Colombia, you are one of the most beautiful countries in the world
A melting pot of peoples, territory of extraordinary diversity and natural riches
Your landscapes, climates, flora and fauna are unique.
You are an ethnic rainbow of customs and traditions…
God created you for service to humanity and for the common good, to enjoy
your blue skies, your land and your richness
But the tight-fisted interests of a minority soon floated to the top and made of you
Castles built on the ruins of the majority.
Your crystalline waters and your earth were soon watered with blood
By physical and cultural extinction, genocides and crimes of injurious humanity,
By the plunder and eviction of farmers from your snatched lands.
The landowning monopoly of your grounds is a ruling misery.
Abnormal inequality, you are supported by the governments of the moment, broadly linked to imperialistic capitalism…
They are the owners of the most diverse economic and productive activities.
While in the elections your politicians have a thousand tricks to distribute power amongst them
Your widowed, indigenous, displaced, poor, exploited peoples cry for you.
Inequality and structural injustice have worsened each day
Neoliberal policies have been imposed
With imperialist onslaught, our riches taken away
They privatized our most important public institutions and health care
Education and culture have become profitable business to fill
“Foreign stomachs,” but yours rumble with hunger.
The misery of the masses grows each day;
Successive governments don’t defend you; on the contrary, they exploit you and bleed you, you are abandoned…
No one defends your dignity or the life of much of your population.
Your “democracy” is a genocidal democracy; if you do not serve the system, they exterminate you.
Your emancipation, dear Colombia, is urgent
So that one day you can breathe with openness, justice, and dignity!
The theme described in this poem was present in the political strategy of the election campaigns. Peace was a frequent topic that had a varying significance, depending on the candidate: Santos’s peace or Zuluaga’s peace? The former was chosen because of Santos’s proposal to finalize the Peace Accords with the FARC, and he was awarded with for four more years of power.
In Tolima, as in other regions of the country, the majority of the votes went for Zuluaga. His proposal for peace was “A Firm Hand But A Big Heart,” which convinced many who have been and are victims of the armed conflict and simply want justice.
But there were those who weren’t in agreement with either candidate and as a form of protest voted “in white,” represented by 54.02% of the voters in the Municipality of Piedras, Tolima, in the first round of elections. They expressed their disagreement in a nonviolent act. Against the impositions of candidates with similar proposals and lust for power, who might become future oppressors who silence those who raise their voices in protest for the injustice of the system – for now, there is silence, and as they wait, hope.