Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Meanwhile in Bogota

Americans complain all the time with good reason about our political system breaking down and being “owned” by special interests. But compared to the people in Columbia, the United States looks like paradise.

 This past weekend, Colombia held local elections for governor, mayor and town council. Most distressing, forty one candidates for office were murdered and drug cartels exerted a significant influence in parts of the country. Most of these elections seized by violence and corruption were localized affairs.

Meanwhile in the capital of Bogota, a traditional political campaign occurred that any Western analyst would recognize. Gustavo Petro won the mayors race campaigning on an anti-corruption platform, staying away from left-right issues.

 When it comes to Columbia, one just has to sigh because we have modern style campaigns and elections in the big cities, but gangster-ism runs free in the localities. No democracy can survive these types of conditions and retain the label of democracy.

 Columbia has a choice: they can either be a democratic country or they can become a drug cartel state. The international community can’t accept either/or here.

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