Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Day of Demonstrations

Canine protesters walk their humans thru the Plaza Bolívar.
We saw three different demonstrations today along La Ciclovia - for very different causes.

On La Plaza Bolívar, canines walked their humans - or perhaps the reverse - in protest against a muzzle law. Muzzles are already required for many breeds considered dangerous, such as pit bulls, so I'm not sure what this change might be. Pit bulls are popular pets here, but I've never seen one act vicious.

Other big, tough dogs, such as dobermans, are often used by security guards. But I've only seen these dogs in action once, when some university security guards used them to savage alleged teenage muggers while the guards led them to a police station.

Further north on La Ciclovia a marchers protested against corruption. This woman was handing out masks, which they seemed to be using to symbolize their cause, perhaps because the corrupt try to disguise themselves. This woman's shirt says 'No More Indifference, Silence, Disrespect.'

¡No more corruption!

Right now, Bogotá's mayor is suspended from office and is headed for trial and his brother, a senator, is already in prison, all because of a corruption scandal involving expansion of the city's Transmilenio express bus system. The two were allegedly receiving kickbacks from the construction contractors. The administration of ex-president Alvaro Uribe is also besieged by several corruption scandals, including the alleged use of agricultural subsidies to benefit political allies and spying on court officials.

Requirements to be a politician: Pay for votes, promise lies, make money from contracts. 

My grandparents: War of the Political Parties.
My Parents:
Wars of Narcotrafficking and guerrilla.
Us: Shamelessness of corruption.
In the Parque Nacional and later in the Plaza del Chorro, indigenous people demonstrated in defense of water resources. One of the demonstrators told us that, whereas much of society considered water a commodity, for indigenous peoples it is a 'living thing.' Booming gold, coal and other mining industries, as well as agriculture, also pollute water resources.  

A girl waves an indigenous nations flag on Plaza del Chorro. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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