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Stereotypes

the journey through countries
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Stereotypical image

Some examples of stereotypes of Colombia are:

  • All the Colombians are drug trafficants, narco trafiker narco guerrillas
  • The most commonly abused stereotype of what a Colombian is: a person who swallows drugs to get them through customs, otherwise known as a "mule"
  • The stereotype the foreigners have is that Colombians are mulatas and mulatos drinking and dancing salsa and cumbia and taking cocktails named “sex on the beach
  • The Colombians are mafia people, Colombia is a violent country
  • 1 Colombian, un sicario. 2 Colombians, a coffee plantation. 3 Colombians, the cartel
  • "Damn Colombians, they shouldn't be in the U.S. they're just a bunch of drug dealers"
    - American Blogger -

The country itself also has its local stereotypes of people who live in certain areas:

  • Paisas inhabitants of Antioquia, perceived as wise entrepeneurs,
    very social, very attached to family, traditions and religion.
    Also called Traquetos because of the Medellin drug cartel
  • Vallunos, people from the cauca valley, very festive people, Cali the capital of salsa, they are also seen as traquetos because of the Cali cartel
  • Costeños, from the coasts of Colombia are happy and extroverted, considered as cool people and festive people. But also lazy and corrupt
  • Opitas, are very pacient people, but also considered as lazy

The Role of media

Different mediatypes emphasises on the (sometimes negative) image of Colombia.
For example in the online dictionary Wordreference the name Colombian is not only related to the origin but also to the production of drugs:

Colombian (adjective)
“of or relating to or characteristic of Colombia or its
people; "Colombian drug dealers"
Colombia, “a republic in northwestern South
America; the major legal crop is coffee but cocaine
is also a major export”


Another example is the videogame Shoot to Kill: Columbian Crackdown
“Players will dive into the world of Columbia's most fierce drug ring, as they must explore the cocaine trafficking with the Drug Enforcement Administration. It is each person's objective to bring to justice the heads of these illegal operations”

Also movies such as Blow, Collateral Damage and Mr. & Mrs Smit are showing stereotypes of the country.

solution

The Colombian government want to fight the negative image of the country. So the government launched a campaign with the slogan "Colombia is Passion". The goal is to change the country's image abroad by inviting the media, celebrities, politicians, and film stars to experience its positive aspects first hand. Also a short movie was released in the local media to increase the local production of local movies in order to change the misconception of Colombians abroad.
   

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