jueves, 16 de julio de 2020

Coronavirus as a wicked problem in Colombia

Columnist Alejandro Díaz Castro.
Profesional en Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogotá D.C.

(Ver otras publicaciones del autor)

Abstract: This essay will discuss how Coronavirus has become a wicked problem in Colombia analyzing why is it a government issue? How has it been managed and communicated by the Colombian president this issue? And how can be rated these solutions? This essay will be written in chronological order; firstly, an introduction about the topic will be done contextualizing the situation and some of the terms that will be used in this essay; furthermore, the importance of studying this topic will be written to continue with a timeline which explains the management that Colombian government has developed during the situation to rate them. Finally, the essay will provide recommendations about the decision that were taken and will generate a conclusion. | Key Words: Coronavirus, Colombia, wicked problem, communication, safety, security.


By understanding better why the measurements that Ivan Duque has taken are an important case of study. First of all, it is crucial to understand What is Coronavirus? and how the pandemic started?

The Coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) first appeared in the Wuhan city of Hubei province in China and was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 30th January 2020. As of 4th June 2020, the WHO database confirms 6,416,828 cases around the world, and 382,867 reported deaths; nevertheless, this number is subjected to change constantly. The most affected countries so far are the first one, the United States of America with 1,906,201 cases confirmed, and 109,499 people death. The second one, Brazil with 595,110 cases confirmed and 33,038 people death. The third one, Russia with 441,108 cases confirmed. Follow by the United Kingdom with 281,661, and lastly Spain with 240,660.

Colombia which is the aim of this essay has 33,354 cases confirmed and 1,045 people death. The number of people that have died due to COVID-19, and the number of people infected became to Colombia and to his current president a topic to deal with as a wicked problem, but many people can ask why is it a government responsibility, and why the measurements should be assessed?

To answer those questions, it is necessary to understand two crucial terms: safety and security which have always been fundamental drivers for human beings and all other living beings; they are vital in ensuring survival (Slovic 1987) and, remarkably, that safety and security are only achieved when both components exist (Schäfer 2013: 5).

What are Safety and Security?

Security can be defined as the condition of being protected from harm (or other non-desirable outcomes) caused by intentional human action or behaviors.

Safety can be defined as the condition of being protected from harm (or other non-desirable outcomes) caused by a non-intentional failure of technical human or organizational factors. (Maurice et al. 2001:238)

As it can be read the Coronavirus or COVID 19 can be classified as a safety problem and its consequences as a security one that “at the final level, the state has responsibilities for keeping us safe and secure. When people think about safety and security the state is usually the dominant player they think about.” (Berg & Pauline Hutten 2018: 9).

The previous assert has its based in the SOCIAL CONTRACT refers to a theory that explains the origins of the state. It argues that individuals at some point in time realized they needed to leave behind the so-called ‘STATE OF NATURE’, in which all humans had the “right to all things” and, therefore, were in a state of perpetual “war of all against all” (Hobbes 1651: 80).

Safety and security were the key elements of the barter that was made there: individuals agreed to give up some of their rights and freedoms in return for protection from the state. This makes security and safety “a [if not the] primary obligation of the state since that is what individuals have contracted for in submitting to state authority.” (Chandler 2009: 126).

Now that, it is clear that safety and security are government responsibilities since the monopoly on violence was given to them, and that COVID-19 is threatening both of them. It is indispensable to study what is a wicked problem and how it can be assessed.

What is a wicked problem?

Before talking about the management that the Colombian government has implemented in this situation, it is important to clarify what is a wicked problem? And how can it be rated? To analyze academically this issue.

Wicked problems are “well known in public policy and are generally problems with no correct solution. Wicked problems reveal additional complexity with each attempt at resolution and have infinite potential outcomes and no stopping rule -that is, the process ends when you run out of sources not when you reach the correct solution [...] Wicked problems occur in a social context and the wickedness of the problem reflects the diversity of interests among the stakeholders. Resolving wicked problems is requires an informed debate in which the nature of the problem is understood in the context of those interests, the technologies at hand for resolution, and the existing resource constraints ( Taipale 2004: 127-128).

Now that it is clear the definition of a wicked problem, it is important to analyze how the wicked problems are evaluated owing to it can not be ranked as a normal problem since the wicked problems are different from the problems that scientist and some kind of engineers, for example, deal with. It has to be ranked differently, and Melvin Webber with Horst W.J created a method to talk about them.

However, before explaining how a wicked problem should be asses, it is crucial to take into account that a weak problem cannot be solved as in math or chemistry problem where you have an initial problem and through a process, people will get a correct answer that in most cases is unique.

How can be rated these solutions?

A wicked problem at best is only resolved over and over again. Nevertheless, “Their assessments of proposed solutions are expressed as “good” or “bad” or, more likely as “better or worse” or “satisfying” or good enough” (Rittel and Webber 1984: 139).

On the one hand, the assessment is due to the fact that it is not immediate and there is no ultimate test of a solution of a wicked problem. On the other hand, any solution after being implemented will generate waves of consequences and there is when the previous actions that were taken to mitigate the problem can be classified as satisfying, good enough, or better or worse. This last item is used when the waves that generated the first respond created positive and negative aspects, some of them can be the creation of a new wicked problem, for instance.

Now, after defining and contextualizing all the key words that are necessary to understand this topic. It is appropriate to start analyzing the decisions that the Colombian president had taken to face the Coronavirus.

Timeline of measurements:

On March 6, 2020 the first Coronavirus case in Colombia was confirmed, and since the first case the government started working in the actions that would be taken to face the global pandemic, some of them good enough, satisfying, better, and others worst.

Twenty days later, on March 25, 2020, the quarantine began and lasted 19 days or it was the original plan. Colombian’s president said during a televised address “It is time to understand that our behavior saves lives and that the measure seeks to protect us as a society, guaranteeing the supply of food, access to medicines, and essential public services” (Gamba, 2020).

This measure has some positive aspects that are going to be evaluated next: first and foremost, the president created a space to communicate with Colombians through the massive media channels, a half an hour space where he started to transmit and informed what was being done to face the pandemic.

The second one, the quarantine was a popular measure which was taken by several Latin American Countries and Colombia was one of the first ones to join this action. Nevertheless, some people have claimed that quarantine has three aims; avoid the pandemic’s expansion, avoid health care centers collapse, and obtaining some time meanwhile, the scientists find a vaccination or cure. In other words it is a short term solution.

The third one, some parts of the society have criticized that the international airport called “El Dorado” was open during almost one month after the first case confirmed, allowing the entrance to nationals and foreignness without any control. Permitting to infected people to get into the territory without having a minimal test to check their health and allowing that the virus spreads for all the territory. For that reason, the previous actions would be rated as good enough due to the fact the Colombian president allowed the entrance of national and foreigners appealing that there were many Colombian trying to return to the country; however, the control in the airport should have been more efficient.

Another measure that was taken was to declare the state of emergency which allowed the president to issue decrees without prior authorization from the country’s congress during times of crisis or a threat to Colombia’s security, including decrees about the national budget, and that was positive, and a Constitution aspect; however, president Iván Duque signed a $844,000 public relations contract using money from the president’s Peace Fund, according to a report by Semana News. The Peace Fund was established in 1997 to “finance peace programs aimed at the reincorporation into civilian life of groups raised in arms.”(Latin American News).

Furthermore, the senator Wilson Arias from Polo Democrático Party said and showed some documents where proves that the government is planning to invest $2.3 millions in non-lethal weapons to reinforce the Anti-Riot Squadron (see image one).

Image 1
And if that is not enough, one of the 32 Departments that makes up Colombia called Amazonian, it is currently one of the most affected for the Coronavirus due to the proximity with Brazilian Country which has one of the biggest numbers of deaths around the world, and one of the decisions that took the Colombian president was to send military personnel with biological safety suits (see image 2) meanwhile Amazon doctors were asking for this kind of protection to continue working and facing the critical situation in the Department.

As a result, more than 30 health professionals quit to its position in the Department’s public hospital on April 20. In an interview made for “El Tiempo” newspaper Jaider Saurith, an internist from the public hospital asserted that “the personal protection items are not enough to all the professionals. Besides, he said that they are afraid to be infected with COVID-19 owing to if someone dies due to the virus their families will be helpless” (El Tiempo, 2020).

Image 2
The previous measures can be rated as the worst decisions that the Colombian president could have taken since it is as we mentioned before investments, so it cannot be said that it is a corruption act; nevertheless, it is a waste of money that could have been invested in a better way to overcome the situation, and to protect who are facing directly the COVID 19.


The Colombian government should have evaluated in a better way the measures that took before taking them because some of them are going to create new wicked problems than can aggravate the internal situation in the country.

Furthermore, there is never late to correct what had been done in previous days to get a better route on the way to find a resolution in this issue. Currently, Colombia is not taking the best decisions to face a long crisis.

It is necessary to mitigate the social unrest to avoid a social internal crisis as in many Latin American countries. One of the strategies was to improve the president's image; nevertheless, it will not be enough, and this measure should be accompanied by better decisions in crisis time.

The quarantine in a developed country seems no to be sustainable, for that reason the government should create a strategy to alternate it with economical solutions to people who do not work in a formal company.


On the one hand, Colombian president has shown that for him and his government healthy it is not a priority because of its actions in which he preferred to reinforce the military system than provides equipment to doctors around the country.

On the other hand, even though Duque acted quickly, the quarantine seems not to be effective in a developed economy in which many people live from informal sales, working on the streets and day by day, without having health care insurance or a contract to sustain financially. These are the reasons why any of the measures that were evaluated here were rated as satisfactory, the best one was good enough following by a series of worst decisions that can generate social unrest in a near future.

