Things That Matter

A Colombian Politician Was Busted At The Airport Trying To Smuggle 7 Kilos In His Prosthetic Leg

Colombian politician, Víctor Hugo Agudelo didn’t make it on his Frankfurt, Germany-bound flight October 7, after he was caught with $175,000 worth of cocaine stuffed in his prosthetic leg. Agudelo was stopped by Bogotá’s El Dorado International Airport narcotics officers after they noticed he was having trouble walking. They offered their assistance and asked if something was wrong with his leg. From there, an argument broke out, which resulted in a working canine alerting the officers to the presence of drugs.

Agudelo was arrested, and released just hours later on a technicality that nobody quite understands. Many are outraged at the thought that his political privilege exempts him from legal consequences. Since then, Agudelo has continued his campaign, but party leaders aren’t having it.

One police officer recalled that the way Agudelo was dragging his leg roused suspicion.

Credit: @JACOBOSOLANOC / Twitter

The officers approached Agudelo to ask if he was okay to walk. When he got defensive, narcotics officers approached and launched a routine protocol. Later, it was discovered that, in addition to the 7 kilos of prosthetic weight, Agudelo was trying to walk with additional 7 kilos of cocaine stuffed inside the prosthetic. That means his leg weighed around 30 pounds, twice as heavy as usual, and likely pretty uncomfortable to walk around with. 

After the argument finally dispelled, officers assisted him to a body scanner.

Screenshot. Digital Video. City TV. 22 October 2019.

City TV video shows Agudelo being wheeled over to the body scanner. He steps up to the machine and places his hands behind his head. The body scan results were abnormal and prompted the next phase of testing. Officers then passed the prosthetic leg alone through an x-ray machine and were shocked to find the contraband. 

Officers tested his prosthetic for traces of cocaine, which came back positive.

Screenshot. Digital Video. City TV. 22 October 2019.

Agudelo was released just a few hours after his arrest, prompting outrage from other citizens. Public commentary is full of complaints that Agudelo is being treated with the privilege of being a politician. “Of course it is political, anyone would be given 50 years in jail” one Gustavo Cerati said in a comment on Actualidad.

Compounding the outrage is that his crime has been captured on video, but without the consequences that so many other offenders face.

Since his arrest, Agudelo has remained unapologetic.

Credit: Victor Agudelo / Facebook

Nearly two weeks after his arrest, he posted a meme depicting Jesus Christ with the phrase, “The only one who can judge me forgives me.” In the weeks since his arrest, his campaign has posted videos of supporters daily, each meant to represent women, the disabled, the working class, and so on. 

Two days after his arrest and release, he attended a campaign event with William Palomino and Clara Luz Roldán, mayoral and gubernatorial candidates. He’s attended at least one other campaign event since then and continues to aspire to earn a seat as a Council member. “I’m still here with my people, I’m still working, I’m part of the Radical Change group and I’m moving on confidently,” he shared on his social media account. 

The Radical Change group disagrees.

Credit: Victor Agudelo / Facebook

While party leaders can’t force an indictment or further charges brought against Agudelo, they are seeking to remove his party membership and are publicly denouncing his candidacy. In particular, Senator José Luis Pérez has been outspoken about the illegitimacy of Agudelo candidacy at this point. “I reject any action that is outside the law and more in the case of a crime as unfortunate as drug trafficking is,” Senator Pérez told Blu Radio. Pérez also told Actualidad that the police report confirmed that a canine trained in drug-sensitivity was able to find the drug in Agudelo’s prosthesis.

Agudelo was set to be a shoo-in for a council seat in La Unión, in the department of El Valle del Cauca. Today, the jury’s out.

Credit: @JavierBarreraA / Twitter

Cocaine trafficking is commonplace in Colombia, the cocaine production capital of the world. Overnight, narcotics officers arrested and detained two other cocaine traffickers who thought they could hide the narcotics inside their luggage. 

While Agudelo hasn’t faced any legal consequences for his alleged crime, the political consequences are swelling. His party has rejected him, and political cartoonists are glorifying the bizarre incident. Agudelo continues to protest his innocence with claims that only God can judge him.

READ: Colombian Navy Rescues Drug Traffickers Stranded In The Ocean, Floating On Top Of Packets Of Cocaine

Latinas Are Opening Up On Instagram About Why They Didn’t Report Their Sexual Assault And The Stories Are Heartbreaking

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Latinas Are Opening Up On Instagram About Why They Didn’t Report Their Sexual Assault And The Stories Are Heartbreaking

Drew Angerer / Getty

TRIGGER WARNING for victims of assault.

Recently we came across six stories by women who opened up about why they didn’t report their sexual assault via the account @whyididntreport. Heartbreaking, tragic, and also empowering each of these stories were a reminder that not only do we need to believe women but also support them.

As a response to the posts, we asked Latinas what experiences they had with keeping quiet about their assaults.

See their stories below.

