From Bogota to Sarevena: Unity Rises, the People Resist
US Leader Always Points to Death: Momento Mori
Global Resistance Has Capitalism on the Run
BUSH – URIBE: Fascist Assassins
Colombia in US Mirrors of Chopped Drugs – Smoke and War
by Educacion - Impacto Directo
"The Colombian order is the most unequal on the planet. 11,700 Colombians, or .04%, are landowners. Together they own 32 million hectares of land, or nearly 55% of the total arable land in Colombia,
and control over half of its resources. Since 1984, a total of eighteen years, they have tripled their extensions of land. "There are two methods to achieve this: lots of money, and violence and terrorism.
"The paramilitary and cocaine explain the phenomenon. The social result is that millions of peasants gather in the cold upper mountains, the unhealthiest parts of the rainforest. Tens of thousands have been killed in massacres. There is no coca on 11,700 foot high land. All coca is located near the rainforest on peasant land, the areas fumigated through Plan Colombia. The United States fumigates the victims of narcotraffickers, while the narcotraffickers launder money and live happy in Miami under agreements with the DEA.”
- Former Colombian M-19 guerrilla, Congressman Gustavo Petro
A New Path Can Be Built: One with Liberty and Dignity.
That alternative is necessary because the future of humanity depends on it.
People throughout the world know quite well that liberty is a verb which is
either conjugated plurally or it is nothing but a poor alibi for cynicism.
Brothers and Sisters:
There is a fight going on allover the world between
two globalization plans.
The one of above which globalizes conformity, stupidity,
war, destruction, forgetting.
And the one of below which globalizes rebellion, hope,
creativity, intelligence, imagination, life, memory
and the building of a world…
where all worlds fit.
- General Command Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
When I returned to the arsehole of the Empire (Los Angeles) from protests against the WTO in Cancun and meetings with activists in Chiapas - including many Colombians, one of the first things I saw was The Progressive Magazine’s October Issue. Some traveler had left it on one of the plastic chairs in the LA Bus Station and when the pay-for-TV screen went off I thumbed through the magazine until I came to the article by
Steven Dudley: On the Road with the FARC: Colombia's Guerrillas have Lost their Moral Compass.
You Know: the US scene sucks. The media and the level of sophistication or understanding of most of the people is impoverished and underdeveloped. Lacking a global or revolutionary perspective and trapped in a strange mixture of guilt by association and a fear of involvement, US activism is not exciting to many people. Like much about the US and its Americans - the scene - the alternative press - isn’t very real, grounded, or intelligent. The article by the Progressive would never be published by a non-establishment group in any country outside the US. There is the twisted logic reminiscent of Juan Forero, famous for disinformation at the New York Times, or Rush Limbaugh’s - talk radio program - information as filler material.
Colombia is twice the size of France or Texas with many more people than all six of the Central American nations combined . The US has supported increasingly brutal criminal elements of the Colombian government since 1948. Dudley claims a moral high ground and decides - out-of-all-context - that the leftwing guerrillas are morally bankrupt? Is George W. Bush acting morally? Is anything the USA ever done about morality?
Why should progressives even comment on the FARC guerrilla if as Dudley says: The army and its proxies, the right wing paramilitaries (AUC), have been even more brutal... assassinate people by the hundreds. The AUC have actually tortured and mutilated thousands each year for decades and Dudley knows it. Why doesn’t he examine the amnesty proposals of President Alvaro Uribe who wants to re-integrate these killers and hardened drug traffickers into Colombian society and even make some of them Senators! Green Party presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt blames the Colombian government for the deaths of more than 30,000 people each year for the last 25 years.
In light of the government’s crimes against humanity why would the modest behavior of a desperate rebellion be so important as to justify US funding of more terror. The guerrillas could not have lasted these last 40 years - or especially the last 5 years if they didn’t fill a roll and have significant support in many areas and among certain groups and classes. Maybe if the FARC operated in Martha’s Vineyard or Waco, Texas one could understand the attitude of the author: arrogant, judgmental, condescending, - so narrowly fixated on the details that there isn’t any useful info – period! But this story isn’t about Massachusetts or Texas urban-cowboy- land - it takes place 9000 kilometers away in the drug fields of the US in a poor country called Colombia.
(See also the claims of 19,000 deaths per year attributed to the AUC: http://www.projectcensored.org/publications/2003/3.html).
Dudley’s article and the one that follows it in the October Progressive document how the AUC death squads killed 172 unionists last year alone and at least 16 human rights workers. How can he call people bullies who fight back against death squads backed by the Colombian and US governments? What about the murders of
hundreds of teachers and many journalists. Why are almost none of these murders ever solved? Most governments are held responsible for high murder rates - especially when as in Colombia’s case most of the murders are committed by the government, the rich or their friends in the narcotics trade.
How can Dudley judge the moral compass of a guerrilla group that is fighting a corrupt government (Footnote 14) that profits off of drugs 10 times as much as the guerrilla? Are the context and the behavior of an adversary irrelevant? He leaves the impression that the FARC sabotaged the UP political party by retaining some of their arms. Without their arms the government death squads would have killed twice as many of the unarmed political activists. If the FARC disarmed now a bloodbath consuming a million people would be the forecast.
