I’m all paradoxed out


There is a nifty system in place in Medellín’s interchange metro station, San Antonio.

Those arriving on one line leave by one set of door and stairs,

and those joining the train wait on the other side on metal bridges.

(The only exception is when it is raining.

Then those joining the train are allowed to wait on the other side

so they don’t have to get wet.)


The other day I was walking down the stairs to join the other line,

when a policeman raced up the stairs to catch a man coming up the wrong side.

With an embarrassed grin the wrongdoer immediately turned back.


In other words: Zero tolerance = very effective.


But it got me thinking about impunity in Colombia,

thoughts that went something like this:

Man goes down wrong stair in the metro: instantly caught.

Hundreds of thousands of women abused in the conflict: very few convictions,

and 82% of victims don’t even report the crime to the authorities.

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