Colombia should be prepared to face one of the most difficult crises that it has ever faced in its recent history that can be a deal better if the government takes efficient decisions, instead of populist measures.

To sum up, I think that Colombia will have one of the most difficult crises in his history with one of the president with less experience in the history, a combination that cannot bring a good result without a government compromise with the society, and not with banks or multinationals companies.


Bibi van den Berg & Pauline Hutten. (June 2018). Security and safety: An introduction. Security and safety (2-18). Netherlands: Leiden University.

Chandler, Jennifer. 2009. ‘Privacy versus National Security: Clarifying the Trade-Off’. In Lessons from the Identity Trail: Anonymity, Privacy and Identity in a Networked Society, edited by Ian R Kerr, C Lucock, and V Steeves, 121–38. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Horst W. J Rittel and Melvin M. Webber. (1984). Developments in Design Methodology. New York: Nigel Cross The Open University.

Hobbes, Thomas. 1651. Leviathan, or the Matter, Forme, and Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil. London: the Green Dragon.

Latin America News Dispatch . (MAY 5, 2020). Report: Colombia’s President Iván Duque Spends Peace Fund On PR Campaign. June 8, 2020, de LATIN AMERICA NEWS DISPATCH web: https://www.latinousa.org/2020/05/05/duquespends/

Laura Gamba. (2020). Colombia announces lockdown as coronavirus cases surge. Anadolu Agency, 1-3.

Maurice, Pierre, Michel Lavoie, Lucie Laflamme, Leif Svanström, Claude Romer, and Ragnar Anderson. 2001. ‘Safety and Safety Promotion: Definitions for Operational Developments’. Injury Control and Safety Promotion 8 (4): 237–40. doi:10.1076/icsp.

Schäfer, Philip Jan. 2013. ‘The Concept of Security’. In Human and Water Security in Israel and Jordan, 3:5–19. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-29299-6.

Slovic, Paul. 1987. ‘Perception of Risk’. Science 236 (4799): 280–85. doi:10.1126/science.3563507.

Taipale, K A. 2004. ‘Technology, Security and Privacy: The Fear of Frankenstein, the Mythology of Privacy and the Lessons of King Ludd’. JOUR. Yale Journal of Law & Technology 7 (1): 125– 221.

Unidad de Salud. (April 20, 2020). Renuncia masiva de médicos en el único hospital público de Amazonas. El Tiempo, 12.

martes, 19 de mayo de 2020

Terrorism in Japan. The Sarin Gas Attacks on the Tokyo Subway

Columnist Alejandro Díaz Castro.
Profesional en Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogotá D.C.

(Ver otras publicaciones del autor)

Abstract: This essay will discuss how the sarin gas attack was managed as a wicked problem in Japan, analyzing some aspects; first one, with a time line the actions that were taken will be described. Second one, the counter-terrorism actions and crisis evaluation will be evaluated. At the end, the strategies and the practices that were adopted by actors involved will be analyzed answering questions such as what actions were taken by the actors involved? What was the goal of these actions? And how did this contribute (or not) to managing the safety or security challenge? To understand better these, the essay will be written in chronological order; firstly, an introduction about the topic will be done by explaining the details and studying the case. After that, the importance of studying this topic will be written to continue with academic literature which confirms the facts and ending with a conclusion an recommendations about the topic. | Key Words: Terrorism, counter-terrorism, wicked problem, communication crisis, Japan, doomsday.

Before tackling the attack and the way that it was managed, it is important to analyze, and understand how the events happened that day. “On the morning of March 20, 1995, members of a “doomsday” cult released sarin gas, a neurotoxic agent, in the Tokyo subway system, killing twelve people and causing more than five thousand people to seek medical care” (Bridges, 2005:103). The modus operandi used by the terrorist group had such as principal actors Ikuo Hayashi in Chiyoda train line, Kenishi Hirose in Marunouchi train line, Toru Toyada in Marunouchi train line, Masato Yokohama in Hibiya train line, and Yasuo Hayashi in Hibiya train line.

The mission that was charged of doing by the group’s leader was to take with them the sarin gas camouflaged into a newspaper in a liquid status wrapped in plastic bags, and leave them chipped inside of the train in a peak hour before getting off. After getting off, the gas started to suffocate the passengers meanwhile the terrorists were picked up by their accomplice Tomomitsu Niimi, Koichi kitamura, Katsuya Takahashi, Kiyotaka Tonozaki, Shigeo Sugimoto.

Fortunately, the Sarin that was prepared was just 30 percent pure lower than the one that was used in the Matsumoto attack which explains why there were not many people killed due to the gas. However, this act can be considered as one violation of the security which “is defined as the condition of being protected from harm (or other non-desirable outcomes) caused by intentional human actions or behaviors” (Bibi van den Berg, 2012: 6).

