Colombia for Dummies


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A global and humanitarian campaign for eradicating extreme geopolitical ignorance.

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Colombia for Dummies

  1. 1. ADRIANA RUIZ-RESTREPO A uthor of this power point and many other dummy things more…. Like this one : © Become more worldly in only in 10 minutes !!! A Reference Rest of you!! For the Colombia F U M M I E S D R O Includes the painful truth for getting real in the in a funny way and tips XXI century
  2. 2. CONTENTS <ul><ul><li>1- Foolish Assumptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2- Lesson 1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3- Lesson 2 ( plus key question ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4- If you only need one lesson this is it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5- BONUS > Tropical Lesson </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6- Disclaimers </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Foolish Assumptions <ul><li>While doing this presentation I made a few assumptions about you. For example that you have at least a passing interest in what is happening in the world. Or that maybe you are aware of globalization and our interdependence or perhaps you care for people that suffer although they are not your relatives nor cute fluffy animals. </li></ul><ul><li>I also assume that you have a Colombian friend or that you may surf the web in order to verify what I am telling you through this presentation. </li></ul>
  4. 4. First things First <ul><li>COLOMBIA is a country </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>- The district where the US government is found </li></ul>- A prestigious university in NYC - A sportswear brand - A film or record company - A province in Canada Now COLUMBIA may be one of the following:
  6. 6. REMEMBER <ul><li>The South American country is spelled with 2 Os </li></ul>C O L M B O I A
  7. 7. I guess you are now thinking about Colombia and… drugs
  8. 8. <ul><li>Well, then you are ready for: </li></ul><ul><li>LESSON # 1 </li></ul>
  9. 9. FACTS <ul><li>The coca shrub is natural to our environment. </li></ul><ul><li>It is basically a wild land shrub in Colombia. </li></ul><ul><li>Just as it is in Peru, Bolivia and other Andean countries in South America </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>In our region chewing coca leaves –just like bubble gum- is an ancestral tradition. </li></ul><ul><li>When chewed, coca leaves naturally release coca ine . </li></ul><ul><li>The –ine in the coca is just as natural as the - ine of the caffeine extracted from coffee beans. Or the -ine in the theine that is released by tea leaves. When mixed with saliva or water the –ine substances go to your stomach and from there to your system. </li></ul>Surprise ! Theine, Cocaine and Caffeine are natural and their ingestion is a tradition or ritual in many different cultures around the world.
  11. 11. <ul><li>Now, when different chemicals are massively added to the coca leaves , this is not funny any more; the process is now far from being natural or legal. Actually it is how COKE , the infamous white powder, is cooked by multinational criminals hidden in the mountains and the deep South American jungles . </li></ul><ul><li>Chemicals alter and turn the green natural leaves into a powder (barely resembling the natural -ine produced by the coca wild land shrub ) so that it can be s niffed through the nose and hit the brain straight. </li></ul>Coke is an extremely harmful alkaloid that basically fries the brain and poisons the blood. Are you by any chance a REAL environmentalist ? Think of the impact of chemical waste on rivers and soils after the chemical process of transforming natural coca leaves into an alkaloid powder.
  12. 12. <ul><li>Coke is extremely well paid by customers in rich countries, mainly the industrialized countries north of the equator line, where the coca shrub is not a native plant . </li></ul>International distribution by sea, land and air is then necessary to bring the coke in the south to the noses in the north. That is why :
  13. 13. THE DRUG SPOTLIGHT FOCUSES ON COLOMBIA …. Unlike Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela, Colombia is the only Andean country with access to 2 oceans, the Pacific Ocean to the West, the Atlantic Ocean or Caribbean sea to the north; one next to another. (Yes, it is perfect for trade.. that’s is why the canal was built in neighboring Panama). Plus 2 massive “green seas”: the Amazon Jungle to the South and the Oriental Plains or “llanos” to the East. Besides, in Colombia the Andes split in 3 parallel mountain ranges and close to the sea.
  14. 14. Colombia is a land of extraordinary geography and a privileged geographical position . Oceans, jungle, mountains and plains are packed all together in one single country in the corner of the Americas.
  15. 15. Are you by any chance against global warming ? Imagine the carbon print of coke…
  16. 16. <ul><li>The illegal culture of coca, </li></ul><ul><li>Illegally hiding it , </li></ul><ul><li>Illegally taking care of the illicit crop, </li></ul><ul><li>Illegally processing coca into coke, </li></ul><ul><li>Illegally trafficking it by air, land or sea, and then </li></ul><ul><li>Illegally collecting profit when the end clients, </li></ul><ul><li>Illegally buy coke…. </li></ul><ul><li> a multinational chain of illegal actions that separately sustain drug trafficking ! </li></ul>
  17. 17. Criminals love coke users . That is why they are committed to serve coke customers 24/7 and 365 days a year. They rely on a multinational network of gangs devoted to run the business , drug lords to corrupt legal barriers and smoothen international distribution, armed groups for combating big obstacles such as Colombian soldiers and police, and hit men to remove good politicians and engaged authorities everywhere. And of course a vast net of small dealers all around the world ready to deliver coke to the neighborhoods, parties, offices and schools were its use is tolerated or demanded.
