By Leopoldo Villar Borda, EL ESPECTADOR, June 4, 2021


(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

The parliamentary votes that bolted the Defense Minister, Diego Molano, into his position, cannot be claimed by the Iván Duque administration as a vindication of his erratic security policy, if you can call it that, with the fumbling and arbitrary manner he uses to confront the social explosion.

The predictable unraveling of the motions for censure, in which the Uribists, the Conservatives, the Christian Parties, the U Party, Radical Change, and some embarrassing Liberals saved Molano’s bacon, was a pyrrhic victory. That kind of a triumph will lead the Duque administration to a point like the one that made Pirro, the King of Epiro, exclaim after a victory in which he lost more than the enemy did, that with another “success” like that, he’d be going home by himself.

The forces contending in the Senate and in the Chamber are a reflection of a country that has not been able to convert into reality the democratic aspirations enshrined in the Constitution of 1991, that was supposed to mark the beginning of a new era in Colombian life. On the one hand, the ossified parties that are impeding the materialization of those aspirations, and on the other side, the progressives that burst into the political arena in recent decades, like the Green Alliance, those on the left, and some sectors of the old parties that don’t support the anachronistic mottos of the dominant right.

It’s no reason for surprise that the confrontation between the parties of change and the defenders of the status quo in the Capitol settled for the second, as has occurred almost always in Colombia, different from the rest of Latin America. But this time things happened in a different context, because there is an opinion that is awakened, empowered, and vigilant, and is not disposed to give up the dream that was born in 1991. It doesn’t respect the politicians that have converted the Congress into the most discredited institution in this country.

On the other hand, there now exists an international atmosphere that is paying attention to what’s happening here and understands the Colombian situation better than the national government does. In Washington, London, or Paris, nobody’s fooled about the people’s lack of confidence in the Colombian government, the lack of vision, and the incapacity of the administration to resolve the current crisis and, more so, to put the country in the right direction and resolve the historic debt with the marginalized and targeted populations.

The episode of the failed motion for censure of the Minister of Defense is a minor accident in a tableau of misgovernment, corruption, and disorder that has no signs of improvement if it doesn’t come up with a fundamental modification in the abusive and exclusionary management that the political and economic elites have furnished to this country for a very long time. The nature and reach of the modification has been pointed out, detailed, and studied to death by researchers, political scientists, social scientists, and other experts and analysts whose ideas have found no echo in the environment of those who are running things here, and who only work in favor of their own interests.

The government opted for the easy road of attributing the crisis to the drug traffickers, the terrorists, and the armed gangs it has not been able to control, as if those phenomena, as well as the inequality, the poverty, and the injustice were not the result of the inept actions of the governments that have ruined this country. They also blame the pandemic, which has exposed all of those blemishes. But in all of this they have fooled neither the citizens, who have opened their eyes to the reality, nor the world looking on aghast at the barbarity of the massacres, the uncontrolled fury of those who have been excluded, and the brutality of the repression. It’s sad to admit that the solution isn’t going to come out of the outmoded national institutions, but rather, possibly, from the actions of the international community that, on a planet that is every day more interdependent, could help Colombia change its direction.

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