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Colombia: 201 Years of Independence

As we announced in a recent post, Colombia commemorated its day of independence this past July 20. The Internet, as expected, was the scene of many opinions and events that varied from pride of having been born in said country to political criticism, even including Anonymous’ actions on the social network accounts of many politicians (including current President Juan Manual Santos).

Twitter opinions

Despite the fact that the country's complex realities are not unknown, there were many who declared “Happy Independence Day” to one another and made their pride of having been born in Colombia public. This was the case for Nicolás Paz Velasco (@npazvelasco) and Erika Mora (@iitamora), who posted:

y a estas alturas solo puedo decir: “yo no elegí nacer en Colombia simplemente tuve mucha suerte” otro #diadelaIndependencia que ya termina!

and at this point, I can only say: “I did not choose to be born in Colombia, I was just very lucky” another #IndependenceDay that has come to an end!

María T. Gonima (@Mategonima), points out Colombians’ ability to smile:

#I♥Colombia pq a pesar de los problemas, nunca dejamos de sonreír.. #diadelaindependencia

#I♥Colombia because despite the problems, we never stop smiling.. #IndependenceDay

And Cristhian Rojas (@CristhianRojasG) says, euphorically:

Que hoy se quiebren los floreros y se grite INDEPENDENCIA! Que suene el Himno Nacional de la REPÚBLICA DE COLOMBIA. #DIADELAINDEPENDENCIA RT

Let the vases break today and let us yell INDEPENDENCE! Let the national anthem of the REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA play. #INDEPENDENCEDAY RT

Nevertheless, many also took advantage of the occasion to post the things that confront them in the country. Pilar Dique (@Pililu) asks:

Me pregunto, ¿cuál independencia? si lo que parece es que cambiamos de dueños. #diadelaindependencia.

I ask myself, what independence? if it seems as though we simply change rulers. #independenceday.

Santiago Rodríguez (@sruls), invites this reflection:

El #diadelaindependencia debería ser un momento para reflexionar si de verdad somos independientes y si después de 201 años hemos avanzado

The #dayofindependence should be a moment to reflect on whether we are truly independent and if we have advanced after 201 years

Michelle Pineda (@MickeyPineda), comments:

Se acabó el #díadelaindependencia, hoy hace 201 años, los que sí eran héroes ya podían dormir sabiendo que una gran parte ya estaba hecha.

The #dayofindependence has ended, on this day 201 years ago, those who were heroes can now sleep knowing that a large part was already done.

And Juanita Cortés L (@JuanitaCortesL), says:

en el #diadelaindependencia los colombianos deberíamos exigir nuestros derechos, luchar por hacer un lugar mejor

on #independenceday, we Colombians should demand our rights, fight to make a better place

A flag in reverse

Many tweets surfaced like those of @MiltonTrujillo, who published an image, via Twitpic, of a flag waving in reverse:

#soycolombiano #soysemana #bicentenario por los millones de colombianos que trabajan festivos para sobrellevar el desempleo #banderaAlreves
#Iamcolombian #bicentennial for the millions of Colombians that work holidays to overcome unemployment #flagINreverse

A house with a reversed flag, by @Milton Trujillo and used with permission

Actions by Anonymous

As noted in the beginning of this post, Colombian independence was not a trending topic on the Internet solely on behalf of the citizens in the days surrounding the occasion, but also through the actions of the group Anonymous on the accounts of the country's politicians’. The current President's Facebook account was hacked, as was that of ex-President, Álvaro Uribe on Twitter [es]. On both occasions, the group left a video [es], which according to Adictos Geek's [es] references, they affirm:

Anonymous no pretende desvalorar la acción de los libertadores, pero sí hacer caer en cuenta que celebramos algo que nunca hemos obtenido de una manera totalitaria y que si no hacemos algo no podemos cambiar el pensamiento arcaico que aún tenemos. El 20 de julio Colombia no debería celebrar, debería exigir sus derechos y libertades en todo ámbito”, son las ultimas palabras del mensaje.

Anonymous does not pretend to devalue the liberators’ actions, but make others realize that we are celebrating something that we have never obtained in a totalitarian manner and that if we don't do something, we cannot change the archaic view that we still maintain. On July 20, Colombia should not celebrate, it should demand its rights and freedoms in every which way,” these are the last words of the message.

The event generated a Trending Topic under the hashtag: #Uribepenetrated. Nonetheless, this was not all, Anonymous later attacked the page of the National Police Force and revealed databases with personal information of police force members.  Given the climate of insecurity and violence that continues to live in certain Colombian zones, many Twitter users have labeled this action as irresponsible:

@lncognito Lo bueno de estupideces como la de Anonymous de hoy es que los deslegitiman mas… Una tira de pendejos tratando de llamar la atencion 20 Jul via web
@lncognito The good thing about Anonymous’ stupidity today is that it delegitimizes them even more… A group of idiots trying to call attention to themselves Jul 20 via web
@FCBosque Usar las tácticas del oponente supone inexistencia de reflexión profunda sobre modelos de acción alternativos, auténticos y propositivos. 20 Jul via web
@FCBosque Using your opponent's tactics assumes the non-existence of deep reflection on models of alternative, authentic and pro-positive actions Jul 20 via web

For more opinions on Twitter, follow these hashtags: #independencia#Díadelaindependencia,#MasColombianoque.  (#independence, #IndependenceDay, #MoreColombianthan.)

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