The Colombian representative to the Miss Earth Pageant, Mariana Rodríguez Merchán, rejected the negative image of Colombia that exists thanks to drug trafficking and explained that “contrary to what many believe, our main product for exports is coffee, not cocaine”.
“Ever since I arrived, reporters crack jokes about cocaine in Colombia”, the 20 year-old model said indignantly. Rodríguez is in Manila, Philippines, competing against 84 women from all over the world. The brunette from Cali said although it’s clear that Miss Earth is a beauty pageant, it has a deeper message, to preserve the environment.
“What we are doing here, although it may be crude to say so, is give a good image to the cause”, she said. Among the environmental issues that concern her most are deforestation and the gradual destruction of the ozone layer.