Old dogs can’t learn new tricks?

With the finality to help end the internal conflict in Colombia, few years back the government started a plan to “demobilize” the insurgent forces at large. This means that the state has assured the members of the different outlaw forces that if they, voluntarily, surrender their weapons and leave the armed conflict they will be pardoned completely, they will be even protected by the army and police against any people with grudges. At first many demobilized guerrilla members had trouble getting back into society, just like ex-cons all around the world. If it is hard to find employment for a normal citizen, you can imagine how it is with people who broke the law with violence. That is why the government went as far as starting programs to “reinsert” the demobilized, finding them jobs or helping them out to finance their own business. All these programs were meant not only to help the new “reformed” citizens but to incite others to demobilize as well.

I truly understand how difficult and tedious can it be for a person to find a job in this country with the current economy events around the glove (that are finally starting to change for good), after all I am an unemployed myself, but without all the hindrance that an ex-outlaw has, and yet I have been without a job for over 9 months now. Things can get crazy; you have bills to pay and just waking up every morning and “breathing” costs money but the trick is never to desist, there is always a way.

This is what 3 demobilized FARC members didn’t understand, and what so many other “reformed” citizens miss. They think that they don’t have any other choice, that they don’t have any skill other that violence and delinquency and hence end up in the wrong path again. The 3 demobilized I mention are Alejandro Palacio Rengifo, AKA The cat, Edilberto Berrío Ortiz and Anderson Chamapuro Dogirama, ‘The Tiger’ that kidnapped a Cuban-American for ransom.

These men just ruin it for the guys that really want to leave the shooting and the violence behind because acts like these, the kidnapping and burglary that is common in other examples, create in the rest of the people a strong prejudice and increase discrimination against demobilized, not to mention the indirect proposal to recur in violence and criminal acts to find a way out of the hole to others like them.

When criminals, usually burglars, are questioned on the reasons for them to commit the crimes, the usual response is “I had no other way, I was desperate”. I say: ‘those responses are nothing more than excuses’, and lame ones for that matter. Many people in the same situation prefer to do whatever it takes to earn an honest living, then why can’t they do it?


1 Response to “Old dogs can’t learn new tricks?”

  1. January 19, 2012 at 2:38 am

    Some genuinely choice posts on this site, saved to fav.

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