Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Scaring Away More Than Bad Spirits

Perhaps two dozen of these crude scarecrows appeared on the National University campus today, most of them behind the Sociology Dept. building, on the lawn known as the Plaza de Freud.

The 'crows were created by sociology students in a symbolic gesture to scare away right-wing paramilitaries who, a student said, have been sending death threats to leftist student activists. Can scarecrows scare away paramilitaries? We can only hope.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


Dan K said...

Maybe they can erect some bad spirits to ward off the evil leftist activists that have committed crimes that rival those of their rightwing counterparts. Not that I'm making excuses for the atrocities committed by the rightwing powers that be in Colombia, but it always seems that the left tries to portray themselves as the victims, fighting for the people; even as they murder the very same people they claim to protect. It's sad that the extreme left is given credence by such wayward academics in the National University, while at the same time attempting to deflect the country's problems on the backs on the conservatives. Honestly, they both suck.

Miguel said...

Yes, leftists (or pseudo leftists) as well as the right, have committed lots of atrocities. But that doesn't mean that all leftists, or all right-wingers, are guilty of abuses. The student activists at the National University may or may not make justifications for the guerrillas, but I haven't heard of these students committing abuses.


JuanitoAlimanya said...

The scarecrows are even more symbolic in Colombia. The Spanish word for scarecrow ("espantapajaros") means literally "bird scarer". The Conservative Party supported killing squads of "La Violencia" period were known as "los Pájaros" (the birds). I've heard they got the name because, as with carrion birds, "if you see them, there are either corpses lying near or there will be".

The book and film "Condores no entierran todos los días" were based on a "pájaro" so notorious he was nicknamed "the Condor".

The menaces received by the students were signed by the neafarious "Águilas Negras" (Black Eagles). I don't know if their name is intentionally related to the "pájaros", but their methods definitely are.

Juan D.

Miguel said...

Hi Juanito - Thanks for that info. I suspect that you're right about the origin of pajaros. Sad to see such a nice animal converted into such a terrible symbol.