Enough already! The neverending parade of stories describing in minutiae the progress (and lack of same) in the legal procedures in the case of the death of Luis Colmenares have got me sick. His body was discovered --ñ years ago below a bridge in el Parque Virrey in north Bogotá. Did he just fall, or was he pushed? Probably, the public will never know for sure. Bogotá suffers thousands of homicides every year, as well as lots more fatal accidents, and most are simply forgotten.
But the death of Colmenares, a popular student at the elite Los Andes University, has fascinated the public, and the media, who have probably noticed that Colmenares case headlines sell newspapers.
Colmenares' death was a tragedy for his family and friends, as is every death. But it's beyond me why this one case has become a real-life reality show, with every new witness, each new arrest, each new lab test result, becoming 'news.' Sure, all of this probably does have some educational value, and it is arguably more important than another futbol game. But there's also a negative side to it. Maybe it produces a false public perception that all deaths are really taken seriously and investigated, when that's far from true. How about the people, especially the children, who get run over regularly by drunk drivers? Each of those killings generates a day or two of public anger, and then gets forgotten. As far as I've heard, the driver gets usually sentenced to a period of home detention, which he may or may not carry out, and then keeps on driving. But those victims, and many others, are important, too. But they get forgotten because whatever Colmenares' latest ex-girlfriend told investigators the other day makes headlines.
Sure, Colmenares' death was a tragedy, but only one of many. It's time to move on.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours