jump to navigation

A Country’s Image to the World also Depends on what its People Say About It. June 28, 2007

Posted by dtenjo in Colombia, Politics.
2 comments

So Copa America has started, the oldest soccer tournament among nations in the world, not a very big deal here in North America, but definitely really important for South Americans. However, it is not Copa America what I am going to talk about here, it is about something that happened while I was watching the game between Mexico and Brazil last night.

There was a gathering of people from many nationalities (all of them Latin American, of course), which included a few Colombians, including myself. There was also another Colombian friend of mine who during the game kept ranting about how terrible Colombian soccer is, how the Colombian team will do terrible in this cup, how when Colombian soccer was good in the past was only because of Drug Money injected into it, and he even went to talk about Colombian politics, and how the current president is part of the paramilitary, how there are several guerrilla groups in the country, and how there is no solution to the conflict in Colombia. Obviously, as a Colombian, all this quite irritated me, as I would much rather focus on the good things about my country, and try to provide a good image of it.

I mean, I wonder how many Colombians there are around the world exposing Colombia like this. When I mentioned to my friend how negative he was being, his answer was to accuse me of not following news, and not knowing the reality as it is. I do follow Colombian news on a daily basis, and I know that some of what he says (not all) may be part of the reality. Nevertheless, as Colombians, I consider it is much more beneficial to focus on the side of reality which shows how great a country Colombia is. It is much better for the country to focus on the good things, and on how things are constantly changing for better.

For example, it is true that recently there have been reports that link some of President Uribe’s political allies in the country’s politics with paramilitary groups. -Not the president, just some of his allies-, and some people are jumping to the conclusion that the president must “be” a part of the paramilitary himself. I am not going to get into an argument about that, although I think this may be a very risky assumption, but the fact also is that since this president has been in office, things have gone much better in Colombia, for example, there has been a steady growth in Colombian Economy in the last few  years; Colombia’s image around the world has changed for better; foreign investment in Colombia is at an all-time high; inside of Colombia, there is government presence in remote areas, where before only illegal groups would dominate; it is clear how Colombia is a more peaceful place than ever before, kidnappings, killings, and all sorts of crimes have dropped. So, my point is, do we want to focus on the fact that some people link some of the president’s friends with paramilitary groups, or would we rather focus on how better things are since he has been governing the country? I would much rather focus on the second one until it is proven on the president that he has some sort of connection with illegal groups.

I t is hard to work to help improve things in Colombia from far away, and Colombians who live abroad ought to provide a good image of Colombia, as the best thing they can do to help the country.  If we concentrate, and talk about the bad things that the country has, we are only making things worse, ruining the hard work that millions of other Colombians are doing  in order to make it a better country day by day.