I was out for a morning run in the park next to my house in Cali. Last night there was a big party in the open air theater. Once I left the park next to the theater I found many of these little paper wrapers you can see above. That´s how they sell the cocaine here. What a statement!!
YES, cocaine is violent, that´s for sure. For the last five decades Colombia has been suffering from a civil war in which cocaine is also playing a prominent role. About 10 per cent of rural Colombian communities (4 million people!!) are displaced in their own country, because the guerilla or the paramilitary units claim their land for their purposes (the production of cocaine is one of their businesses). But also the national military is involved in criminal acts against the civilian people. The situation is very complex and complicated, today even more, as multinational companies also defend their interests on land (e.g. palmoil, bananas, coal) with criminal and violent methods.
At the moment the guerilla and the government are holding peace talks in Havanna/ Cuba. For the first time in more than ten years dialogue is possible. One key issue is how to deal with the displaced people and their land that was violently taken away from. While it may be a good start, it´s hard to believe that the results of this dialogue will lead to an end of the violence, that is mainly fueled by business interest.
But there is also another Colombia that is not always talked about in the media. It’s the beautiful and diverse country with its deep roots and the cultural heritage of the three ethnical groups (indegenous, black and mestizo) which create a unique mixture. Colombians take pride in these cultural goods.
There is progress and resistance to a violent Colombia. There are Colombians who are not giving up to believe in Colombia’s transformation into a peaceful and humane society.
That´s the Colombia we are exploring in our documentary.
VIVA LA VIDA.