What can you tell me about where you live in Colombia? What are some
Unlike what most people might think, Colombians don’t live in a jungle or encounter rebels around every corner. Although we have suffered from the hardships of a 40-year war, Colombia has turned out to be a clear example of social transformation for the last couple of years. I like to say that Colombia has the "wow" factor, for no one expects to encounter such magic and charm when they visit this country. There is clearly a perception gap between what people think is true, and what IS true.
of the most important things to know about where you live?
Colombians possess an outstanding characteristic: resilience. Such a trait has allowed us to not give up and keep fighting for our hopes and desires. As the happiest people on earth, Colombians are warm and open, friendly and cheerful. And as a nation, we are just like any other. Troubled areas? Of course! But peace and serenity can also be easily encountered. We are blessed to have coasts on two oceans, the most diversity per square meter, 10% of all species of amphibians, the biggest producer of emeralds, count with the second biggest percentage of women in government, worlds biggest theater festival, amongst many others.
The thing is, as Sir John Lubbock said: "What we find depends on what we look for." It all comes down to how we approach what we know and how we question our knowledge to encounter unknown realities that might differ from our personal perception.
What are some of the big political issues going on in Colombia right now? What is a big deal there that people in America or around the world don't know about?
Colombia has recently suspended all diplomatic relations with neighboring Ecuador. After a military mission that ended with the death of a rebel leader within Ecuadorian mainland, both nations have been on a tense bilateral relation. Although Colombian forces did violate Ecuadorian sovereignty, national and regional security should be a priority for all governments around the world and in this case, South America. As many other nations stated, no state should provide shelter to terrorist organizations and should fight fiercely against them.
On the other hand, a widely-held initiative is taking place which attempts to modify the constitution in order to allow reelection of current President Uribe. Uribe has held office for two terms now (8 years) which have meant development and improvement for Colombia. For such evident results, the reelection project is being carried on through the legal instances that are required for its approval.
What organizations was Ecuador protecting?
It is believed that certain bordering nations such as Ecuador have held unauthorized or hidden encounters with rebel movements such as the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). Their lack of cooperation in terms of security and reluctance to fight these illegal organizations are a risk to regional stability and safety of all Colombians and Ecuadorians alike.
Have you noticed the impact of the worldwide economic recession in Colombia?
Although the effects of such recession are not as evident in Colombia as they might be in developed countries, there are certain aspects that are common to the crisis that the world is going through; budget reductions, increase in the unemployment rate, restraint to personal indulgences, etc.