Nonetheless one of the most important things to analyze in this essay is the measurements that were taken by the government and the different actors involved in this issue starting for the counter-terrorism actions and the crisis evaluation before, after, and during the crisis.

1. The counter-terrorism actions before, during, and after

Before the sarin attack on March 20, 1995, two cases were linked to the cult which developed this attack. The cases, however, were not well investigated, and for that reason, the police did not notice that the group was a hazard for the society.

The first case was the murder of a follower of the cult leader Shōkō Asahara who forced a girl to practice an air yoga which was extremely advanced for her finishing in her death, the issue was hidden by the cult due to bad publicity that it could bring, and the body was cremated.

The second case was the murder of a family after the sarin attack appeared in Shōkō Asahara property, but the police did not want to search in that area even though one of the clues conduced to the cult leader since the beginning. The family murder happened due to information that the father had obtained from the cult where he could have proved that a girl had died in the Asahara monastery. Because of his blindness, charisma, and the excuse of being a religious person many people believe wrongly that Shōkō Asahara was not a risk for the society, and that he could not be linked to these issues.

During the attack, not much can be said because no one could have predicted the day, the hour, the train lines, the method among others that could have been used. Nevertheless, some people assert that avoiding the attack before it happened is much better than trying to avoid an attack during the moment that this is executing.

Finally, after the attack, there were some mistakes one of them was that as many, if not most, disasters, victims self-transported to nearby treatment facilities. For many victims of the Tokyo sarin gas attacks this was St. Luke’s Medical Center (Taneda, 2005). Some surviving victims drove themselves or walked to nearby treatment facilities (DoJ, 2002). The problems arising from this self-transfer phenomenon are serious and complex. Without a pre-hospital triage system, such as Simple Triage and Rapid Transport (START), seriously injured victims who need immediate care might not get the timely and appropriate treatment (Hafen, Karren, & Mistrovich, 1992). For that reason, there were a lot of people who went walking to the hospital and it was impossible to determine the level of their injuries. Increasing in that way the number of people who were at risk to die.

However, not all actions that were taken put in risk the citizens of Japan; for instance, chasing, capturing, and executing had a specific goal that will be analyzed here because it is remarkable the way that after the attack the police decided to act, the first actions were conducted to capture and dismantle the organization which attacks the country’s security. The second actions were able to send a message to similar, and also the same organization which committed the acts by executing the authors and people involved in the terrorist attack.

In this way, the government stops the circle that Alex Schmid describes as a part of a terrorist attack in which the perpetrators try to manipulate the population and the government to obtain attention, intimidate or demand something to them as it can be said here.

“The immediate human victims of violence are generally chosen randomly (targets of opportunity) or selectively (representative or symbolic targets) from a target population, and serve as message generators. Threat- and violence-based communication processes between terrorist (organization), (imperiled) victims, and main targets are used to manipulate the main target (audience(s)), turning it into a target of terror, a target of demands, or a target of attention, depending on whether intimidation, coercion, or propaganda is primarily sought".

Now that we have discussed the goal of the police actions it is important to analyze how the action contributes to managing this situation. For example, by executing the leader and the perpetrators were the way that the government communicates to them that the criminal acts will not be accepted. Furthermore, the organization disappeared due to the lack of a charismatic leader and they have not done more attacks hitherto. Thanks to the previous actions the society can enjoy a peaceful environment knowing that if a criminal tries to damage citizens, organizations, or institutions, they will be punished in a severe way to contribute to the safety and security of japan citizens.

Nonetheless, there are similar organizations which have been followed by the authorities, there are some religious cults that are evaluated, checked frequently by the police to avoid that they follow the doctrine of the previous groups, creating chemical weapons, biological weapons or planning to attack the society. Creating control over them and their activities.


One the one hand, it is important to say that the actions to prevent terrorism in Japan could have and should have improved to prevent this unfortunate event. The police actions, however, were well executed, and it could be reflected in nowadays japan’s society where they have not had a similar incident since that day.

On the other hand, the terrorist group which attacked previously the city left a lot of followers who have created similar organizations around Japan. These religious groups which claim that they are not linked with the terrorist issue are increasing the police duties due to the regular inspections that the force has to do to prevent future terrorist acts.


Even though the regular inspections are increasing the police duties, it is necessary to continue doing them to avoid having future events out of control. Moreover, the efforts in the prevention of terrorism as a counter-terrorism measure should be increased, and likewise, religious groups should be taken into account as a possible hazard for the society as the fourth wave of terrorism suggests and studies.

Moreover, the crisis management should be trained to avoid getting into terrorism game in which a lack of communication can create an advantage for these groups because of an empowered society with a correct government communication will be able to overcome and avoid a situation such as the one that we discussed in this essay or a similar one.


