What a difficult to be a poor in Colombia

· Society

By Ceclia López Montaño
Translation: Al Rodas
Picture: Marcelo Montesinos

04.19.2007. Being a poor is not easy nowhere in the world, but there is a big difference to be a poor in a develop country and other such is Colombia. In this country it comes together the fact of not being a rich with the insensibility of the government and all the society. The main diference is not only the existence of nets of solidarity that guarantee a minimun in the standard of life in a develop country, but also the order, the organization that limits or punish inefficient systems and the irresponsability of those who bring public services. Both are clear lacks in Colombia that means punishing to all the poors.

The situation of children dying of hunger in Chocó and the incapacity of the country to attend efficiently their needs is the proof of both lacks. What unnerves more is the cynic attitud of the officials suppose-to be responsible in the attention of the poor sectors of the country. Inadmissible the words of the director of Bienestar Familiar when she stated, “I can’t place policemen to every kilo of flour.” Certainly, she is responsable to watch that the flour would not end in the fincas feeding porks when the children are starving of hunger. Where are the offices of internal control? Where is the director of Bienestar of Chocó? All of those should go away and also Mrs. Forero who lies about the numbers of malnutrition in Colombia. It is a fact that the numbers of malnutrition have grown in Colombia during the last five years, it is to say during the goverment of President Uribe. The protein-calorie malnutrition, low weight for their age, grew from 6.7% to 7%, according with the last research of Demography and Health, square 11.10, page 273. What she refers [Mrs. Forero] is to the protein malnutrition that went down from 13.5% to 12.1% and it should be to 4%. At this way, we are going to need 30 years to reach the acceptable level. There is nothing to state successful in what she assures. These kind of officials should not manage the social politics because their omissions and cynic attitudes mean the lost of lives. So simple like that.

If this is not enough, it comes also the subject of the public transport. If there is something that has given popularity to Sir President Uribe is the guarantee that everyone that has a car can transit safely by the country’s roads. This is true for the middle class people and the rich. By contrast, the public transport by roads for the poor people is a real Calvary. It is not easy to recover from the last tragedy [accident] of the bus in the Caribe Highway. First of all, where were the authorities to avoid the high velocity excess that undoubtly was the cause of the accident? And even more, where the hell is the Minister of Transport who has get nothing to control the horrors commited by the buses on the roads? It is because that in those buses the rich people is not traveling and less from Santa Marta to Dibuya [the place of the accident], that controls are not important in a country where the high classes have all the privilegies and the poor people all the costs. According with declarations in that respect, those buses are not suitable to transport people, that is already well-known. Why still not action taken? That is the deep question. Again, their omissions cost the life in a horrorific way to 27 persons. Is tha just?

Therefore, the conclusion should be that undevelopment embroils the lack of social nets, order, efficiency and punishment to the cynical and irresponsabile officials unable to prevent the life of the poor in Colombia. It is due to them that to be a poor in this country is an accident.

Mrs. López Montaño Senator of the Republic of Colombia and a current columnist for Colombia.com: El portal que une a los colombianos.Original Title: “Qué difícil ser pobre en Colombia“, you can send your comments to the author to cecilia@cecilialopez.com.

1 Comment

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  1. Enrique

    Thank you for the interesting post. I am ashamed as a human being that we can still turn our eyes from poverty even if we live in an age where communication is reliable, prompt and fast.

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