By Rocio Arango Giraldo
COLOMBIA: When I was a child, my grandmother used to say to me that â€œthe most important thing is to tell the truth.â€ Now, that Iâ€™m an adult and a citizen (voter), I observe with uneasiness how, in the world, the truth is an object that the powerful people use for their own interests.
For example, we have had to listen about the â€œparapolÃticaâ€ â€” a political scandal that linked Colombian Senator supporters of President Alvaro Uribe with â€œparamilitares,â€ a terrorist group.
After some months in jail, the Senators were released from jail. Many of them have had to renounce their Senate seats because of prosecution by the Attorney General and judged by the Supreme Court.
If they got out of jail, it is because the accusations against them, that they had abandoned the weapons for which they were put in jail, were determined not to be true. The situation was used by the people who oppose the government and to attack President Uribe, although the popularity of the President is higher than 80% and his supporters doubt the objectivity of the Supreme Court.
I am not interested in taking a position in either favor or against the ruling. I want to reflect on the truth but I donâ€™t want to debate â€œWhat is the truth?â€ The Greek philosophers approached this question perfectly and its from their example that I want to invite us to think â€” â€œWhich truth is our truth?â€
Which is the truth that builds our democratic institutions?
Do we believe everybody or is it different when a person is a killer?
I think that our concept of the truth as a value is a cross of Spanish volunteerism and the real politics of North Americans. Itâ€™s for this reason that we believe who is in front. But truth isnâ€™t a value of our democracies. In our constitutions, there isnâ€™t a meaning of the word â€œtruth.â€
There are only ways to find it but there doesnâ€™t exist an answer to the question, â€œWhat is the truthâ€ and â€œ Who tells the truth?â€ In our social structure, the truth isnâ€™t a value either. For this reason, many women yield to their vanity to take care of their looks without caring about the consequences, medically or otherwise.
So, the question is: Where is truth as a value in our politics of state?
If the deceit started when the Spanish conquerors lied to the natives only to steal their gold and enrich themselves, which was a very painful situation for the people in America, why havenâ€™t we Latin Americans learned how to tell the truth?
After more than 500 years, we continue to put other things before our democratic values! We should pay attention to history. If we want progress and to obtain social development, we should base our historical strategy on the foundation of truth being an ethical value. Otherwise, I think we lose precious time in making ethical decisions about problems that face the country â€” and in the process makes us poorer for it.
Learn more about RocÃo:
RocÃo Arango Giraldo is 21-years-old and lives in MedellÃn Colombia. She studied Political Science at the University of Colombia, as well as, Social Communication, Public Management, and Strategy and Public Knowledge at the Mexico City campus of the Technology Institute of Monterrey.
RocÃo is a member of the Conservative
I am member of the Colombian Conservative Party (Partido Conservador Colombiano) where she works in political marketing, social and policy investigation and foreign affairs.
She also works as a young democratic participant with the Democratic Christian Organization of America and has written for such prestigious Colombian publications as El Colombiano, El Tiempo and others.
But something she is most proud of is her advocacy for people with disabilities.
I fight for the rights of disabled persons like me.