Bibi van den Berg & Pauline Hutten. (2005). Security and safety: An introduction. 2020, de Institute of Security and Global Affairs Sitio web: https://www.psa.ac.uk/sites/default/files/conference/papers/2017/Leading%20glocal%20challenges_0.pdf

Channel news Asia. (February 2020). Tokyo’s Fateful Sarin Gas Attack in 1995 | One Day That Changed Asia | Full Episode. 2020, de CNA Insider Sitio web: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTr1lquCQMg

Department of Justice (DoJ). (2002). Arlington County After-action Report on the September 11 Terrorist Attach on the Pentagon. Prepared by Titan Systems Corporation. Contract Number G310F0084K, order number 2001F_341.

Elizabeth Bridges. (2005). The Sarin Gas Attacks on the Tokyo Subway? 10 years later/Lessons Learned. Traumatology, 11, 103-119.

Hafen, B., Karren, K., & Mistrovich, J. (1992). Pre hospital Emergency Care. Brady Prentice Hall: NJ, 798-801.

Schmid and Jongman (1998). Political Terrorism: A New Guide To Actors, Authors, Concepts, Data Bases, Theories, And Literature. Switzerland: Transaction Publishers.

Taneda. (2005). The sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system: Hospital response to mass casualties. Traumatology, 11(2).

sábado, 25 de abril de 2020

Terrorism in Colombia. Negotiating with terrorists encourages more terrorism

Columnist Alejandro Díaz Castro.
Profesional en Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogotá D.C.

(Ver otras publicaciones del autor)

Abstract: This essay will discuss if negotiating with terrorists encourages more terrorism studying the Colombian case to answer the following questions; the first one, Who has claimed that this assumption can be considered true? and the second one, why it is important to test this assumption? To clarify this, the essay will be written in chronological order; firstly, an introduction about the topic will be done by explaining the details and studying the authors in Colombia who have done this assumption. After that, the importance of studying this topic will be written to continue with academic literature which confirms the facts and ending with a conclusion if the assumption is true, partly true, or false. | Key Words: Terrorism, Colombia, Peace Process.

For more than 50 years Colombia has faced one of the largest conflicts in the recent history, and this conflict finished in November 2016 with the agreement between the Colombian government and ex Revolutionary Colombian Army Forces (FARC for its acronym in Spanish).

However, many people disagreed arguing that this agreement will encourage more terrorism. One of the principal opponents was the ex-president Alvaro Uribe Velez, the leader of the Centro Democratico party who said “terrorism snake when feels that is been suffocated and we have a fork in his neck, right there asks for peace processes so that we can loosen the fork, take oxygen and poison again”

Another representative person who claimed that the negotiation with the Revolutionary Colombian Army Forces (FARC) will encourage more terrorism was Jaime Ruiz the president of the Colombian retired Military Forces who asserted that "The excessive generosity of the State in this process would constitute a great sign of weakness that would be skillfully exploited by terrorists".[1]

Nonetheless, the peace process continued giving satisfactory results in the short term, that is the reason why it is important to test whether the assumption that negotiating with terrorists encourages more terrorism is true or not. To do that is indispensable to check the available data regarding terrorism attacks, solders' death in conflict, and academic opinions about this.

1. Database of the Armed Conflict in Colombia from 2002 to 2017[2]

Before starting the peace process with the guerrilla members it could be said that the ex-president Alvaro Uribe Velez was right since it seems that for numbers of dead people, the Colombian Militarily Army was winning the war. the civilians, however, were being affected in the middle of the conflict.

Nevertheless, the next image which was extracted from the same resource starts showing a slight decrease after Alvaro Uribe finished in 2010 his period as Colombian president which last from 2002 to 2010. Colombian president which last from 2002 to 2010.

Subsequently, On September second, 2012 when the peace negotiation started until September 2016 the rate of death people decrease dramatically to achieve in 2017 the zero percent of people died due to violence caused by the conflict between FARC and Colombian Military Forces as it is shown next.

According to the statistics, it can be said that even though at the beginning the ex-president Alvaro Uribe was right saying that the peace process could be a strategy for the FARC’s side to take out the military pressure over them, in 2017 the statistics showed that the negotiation gave more than satisfactory results.

On the other hand, according to El Tiempo newspaper the ex-guerrilla members who are compromised with the peace process after signing the agreement are 98,6 percent. 3.220 ex-guerrilla members are living in the training and reinstatement camps which were adequate to them, meanwhile, 8,816 ex-guerrilla members are outside of these areas, some of them have returned to their communities, but it does not mean that they are committing crimes.

Additionally, some members of the ex-guerrilla are representing internationally the country. For instance, there is a group of ex-guerrilla who were invited to the World Rafting Championships in Tully, Australia, where they participated out of competition, under the newly-established IRF Peace Flag.[3]

Besides, there are other groups that are exporting coffee, producing craft beer, and selling mountaineering equipment among other projects which have produced more than 18 thousand millions of Colombian pesos and have given a job to more than 1.600 people.

