Colombian fan loses regional manager's job over 'binoculares' video

A video that showed a Colombian fan enjoying a drink with fellow Cafetero supporters at the Colombia-Japan World Cup match ended up costing him his job.

Within 24 hours of Luis Felipe Gomez being seen in the video wearing a cap with flags painted on his face, he lost his job at Colombian airline Avianca Cargo, where he was its regional manager of Europe-Asia.

The problem was, the fans were drinking alcohol they had sneaked into the Mordovia Arena in Saransk by using binoculars.

While Facebook post was intended in good humor, it quickly went viral -- by the end of the game, "binoculares" was trending on Twitter in Colombia -- and Colombian authorities didn't take kindly to the idea of a video encouraging the stereotype of Colombians as smugglers.

Avianca Holdings fired Gomez "whose behavior violated the law and norms in place within the World Cup event, by consuming liquor which was illegally brought into one of the stadiums."

In a Facebook post on his wife's page, Gomez said he had not known he was being filmed and "did not smuggle any type of liquor into the stadium. I went to say, 'Hi,' to some friends. They offered me a drink. I received it in a moment of euphoria and happiness because I was seeing Colombia in a World Cup. I am trying to grasp how 15 seconds of unfortunate, out-of-context, and badly interpreted video can end the honor of a person and an entire life of trying to do things right. I thank you again for your support."
5 comments about "Colombian fan loses regional manager's job over 'binoculares' video".
  1. Ginger Peeler, June 22, 2018 at 10:06 a.m.

    Somehow, he fails to see that accepting a drink of smuggled alcohol makes him complicit? He received smuggled goods! The fact that he drank the evidence does not make it less of a crime! All he had to do was say, “no”, and walk away. He must take responsibility for his actions. 

  2. R2 Dad replied, June 22, 2018 at 3:13 p.m.

    I agree whole-heartedly with you, Ginger, but look around. We are supposed to be "a ogvernment of laws and not of men", but are populated with hordes of politicians from top to bottom that decide to pick and choose which laws to enforce. We are a country where only rights are enshrined--responsibilities are ignored. Should we really be surprised when other countries and their cititzens don't live up to our high ideals, either?

  3. charles davenport, June 22, 2018 at 6:12 p.m.

    Ginger, R2,
             Speaking of governments, politicians, responsibilities, drinking, and high ideals....
             Millions of Americans broke the laws during the Prohibition era in the 1920s.
             Currently millions of Americans support drug gangs in Central and South America by buying illegal drugs. The "War on Drugs" started as a distraction from the release of the Pentagon Papers which exposed government lies about the Vietnam War.
             The EEUU lost 50,000 dead in the 10 years or so of the Vietnam War. Now we lose 50,000 dead in one year alone due to addiction, not to mention the murder and mayhem and 100,000+ killed south of the border.
              So misguided (American and other) governmental policy affects us. Be Aware.

  4. Ginger Peeler replied, June 22, 2018 at 9:04 p.m.

    Gentlemen, I understand where you’re coming from. I don’t really have a solution. But we have to start somewhere. I could give you a lot of info about the world as it’s been for the past 70-some years and the way I was raised. That actually accomplishes very little.  I can only hope to be as thoughtful and caring a person I can be and hope that I may set a good example for someone else. Perhaps “the world is going to Hell in a handbasket” and we’re dealing with a lot of strife and corruption these days. Still, if we hold ourselves to a higner standard, thers are others who will do the same. There’ll always be cheaters and selfish liars who cannot take responsibility for their actions. But if we hold ourselves to responsible behavior, we CAN expect the same from others, wherever they’re from. I would have been much more understanding of Mr Gomez if he had “fessed up” to breaking the law rather than citing euphoria and happiness as”excuses” for his illegal behavior. Instead of posting his celebration on Facebook, he should have IMMEDIATELY sent it to his bosses, saying how he unthinkingly screwed up and apologizing profusely. Believe it or not, that approach succeeds  more often than not. THAT WAY, his bosses wouldn’t have been blindsided. I grew up listening to my dad talk about the military and then I worked for a very large corporation for years. The way things were accomplished by the military and by corporations were/are very similar. 

  5. Right Winger, June 23, 2018 at 11:53 a.m.

    Can’t even believe this is a discussion on this site.  Let’s talk about serious issues like Maradona sitting in the stands sucking on a cigar.  Play on for self-righteousness 


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