Cerrar Menú Blogs
Las opiniones de los blogueros son de su estricta responsabilidad y no representan la opinión de este portal.
Profile image

Ingresa o regístrate acá para seguir este blog.

Seguir este blog

We don’t have to go too far back to find a time when Colombia was pretty much considered a no-go area.

At the turn of the millennium, only the true adventurous, nay mad in the head, would consider visiting the country as a tourist, let alone actually settle down and invest decent time and money in it.

For the last number of years, as most readers of this blog will know, this negative reputation has been rapidly changing.

Uribe’s utopia
The peace agreement signed with the Farc guerrillas in 2016, officially ending over half-a-century of internal conflict between that group and government forces, was a significant moment in this regard.

The arson attack at 'Finca Entre Ríos, Paso del Mango, Santa Marta, Colombia.

Costly: The arson attack caused extensive damage.

Yet, as important as that has been at an official level, the truth is this viewing of Colombia in a much more positive light internationally had begun years before. Unpalatable as this may be to many Colombians today, especially younger generations, between 2002 and 2010, under the hawkish presidency of Álvaro Uribe, the general security situation improved considerably.

Whether the ends justified the heavy-handed means — heavier on some violent types more so than others it could be said — is something still being discussed today.

A home from home
Nonetheless, from a tourism perspective, visiting the many natural gems the country has to offer became much less risky, for locals and foreigners alike.

This trend, some hotspots notwithstanding, has been continuing.

Alongside increasing tourist numbers, a not insignificant number of foreigners have made Colombia their home. They’ve voted with their feet in a positive way, demonstrating to those who care to listen that this place is not the violent backwater some in the more ‘developed’ world still think it is.

At times, however, the country gives us all a little reminder that it has a bit to go before we can compare it favourably with other, more established spots when it comes to investing in it. Quite a bit to go.

Para-dise’s price
One of these more sinister sides is extortion, which reared its ugly head for fellow Irishman Patrick Fleming who has called Santa Marta his home since 2001. While we’ve heard stories of police being directly and unashamedly involved in this practice, this particular example is to do with suspected paramilitaries.

In some ways, that Patrick managed to avoid trouble for so long could be seen as good fortune. Paramilitaries did operate in the area in question when he first arrived, but nothing untoward had ever happened.

That aside, when your little piece of paradise on the Caribbean, a magical place visited by this blog last year, gets deliberately burnt to the ground at any stage, it’s difficult to view it in a positive light.

In fact, after years developing his ‘Finca Entre Ríos’ at Paso del Mango on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, where he provided employment for a young family, this arson attack now has the generally easygoing Patrick and his Colombian wife contemplating their future in the region.

The reason it happened is quite simple.

Pay or go?
Earlier in the year Paso del Mango’s small community experienced a number of petty robberies. Shortly afterwards a hotel in the area was approached and asked to pay the dreaded ‘vacuna’, the word for protection money in these parts.

The community got together and decided they wouldn’t fork out the cash to the extortionists. Extra police protection was asked for, which duly came. It didn’t last, though.

As a further buffer, the community also managed to get additional army patrols, but again, the frequency of these soon decreased.

Thus, with little sustained help from state authorities, be it by accident or design, the rather secluded community was ripe for the picking. Cue the arson attack.

Now it must be said that one man was arrested and charged in connection with the incident. Authorities seem content, by all accounts, that they’ve done their bit.

Yet, for Patrick and the Paso del Mango community in general it’s a question of ‘What next?’

Mob rule appears to have taken hold, where the only options seem to be ‘pay up’ or ‘leave’. The hope is that this retrograde step is just temporary.
Facebook: Wrong Way Corrigan – The Blog & IQuiz “The Bogotá Pub Quiz”.

(Visited 535 times, 1 visits today)
Profile image

La vida en Colombia desde la perspectiva de un periodista y locutor irlandés, quien ha vivido en el país desde 2011. El blog explora temas sociales y culturales, interacción con los nativos, viajes, actualidades y mucho más. Escucha su podcast acá: https://anchor.fm/brendan-corrigan.

Más posts de este Blog

Ver más

Lo más leído en Blogs


Soy fan de ChatGPT y como tal, estaba convencido de que(...)


En la calle 84ª número 14a -04, en plena zona Rosa,(...)


El lenguaje de luz es un vehículo que porta vibraciones o(...)

0 Comentarios
Ingresa aquí para que puedas comentar este post
Reglamento de comentarios

ETCE no se responsabiliza por el uso y tratamiento que los usuarios le den a la información publicada en este espacio de recomendaciones, pero aclara que busca ser la sombrilla de un espacio donde el equilibrio y la tolerancia sean el eje. En ese camino, disponemos de total libertad para eliminar los contenidos que:

  1. Promuevan mensajes tipo spam.
  2. El odio ante una persona o comunidad por su condición social, racial, sexual, religiosa o de situación de discapacidad.
  3. Muestren o impulsen comportamientos o lenguajes sexualmente explícitos, violentos o dañinos.
  4. Vulneren o atenten contra los derechos de los menores de edad.

Además, tenga en cuenta que:

  • - El usuario registrado solo podrá hacer un voto y veto por comentario.
¿Encontraste un error?

Para EL TIEMPO las observaciones sobre su contenido son importantes. Permítenos conocerlas para, si es el caso, tomar los correctivos necesarios, o darle trámite ante las instancias pertinentes dentro de EL TIEMPO Casa Editorial.

Debes escribir el comentario
¡Gracias! Tu comentario ha sido guardado
Tu calificación ha sido registrada
Tu participación ya fue registrada
Haz tu reporte
Debes escribir tu reporte
Tu reporte ha sido enviado con éxito
Debes ser usuario registrado para poder reportar este comentario. Cerrar