A politician from the Colombian department of Antioquia has come under fire over his use of offensive colloquialisms.
As mentioned in Colombia Reports, provincial legislator Rodrigo Mesa used silly language to describe his opposition to a program aiding the neighboring province of Choco. “The money you will invest in Choco is like adding perfume to a turd,” said the politico as seen in the following video:
“When you go to a party at someone's home, the first thing is to clean the house so when guests arrive they find an organized home. But if they find some shitty, dirty diapers everywhere they are going to criticize," added Mesa in reference to the country’s poorest department and whose residents are mostly people of African descent.
Mesa’s comments led to heavy criticism from numerous public figures such as an “embarrassed” Antioquia Governor Sergio Fajardo. The head of the Liberal Party, which Mesa belongs to, said that he might “open a disciplinary process” against the legislator.
The harshest reaction may have come from federal senator Carlos Alberto Baena who alleged that Mesa could be tried under anti-discrimination laws and might serve three years in prison if convicted.
Mesa was initially reluctant to apologize and even tried to defend his remarks by making the odd claim that his use of the Spanish word bollo was meant to describe a fight rather than a turd. (It should be noted that here is no such saying in the Spanish-speaking world alluding to “putting perfume on a turd”).
Ultimately, Mesa finally presented a partial apology in an interview with a local radio station.
“All that I meant to say was that Antioquia funds should stay in Antioquia and not be used elsewhere,” said Mesa who added that he only regretted his “use of words” but not the argument he made.
Video Source – YouTube via cablenoticiastv
Online Sources – Radio Santa Fe, Colombia Reports, El Espectador, Semana.com, El Tiempo