Antanas Mockus and the Colombian Elections

Democracy Media Video

Three days left to the presidential elections in Colombia. The outcome is supposedly quite critical for the country’s future and I am searching the German mainstream media for any updates.

Did I say "updates"? Well how about any information at all? Please. Please? I can find one article in Die Welt from May 9 about the presidential candidate for the green party – Antanas Mockus, and one from March 1 about President Alvaro Uribe, who couldn’t convince the Colombian Supreme Court to let him rule for a third term. The Frankfurter Allgemeine brought nothing at all. In the Sueddeutschen Zeitung, Mockus gets half a sentence in an article about world leaders using platforms like Twitter to support their campaigns. German radio and television have nothing to offer at all. The German mainstream barely knows  Juan Manuel Santos and knows absolutely nothing about the other candidates. Colombia is only in the German news if there is death through guerilla groups and drug trafficking actions. BBC, CNN, NY Times…also not much either.

If you are German with little love for blogs, no knowledge of the Spanish language, not the nerves to struggle through English, or simply no access to the Internet (like my grandparents and millions of others), you are at a loss. Who doesn’t know about the elections will never know, unless of course related events turn violent!

I wouldn’t know anything either hadn’t there been a last minute chance for a tiny detour to Bogotá, Colombia on my way from New York to Germany. During my time there I was very fortunate to get some personal views from young Bogotanos and to attend one of the rallies of the very newly formed green party with Antanas Mockus as its popular candidate.

Mr. Mockus fills the Colombian air with a fresh breeze of hope combined with a bit of fear for the unknown that comes along with the "a little bit crazy, Math and Philosophy teacher with sometimes hard-to-follow-thoughts, who became famous in the early 90s for mooning his students and saving Bogotá as its mayor (in a superman outfit) with outside-the-box-thinking-methods."

Below is a short video about the rally on May 16, 2010. I’m sharing these images to encourage you to find out more about the elections and to raise awareness about May 30, 2010, with the hope of helping Colombia a tiny bit towards a fairer, less corrupt election process with a "global village witness community" looking over its shoulder. Let’s spread the word in the little time we have left!

Colombia, Elections