Politica popular

May 10, 2011 in

Falta vergüenza, falta verdad
Falta en tu mente la libertad
Faltan monedas para viajar
Faltan fabricas, falta hasta el pan.

Falta buen día, como te va
Faltan vecinos para matear
Faltan esquinas, falta quemar
Faltan amigos, falta confiar.

Faltan abrazos, falta emoción
Faltan gestos de buen corazón
Falta tu risa, falta el calor
Faltan trabajos, falta un motor

Sobran políticos, sobran políticos

Missing shame, missing truth
Missing the liberty in your heart
Missing money to travel
Missing factories, missing for feeding

Missing good day, how are you
Missing neighbours to drink mate with
Missing corners, missing smoke
Missing friends, missing trust

Missing hugs, missing emotion
Missing gestures of good heart
Missing your laugh, missing the heat
Missing work, missing a motor

Superfluous are politicians, superfluous are politicians

There is a special truth in that song for Central America, and especially for Guatemala. From the countries I have seen in Central America (so, excluding Honduras, San Salvador and Belize), Guatemala seemed to be poorest, most corrupt and dangerous. In Guatemala, a lot of things seem to be missing. But one thing is certainly not missing: As a taxi driver told me, there are about 36(!) political parties, though he added that “only” about 12 have a realistic chance to get into parliament.
He also told me that currently the country is governed by the wife of the president. And that the same is now getting a divorce just to be allowed by law to run for president in the next elections. As long as they are in power, they can not be prosecuted as the president seems to enjoy some kind of immunity. Why is that important? Here it comes:
The president and his wife have been formally accused to several murders – in a videotaped message of the victims lawyer that was to be released in the media in case of his (the lawyers) death! Sounds like a movie, doesn’t it? – “If you watch this, I am probably already dead….”.
I don’t know about the details of the accusations, but do make a google or wikipedia search if you are so inclined. What I know is that the news of this incident died down within a few weeks and since seems to be forgotten by the media.

Street scene in Huehuetenango (huehue = way-way)

This is how the buses in Guatemala look like ♥

I was currently leaving Guatemala City in a bus into the mountains which – as usual – stopped for every passenger on the main road but otherwise was in such a hurry that the bus driver had to overtake all other cars on the road and rev the engine every time he accelerated, leaving a black cloud of smoke. 30km/h limit signs were blatantly ignored. (Perhaps this was because of the fact that his speedometer always showed 0km/h? Well, at least there were no traffic lights he could run :-))

The main street of Guatemala City leading out of the city was lined with election posters that show the many different visages that want to be president after the next elections. The difference between the modern megasized posters which rose high above and the dirty and chaotic street life was striking. The politicians depicted on the posters looked like they come from another world or at least another country – I couldn’t really make out any difference between all these parties, anything they would stand for, anything they want to or don’t want to do when they are in power. I would have thought that in a country with that many problems, politicians would be more outright with what they want to do when in power but the opposite seems to be the case.
The only thing I read were hollow phrases like “Baldizón. yes he can!”, “Only the people can save the people” (Lider), “There will come better times for everyone” (UCN), “Guatemala, I accept you for what you are” (UNE + GANA, the presidents wife), “I love Guatemala, I am a patriot” (Patriota) or, the best:

“Different!” (Creo) (- this is even better than Obama’s “Change”)

Another one of these house-paintings, they are everywhere. I heard that this particular party offers that if they may put their logo on your house, they will pay for the paint to paint your house… oh man.

The scenic serpentine road from Solola to Panajachel gave great views onto the Atitlan lake, we came by even a few waterfalls. However, the landscape around the streets has been disfigured by taggings of the logos of the various political parties on the bare rock. Did they try to mark their territory? ;-)

A French student that currently studies in San José (Costa Rica) explained to me hat democracy works differently here. It’s called “popularism” – officially it is a democracy but there is no deep democratic culture or tradition here. One could assert the people just vote for a new dictator every few years here – perhaps that guy who gives out the most presents before the elections?

We got this from some people handing out info on the Lider party. Now, what do you think does it say about what exactly they want to achieve when in power?