To sum up and talking about the Colombian case, it can be said that until the moment the negotiation did not encourage more terrorism even though the actual government has not fulfilled what was agreed. However, there are some cases where it can be used as a military strategy. For that reason, this assumption can be considered as partly true due to more studies needed.

1. Vanguardia news paper Alvaro Uribe Velez, Colombian ex-president statement https://www.vanguardia.com/deportes/mundial-de-futbol/qla-culebra-del-terrorismo-cuando-esta-asfixiada-ahi-mismo-pide-procesos-de-pazq-uribe-KAVL70194

2. El Tiempo news paper Jaime Ruíz statement https://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/CMS-12190023

3. Database of the Armed Conflict in Colombia from 2002 to 2017 https://www.elespectador.com/colombia2020/pais/la-reduccion-de-muertes-en-el-conflicto-despues-del-acuerdo-con-las-farc-articulo-856819

4. Statistics post conflict in Colombia, El Espectador news paper https://www.eltiempo.com/justicia/jep-colombia/en-cifras-que-tan-positivo-es-el-proceso-de-paz-con-las-farc-409208

5. Rafting Peace process https://colombia.unmissions.org/en/rafting-peace-former-farc-ep-members-will-participate-world-rafting-championship-tully-australia

[1] For more information visit https://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/CMS-12190023

[2] Database available in https://www.elespectador.com/colombia2020/pais/la-reduccion-de-muertes-en-el-conflicto-despues-del-acuerdo-con-las-farc-articulo-856819

[3] To check more information please visit https://colombia.unmissions.org/en/rafting-peace-former-farc-ep-members-will-participate-world-rafting-championship-tully-australia

Los deportes

Por Mary Dagua.

Los deportes son para la vida una parte fundamental, teniendo en cuenta la posibilidad que tenemos todos de realizarlos, la necesidad de hacerlo por bienes en la salud y las emociones que producen en algunos. Viendo, escuchando o practicando algún deporte son cientos las emociones que se trasladan del corazón al pecho y la garganta de un aficionado. Sin embargo, la realidad vista desde un panorama más social nos lleva a plantearnos la posibilidad de que los deportes hayan sido manchados por acontecimientos bochornosos o de carácter social negativo.

Son tantos los momentos históricos en el deporte qué debemos hacer un viaje por países, continentes, lenguas y culturas muy diversas. Me planteo hacer ese viaje así como lo logró hacerlo Carpentier sobre la música en Concierto Barroco al igual que lo hace este autor Cubano, adentrándose en vidas de músicos relevantes para la historia de ese arte lo haré yo con los actores principales del deporte mundial.

Un viaje que emprenden unos aficionados hacia el estadio de Hillsborough sería el inicio de un fatídico sábado, cientos de jóvenes, niños y adultos se adentran en un estadio con capacidad reducida, 96 entraron por última vez a un estadio de fútbol. Son los deportes estos contrastes, la ilusión de viajar incluso kilómetros para ver a una camiseta roja con tintes blancos patear un balón en busca de pasar de fase, ni siquiera en busca de una copa. Morir debido a una fase clasificatoria ¿Sería menos doloroso si hubiera sido en la final de la Champions League? es una estupidez tan solo plantearse la pregunta, pero lo fue aún más lo que opinaron medios de comunicación y policía al respecto, buscando hallar en las víctimas un culpable. Víctima y victimario puestos sobre una misma mesa, comiendo juntos de la misma injusticia.

Son los prejuicios los culpables de los peores momentos del deporte, sin dudarlo dos veces considero mi afirmación verídica e inquebrantable. Fueron 96 las personas fallecidas en Hillsborough y fueron esas mismas 96 las catalogadas como hooligans, hinchas extremadamente violentos que visitaban los estadios de Gran Bretaña para ver deporte. Los prejuicios de manera irremediable interfirieron en la noticia fatídica, fueron los desadaptados quienes provocaron la muerte de 96 personas. Vemos en los videos repartirse unos a otros publicidad como si fuesen camillas que iban a salvar una, dos, tres o noventaises vidas, fueron los desadaptados quienes permitieron que ese 96 no fuera un 97, 98 o 100.

Los desadaptados corriendo por toda la cancha en busca de ayuda, halando personas de los brazos para poder sacarlos de las montañas humanas. Los desadaptados salvando vidas y luego calificados de eso, de inhumanos, de hooligans peligrosos que habían provocado 96 muertes al no saber comportarse en un estadio de fútbol. La culpa la tienen ellos, eso dicen los medios oficiales, para no admitir que utilizaron los prejuicios como pared de contención para no ahogarse en el caos que ellos habían provocado. 96 vidas perdidas y una sociedad evidentemente corrompida por lanzarse la pelota no de un arco al otro sino de un culpable a un inocente que debe cargar con la presión social. 96 motivos para hablar del deporte.

-¿36 es un número menor que 96?
- No.

