May 7, 2012

Graffiti in Bogota

It's been a good old long time since I've put anything here.  Originally I wanted this to be a space not just to share my thoughts, but stories, images, and information that I'm privy to here that friends and family at home to have as easy access to.  A kind of way of spreading my experience around.  Welp, when I moved to Bogota I didn't have as many interesting emblematic experiences and I just stopped having as much time to devote to developing entries.  So, although I know I still don't have a lot of time I'm gonna be putting little snippets of stories and photos from my life here.

To start, I am consistently impressed by graffiti/street art here in Bogota.  There are three artists that I really enjoy.  I've got pictures below of some of my more favorite of the works of two of these artists.  Enjoy!

Graffiti in the works (taken during a march)

May 13, 2011

A free trade agreement cometh

Alright, Obama is about to submit the Colombia free trade agreement to Congress who is about to approve it and I don't have a lot of time right now, so I'm just going to list six reasons I think the free trade agreement would be a terrible idea. If you want a fuller argument, it shouldn't hard to find with a little google searching.
  1. A peace community leader recently predicted that the free trade agreement would be the worst thing to happen to Colombia in the last 500 years.
  2. Colombia can easily produce enough food for all its people. It doesn't make sense environmentally or economically for them to buy corn, meat, or milk that has flown thousands of miles.
  3. Clinton on the Free Trade pact he signed with Haiti: "It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas , but it has not worked. It was a mistake. . . . I had to live everyday with the consequences of the loss of capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people because of what I did; nobody else."
  4. In 2010, 51 labor unionists were killed; the same number killed in 2008 when Obama vowed to oppose the free trade agreement due to unprecedented violence against organized labor.
  5. The free trade agreement is based on an economic philosophy that believes that small rural farmers, such as those who I lived with the peace community, are enefficient and should not exist in a well functioning economy.
  6. Chiqutia Brands has plead guilty to paying both guerrilla and paramilitary groups for "security services". The free trade agreement would exacerbate this dynamic as it invites more multinational corporations into a context where the armed groups and their services are still very present.
For those of you not so word inclined, here is a venn diagram: