24 October 2007

© Franklin J. Viola, Viola Photography. 2007  All Rights Reserved.

Juan Valdez / Bogotá, Colombia

"BE Careful!" The only words I heard when preparing my photo assignment for Colombia. In the mind of most Westerners, the mustachio South American ambassador who woke us up each morning with fresh brewed cafe has been replaced by ruthless "scar-face" cartel bosses. Exploring La Candelaria on foot this morning (the birthplace of Bogotá) I was reminded once again how blind trust in fear-monger government policy and sensationalist media can "color" an entire culture. Instead of marauding bands of weapon toting banditos, this cobblestone historic district was bustling with the youthful-energy of educated university students laughing, smiling and greeting this gringo a sincere "hola" ... Welcome!

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