|A traffic jam shuts down Calle 26. Would charging the real price for gasoline and diesel |
reduce congestion and clean up the air?
That was the idea. But in practice, the fund has been used mostly to stabilize prices downward, to buy voters and pacify strike-prone truckers.
|EcoPetror: Not so green, and |
maybe someday bankrupt, too.
Colombia's Controlaria recommends freeing up gasoline prices. Colombia doesn't subsidize books, apples or clothing - so, why vehicle fuels?
I just talked to a schoolteacher from Medellin who had come to Bogotá to participate in the protest marches. She told me that public school teachers often must reach into their own pockets to purchase cleaning supplies for the school and even food for the children.
"That's the government's responsibility, and they've got plenty of money to throw around," she said, accusing government officials of corruption.
The government has offered teachers only a 2,000 peso-per-month raise, she added.
Certainly, the billions of dollars thrown away on fuel subsidies could have gone a long way toward helping public school students.
|'No resources for teachers,' says Santos - except maybe those millions and millions wasted subsidizing gasoline.|