|No more hunger!|
The other day, these people who call themselves victims of pyramid schemes, protested in front of San Francisco Church in downtown Bogotá.
The pyramids' rise and sudden fall became a huge story across Colombia three years ago, as many thousands of mostly poor people tried to get rich quick but instead lost their savings and sometimes their houses.
In financial pyramids a promoter uses promises of rich paybacks to recruit more and more participants and money to pay back the earlier investors. Inevitably, of course, the scheme collapses.
Except that in Colombia at least one pyramid, named DMG, seemed to work, paying its investors off generously and reliably.
Unfortunately, DMG founder David Murcia Guzman, who had named the pyramid after himself, had not discovered a way around the laws of economics. Rather, he was apparently laundering drug money thru his pyramid.
|We are people injured by the pyramids|
and the national government. We
demand return of our money now.
In Nov. 2008 Murcia was arrested and later extradited to the United States, where he's now serving a nine-year prison sentence for money laundering. Murcia faces 30 more years when he's sent back to Colombia.
However, by the time he was arrested, Murcia had already become a folk hero to the thousands of Colombians who'd invested in his pyramid. After all, they were multiplying their investments. DMG investors demonstrated across the country to 'free David Murcia,' as tho he were a
As for these demonstrators, whose desire to get rich quick was exploited by people like Murcia. That leaves me with contradictory sentiments of 'poor folks' and 'you got what you deserved for greed.'
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours