Meet my little uncle, Jonathan. He was shot in the head nine times last night in Medellín, Colombia. He was only 27, and a month away away from getting his nursing diploma. His girlfriend is pregnant with a little girl. Jonathan got killed because he refused to join any of the gangs that operate in his neighborhood, where drug thugs and remnants of the paramilitary army are fighting over control of territories.
My grandfather is 71 and he’s just lost his baby, the youngest of his children. My mother has lost a brother. A little girl is about to be born without a father; the sad picture of a pregnant widow.
This happens in Colombian cities EVERY DAY. The violence didn’t end because a war president fought cockroaches with grenades. It’s still there and it will remain there as long as most people are poor and hopeless, while a few have it all and more.
Jonathan had an opportunity to get an education and he took it, but amidst a violent and resentful society, being good is just as good a reason to die.
So, dear Colombian, don’t fret about a couple of well-paid prostitutes in Cartagena making the country look bad. We have bigger problems.