Writer Fernando Vallejo, also known as the “master of swearing in Spanish language”, announced early this week his renounce to Colombian citizenship. Vallejo, born in Medellín, has criticized outspokenly and with sarcasm Colombia’s endless war, the Catholic Church, president Álvaro Uribe, and has even called Spain “the shame of human kind”. It is said he likes teenage boys and is an animal rights activist. Once he wrote (his novels are written in the first person): “In your dreams! With pleasure I’d hit the Pope on his ass, but even touch a little animal of God?”
In a communique broadcast on Caracol Radio on Monday, Vallejo, author of Our Lady of the Assasins (novel dealing with violence in Medellín which was turned into a movie in 2000), said:
Colombia slammed its doors at me in order to earn a life in a decent way other than government and politics, which I despise, and put me to sleep on the streets covering myself with newspapers along the Carrera Séptima with its ragged homeless and stray dogs, who I consider my brothers since then. […]
One year ago [Colombia] wanted to jail me because of an article I wrote on SoHo magazine pointing at the contradictions and the ridiculous things [found] on the Gospels. That was supposedly an offence against religion and I got sued. Offences against religion in the country of impunity! Where murderers and genocidal killers walk free on the streets, as the paramilitaries, which the blessing of his accomplice, the shameless Álvaro Uribe who they re-elected for presidency. Since I was a child I knew that Colombia was a murderer country, the murderest on Earth, heading year by year, unbeatable, the statistics of infamy. Later, on my own experience, I came to understand that beside being a murderer, it was abusive and miserable. And when they re-elected Uribe I found out it was a stupid country. Then I ran for naturalization in Mexico, which I was granted last week. So let’s make it clear: that bad country of Colombia is not mine anymore and I don’t want to know a thing of it. I want to live the rest of my life in Mexico and I want to die here.
Vallejo’s decision has caused both approval and outrage at the Colombian blogosphere. With anger, Óscar Ortiz says:
What dignity will this man have, because he promotes sexual abuse to underage boys, homosexualism and resentment to the race, this guy who enjoyed to pay children for them to please his sexual fantasies, some of them also devoted to crime and murder, or guess where the inspiration for both the movie and the book “our lady of the assassins” comes from. It was his life, as a young thief in Medellín city.
Carolina, from Con senos y con sesos, slams Vallejo this way:
I don’t care a bit, mister Vallejo, what you think of this land which gave you birth and which precisely, because it’s so “murderer”, gave you the enough material for you to write your controversial stories, I don’t care a bit because, for me, you are a foolish coward who argues, as so many others, that he leaves the country because it’s not offering him anything. If it’s not offering anything to them, wouldn’t it be because people like you has not anything valuable to offer or to do for this country?
Peter P@n, from Cali, expresses:
But to say that Colombia is a stupid country, the murderest on Earth and to say that overseas with its characteristic rhetoric and eloquence, is like to say bad stuff about his ex-girlfriend and disclose with his friends, for example, that she’s “lousy on bed”.
At Piso Tres, Velvet says:
Vallejo is wrong, of course, when he calls all Colombians with those adjectives. It’s also true he can be using the proper noun “Colombia” to give to understand and give it even more strength to the fact that during several generations a lot of Colombians have been killing themselves. Whatever the reasons Vallejo has to generalize that way, the reaction of the big majority of people who have given their opinion is also disproportionate taking his claims as a personal offence, something that doesn’t make much sense anyway.
On the contrary, Juan Buridán praises Vallejo’s “authenticity”:
Among the lame nationalism, so fashionable since Uribe’s arrival in office, this new manifestation of ‘pissing off anyone’ will seem a terrible affront for a lot of people […] It’s offencive that someone renounces his/her nationality, but it’s not offencive that the government, administration after administration, keeps negotiating impotently the State’s autonomy and Colombian citizens before the violent [groups] , in the middle of a happy impunity, or that the Spanish king or royal household keep being honoured as if we were still part of their domains.
Some commentators at journalist Felipe Zuleta’s blog also agree with Vallejo:
- I also feel very ashamed for “bad-living” in a country which has been kidnapped by the worst criminals, where the narcoparamiltaries torture and kill for thousands and most of the “decent” people (here the murderers call themselves decent people) hide and lie about that. I’d like to live in other country too and not to know anything that happens here, but I’m jailed in a country which has lost its mind and a nationality I reject.
- It’s worth to say that here the only ones who feel proudly Colombian are the drug lords and all their derivations. Mafia is number one Colombian pride.
- Vallejo renounced his nationality because of the shame he feels for the ones ruling us: the Medellin Cartel on his new presentation.
Off-topic: First, please check out my recent articles at Global Voices Online. And join us and let’s celebrate equinoXio digital magazine’s (where I contribute once in a while) first anniversary.