Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Protests

So Colombia has gotten rather interesting lately, to say the least. It all started when the farmers here starting protesting because the government was not giving them a fair price for their produce. It is costing them more to cultivate produce than they are receiving at the market and the government is not giving them any kind of subsidies. I can understand their frustration but, at first it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. I choose to live in third world and emerging economies so protest and civil unrest are a fact of life. People in these countries are much more vocal about problems than Americans are back home.

What made this different is that there is other groups protesting as well. Teachers,Students,Miners,Farmers,Healthcare Workers,Truckers and the list goes on. Now they have all united into one massive group and they are blocking the roads and messing with transport and generally making life difficult until the government gives in and now "regular" citizens have joined the protests. At first the government/police/military was pretty restrained but they certainly have not been giving the protesters what they wanted. Then people started dying. A few protesters and a few police. People started getting hurt and things got a little crazy.

Now the president has suspended talks with the protesters (superrrr great idea right?) and declared martial law. He has sent 50,000 military troops into Bogota and the surrounding areas and there is talk of a nightly curfew. The mayor of Bogota has also outlawed alcohol sales in certain areas of Bogota to keep the violence down. Food prices are starting to increase (due to the truckers striking and the farmers blocking the roads) and the protests are getting more frequent. But, so far neither side will give. In America when people protest generally it goes on for a day or two and then nothing. People generally are not truly motivated to protest. Here this could go on for months. People are very strong willed here because they have to be. The government generally does not budge here until things get really bad.

Don't worry about me, I am safe and not locked up in my apartment just yet.  I plan to keep myself in one piece and try real hard not to get tear gassed or beat up. I will keep yall updated. If you want to read more about the situation here right now, Translate this article into English or your language.

Take care and remember as messed up as you think America might be right now and if you blame Obama (or whoever else) just remember that your country is not being held hostage and under martial law, with the military taking control and able to arrest whoever they want for whatever reason. Be thankful for what you have. Americans in general (not all Americans) take their freedoms for granted and do not care to protest or be motivated to change anything BECAUSE nothing is REALLY bad back home. But that is not the case in all countries. For the most part all these people are protesting because they feel they have no choice and have to force the government's hand. They are not doing it to be purely malicious and they just want to be able to have the basic rights and make a decent living.

Tyler

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