Andrés Buriticá Restrepo
United States Hegemony and its Influence on Paisa Culture
The United States seems destined by Providence to
plague America with misery n the name of liberty
—Simón Bolivar
The stigma of Paisas–natives of Medellin and its surroundings–being involved in drug trafficking has been ongoing since their victory of the Colombian-Cuban drug war in Miami during the seventies. In the streets of Colombia the story is different. Millions of citizens are haunted by memories of homicide, kidnapping and extortion. Colombians fear narcotraficantes because they have witnessed over and over how they betray their countrymen to achieve their purposes. To avoid crime and violence Colombians have protested, formed paramilitary groups against the narcotraficantes and thousands have given up their lives. Colombian citizens, including Paisas, are not in agreement with the trafficking of drugs. Most unfortunately, the effort of the majority of Colombians to end this war is overshadowed by the wrongdoing of a few. United States hegemony has ultimately shifted the blame to the oppressed country. Many Colombians feel guilty because of the constant criticism they receive f!
rom the United States. And many Colombians have paid for the narcotraficantes' evils. The country has been penalized and put down by the international community. But the highest price hasn't been paid
in blood. The children have paid it. A stigma of guilt and inferiority is automatically enforced upon every child that is born in Colombia. This disgraceful process of changing ideas about oneself to be replaced by ideas from a hegemonic state is called transculturation. (Spitta 3). Colombian transculturation has occurred on two levels: Colombians believe they are responsible for the drug consumption in the United States and they blame themselves for the violence the country suffers because of it. Pais…