Jan 14, 2011

The darkness within, Colombian conflict and violence

A few days ago I wrote a tale about a little girl that had to defend herself from an evil young man (check it out here), a man that wouldn’t hesitate to kill, to slaughter a man, a woman, or a child. And within the fantasy of that tale it’s easy to think that such kind of characters are just a figment of people’s imagination, it’s easy to believe such evil characters are just pure fiction.

Two Colombians, biology students from my university (Universidad de los Andes) back in Bogotá were murdered, cold blooded, by some evil men, some degenerated members of the human race, drug dealers, paramilitars? Who cares! Margarita Gómez (23) and Mateo Matamala (26) were found assassinated at the Caribbean cost not very far away from my hometown: it could have been me the one murdered.

And I wonder, why someone could be so evil, so resentful, so hateful, so perverted that would kill people just like that. What kind of monsters does this society breed? People are being murdered right now, at this very moment, somewhere in the world: war, conflict, vengeance, violence... every day, every day, every day.

Is such violent and aggressive behavior part of human nature? Is it a part of the diversity of behaviors that are within the possibilities of our genomes? Is it somehow encoded in a given variant of a gene, or combination of genes and certain given mutations that when present in the proper environmental conditions lead a man or a woman to murder and aggression, to slaughter his or her fellow humans? Murder intent and extreme violence most likely do make part of what humanity is.

This means that the end of war is impossible and the absence of violence is but an unrealizable ideal. There will never be a society where men do not kill other men; there will never be a world where weapons are not fabricated, sold, and used; there will never be a world without prisons and prisoners; there will never be a world ruled by compassion, generosity, and equality.

Is it but a futile enterprise to strive for peace then? Is there such a thing as true peace?


  1. That is sad. I remember traveling through Colombia in 1994. Everyone thought I was crazy. i survived, but I had a few scary moments. I just wish we could all get along and stop all the fighting and violence!

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