Since the day I was born, I have lived in a country plunged in an internal war. A long and difficult conflict that has affected everyone in Colombia, physically and/or psychologically. Even for a citizen of Colombia’s capital city, Bogotá, a place where all that reality seemed to be paradoxically unreal and distant; someone who had access to good education and many other benefits that most of the people were not able to have. I insist: the conflict affected everyone in Colombia!
For so long, at least three generations in a country ruled by the fear, Colombians against Colombians, everyone imposing their methods to build a “better future”, fighting for a vision, battles that usually started a new phase of the same problem, more investment in war, more inequality, more revenge, more deaths: an eternal return. It’s been almost 28 years watching news in TV, reading newspapers, listening stories from local people, all of them talking about the cruelty of war, revealing an extended feeling of hopelessness, helplessness and resignation, extending the conviction that this situation was practically impossible to change.
Today, something new is happening in my country. There is some hope!! Today, government and FARC assume the responsibility to stop the war and continue debating in the political battle field. It is not definitive yet, but it corresponds to a first big and required agreement on that point. No more arms! No more deaths! No more fear! A complicated history as such won’t be solved in few years. It will take a lot of energy, patience, tolerance, forgiveness. But, personally, I prefer to hear news about people debating ideas, than hearing about families and people minds destroyed by the war.
P.S. Sept. 26 1988, the national magazine, Semana, published this article. From January 1st to June 3rd, there were 89 reported deaths so far. According to this Wikipedia summary (Conflicto armado en Colombia), the number could even increase to more than 180 deaths + multiple bombs by drug cartels+ kidnaps of politicians, social activists, among others… Does anyone have doubts that the country has changed since then?
For more info, follow the hashtag #ElUltimoDiaDeLaGuerra.