“Volteando”

Today we decided to get a bunch of logistics taken care of in the city.  We had to extend our tourist visas so we don’t have to leave the country on April 12 (!), pay some bills, and submit an official “Right to Petition” in order to request archival documents (about the humanitarian agreements between the mayors in Eastern Antioquia and armed groups between 2001 and 2005).  

Whenever we are in the countryside and we speak to mayors or community leaders who have to go to Medellin to do official business with the government, they call the activity “Volteando,” which loosely translates as “turning in circles” or “to tumble.”  So, when we set out this morning for the administrative center, we knew we had to be emotionally prepared to tumble between generic offices, to run back and forth between distracted civil servants, and to wait patiently for hours to get our tasks done.  

As we walked between the government buildings early this morning we ran into not one, but TWO people we know from Eastern Antioquia – the mayor of Granada and the leader of Asocomunal in San Carlos.  It was so funny running into them both in the city, but it made total sense, because Wednesday is the day that the mayor’s offices close in the countryside so that the mayors can turn in circles here in Medellin. 

After a few dead ends and some long waits, we got our visa extended and the Right to Petition submitted. 

Here’s our proof:

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This is our “Right to Petition.” That sticker on top means it has been officially received by the state government. In theory they have to respond to this request for public information within 15 days. We’ll see what actually happens…

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Our turn.

PS – Yes, careful readers, you are correct in noticing that we did not pay our bills.  With two out of three vueltas down, we were dizzy, and decided to save that for mañana…

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