This journalistic chronicle clearly reflects the landscape of a socially destroyed country whose government seeks to distract people’s attention through great festivities and ephemeris that are confused with culture, but behind everything there is only corruption, poverty, degeneration and more.
Alcoholism became culture
We decided to experience in our own flesh the raw realism of one of these events where beer and liquor prevail over everything; we were heading towards the Paipa Band Festival. The clock was 5:30 PM, and it had been an hour and 15 minutes since a group of reporters, we were waiting for a bus to one of Colombia’s most famous events, attended by thousands of people from different parts of Colombia. There were a lot of people waiting for the same bus and things became hopeless.
One of those moments when despair and anxiety, mixed with tiredness and stress, were to blame for one rude one, especially when buses seemed to have intended to pick us up, but it was nothing more than an amague who satisfied the morbidity of the drivers, as we reveled in seeing the faces of the naive who saw it start at full speed, when we believed that, after waiting so long, we would leave.
When we arrived in the Tourist City, at night, it became strange that in the Acoustic Shell, where the bands would be presented, silence and loneliness reigned. There was hardly anyone. We asked a policeman what time the event would start and he told us at 11. Baffled by the schedule, we went for a walk that completely changed the plans.
Walking through the crowded streets of street vendors, and one drunk enthewrong, we ask ourselves: what is the dark side of the “gangs” event? The answer was at the forefront of us: in a part of society that often goes unnoticed in this kind of show, people who live from selling hot dogs, skewers, choripapas, pizza, fritanga, reds, spirits and other kinds of products, typical in this kind of street night parties; drunks, thieves, drunken minors, fights and police.
The company’s Maria Adelaida Grimaldos makes a living from fair to fair selling red and aromatic water, which she packs in four thermos she loads in a woolly backpack. He has 4 children, “the two elders work in Aquitaine in an onion planting, the other two study elementary school at Tota’s school, and sometimes accompany me to work like today,” he said.
Daniel Esneider and Fabián Albeiro, the youngest children of Maria Adelaide, the first at 13 and the second at 11, worked together with their mother, and represented her only protection.
Just as this lady little privileged by the country’s economy, about 200 more traders of the “research”, that night, had the expectation of a good sale. That is what we found in the first phase of our journey, the social product of the “plausible” Democratic Security of the President, who apparently does not know the existence and conditions of these people.
We immediately focus on something even more troubling: children under the age of 15 in a woeful state of intoxication and without any trace of the surveillance of their parents or a responsible adult. And the questions kept coming up, what do the police do?
As something unexpected, the answer came out of nowhere. While we were questioning the matter, it occurred to us to call two companions, who also covered the event, and such was the surprise, that an hour ago they had been arrested for “misuse of information”.
From that moment, we turned on the video camera and headed to the police command to investigate why what happened and try to free Luis Emilio and Rubén Darío, our colleagues. When we arrived, they, along with Lieutenant Cabezas, Commander, were at the gate of the compound. “why are you recording? They do me the favor of turning off that camera and erasing what he recorded if they don’t want me to arrest them as well as their friends,” he warned us exorllely.
“What crime or violation of justice are we committing?” we ask. “you are violating my privacy. I don’t want to be on your recordings and I don’t tell you to turn off the camera.” however, we resisted obeying and insisted that we be shown tangible proof, the document certifying that we were actually breaking the law. “Cubillos, bring me the Constitution!” cried the lieutenant.
Cubillos, very obsessive, in a second, brought the Political Constitution of Colombia, and thinking of arguing his complex, the commander searched, anxiously, the first article that appeared of information management, but what he got was “put the noose around his neck”, as they popularly say. Rushed to shut up and achieve his goal of making us erase what we were still recording, he read article 20 of fundamental rights:
“Everyone is guaranteed the freedom to express and disseminate their thoughts and opinions, to inform and receive truthful and impartial information, and to found mass media. These are free and have social responsibility. The right to rectification is guaranteed under conditions of equity. There will be no censorship.”
Those present, including Cubillos and two other agents, couldn’t stand the laughter and opportunity to say, “You see? You said it yourself.” When lost, he had no choice but to confess that he feels some kind of phobia by the cameras, because “journalists interrupt the officer’s work, when they get to film and then post abuses by the police,” he added. In that nonsense discussion, despite considering that we’ve wasted a lot of time, we actually answered the question we asked ourselves before, when we saw drunken minors on the streets, what does the police do?
It was already 11:30 pm, and enjoying full freedom, we continued our work of scrutinizing the dark side of “the bands”, and we find what can not be lacking on the festive occasions when people take advantage to consume alcohol irresponsibly , street fights.
Why do people tend to hit each other for irrelevant reasons, when they’re under the effect of liquor?
Machismo, unfortunately, continues to stand out in the personality of Colombians and is the motivating factor, apart from alcoholic beverages, so that, as if it were something proud, it is taken to the first who stumbles upon another, or to the one who looks at the girlfriend of one of these neurotic characters who abound unfortunately.
In one of the many fights that night, we had the opportunity to interview a young man who brutally beat another:
Why did you assault him? “because I was with my friends and the man looked at me like I was striped as if I owed him something, and when he passed by, he made me water the beer I was drinking and I couldn’t stand it and I made myself respected,” he replied. Hey there’s another cause of quarrels: the idea that to be respected requires fists.
Just as this case, throughout the event, we stumbled upon several of the same kinds. A clear example of the variable human behavior that in “cultural” events of this species, is altered not for the better, but in retreat towards our animality.
When it was over for that day, already on Saturday, October 04, at 2:10 AM, the Acoustic Shell was vacated in a heartbeat, and the transport ordeal began again. As they say out there, “how it starts it ends, ” and it applied to us. This time, the wait was not so much, although 40 minutes is an exaggeration, looking for a way to finally get home, sweet home.
At 2:52 AM, a Duitama taxi returning to the city, picked up seven people who fit in this one, like many clowns in a tiny car, in the classic humor movies, among which we count. In those moments, the machismo was extinguished: the seven characters were men and we went one, on the legs of the other.
Along the way we concluded that like many, we were focused on the action that was presented on the platform with the bands, but thanks to not having a cockade that certifies us as a press, like two low-profile tourists, we lived a part of the dark side behind Scenes.
June 30, 2019