Colombia's Pacific region
More than perfume, please
The poverty-stricken Pacific eludes attempts to improve it
A grim view of the ocean
FOR decades, Colombia's masters have told the world, and their own citizens, that they cherish being a Pacific power—and they truly want their poor Pacific region to catch up with more vibrant places, for example on the Caribbean coast. Getting anyone to believe that is harder.
The latest rallying cry was sounded in the port of Buenaventura by President Juan Manuel Santos on October 25th. He unveiled new details of a 400m development strategy for the Pacific coast, including a pledge of 12m to provide drinking water for every resident of the city. Admitting that people had heard all this before, he vowed: “This time...it is not a strategy that comes from the capital...it will be implemented and supervised from here.”
Yet as Colombia booms—the central bank forecasts growth at 5% for 2014—the Pacific part lags. In Buenaventura, the country's second biggest container port, huge ships sail past wood-slat houses where taps flow for three hours a day at most, children are ill-fed and violence is rife. Unemployment in the port exceeds 40%, and elsewhere in the forested, mountainous region things are worse.
Governments have tried to help. Over the past 40 years there have been master plans, policy papers and road maps. Some focus on infrastructure, some on ecology, others on poverty. But they tend to peter out. That is despite the fact that in foreign policy, Colombia holds dear its status as a Pacific nation. It has dreamed for two decades of joining the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum, whose members account for 63% of its trade and 50% of foreign investment. And Colombia founded—along with Mexico, Peru and Chile—the Pacific Alliance trade group which has slashed tariffs.
As part of the latest Pacific plan, authorities have dusted off old projects, including one for a pipeline and a railway to stretch from oilfields in the east to Buenaventura. Another calls for a “corridor” to link the Caribbean and Pacific by river and road through Choco province.
Such plans need to offer economic gains for ordinary folk and protection for the area's biodiversity, says Luis Gilberto Murillo, a man from Choco whom Mr Santos has asked to head the latest initiative.
But there is mistrust between Pacific residents and the capital. National power-brokers balk at letting light-fingered local authorities handle funds. A provincial assembly member from the country's north was banned from politics by Colombia's inspector-general for 13 years after voicing these suspicions in a way deemed racist; he said, in 2012, that “investing money in Choco is like putting perfume on a turd.”
Meanwhile Pacific locals resent plans made in Bogota. “The plans aren't for us, they are for big businessmen,” says Mario Riascos, a community leader in Buenaventura. Acceptance by residents is crucial, as 84% of land in the Pacific region is subject to collective-title rights granted to black and indigenous groups. The introduction of such rights in 1993 was seen as a triumph for the poor, but business leaders say it hurt growth. A port manager in Buenaventura says it makes life much harder for firms needing access to land.
Already the grand plan sounds hollow to some. On November 4th Buenaventura residents protested because some districts have had no water for ten days.
1.attempt to 尝试，企图
These books attempt to explain why that is, and what, if anything, should be done about it.
“We shall attempt to answer it in this book, ” he wrote.
2.catch up with 赶上，追上；逮捕
We'll do our best to catch up with the advanced world levels.
They should take some crash courses to catch up with their classmates.
3.at most 至多
At most, you might ask why?
I do it for maybe an hour at most.
4.focus on 集中于
Focus on who you want to be and how you want to feel.
Next, we turn from the disk subsystem to focus on the processors.