The Alborada: an inheritance tainted

The legacy of paramilitarism and drug trafficking that Medellín has came at a high price


In Medellin, Colombia, every morning the first of December is celebrated with gunpowder arrival this month to the Antiochian capital, but gained momentum since 2003 in which formalized the demobilized 855 members of the paramilitary group Bloque Cacique Nutibara of AUC and also that date is the birthday of the late Pablo Escobar Gaviria, but few people know this reality.

The legacy of paramilitarism and drug trafficking that has Medellín is not free, because in the decades of the 80's and 90's illegal activities took power and criminal gangs to carry out acts that violated with people of any neighborhood in the city or surrounding municipalities were created .

The fireworks were the ticket for the 'narcos' or 'stop' to commemorate the aforementioned facts. But for ordinary people, why they used such was to begin the happiest time of year elements: Christmas, so inherently the inheritance left by groups outside the law without knowing the reasons was accepted real.

Despite awareness campaigns, financial penalties and increased vigilance follows the practice, not only because it connotes this practice, if not by the number of burned leaves this activity. The number of people affected by the explosive material in this crucial date this year was only eight people injured, seven of them were presented in Medellin and the metropolitan area. What is significant because represents a reduction of 70% compared to previous years, when the figures reached 17 or 20 burned.

Reducing these facts they are related to the awareness of citizens in clear or outrun the drug culture that has had Medellín. Likewise, the culture generated awareness of the protection of children and adults burned by pyrotechnics, animal protection affected by gunpowder and homage to those killed by the fatal crash of Brazilian football team Chapecoense.

Although it is changing the narco culture in Medellin and promotion campaigns to avoid the causes associated the use of gunpowder in children and adults, they did not prevent the 30 November to dawn on December 1 will be held the famous' La Alborada ', a questionable practice that year welcomes the holiday season.

Alejandra Espinal seems in bad taste to continue practicing the famous 'Alborada' because he still remembers that part of drug trafficking and paramilitarism which affected both Medellin and continues do so.

Sandra Escobar believes that the Alborada is tied largely to the ignorance that has the community on the issue, they deny the real reasons that created this activity triggered a "double standard" in people.

Also to counteract the bad legacy of illegal groups with La Alborada, the Metropolitan Area of Valle del Aburrá, entity which groups the ten municipalities made up Medellin and those around them, has created an animalistic campaign to protect  dogs and cats that also suffer from this activity, called "La Huellatón" where the owners register their pets recording their tracks, so to call for the protection of these animals with gunpowder.

All the campaigns that have been created to reduce the number of people burned by gunpowder, care for dogs and cats, and turn the page in order to leave behind the culture adhered to by criminal gangs in the 80s and 90s , have been effective in the fact that the problems associated with the use of gunpowder are recognized, but lack of appropriation of the change of culture, of thought and uprooting to events that generated pain in Medellin and Colombia.


Latin American Post | Mariana Parra


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