36 fue un número mayor que 96 en un momento específico de la historia en el cual los deportes reunidos en un solo lugar fueron tergiversados de maneras inimaginables en la actualidad. Berlín fue el lugar escogido, no fueron 96 los muertos, fueron millones los escondidos detrás de una verdadera cortina de humo. La anterior es una afirmación que suelo detestar “el deporte es una cortina de humo” no lo es, una cortina de humo no saca vidas adelante y enseña carácter a personitas que dedican su vida a una pasión en específico. Pero esta sí fue una verdadera cortina de humo.

Criminales fueron aplaudidos en Berlín en 1936 en la Olimpiada Nazi. Los deportes reunidos en su maxima representacion mundial fueron utilizados para fomentar crímenes contra la humanidad. Un hombre negro humilló al pequeño hombre blanco llevándose tres medallas de oro a su congregación llena de más gente de color. Crímenes cometidos contra los considerados inferiores, de razas que no tenían nada que rescatar. Un hombre blanco ayudó a un hombre negro a ganar una de esas tres medallas. Discriminación, censura y privación de libertad. Libertad, un salto triple y un hombre negro con una medalla dorada en su cuello. Odio, desprecio, miradas humillantes. Un himno que hizo enojar al genocida conocido como Hitler.

Las manchas en los deportes son incontables. Contables si nos ponemos en la ardua labor de discriminar una mancha de otra hasta llegar a hacer una lista con las manchas y manchitas. La del 36 fue la máxima expresión de un reguero de manchas. No fue sino casi 20 años después cuando la sociedad se dió cuenta de su error, de lo cometido por ellos mismos, de lo que habían permitido que sucediera. Pero era ya una mancha imposible de borrar, una mancha que llega hasta el 2020 en un escrito sobre los deportes. Quizás porque fueron los mayores asesinos de la historia quienes se escondieron detrás de esa mancha y cortina de humo. Los primeros prejuicios contra los mal llamados hooligans son difícilmente comparables con los realizados por los nazis contra todo lo que no se asemejara a ellos.

Hooligans y Nazis son dos términos tan diferentes, maneras de llamar a personas igual de diferentes, pero hay algo en lo cual se ingresan ambos, los prejuicios y los deportes. La utilización de unas olimpiadas para esconder la mugre que hay en casa y buscar propaganda la podemos contrastar con la necesidad de llamar vándalos a unos aficionados con la finalidad de cubrir sus propias manchas. Una mancha histórica que tiene el fútbol con la sociedad ha sido utilizada para tapar una que tiene la justicia con las víctimas.

La construcción de una identidad es lo que creo ha influido notoriamente en los dos acontecimientos anteriores, unos tomados por bandidos y los otros por héroes, siendo todo lo contrario “¿Héroes o payasos?” se preguntan dos personajes de Demasiados Héroes de Laura Restrepo, somos payasos creyendole a unos falsos héroes, concluiría yo. Construimos una identidad como sociedad americana, otra como europeos, una más como colombianos o franceses, alemanes o ingleses, pero compartimos una misma como payasos, una que no fue construida por nosotros mismo sino que nos la hachantamos de manera graciosa. Confiando en payasos y dudando de héroes. Considerando mayor el 96 que el 36, payasos.

Un recorrido histórico por la música, quizá es lo que hace Carpentier, he perdido yo mi rumbo. No soy una “fomentora” de lo real maravilloso, ni autora de ningún Boom, son una estudiante que empezó hablando de los deportes sabiendo que terminaría hablando de estos con carácter social. Una denuncia no es lo que escribo, me tomo libertades de buscar una voz dentro de todo este lenguaje que no es clásico pero tampoco barroco. Encuentro en este un tema tan interesante que debí no haberlo escogido, sumar una pasión por los deportes con una por la historia me ha llevado a perder el hilo de ese recorrido que dió Carpentier y yo quería dar.

Yo no soy una autora del Boom por eso me doy la licencia para continuar hablando de los deportes como una reunión de sentimientos que han hecho relevante ciertos momentos históricos. Hay uno en particular que ha dejado huella en mi memoria, el partido de fútbol que presencié, que viví que ví con mis propios ojos, el partido de fútbol más desigual e igualitario de la vida. Dos bandos nunca antes tan opuestos, unos dejaron se quitaron sus botas pesadas y se pusieron las de caucho para poder moverse a la velocidad del balón por encima del barro, los otros 11 dejaron el temor de desconocer a quienes habían combatido durante años. Eran 11 vs 11.

Hombres fornidos que habían luchado con balas durante décadas se encontraban dándose las manos en señal de cortesía para iniciar una batalla que sería más significativa que los disparos que habían realizado años atras. Estaban de-construyendo identidades que les habían dado sectores políticos y sociales. No encuentro manera poética de decir lo que sentí en ese momento, porque no hay manera terrenal de decirlo y no es porque conozca el cielo “sino porque aquí nunca ha habido nada tan bello”.

