Maria Alejandra Londoño director of Movimiento Libertario Colombia 2018-2020. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Finance and International Trade and a Minor in Humanities. She is an alumna of The Fund for American Studies, founder of the Bogotá, Colombia Chapter of the Ladies of Liberty Alliance, and specialist in Business Intelligence. She is a fervent advocate of liberty exploring topics such as privatization, libertarian feminism, and leadership both in her hometown and throughout Latin America. Soon, she is going to host the LI World Conference in Medellin, Colombia.
1)There is plenty going on in Colombia right now, isn’t there? What are the major events that everyone around the world should be aware of?
Over the past months we’ve experienced different protests around a tax reform that was passed to Congress and also regarding all of the economic restrictions that the quarantine and Covid situation in Colombia made necessary. By now protest has stopped, the government is starting to listen to different actors in politics and it’s making proper changes. For now the restrictions to enter the country and quarantines have stopped.
We are confident that they will remain like that until August given that the vaccinations programs are going according to schedule. Actually, plenty of Colombians are going to the US to get their vaccines.
2) How would you assess and describe the current condition of liberty in Colombia?
The condition of liberty in Latin America in general has been threatened over the past decade. Colombia is actually one of the few countries in the region that hasn’t had a socialist government. We also have a lot of civil liberties though economic freedom is still being threatened.
I believe that Colombia is the last man standing when it comes to freedom in the region and we have to be leaders to guide not only Colombia, but also Latin America in general, towards a more open mindset and also to plant the seed of freedom. We need it now more than ever because of all the new generations and all of the changes that we have experienced in culture because of Covid, technology and of our own history.
I’m confident that Colombia will benefit a lot from the Liberty International network because you guys have all of the experience and the vision on which we can build a libertarian future. With more opportunities for everyone we can teach others through our example on how to live a freer life, a life with purpose and to actually live in freedom as individuals.
3) What are the biggest challenges that Colombians need to face right now?
The biggest challenge in Colombia right now is how can we create more businesses and how can we make the most of the amazing opportunities that we have today in our country thanks to technology and because of all of the amazing human beings that are Colombians.
The world needs to be looking at Colombia and especially in Medellin where there are a lot of business opportunities. There’s a lot of space to grow, though the government has very tight restrictions on taxes and the financial system.
One of the other biggest challenges that Colombia is facing right now is the war on drugs. We’ve been in a Civil War for over 60 years and we’re tired of it and it’s time we start speaking up about the total legalization of drugs but also talking of the taboo of drugs being bad just because.
We need to open the minds of conservative Colombians but also those more left-wing Colombians who think that the solution has to come from the government. We need to show them that the solutions are going to come from the individuals and that we need to create a global conversation around the war on drugs, not only from an economic aspect but also from a spiritual and personal aspect.
4) What is it like to host the Conference at such a particular time?
In 2019 Liberty International took a chance on Colombia and in 2020 Colombia took a chance on Liberty. As you’ve said, it’s a very specific time, but also a very special time to be hosting a Liberty International World conference.
We’ve had a lot of challenges and we find a lot of limits and dead-end roads but we still believe and know that we can thrive. We know now more than ever, we need the seeds of liberty in Colombia, we need the seeds of liberty in Latin America, in South America, and we need all of the expertise the Liberty International network is going to bring.
Colombia is a land of opportunity so we want to showcase that there’s a lot of work to be done in here and especially the amazing network of people that want to work towards freedom in Colombia, to see Colombia flourish so this is the time for Medellin.
We are making history, we’re taking a stand for liberty. This is not just another conference. This is going to be the first conference of Liberty International after the pandemic. We are building a new future. We are rewriting the story and the simple fact that we are willing to take risks for Liberty for me it’s just an amazing indicator.
So today I want to invite you to make history. Today I want to invite you to be part of an amazing opportunity. I invite you to take a stand for liberty not only in Latin America but also in the whole world.
Today the invitation is that you join us in August in Medellin and become a part of Liberty International World Conference 2021, whose main theme is: Market Alternatives to Government.
Interview conducted by Justyna Piątek