Regardless of whether or not Pope Francis’ visit has political objectives, many political leaders in Colombia have written the Pope to describe the current situation of Colombia. Today, you can add former Senator and 2018 Presidential Candidate Piedad Córdoba to that list.
Piedad Córdoba wrote to the pope, saying that peace and hope are complementary and important to the country. In the letter, she rails against elitists policies that only benefit the already advantaged, remarks that a change of mindset in the population.
We bring you Córdoba’s letter, translated into English, in entirety:
“Dear Pope Francis:
It is an honor for all Colombia to have your presence in our land. This honor is owed not only to your position as leader of the Catholic Church but to the example you provide by carrying out your duties as the Pope. From the first moment, you raised your voice to an unfair system that favors only a few, at the expense of most. I still remember the words you used at the World Meeting of Popular Movements in Rome last year: “What is happening to the world today that when a bank becomes bankrupt, millionaire sums intervene to save it, but when the humanity is in bankruptcy –alluding to the refugee crisis in Europe- not even a thousandth part of that appears to save our sisters and brothers who greatly suffer?.
You arrive to a hopeful country, but one in which many people still live in that bankruptcy you mentioned. Peace is able to open paths we could never imagine before, but it will be impossible to travel those paths if we do not understand that Colombia needs a change. You, like me, are a Latin American and you understand that inequality is one of the biggest scourges in our land. That inequality is especially important for us Colombians. We have more than 9 million people in poverty, a huge mass of excluded people that don’t have a dime for a system that limits itself to give people “scraps”, as you said a few months back.
However, there are also millions of people that, without being considered as poor by frivolous statistics, permanently live at the edge of the precipice. These people are men and women that spend all of their free hours, every day, to work in underpaid jobs, in precarious conditions; they are mothers and fathers who struggle more and more every day to meet their nutritional needs; they are the youth that is currently unemployed and has to emigrate; college students who can’t work in jobs that match up their qualifications because neoliberal policies privilege the massive exportation of foreign goods versus national production, and this has devastated this country’s industry…
None of this happens by chance. These are the consequences of a radical system that revolves around the God of money and not around human beings, according to a definition of yours that I am now using if I may, Holy Father. The political elites that should be working for the majority now continue to be involved in shameful cases of corruption that scandalize all good people.
Nonetheless, I am convinced that for the first time in many decades, the popular majorities of Colombia are convinced that things will now change. Another Colombia is not only possible, not only necessary but inevitable. The desire for change is uncontrollable. Your brave voice against all the injustices, Pope Francis, is one of the pillars for this new illusion. Undoubtedly, you visit will reinforce the faith that a new Colombia, more kind to all of its people is waiting for us. And this is a Colombia that we will all contribute to building. Because as you correctly said, Holy Father, “the future of humanity is fundamentally in the hands of the nations” “.