Cartagena, un desarrollo excluyente

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Cartagena, a pesar de sus lujos, es una ciudad inequitativa y excluyente.

Por lo menos cuatro tipos de paisajes culturales diferentes, antropológicos si se quiere, presenta la ciudad de Cartagena ante los ojos del visitante. Uno, el de mostrar, el extraordinario paisaje de la ciudad amurallada, con su conjunto de construcciones que datan de la época de la Colonia. Otro, el de la ciudad de pujantes edificaciones que albergan el turismo en sus diferentes modalidades. El turismo que atraen las construcciones y el mar; el turismo médico, una modalidad en desarrollo; el turismo sexual, también pujante y vergonzoso.

Otros contrastes paisajísticos, son, el que se da a la orilla del mar en la zona industrial, con enormes empresas petroquímicas, astilleros, cervecerías, industrias pesqueras de exportación, entre otras. Y muy cerca de allí, los barrios populares, de población raizal, de origen afro descendiente, sumidos en brutales niveles de pobreza y de exclusión social.

En los alrededores de la carretera que comunica a Barranquilla, por ejemplo, se presenta en estos momentos un auge de la construcción de lujo. Se observan anchurosos y elegantes campos de golf, viviendas de estrato seis y placenteros sitios de descanso. Muy cerca de allí está la urbanización de La Boquilla, casi en su totalidad de población afro descendiente, ancestral, sumida en la más absoluta pobreza. Algunos de sus habitantes son descendientes de negros esclavos, que vivieron allí hace doscientos años.

En esta zona la gente ha venido siendo desalojada para construir apartamentos de lujo. El desplazamiento de la gente más pobre, en los barrios populares ha sido una constante de las elites ‘blancas’ cartageneras, para el confort de sus negocios, que requieren la expansión urbana de la ciudad.

Una sociedad inequitativa

Junto a la zona industrial ya mencionada, perviven barrios pobres como el de Pasacaballos, en donde contrasta la concentración  de la riqueza con la miseria de la población humilde, sin alcantarillado, sin agua potable, sin servicios de recolección de basuras y menos salud y educación.

Cartagena es por consiguiente, una de las ciudades colombianas con más desigualdad social y discriminación racial. Abundan, en medio de sus lujos, la misoginia, el comercio sexual y la inequidad.

Datos oficiales de 2016 indicaban entonces que la pobreza extrema aumentó en la ciudad en  un 1.5 por ciento ese año. En la ciudad, más de  55.000 personas viven en la indigencia. Por primera vez en ese año, aumentó en mucho tiempo la denominada pobreza monetaria. El déficit de vivienda era entonces de 36.840 unidades, y la informalidad laboral alcanzó un 55.3 por ciento, por encima del promedio de las seis ciudades principales del país. Alrededor de este drama, entre la juventud pululan dramas como el de la deserción escolar y el embarazo adolescente. Un progreso desafiante, que no toma en consideración la dignidad de la mayoría de sus pobladores.

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