The Huffington Post

Colombia: Remembering Luis Carlos Galan

Aug 19--When Jorge Saramago wrote that a benevolent Tsunami swept Barack Obama into the White House allowing him to become the first black president of the United States, the Portuguese author defined the wave of change that brushed the entire country from west to east.

19 de agosto de 2009

During the Bush-Cheney era, thick and obscure clouds had dimmed the soul of America. Now a new leader promised to disperse the darkness and restore a blue sky. This time this benevolent hurricane was not stopped by violence. Too often history has recorded the savage and abrupt end of hope for renewal embodied by an enlightened leader. This is what the country of Colombia honors today; the twentieth anniversary of the assassination of Luis Carlos Galan, killed by a still unpunished hand while he was running for president.

Before a country perilously engulfed in corruption and narco trafficking, Galán, like a prophet screaming out the truth in the desert, not only alerted his fellow citizens about a public sphere increasingly eroded by cocaine but proposed also as a remedy the renewal of the political culture. Politics not as a means to consolidate and reinforce the privileges of the few, but as a way to expand rights and opportunities for all. Politics not to exclude the majority, but to include the disenfranchised. Democracy, an inclusive and deep democracy, was his revolutionary idea.
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