Because it was a family member

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“My mom did not believe me because it was her husband … we would always fight and he would put her against me … that’s why I always say my children will always come first … then anyone … even before me and my own needs.” – soley_geez

Because of the statute of limitations

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“I did report. The cop taking notes told me they couldn’t file the report because of the statue of limitation being 10 years. I was reporting 13 years after I was raped. I was 3 years old when it happened. I was 16 when I reported.” – jedi_master_evila

Because she’d been labeled dramatic

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“He was my ex boyfriends cousin and I was intoxicated after a night of partying with a group of friends. I said no over and over again. I never came forward because I was already labeled/seen as “dramatic” by my ex and his friends and figured they wouldn’t believe me.” – love.jes

Because she was punished by her parents

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“I was 12. He was 18. My parents found a note he wrote to me. They spoke harshly with him but never pressed charges and punished me for lying.” 0valicorn_rainbow_pants

Because it was someone she thought loved her

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“I had a boyfriend rape me after I confronted him about lying and cheating. He used it as a way to punish me. And I stayed with him a year after the fact. I’m still processing feelings almost 20 years later. I’ve gone through self-destructive behaviors and tried to push others away. I’m forever grateful my husband showed me I am worthy of a beautiful life even after trauma. To all my fellow trauma survivors…we are worthy of good things.” – thebitchyhippie559

She thought she deserved it

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“He was my “step” grandfather. He molested me from ages 5-10, I was having some rebellious teen years and my parents were trying to find out why. I told them, my dad didn’t talk to me for a few days and after that everyone pretended that nothing happened and the rest of my family never found out. I held on to this secret until I told my parents at about 16 or 17 I was always so embarrassed and thought I deserved it.” – klemus09

She didn’t want to ruin HIS life

“It was my boss. At 15 I felt so bad, bc the wife was the only other person working with us and I was more worried about what this could do to their marriage. I thought I healed but typing this was hard.” –dolores.arts

If you or someone you know needs to report sexual assault, please contact the National Sexual Assault Helpline 800.656.4673 or speak with someone you trust.⁠⠀

Latinas Are Forcing Themselves To Examine How They Are Showing Up For The Black Community

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Latinas Are Forcing Themselves To Examine How They Are Showing Up For The Black Community

Eze Amos / Getty

Months have passed since the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd but members of the Black community continue to fight against police brutality. While news reports of protests might have slowed down, it’s important to know that showing up for Black people has so much power.

Recently, we asked Latinas “How are we showing up for our Black brothers and sisters?” and the answers were pretty humbling.

Recognize the relative privileges we have

“This week has been so, so heavy, but we need to ask ourselves how we are showing up for the Black community outside of the weeks when headlines are grim and cities are on fire. How are we showing up for Black people in our everyday lives? 365 days a year? I am speaking specifically to my community here: [Non-Black] Latinxs, we have so far to go when it comes to protecting the dignity of our own people, I know. I know our people are also hurting. But we HAVE to recognize the relative privileges we have and the ways in which the Black community’s freedom is directly tied to our own. We all deserve dignity. We all deserve the ability to move through the world without fearing for our lives. Some of us haven’t ever had to worry about that—so what are we doing to help those who do worry for their safety and the safety of loved ones every single day? Please pay attention. Please speak out and hold the people in your life accountable. We are ALL responsible. We all need to be doing more—no matter our race or ethnicity. Please, let’s take care of each other.” – @ludileiva

Show up to protests

“Showing up to local peaceful protests and talking to my family and friends about how we need to stand together. It is my hope our black brothers and sisters will stand with us when we have to face our government on DACA and caged children.” – lil_yo11

Donate and give

“Definitely by donating, signing petitions, educating others on issues like this that affect the black community, posting about it, and speaking out when it happens. Our voices and actions definitely need to be heard during this time.”- belleza_xoxo

Continue to fight

“Many of us ARE. And we need to do even MORE. This hurts me because although there is colorism out there, there are also respectful and supporting people who want to do more and more. I hope more people saw that too. Anyways, my family and I will continue fighting strong for this movement. Because BLACK LIVES MATTER. THEY SURELY DO.” – mid.nicole

Hold others accountable

“By holding people accountable. By talking about privilege even if it makes people uncomfortable! Becoming part of the conversation because if you don’t and look the other way you are part of the problem. Make people uncomfortable! Make people realize that our system needs to be redone so justice can be served for our fallen brothers. Being black, being of color shouldn’t be a death sentence.” – koayafilm

Connect with others

“We are each other’s hope 🙏🏽 sharing on your story is great, but never forget the power of human connection. talk to people, have these conversations & hear the pain, empathy & hope in our voices.”- raquelmariaquintana

Educate ourselves and our families

“We show solidarity! There’s still so much racism within our own Latino community over darker skin color. I know because my abuela was Afro Latina.Things need to change. We need to educate our own families about racism. We need to sign petitions, donating, having conversations. I see many people quiet about what’s going on.” – angieusc7

Keep certain words out of your mouth

“Well we could start by abolishing the expressions “negro” y “negra” as a form of endearment to call for someone of dark complexion. I know some will say it’s a form of endearment, but it just degrades the person called upon by only identifying them by their skin colour. You are calling them by their complexion and therefore reducing a whole persons existence and achievements by the colour of their skin.” –christian.aaby

Hold your family accountable

“We have to stand up for each other especially during these times. I’m confronting my own family members who are getting away from the truth. We have to stand up for what we believe not speak negatively about what the reactions are.” – jenmarasc

Create posters for protests

“Creating posters to take to my local police department this Sunday to protest. Signed petition, called the DA, sent cards to the mayor and DA in support of their efforts and demanding criminalization!!! We need to speak louder. Getting involved in my community to provide breath work and yoga to the black community I live in!!” – mexicanameg