If you are one of those who follow “Narcos”, the series of Netflix that presents the life of the Colombian drug trafficker Pablo Escobar, and this is the ONLY information you have heard about the country, you should definitely know these facts before mentioning him to each Colombian you meet:
1. We don’t love Pablo Escobar
Even if the TV shows presents it this way, it is because at that time (he was shot dead in 1993), the trafficker built houses for poor people in his hometown, Medellin. But wait! Before you start talking about him as a hero (and praising him in front of us), please notice that he had more than 4.000 deaths on his account. Relatives of his victims still remember the bombings in public places, the panic everywhere, and having lived out of the country during that time, escaping from his violence. So, even if you could eventually find anyone who had benefited from his “solidarity”, it would be extremely weird in a 42 million people country.
Besides that, we are still victims of his legacy: we are asked to have visas everywhere, limited to travel, suffer discrimination because of this stereotype of all being narcos, having troubles to get a job permit to work abroad, etc. Therefore… NO, we don’t love him, he was NOT a good man, his hitmen were NOT kind and affable, going to praise him at his tomb or getting a book signed by any of the criminals related to him is NOT a cool plan. Pieces of news like this one, showing the US rapper Whiz Khalifa taking flowers to his burying place, deeply OFFEND my people.
Después de llenar el formulario para la #visa de turista (o no inmigrante), hay que pagar y asistir a dos citas que da la Embajada de #EEUU: una primera para poner huellas y la segunda, la entrevista en el consulado. Qué pereza tan infinita… hoy tenía la primera de ellas y lo peor es que luego de hacer la fila, me dijo el recepcionista que me había confundido de fecha y me tocaba era mañana, no hoy😢😢😢 #USA #Colombia #travel #travelblogger #viajes #blogdeviajes #passport #passeport #viajar #viejaqueviaja #travelgram #instatravel #documents #bored #america
2. Colombians don’t usually consume cocaine
During all my life I’ve heard that pathetic jokes showing how ignorant “funny” people are about the subject. “Don’t play so happily with the snow. It is not cocaine”, I heard once abroad being a teenager. And successively we have to breathe deeply each time we hear that kind of comments. So, let’s start from the basics: the world’s biggest consumers have historically been located in Europe (Scotland, Spain, the leaders of this ranking) and the United States. So if you are from those parts of the world and blaming producing countries, guess what? Like a relationship, this means shared responsibility, not a one-country problem.
South American consumption has considerably increased, according to the last UN report. Anyway, it is not Colombia the country leading this ranking.
3. Escobar is not the only “famous” Colombian
The writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez was Colombian (how many of you have read “100 years of solitude”?), the artist Fernando Botero is Colombian, Shakira is Colombian (we prefer if you quote her, even if not all like her music, than if you mention again and again and again Escobar), Sofia Vergara is Colombian; Falcao, David Ospina, Nairo Quintana, James Rodriguez are Colombian… So criticise the sportsmen, artists or models all that you want but stop mentioning a hundred times the drug trafficker dead more than two decades ago.
Y de paso por #Medellín, no podía faltar una "escapadita" al Parque #Botero. Aunque lo visites mil veces, no hay forma de aburrirse allá!! Es la estación del metro "Parque Berrío"😉 #Colombia #arte #art #ColombiaTB #viajes #viajar #blogdeviajes #travel #travelblogger #instatravel #travelgram #travelingram #igerscolombia #wanderlust #traveladdict #trippics #estoescolombia #lobuenodecolombia #sinfiltro #nofilter #culture #voyages #Colombie #viagem #reisen #southamerica
4. Not all Colombians sell cocaine
Thanks for not asking the same stupid question when you hear the name of my country. If you want some, go get your local dealer.
5. Not all the smugglers are Colombian
How do cocaine arrive to your country? Don’t you think that people from your nationality help traffickers to spread it all over your territory? But then you don’t have a foreigner to blame… right?
6. We love foreigners visiting our country but not welcome those who travel just to buy cheap cocaine. It is a reality but no, we don’t like that, as well as we don’t like old Europeans and Americans going to “buy” kids and prostitutes.
7. Cocaine is not the only thing the country has to offer
If you look at pictures or read a little bit further than the pieces of news, you risk to discover a place where you can find amazing landscapes, including deserts (Tatacoa desert or Guajira desert, where the dunes meet the ocean), the Amazon jungle, perpetual snow in the mountains, Caribbean white-sand beaches, big whales in the Pacific, the breathtaking coffee landscape (Colombia being the world’s most important arabiga grain exporter) and much, much more.
Me encanta avistar aves. Admiro su #libertad, su capacidad para atravesar océanos, regresar, volverse a ir… Sin necesidad de pensarlo dos veces. Haber visto tantos flamencos en un solo lugar… Fue un sueño!!!😍😀 🇬🇧 I love watching #birds because I admire their freedom, their capacity to pass oceans, then come back, then leave again… Without thinking too much. Seeing all those flamingos in one place and that close… What a dream!!! #nature #naturelover #instalove #Colombia #lobuenodecolombia #enmicolombia #colombiaismagicalrealism #Monday #instadaily #photodaily #travel #instatravel #travelgram #viajar #viejaqueviaja #viagens #viagem #wanderlust #instago #sky #happy #sinfiltro #nofilter #igerscolombia #bbctravel #picoftheday
#Viajeros en #Colombia!!! Esta preciosidad cerrará el 28 de enero por un mes. Indígenas realizarán sus ceremonias en el Parque #Tayrona y por esto, la entrada al público estará restringida. Pero siempre pueden visitar muuuchos otros lugares!!! Si aún no saben dónde ir, y quieren permanecer en el país, bienvenidos a mi #blog, #viejaqueviaja!!! El link lo encuentras en la bio😀😀 🇬🇧 If U are coming to Colombia in the next days, for sure you should have heard about the Tayrona Park. Well, it's gonna be closed for a month, starting next 28th January!! Hurry up or choose another place in the country!#viajar #viajes #suramerica #playa #sunny #southamerica #travel #happy #travelgram #instago #instatravel #instalike #reisen #wanderlust #nofilter #sinfiltro
8. Colombians are really sensitive. Well, wouldn’t you, when you have to listen to the same stuff day and night? How would you react if all the people you meet mention the worst problems of your country? We are gentle but can’t keep smiling each time we hear those offensive jokes.
9. Consuming Colombian cocaine is not “socially priceless”. Each time you sniff a line, remember that tones of liters of blood have been poured in my country throughout the years because of this. So if you want to have some solidarity, please go get another way to get high and stop fuelling the violence.
Some of us are still patient: when the topic starts, some just keep silence, talk about other things or just leave. This is not my case any more: my face changes immediately and even if I try to clarify some concepts, I don’t say those facts in a nice way. But I try to repeat myself, like a mantra, that people from abroad don’t have to be experts in Colombian current reality and that bad pieces of news just sell more than the good ones.
Now that you are aware… thanks for talking to a Colombian about other subjects!