrical and dramatic speech ever delivered at that podium. And yet the 1980s were a painful decade as Colombia battled not only guerrillas and the then nascent paramilitary death squads but also Pablo Escobar and his ilk, and thus unable to combat what it most needed to combat, poverty.

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