situation in Bogota

situation in Bogota

[ Dec.2016 ] We started our sightseeing in Bogota, Colombia at 9:30 am on the day we arrived.

First, we headed for Monserrate.

Before arriving there, the information we got from our guide was interesting.

Bogota is divided into 6 zones.

Zone 1 and 2 are areas for the poorest people, zone 3 and 4 are for the middle class and zone 5 and 6 are for the wealthy people and our hotel was situated in the zone 6.

Depending on the zone, the rent, energy and water bills and tax are different and of course they are cheapest in the zone 1 and most expensive in the zone 6.

We learned later that this system is not only for Bogota, but also for other cities such as Medellin and Cartagena.

According to Andie, our guide, many people who ran away from their homeland because of the drug wars started building their own houses in Bogota without getting any permits and because the condition of their living and the crime rate were so bad, the government started this system in 1994.

Thanks to that, those unlawful residents now can live in Bogota cheaply and lawfully.

But at the same time, the feeling of discrimination depending on the addresses was born among people.

Andie herself lives in the middle class zone and she said “I tried to live in the zone 5 one time just because it was easy to get to work, but after a while I had to move out, because it was too expensive”.

By the way, her father is a tour guide, too and he is the expert in this field as he has been doing it for 12 years.

On the way, we saw some people sleeping on the pavement.

They were the people who were kicked out of a building which used to be a nest of drug dealing before the government demolished it.

There are many kinds of race in Colombia, but apparently the race and the level of wealth are not linked there.

The previous president, Uribe, the one before current president Santos who achieved the peace agreement with the guerrillas, took drastic measures to eradicate the criminal organisations for the security of the country.

Andie said “I do not like him because he killed great many people ignoring human rights, but it is true that because of him, we live safer now”.

Perhaps Uribe was similar to Duterte in the Philippines.

In the meantime, we arrived at the cable car station for the hill of Monserrate.

The altitude of Bogota is 2600 metres and the top of Monserrate is 3200 metres.

Fortunately we did not have any signs of altitude sickness, but it was a hard work just to go up a gentle slope.

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