BOGOTA – A Colombian journalist who has traveled endlessly around his country to write books and articles, and who consequently has a deep understanding of its worst problems, says that many guarantees are wanted for the peace accord with the FARC to take effect, because there are regions where the government’s presence is practically non-existent.
“The real problem is the government’s failure to take action in territories where it has never been present, so it has never considered the complaints of communities that were totally against the peace accord,” journalist Alfredo Molano said in an interview with EFE.
Molano presented at the 30th Bogota International Book Fair (Filbo), which ends this Monday, his new book, “De Rio en Rio” (From River to River) under the Aguilar label, which is a “look at the black territories” along the Pacific, among the most forgotten but hardest hit by Colombia’s armed conflict.
The book compiles articles and travel notes on the Pacific region that he wrote over the years, when his adventurous spirit led him to travel through the jungles of that region and report what he saw.
“For me the reporting complements the travels, and seems like a moral obligation of the traveler, since that search for the unknown with all its surprises is what drives the adventures of an explorer,” Molano said.
That sense of moral obligation is evident in “De Rio en Rio,” in which the sociologist, writer and journalist documents more than 30 years of violence and illegal activities in the Pacific region, which he describes as “one of the most mysterious and captivating places in the country.”
Molano is the author of numerous works on life in Colombia, and as such is an undoubted authority on the peace pact signed last November with the FARC to end over half a century of armed conflict, which he has studied in depth and to which he has dedicated countless articles, essays and books.
“As long as the government is incapable of monopolizing arms, we will always be bordering on conflict, and if the government does not manage to fulfill its basic functions, it will have neither a monopoly over justice nor over national territory,” he said with the experience of his 73 years, most of them spent studying his country.
The author, who last year was honored with the prestigious Simon Bolivar Prize for his life and work as a journalist, said the award was a “symbolic way” to welcome the peace accord, because, he added, “If it hadn’t been for that favorable circumstance, I wouldn’t even have been considered.”