Dear Mr. “Alfonso Cano,”
I have tried watching your New Year’s message on YouTube, but stopped after three minutes, because it was too long and boring. Because I do want to take what you say seriously, I used an article by Efe (which was much shorter and easier to digest) to get the point you were trying to make.
The things you say in the video kind of show how you have become disconnected from Colombian society. I hope one of the messengers of the FARC prints and delivers you my letter, because I believe it is of great importance to you, your organization and Colombia that you come off the mountain and talk with us.
You have spent a very long time in the mountains where the reception of cell phones is really bad. I am not sure, but my guess is that your internet connection is even worse.
As you apparently realize, we are now in 2011. This means that the FARC has been fighting the Colombian state and other illegal groups for 47 years.
You must know that Colombia is not the same as 47 years ago. There is still a lot of injustice going on and the oligarchy is still in place, but the tens of thousands of deaths and the “struggle” you have gone through has not changed that. In fact, one can even claim that the existence of the FARC has only worsened the situation and Colombia could have developed much more if the government didn’t have to spend so much tax money in arms purchases in response to your actions.
Obviously you are not the only one to blame for the violence, but you certainly have taken part in it and in my opinion, and probably against your will, you have become part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
What you can’t see from your mountaintop is that time has changed Colombia, and time will continue to change Colombia, just like time changes every other country.
Even the FARC has changed because of time. Your letters “from the mountains of Colombia” used to literally be letters, but you now apparently own quite a beautiful MacBook Pro and are aware of the existence of YouTube and probably even Facebook and Twitter.
If your internet connection wasn’t so deplorable, you could be reading the reactions to your video, but you can’t. The cool thing about YouTube and other web-based media is that we can actually interact. But you don’t interact, you just act. You don’t listen to us.
You’re stuck on some mountain with this idea about a country that hasn’t existed for years.
Instead of those ancient revoluntionary tunes you put under your videos, people now listen to romantic vallenato or worse, romantic reggaeton. In the cities we now listen to really cool hip hop, dancehall or electronica. Nobody likes the revolutionary music anymore, sir, not if you don’t put a better beat under it.
I agree with you that social and economic change is needed in Colombia, but we can only take part in an improvement of the social and economic situation if we take part in society. Because of your disconnect to the daily life of Colombians you have no idea what the real problems and challenges are and you are not able to take part in the discussions we are having about how to improve the country.
So I hope that in 2011 you will be able to come off the mountain and talk to us. We will tell you the problems we face and the injustices that currently exist and maybe you can help us look for a solution. But please stop being ridiculous and stop playing those horrible revolutionary tunes from the 60s. Read the comments below your YouTube video and interact with us.
Don’t redouble the actions that have taken you nowhere. You know as well as we do that you’re not able to redouble your actions, so who are you fooling? You’ll be able to kill more people, but why would you? How has this helped us or yourself? We know you are an intelligent and educated man, so please don’t act like you’re stupid.
I respectfully ask you to get a job like other Colombians and get involved in a political or social movement that does not kill other people. We need you and your men to stop your involvement in the drug trade that is killing people in Mexico and we need to stop the from government having to put so much money in arms. This money is needed for education and healthcare.
Please, come off the mountain so we can make Colombia the paradise we all want it to be.