Dear World Media, Please Give Colombia a Break

Colombia, South America, a country with a bad reputation thanks to the world’s media, Pablo Escobar and war. In the 80s and 90s Colombia was thrust onto the world’s stage for feeding America’s drug problem, war, kidnappings, Guerrilla and FARC. When people think of Colombia 20 – 30 years on that’s what they still believe the country is all about. Yes everyone knows Pablo died but any media story still, in 2016, involving Colombia I can pretty much guarantee is a negative feature with some reference to drugs or violence. This has been even more present thanks to movies and tv shows such as Narcos.
Colombia has moved so far forward in the last 20- 30 years that there is rarely any evidence of the war on drugs and Colombia is in the process of negotiating a peace treaty and ending the war.
Colombia is one of the most up and coming countries in South America, steps ahead of the rest of South America in technology, education and medicine, and Bogota is fast becoming the new hub for multi-national companies. With all these positive things happening within the country, why is the media still reporting and giving Colombia a negative image? If Colombia was still a dangerous place, why has the country been voted the happiest country in the world for the last two years in a row (with 87% of Colombians stating that they are happy)? 

Media Coverage

News and the media love to publish articles titled ‘Cocaine farm destroyed in Colombia’, ‘(a number of) people murdered in Colombia’ or ‘ UK or US Government help Colombia fight war’. Whilst all of these articles and stories are true, the whole country shouldn’t be blamed. For example ‘Cocaine farm destroyed in Colombia’ should be retitled as ‘Cocaine farm destroyed in remote area of Colombian rainforest, thousands and thousands of miles away from civilisation’ or ‘(a number of) people murdered in Buenaventura, a city where Colombia’s violence and war is concentrated to, thousands of miles away from the next big city’- making sense? If it was a story about America or England they wouldn’t generalise the whole country: no one headlines an article ‘thousands die in America’ or ‘Marijuana lab destroyed in England’ so why do they do it about Colombia?

Colombia Reality

Colombia is actually one of the most amazing countries I have ever visited; it’s a country which has it all, Caribbean and Pacific coast beaches and islands, Amazon Rainforest, Andes Mountain ranges, desert and plains. Colombia is a country on the Equator, giving it a year round isothermal climate (only varying within regions and altitude). I was blown away when I first visited the country so I thought ‘how can a country so amazing still have such a bad reputation’?!
Colombian people are the nicest people I have ever met and the year round climate gives Colombia some of the best and freshest food in the world. Colombia also doesn’t buy into the materialistic or self indulged culture, but everyone has national pride and loves a good celebration alongside being active and healthy. In Colombia there is no sense of self entitlement, the little things are the big things and you work for what you get.
Yes Colombia still has some problems, but what country in the world doesn’t.