  18. 18. Colombia is fully engaged in fighting drugs and many, many Colombians have seen coke only in films ( although increasingly –and shamefully- some Colombians are using coke too) For many years now, absolutely all Colombians have been paying a high price of pain, fear, frustration and stigmatization in a problem that is widespread and global. Noses sustaining this bloody business should start learning and assuming their CO-RESPONSIBILITY for the pain and death that their love for coke leaves behind.
  19. 19. REMEMBER DOING COKE IS FAR FROM BEING COOL: <ul><li>Implicates severe environmental degradation </li></ul><ul><li>Contributes to the forced displacement of rural peasants and indigenous tribes in Colombia, making them poorer. </li></ul><ul><li>It fuels drug warfare </li></ul><ul><li>Supports human trafficking and kidnapping </li></ul><ul><li>Makes Colombian drug lords and other criminals around the world extremely rich and powerful. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>SO, NOW YOU ARE READY FOR : </li></ul><ul><li>LESSON # 2 </li></ul>
  22. 22. Facts <ul><li>In Latin America only Colombia still has guerrillas. </li></ul><ul><li>And not only one but 2 different guerrilla organizations: the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia / Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia) and the ELN (Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional /Army of National Liberation) </li></ul>Hereinafter referred to as Guerrilla # 1 and Guerrilla # 2 (Don’t want to give them any more publicity)
  23. 23. FACTS <ul><li>The ideology that Latin-American guerrillas pursued in those old black and white TV documentaries or sepia colored romantic times of Che Guevara and long dusty motorcycle trips is long gone for better or for worse. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It is true however that insurgence, rebels and revolutionaries were well intentioned at the time. Those Latin-American and Colombian guerrillas were born in the middle of the last century and remained popular for some decades more. But now it is not so. At all. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Colombians don’t support GUERRILLA # 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Colombians don’t support GUERRILLA # 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please listen carefully :
  25. 25. QUIZ: <ul><li>Now, why do you think that Colombia is the only Latin-American country where guerrillas (atomized armed groups living and hiding in the mountains and jungle) still exist? </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>The multinational business of drug trafficking fuels the Colombian guerrillas. </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>By the way, we are beyond tired with many foreigners abroad that have decided to build their own concept of intellectual sexiness by supporting the ideologically coated-drug businesses hidden in the mountains and jungles of Colombia. Maybe they are well intentioned but they could not possibly be more clueless. </li></ul><ul><li>Key question : If these people are so convinced.. why don’t they request an ideological internship in the Putumayo and Guaviare jungles with the Colombian guerrillas ? </li></ul><ul><li>Not only would they be more consistent with what they preach but furthermore it would give them the opportunity of seeing how theory is really turned into practice in the deep jungle. </li></ul>
  29. 29. FACT <ul><li>The AUC (Autodefensas Unidas of Colombia / United Colombian Self Defense a.k.a. paramilitaries or paras) are also an illegal and extremely violent armed group, but this one is right winged. Actually they appeared around the 1980s to “exterminate” the left winged guerrillas # 1 and # 2 !!! </li></ul><ul><li>Guess what ? </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>The multinational business of drug trafficking fuels the Colombian paramilitaries. </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><ul><li>TO MAKE IT VERY SIMPLE : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(YEP, THIS WOULD BE LESSON # 2) </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. KEY QUESTION : Because as of today there has been no need. Nobody in the international community is romanticizing the paramilitaries nor idealizing or justifying any of their actions. Their image is not appealing to fools and pseudo-intellectuals. Colombians don’t have to lose their voice explaining how much their violent ways harm our country; in short ,everybody is on the same page with regard to the paramilitaries. For instance, we are not aware of any foreign government or Hollywood director calling them brothers like they often do with the guerrillas… Why are Colombians usually marching and speaking against the guerrillas and barely do so against the paramilitaries a.k.a. paras?
  35. 35. <ul><li>Foreigners that have never lived in Colombia and with way to much free time in their lives serve the guerrillas through advocacy, financing, printing t-shirts, making donations, and even producing disco anthems for guerrilla # 1 (Yes people with very unexciting lives and no inspiration; their muses might have been kidnapped ) </li></ul><ul><li>Now you know why Colombians are forced to speak out against the guerrillas, and why I had to completely ruin my Saturday doing this power point presentation. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Former guerrilleros of what was once ago known as the M-19 (fortunately enough I didn’t have to introduce you to Guerrilla # 3) signed peace and streamed their ideology to the democratic game. So, yes Colombia has functional democratic institutions (with many flaws just like in France or the USA) And those ex-guerrilleros that were interested in ideas and in real change are now respectable representatives or senators in the Capitol or regional authorities. They offer very strong statements and currently offer a very interesting and legitimate opposition to the current government and traditional political parties. TRUE STORY FOR ANY COLOMBIAN THE CONGRESS IS THE PLACE FOR IDEOLOGICAL CONFRONTATION. ANY ONE THAT STRIVES FOR IDEOLOGICAL CHANGE SHOULD (i) LOOK FOR POPULAR SUPPORT, (ii) GET ELECTED AND (iii) TAKE IDEAS TO CONGRESS COLOMBIANS NEED PEACE AND THE KIDNAPED FREE !
