We should not be surprised

Una de las imágenes mostradas por Caracol Televisión

A few minutes ago I published a featured article at equinoXio digital magazine, about the dozens of starving children who died in poor Western Chocó department. In short, I said that as Colombians turn their attention, at least for a moment, to this issue, the real responsible people (the “Social Protection” [Labour+Health] minister, the governor, President Uribe, their predecessors, etc.) are passing each other that responsibility.

The issue, though not surprising as I state on the title, was brought by national network Caracol Televisión last weekend, when it showed dramatic pictures of little children with malnutrition, denounced by the Ombudsman office (which usually is never paid heed) and some religious groups working at the zone, strategically located and filled with paramilitaries, guerrilla and transnational african oil palm companies. The Chocó department, which is officially bankrupt, receives a lot of money from central government, which is allegedly stolen by local politicians and bureaucrats. The control instances don’t work either. The governor suspended his Holy Week vacation, as Bogotá weekly newspaper El Espectador reveals that he was put in power by pro-government politicians who just want to keep their power there.

This week President Uribe was there to “take charge” of the situation and install a provisional Army hospital there, as the populist he is, of course. Back in Bogotá, some commentators ask for dissolving the province and share it out among neighbouring Antioquia, Risaralda and Valle del Cauca. As usually happens in Colombia, the issue will be forgotten within two or three weeks, while another tragedy, there or elsewhere, occurs. Meanwhile, Colombians should act instead of getting surprised. The question is how. If they can mobilize to take out a popular but not-so-well behaved television presenter


One response to “We should not be surprised

  1. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Colombia: Protesting Hunger

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