Un conflicto armado pasó a ser uno deportivo, mucho más ameno y divertido, significativo para ambos bandos como para el público expectante que miraba con ilusión el futuro cada vez más llevadero. Los deportes que antes habían significado prejuicios y cortinas de humo ahora, en mi actualidad, tienen un significado mucho menos metafórico pero más significativo. Era el inicio de un fin, eliminando esas limitaciones que teníamos frente a nuestros rostros. Jamás una joven podía llegar a estar tan emocionada al ver un balón entrar en una portería, sin importar si era la del ala sur o norte. Hipocresía se le podría llamar en una cancha de futbol normal, doble cara, vendida, sandía, doble camiseta y tantos apodos más, pero en ese momento solo fuí una colombiana feliz.

martes, 21 de abril de 2020

The Oslo double Attack

Columnist Alejandro Díaz Castro.
Profesional en Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogotá D.C.

(Ver otras publicaciones del autor)

Abstract: This essay will discuss the Oslo Bomb Attack and Shooting on Utoya in July 2011, to answer two main questions; the first one, what was the verdict. Were the terms ‘terrorist’ and ‘terrorism’ used about the perpetrator and the incident?, and the second one, should this incident be labeled as terrorism, taking in account the Academic Consensus Definition of terrorism by Alex Schmid? To clarify this, the essay will be written in chronological order; firstly, an introduction about the topic will be done by explaining the details and studying the terrorism definition created by Alex Schmid. Afterward, the questions will be answered based on previous explanations. To end with a conclusion. | Key Words: Terrorism, Oslo Bomb, Terrorist.


The Oslo Bomb Attack was developed on July 22nd, 2011 at 15:26 were 8 people resulted killed and 30 people were hurt, the second incident - The shooting on Utoya- was the same day a few hours later. Resulting in 69 people killed and 66 people injured to have a total of 77 people dead and 96 injured in one day with 2 different attacks.

The perpetrated was Anders Breivik, a 30 years old man who was captured meanwhile he was shooting young people on Utoya island. His reasons, according to his manifesto called “European Declaration of Independence” which contains 1500 pages and was published the same day of the incidents. He extremely disagrees with the government and the Norwegian Labour Party for supporting the multicultural society which includes the Islamic Religion and Marxist ideas. That is the reason why the bomb was located nearby the prime minister’s office, and the shooting was on Utoya where was located at the Labour party youth camp.

Now that the reasons which took Breivik to do what he did and how the attacks were developed are cleared, it is important to study the definition of terrorism that is provided by Alex Schmid and is generally accepted by many organizations and academics to be able to answer one of the principal questions of this essay:

"Terrorism is an anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby - in contrast to assassination - the direct targets of violence are not the main targets. The immediate human victims of violence are generally chosen randomly (targets of opportunity) or selectively (representative or symbolic targets) from a target population, and serve as message generators. Threat- and violence-based communication processes between terrorist (organization), (imperiled) victims, and main targets are used to manipulate the main target (audience(s)), turning it into a target of terror, a target of demands, or a target of attention, depending on whether intimidation, coercion, or propaganda is primarily sought".

The Schmid definition covers some patterns which explain why Breivik’s acts were considered as a terrorist attack, the first one was due to the idiosyncratic. He believed that people who practice the Islamic Religion and Marxist ideas should not be allowed to enter Norway. Secondly, and it is linked with the previous one, Breivik did not like the government at that time since in his trial he said that his original plan was to kill all the government members including the prime minister.

Furthermore, the human victims were symbolic targets because 69 people who were killed were a member of the Norwegian Labour Party. He was not interested in a confrontation with the police. That was the reason why as soon as the police arrived he turned himself in, having bullets and weapons to continue fighting again the officers. Showing in that way that his objective was to create attention in his message.

The previous reasons were enough to condemn him for the charges of terrorism, and the terrorist attacks on July 22 to 21 years of prison. Some people were trying to change the charges for crimes against humanity in that way he would have had a severe condemn; however, it was not possible. Nevertheless, after finishing the 21 years the government can extend 5 years more if it is considered that he would be a risk for society.


To sum up, it can be said that Breivik was considered and judge as a terrorist due to conceive his acts as terrorist attacks. His actions, moreover, match perfectly with Schmid's definition of terrorism. Avoiding in that way that Breivik was judged for crimes against humanity and having just 21 years of prison instead of 30 if he would have been judged for the second crime mentioned.


1. Susana Mena Autrilla, 2017 “Anders Breivik un crimen por convicción Política”. URL https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317033097_Anders_Breivik_un_crimen_por_conviccion_politica

2. Schmid and Jongman (1988)

3. “El pais” News papper, 2011. URL: https://elpais.com/internacional/2011/07/22/actualidad/1311285607_850215.html

4. “Gran atentado de Oslo” Centro de Analisis y perspectiva, 2013. URL: https://intranet.bibliotecasgc.bage.es/intranet-tmpl/prog/local_repository/documents/16055.pdf
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