  37. 37. COOL TIP Unfair and negative stereotypes add an extra burden to this already complex situation and are definitely not funny, particularly given that victims and their pain are real and the rest of the word is partly responsible. Unfortunately less than one percent of Colombians (we are 40 million) are violently ambitious, armed and fully sponsored by millions of international noses. They bring blood, tears, infamy and pain to other peaceful and unarmed Colombians. Don’t make lousy Colombian jokes to Colombians about Colombians being drug lords, coke addicts and criminals.
  38. 38. <ul><li>So, could you please be kind enough to give us a break with the ignorant and negative hollywood-mr-&-mrs-smith stereotype ? </li></ul>It is definitely not funny And it is going to remain so, until…. Well, until in the future some nerd scientist comes up with some maxi-chemical that will serve to extract and alter some substance from a northern wild land shrub or tree into something really weird…something like.. say, chestnutine. Or then something from a plant that can grow and be easily cropped in countries above the equator line.. Say, corn !!... oh no, that’s funny, just picture nope, jokes are OK.
  39. 39. By the way it is really frustrating to see music and movie stars that use coke, openly describing how “cool” and “high” they were at a party in any of the main capitals of the world. And the next day, they go and take philanthropic pictures portraying how committed they are to making the world a better place… yeah right.. -And the child couriers that carried their coke to their noses in their stomachs? -And the internal displacement of Colombian peasants and indigenous tribes to make room to grow the coca shrubs that satisfy their demand? -And the chemicals poisoning soils and rivers ? -And the victims of kidnapping that have been kept for decades deep in the jungle for politicizing and insulating the drug business on which coke users rely? -And the dead?
  40. 40. <ul><li>STOP HUGGING POOR PEOPLE AND SIGNING CHECKS FOR THE CAMERAS… </li></ul><ul><li>STOP FUELING DRUG WARFARE AND GLOBAL WARMING* WITH YOUR NOSES FIRST !! </li></ul><ul><li>Calculate the carbon print behind 1g of coke placed in NYC/ London/Paris </li></ul>
  42. 42. Guerrilla 1 Guerrilla 2 P A R A M I L I T A R I E S VERY SAD AND EXTREMELY TIRED GOOD COLOMBIANS Huge burden of multinational drug-trafficking + international noses of coke users Extreme International Ignorance about Colombia + self-perceived intellectuals with delirium tremens
  43. 43. Tropical Lesson <ul><li>Cumbia is 100% Colombian music. It is a beautiful type of music and the source of Colombian Vallenato . Unfortunately we can not take pride on being at the origin of Salsa and Merengue but Cubans, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans will confirm that we are pretty good at both. </li></ul><ul><li>Cali is the Salsa capital of the world, no discussion. </li></ul>TIP : Listen carefully to the lyrics of Colombian music and learn about our soul, about our real country and what we believe in and care for. We sing to love, rivers, fruits, flowers, family and friends. We are a musical country of a peasant origin. (I strongly recommend Carlos Vives, Shakira, Juanes, Grupo Niche and Guayacan among many more) Ask around and you will learn that we are a country of hard working, friendly and very creative people. Extra-tip: Regaetton is absolutely not Colombian music. But we will still dance to it (trying not to pay much attention or, god forbid, learn the lyrics) just as we will also dance to the Marseillaise French anthem or the Coca-Cola Christmas jingle if we are happy and more than two in a room. Well, that is actually not true, Colombians do dance a lot when they are all alone and with good music; usually in front of a tall mirror …(I’ve seen my neighbors..)
  44. 44. Conclusions <ul><li>You are more worldly than you were 10 minutes ago and will impress many people around you. </li></ul><ul><li>Possibly your orthography is improved. </li></ul><ul><li>You know that coke = blood + pain + severe ethnic and environmental impact. </li></ul><ul><li>You know that Colombians are burdened in every possible way by the multinational drug trafficking business. </li></ul><ul><li>That Colombians do not support guerrilla 1, guerrilla 2 nor the paramilitaries. </li></ul><ul><li>That Colombians are beyond sick and tired of all of this. </li></ul><ul><li>That we don’t appreciate foreign nationals and governments trying to polarize us. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally congratulations. You have made many Colombians happy by learning and trying to understand our pain. </li></ul>
  45. 45. Ooops..The Disclaimers: 1. I believe it is evident, but just in case ,I want to express that besides profound admiration I have no rapport whatsoever with the “ For dummies: bestselling book series ” from Wiley Publishing,Inc. <ul><ul><ul><li>2. I love animals very much, particularly the cute and fluffy (poodles included). I love them almost as much as human babies, children and grown up human beings. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3. Apologies for my language mistakes. I guess that by now you have figured that Spanish is my mother tongue (no, no, Latin-Americans don’t speak Latin) and yes, I am caleña and Colombian … </li></ul></ul></ul>
  46. 46. 100% Colombian, like good coffee.