I am loath to jump on the bandwagon and having strained against my better judgment to write something about the brutal murder of the four children in Caquetá some weeks ago, today’s news is too much in that I have to unleash and let it rip. With the revelations regarding a certain Nicolas Gaviria #ustednosabequiénsoyyo (nephew to former President Cesar Gaviria) appearing all over the Colombian press and collapsing online forums and twitter feeds across the country, I have decided to weigh in on each of this delectable character’s comments a few days ago in Bogota’s Zona Rosa. Yes, I have well and truly jumped on this bandwagon.
To clarify the situation here’s a summary of events from last weekend. Young Nicolas had a little run in first with a taxi driver, then with the patrons of a bar and then with the police. Who amongst us hasn’t been drunk and boisterous before? But I’d like to think that the fine patrons of this blog know when to draw the line. I personally believe that I can outrun a speeding bullet when I am three sheets to the wind, but I know better not to mouth off at Colombian authorities. Why did Nicolas do so? Principally because this 29-year-old, believing himself to be estrato 21 (read this BBC piece in Spanish about the estratos in Colombia) and due to his family ties and surname, he would be able to make a phone call to someone of note and be released.
It all began with the bottle of course, not because he did not wish to pay the 200,000 pesos fee a taxi driver was charging for the 26,5km from Chia to the Zona Rosa in Bogotá, although this is a factor. Perhaps 7,547 pesos per km is expensive but as far as we know, the taxi driver (a union I am not fond of) is just reading from his meter. Had Nicolas not been drunk he would not have been foolish enough to catch a cab for this journey. Anyway, he is then either ejected or refused entry into a bar for his drunken behaviour. No, when you watch the clips online, you can see that he is not a loveable drunken rogue, in fact he’s obnoxious and despicable. He has by this point refused to pay the taxi fare and so, as is their custom; one taxi calls another until there is a small army of yellow Daewoos mobilized and present. These guys don’t mess around and routinely clobber the shit out of troublesome clientele. So, the police are called and they arrive with the intention of protecting our little Nicolas.
Nicolas takes offence and reels off a litany of offensive statements ranging from racist to pretentious. Here are a few.
“Usted no sabe quién soy yo”
“You don’t know who I am?” Well buddy, now everyone does. I would expect you to regret the evening’s outburst, but, so far there has been no apology from you regarding you behaviour. You status and surname are not helping you now.
“Usted no sabe con quién se metió”
“You don’t know who you’re messing with.” Nobody cares. This behaviour can get you four years in prison in Colombia although we know this won’t happen. How many bar fights begin with this declaration?
“Yo a usted lo mando a Chocó”
“I’ll have you sent to Choco.” This threat directed at a policeman, there to restrain Nicolas suggests that Choco is of course the worst place to be sent. Send me please! I love it there. What’s wrong with the Choco, Nicolas, you need to elaborate? Send me send me!
“¿qué estudios tiene usted?”
“What studies do you have?” What a beauty! Not only does the whole Colombian department of Choco hate you, but you think you are better than a policeman due to your academic qualifications. Not everyone has enjoyed the opportunities that you have had Nicolas.
So, there you have it, little Nicolas Gaviria has in one fell swoop included racism, education/ ignorance, economics and social standing into a whirlwind of blustering idiocy. Yes, there is a media maelstrom around this event, perhaps too many column inches have been dedicated to Nicolas’ inebriated tantrum, but, once more a floodlight hits the issues of class and equality in Colombia. It’s time for further debate.
Aside from enjoying the memes surfacing about this event I have been noting down a few of the more creative and telling responses to this event on twitter.
Cuantos Colombianos tienen la paciencia de esos dos policías?
How many Colombians possess the patience of those two policemen?
Si sabemos, un pobre niño rico al que los estudios no han servido para nada
Yes, we know who you are, a por Little rich kid whose education is redundant
No, y tampoco me interesa saber quién eres
No, and I am not interested in knowing who you are
Un huevon mas
One more idiot
Sera qué #NicolasGaviria me manda al Choco también? Yo sí quiero conocer ese hermoso lugar Could #NicolasGaviria send me to the Choco as well? I want to see this beautiful region.
Cristobal Colon a un Indio 12 de Octubre 1492
Christopher Columbus to an Indigenous person on October 12 1493
Cesar Gaviria negó tener un familiar con el nombre de Nicolas Gaviria. Yo también lo negaría hasta la muerte!
Cesar Gaviria denied having any family member with the name of Nicolas Gaviria. I too would deny it to the last!