The Life of Luis Carlos Galan


LUIS CARLOS GALAN was a Colombian politician and journalist, who was assassinated by Pablo Escobar's Medellin cartel in 1989. A revered crusader against drug traffickers and their corrupt hold on politics, his death was considered a major blow to the country's political stability.

The New Liberalism Movement

Galan founded the New Liberalism movement in 1979 and contested for president on two occasions. His movement was founded on a set of progressive ideas, such as defending indigenous communities and cultural independence for specific regions.

Opponent of the Cocaine Trade

He was also a vocal opponent of the cocaine trade and was a fierce advocate for a strong police force. In 1977, he published an editorial in the newspaper Nueva Frontera denouncing the rise of narco-mafias and their influence on Colombia's political and social structure.

Formation of Nuevo Liberalismo

In the mid-1970s, Galan and several other young leaders of the Liberal party formed a faction called Nuevo Liberalismo which was intended to combat the corruption within the party. The idea of the party was to bring a new generation of politicians into the party and give it a fresh perspective on Colombian politics, as well as the economy and environment.

Forced Departure from the Party

The political party was a success, but it was only a temporary fix. The following year, Galan was forced to leave the party after he and other members of his movement were accused of treason by then President Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala.

Political Career and Promise

As the years passed, Galan's stance against the drug trade grew increasingly public and he began to win support for his movement. In 1980, he was elected as councilman for Bogota and in 1981 he was named as a presidential candidate for his party. At the time of his assassination, he was widely expected to be Colombia's next president. During his campaign, he promised to fight against the drug cartels and their corrupt hold on politics.

Legacy and Impact

He was a prominent figure in the country's political scene and was a powerful voice for democracy. He also spoke out against the violence that is prevalent in Colombia and its relation to the drug trade, which he believed was fueling corruption and violence. Despite the murder, many Colombians still believe that Galan was a key part of the solution to their country's ongoing violence and drug problem. He was the leader who most influenced the movement to dismantle the drug trade in Colombia and replace it with a more sustainable system of development. His death has left a gaping hole in the Colombian political landscape and his legacy is still being debated. The slain politician was a charismatic leader and his name is still very much etched into the history of Colombia.

Contributions as a Writer

In addition to his role in Colombia's politics, Galan was also a well-known writer and author. He wrote many books about Colombia and the drug trade, including El narco del mar and The Mafia in the City of Mangoes. One of his novels was adapted into a film by Spanish director Fernando Meirelles in 1999. The film, entitled "El narco del mar," received an Academy Award nomination for best foreign film in 2000.

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