We have nobody to blame but ourselves. We have allowed this to happen in front of our eyes.
We go on a huff every time some famous guy takes a picture at Escobar’s grave, but do not act when our mayor appoints a known associate of the late drug lord’s “Oficina de Envigado.”
Did we know La Oficina has always been running our neighborhoods? Yes, we did.
Did we speak up when former President Alvaro Uribe, now-Governor Luis Perez and former Mayor Sergio Fajardo falsely claimed to have demobilized Escobar’s heir “Don Berna” and his people in 2003? No, we did not.
Instead we have been celebrating Escobar’s birthday, falsely pretending it was part of the ritual to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ of all people.
Instead of demanding the government fix the Santo Domingo library, we pat ourselves on the back for electing ourselves the world’s most innovative city.
Now look at the state we’re in. Look in the mirror, my dear Medellin.
Medellin, I love you, but we must stop being stupid. Reality caught up ages ago already, we have simply refused to face the facts.
Now we are just months away from seeing the politicians we voted into office being tried for drug trafficking or war crimes, bringing nothing but shame upon our city.
We don’t want to be a city of complicit pillos or complacent grillas. We want something different, something better.
However, if we want to be a city with a good reputation, we must earn it. No plastic surgery will save us, we need a heart transplant.
We must make our politicians obey to our concerns, not the other way around.
Instead of putting the public agenda on the political agenda, we have allowed corrupt politicians’ agendas to dominate ours.
Consequently, we live in a divided society while the security secretary is in jail.
The people in Santo Domingo have been without a library for years and Fajardo is running for president.
Are we not one city, one ecosystem of individuals who ultimately just want to live in peace?
Should we not stop being complacent about the rampant corruption?
Should we not stop being indifferent about our shredded social fabric?
Should we not take ownership of our own city and actively start healing our beloved, but sick Medellin?
We have elected all our politicians. We have allowed them to divide us and maintain the exact same criminal order Escobar imposed 30 years years ago.
We’ve been stupid and now we will be shamed for it.
We must look in the mirror and ask ourselves how we prevent making this same mistake again. Our mayor isn’t going to take responsibility, but that’s no excuse for us not to.
We are Medellin, but unless we assume ownership of and responsibility for our city we have nothing to be proud of.