By Cecilia López Montaño, EL ESPECTADOR, June 3, 2021

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

During this long and painful month some transcendental changes in Colombian society have come to light. Not recognizing them is the worst mistake we could make. It’s not just that this country will be leaving behind the worst social upheaval in our recent history, but it’s also that you can now see that in the streets of the big and little cities. New realities have come forward and we need to start analyzing them. To do that, it’s necessary to identify at least a few of them.

The young people are politicized, and that’s something that those of us that have contact with this group of the population had believed would never happen. That means that we must identify their role in the determination of objectives, priorities, and measures needed to reach the world in which they and their descendants want to live. Politics, in the best sense, is “the place where the contradictions that are specific to any society are resolved peacefully”.

It’s in that context that you have to understand the persistence with which they remain in the streets, because they are aware of the reasons that explain their exclusion and that of their families; not just right now but always. But they are not resigned to that and, with the Constitution in their hands, as was seen in a photo collected by this newspaper, they are in the fight to make big changes. Some say that they are the children of the armed conflict and have been special witnesses of their parents’ resignation. Maybe that’s because their parents saw no way out, and because they saw no revelation of how the wealth had been accumulated by just a few. Now that resignation is over and done with, among other reasons, because the inequality is noted day after day; far from getting to be less, it’s getting to be more.

The women, with their incredible activism and their political role, are taking part in the marches and putting aside all the threats they receive. It’s another generation that is finally closing gender gaps in the area of citizenship and of building the new country. The mothers, besides defending their children, are also playing a political role and running risks without ceasing, in order to take on that responsibility of nurturing the young people. The mothers in the front lines are a fact that has already been recognized in international media as a new reality that shows that women are not just caregivers, but protagonists of this political, social, and economic transformation that we expect.

Territorialism, the recognition that Bogotá doesn’t know everything and doesn’t say everything, but that rather every territory, even within the cities, has its own narrative for this situation, its own demands, and it requires autonomy for their management. That means that the centralism that has always characterized this country has entered a healthy crisis, which ought to end with the closing of regional disparities that are so unrecognized and so underestimated by the authorities in the central government.

Disregarding the peace process and the cost of failing to enter the postconflict could explain the violent way that the Police have acted. They continue to embrace the logic of battling an enemy. Now we have to revive the need to consolidate that process as part of the agenda of the new country that’s already being built.

The social networks, which have checkmated the traditional communications media, and which are not unaware of the existence of fake news, have given tremendous support in telling the truth. The speech in front of the picture has become the form of finding out what’s real. Can anyone deny that individuals from sectors in this society have fired weapons at demonstrators while standing right next to members of the Armed Forces?

The great sin that this administration and the Democratic Center Party had better not commit is ignoring that Colombia now is not the country that Álvaro Uribe governed. There’s no place for Democratic Security or for investor confidence. The people, especially the youth and not just the poor, but all levels of income, have lost their patience; they are pacifist, environmentalist, humanitarian, feminist, and they believe in the imperative necessity of constructing a just and equitable country without violence.

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