SOS Bogota or SSDD (Same Shit Different Day)

My voice is just one from 8 million souls stranded on this altiplano island that is Bogota, and we are all screaming out an SOS as one! (\cdots---\cdots). But in reality it’s just a case of same shit different day (SSDD). We may be 2600m closer to the stars and have a well educated citizenry but, presently, until something drastic happens we’re in a flatspin.


Traffic accident in Bogota on the Carrera Septima and Calle 67

Yesterday I wandered from home along the Septima only to view the aftermath of a terrible traffic accident. A bystander who happened to see everything shared with me that the public bus had accelerated down the Calle 67 to make the dying seconds of the green light to cross the Septima. The driver’s gamble was disasterous. Combine the speed of the bus with an overeager motorcyclist out of the traps on the southbound side of the Septima. All I can say is that my thoughts go out to him and his family. The motorcycle was destroyed, the bus lost the windscreen suggesting to me that the motorcyclist was thrown up into the air on impact and then through the bus window.

road accident

An ambulance takes the pedestrian away

Today, just as the skies were bruising to bathe us in the ubiquitous mid afternoon rain shower that is so frequent at this time of the year, I thought I’d take advantage of a rare bright moment to head out to the gym. Here it was, SSDD. At the same intersection on the same southbound lane at the same hour. Another accident.

To me it looked like a private vehicle had hid a pedestrian crossing where there was no crosswalk with tragic results. Even the workmen on the new construction on the 68th had paused from laying cement to watch procedures.

road accidents

Yesterday’s accident and today’s

So frankly, I’m furious and despairing. Only 25 paces down the Calle 67 there’s a mobile CAI (police station), presumably they could send a couple of Traffic Police to man this CAI and this deadly junction…would that be too much to ask?

Police in Bogota

The CAI on the Cale 67

I refrained from writing this blog for a few hours while my anger simmered away, but, in the end I felt it needed to be shared. Nothing ever gets done. Congressional elections have come and gone, accusations of vote rigging and electoral foul play continue and yet these self important pendejos with their empty promises will do everything to get into power and then presumably do nothing. Oh hang on, it’s a Castrista Chavismo conspiracy being run out of Havana and Caracas (if you agree with Alvaro Uribe, that is).

You can replace this accident hot spot in Bogota with any other one in the city, and then, you could replace Bogota’s finest with those of any other city here really. Colombia Reports published a story of rising instances of vigilantism in Medellin due to the “incompetence” of the city’s police force. It’s all interchangeable here in Colombia, one knife fight on the Primero de Mayo or in a Comuna or a pothole in El Poblado or Rosales.

Bogota is in her SOS moment, she effectively has no mayor, no one is stepping up, the authorities deliver half measures to try and cope until there’s a new elected official in place, but until then, what? As friends of mine succintly put it in a film made in 2010, Same Shit Different Day.


About Richard

Anglo-Canadian resident in Colombia. Journalist, Writer, Hotelier, Expedition Guide
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3 Responses to SOS Bogota or SSDD (Same Shit Different Day)

  1. Gastarbeider says:

    I live a few blocks away from this. Did not know of either. Sadly it comes as no surprise.

  2. Daniel Buitron says:


    I couldn't agree more. I go to Bogota once a year and while I was there for just 3 days in February, I felt the abismal condition the city is in. The saddest part is that everyone think that Bogota is a world class city, it's not. It should be, but too many people are powerless in a city of too many nobodies.

    I hope that the new mayor will fix the many things which need fixing, and quick. However, as everything in Colombia, change is difficult to accomplish, specially timely change.

    My best wishes go out to those you live and survive the daily grind that is Bogota.

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