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Dueles, Colombia

I ask my dad what he thinks about the growing unrest back in our country, Colombia. “It is a chronicle of a death foretold,” he answers. He’s right. 


Following massacres of social leaders, on September 9th, Colombian police slaughtered Javier Ordoñez, a 43-year-old lawyer, and the evidence of the killing went viral on social media, sparking student-led protests against the systemic violence the police and the state consistently impose on Colombian citizens.


These protests were held in the country’s capital, Bogota. 


I would say that the country has reached a boiling point in its anger towards the status quo, but then again, I say this every year. 


Every time Colombian authorities slaughter, rape, or rob. 


I think of the Paro Nacional that took place last year, and the protests the year before, and those twenty years ago. I even dare to say that Colombia as a nation has never known peace, and neither have the most vulnerable among its people.


How could it, truly? It is a country built on the violence of genocide and colonization and that rose from the ashes of the Spanish regime to become a violently unstable and polarized nation from the very beginning. 


Police are killing people left and right, and this has been proven by the 12 bodies murdered in the name of the status quo by the police during the aforementioned protests. 


In all honesty, the army, and the government for that matter, are also responsible for this killing as activists charging forward for change and progress are slaughtered for sport. 


Thus, civil unrest against the government’s economic and social policies is breaking out, propelled by the pandemic, and as many feel our society collapsing. After a long history of bloodshed, hope is running short, yet frustrations are higher than ever. 


I wish I could do more than simply write an article for a student newspaper about the atrocities that are occurring in Colombia in the hopes to raise awareness about the situation, a problem that often runs ignored, among the bright minds of Vanier. 


I wish these words were enough, or that I had solutions to offer. All I can do is write this pain and stand in solidarity with the warriors of Colombian society who are rising up against oppression despite the hopelessness, the dangers, the fears, in order to perhaps have a chance at writing a different, more hopeful, future for Colombian children. 


There’s a beauty in the struggle, I believe. I’m in Montreal, yet I can hear the cries of pain and the song of angry people, wishing and praying to see a tomorrow that won’t be stained with blood.


By Natalia Ibanez

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