Today I belatedly heard that the richest man in Colombia Luis Carlos Sarmiento who defines monopoly (through owning 4 major banks and financial institutions in the country plus lots more in central America) was criticised for illegally abusing power as he held up the traffic last Friday.

For sure many residents of Bogotá, like me, have suffered the same treatment before, finding ourselves suddenly unable to keep moving on the road, whether walking or driving, when some unidentifiable ‘VIP’ who is powerful enough acts like an ambulance by sending one of his entourage of motorcycles to block cars crossing the junction in order to pass without waiting at the red light.

Whenever I saw these barbarians holding up traffic on the road I was always indignant at how they could possibly do so in the city. Since it is always such a scene, I assumed I was seeing the president pass by every time, or some hotshot ministers who have special protection and power. Though I never thought it was an ordinary person who has absolutely no right to do so. Who would have thought a businessman can do that?

I’m glad Daniel Mejia the secretario de seguridad of Bogotá pointed this out on Friday. Just like what I saw last year (see post below), this is exactly what makes Colombia a developing country. Although I’m glad that the incident has got international coverage, having been picked up by the BBC, I’m also smitten that it won’t make a difference ultimately. It’s just one of the myriad of scandals inthe drama-riden country that will soon be buried in its very short term memory.


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