Dudley writes like Juan Forero's future ghost. The stuff about the FARC intentionally undermining the political party UP is Orwellian. The part about the FARC kidnapping Betancourt is Rumsfieldian pomp. He forgot to mention that the Colombian armed forces refused to transport Green presidential candidate Betancourt and so she knowingly drove into a FARC held roadblock. Should we really only blame the lucky guerrilla? This is a huge, long, bloody civil war against corruption and human rights violators. Kidnapping or a lucky capture? It’s ironic that FARC captured the one Colombian politician who has consistently called for land reform and castigated the entire Colombian government for being narco-tainted.
Perhaps this is why the Colombian government refuses to trade captured guerrillas for her as they have done in the past for other captured officials.
It is so easy to sit in a classy office in Bogotá· or Chicago and fart through your pencil some platitudes about drug money corrupting the guerrillas. Dudley even mimics the right wing death squads known as the AUC when he implies that most of the drug dealing in Colombia or Caqueta, is connected to the FARC. The truth is that friends and intelligence operatives who work for GW Bush and A. Uribe are profiting heavily off of their control of more than 80% of the drug trade out of Colombia. The guerrillas control little of the drug trade and make money off of the taxes collected where they happen to live. The AUC death squads and their government and elite friends are the drug manufacturers and traffickers who reel in most of the profits. They are the ones propping up Bank of America and Citibank with their massive money laundering.
Or does Bush (Dudley) think that the FARC make 100 million dollar deposits in US banks?
Dudley misses every chance to be unbiased: He blames the FARC for the failed peace talks even though the government refused to control the death squads or to fulfill their promises to negotiate fundamental restructuring proposals. He says "the rebels don’t run from the army; they destroy entire villages." Then he only gives one example where he acknowledges that the FARC accidentally bombed the church. The real story is revealed by the town’s mayor who notified regional and national authorities of the impending danger to the community, but “the government, the state and the public forces didn’t do anything." Government troops didn’t arrive in Bellavista until six days after the fighting had ended, despite the fact that the army’s 12th Infantry Battalion, Fourth Brigade, was based only four hours upriver.
The End is the Beginning:
If the US is the world leader in simple-minded paranoia then Colombia is the world’s schizophrenic nation par excellence. Uribe knows well how terror hides behind the soft curtain of his authoritarian democracy. Terror is truly felt by the members of Colombia’s human rights organizations, who fear for their lives and the lives of their families. Terror is in the eyes of a campesino from any given part of Colombia who is forced to stand naked for hours on a mountaintop surrounded by a battalion of government psychopaths demanding information on some guerrilla group he has never seen in his life.
Terror exists in Colombian cities where the upper classes live convinced that everything is okay, that it doesn’t matter how many have to die to make Colombia better. In Colombia, a new age of terror has begun, and that terror walks hand-in-hand with President Uribe. Like a scary suspense thriller: there’s nowhere safe; there’s nowhere to hide.
The Mirror Reflects US Sin Straight Up - Straight Back at the Source of this Evil
US drug use; US oil dependence; US Imperialism; US interventions: Chile, Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala. Colombia, Panama - the 911-based Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and its secret paramilitary apparatus. Propaganda, bribery, kickbacks, mercenaries - get the picture?
Terror exists in the US where the middle class is terrorized by what it has become - what the US must stoop to (mass murder in Iraq, Palestine and Colombia... Iran, Korea) in order to maintain its lifestyle and its disease. Terror hides behind the news, behind the daily Pledge of Allegiance that all the school children recite. It hides in Bush’s smirk as he lies again and again.
People in the US who want to resist sin-by-association had best seek out the stories that give them meaningful information on Colombia and other US adventures. The non-corporate media need to hire writers who dig up the bones first and then see whose they are - instead of randomly fitting the facts to make up the kind of story they and the editors prefer.
Shame on the Progressive’s regressiveness. Shame on us all for tolerating this crap and the sorry state of activism, democracy and awareness in the 300 million people squatting on the crown of Empire’s pinnacle. T
How Many Bushites Does it Take to Build Another Aushwitz-Treblinka?
How Many Sharons to Build Another Shatilla-Shabra?
How Many CIA Does It Take to Slaughter the Defenders of the Next Kundoz?
Where Does the Empire Fall? Who Goes Down With It?
Are There Mirrors in Guantanamo?
Are We ALL Terrorists Now?
US military aid to Colombia is threatening more people and more biological diversity than the wars in the Middle East. Iraq is a terrible quagmire of US sin and violence. It is visible and well covered by the media and the world social movements. A second twin-tower of US violence burns in the headwaters of the Amazon and threatens all of the Northern Andes.
Colombia is the Israel of the Western Hemisphere and exposing the sins and evil intent of the US program there can help the emerging democratic-left of the Western Hemisphere stand up to US power and influence as they build solidarity with the victims of drug war policies and the dead-end economic imperialisms suffocating billions of people here, there and everywhere.
Viva Colombian Resistance to US-Militarism and the Uribe-Bush fascism:
The Paramilitary-Narco Alliance of the Capitalist Class in the Andes.
Former Colombian M-19 guerrilla, Congressman Gustavo Petro says:
"Investigations in Congress find the paramilitary are the main exporters of cocaine. [Their Chief] Carlos Castano helped the DEA kill Pablo Escobar and destroy the Medellin cartel. The paramilitary have infiltrated, or have connections with, the police, the military and the Attorney General's office. The paramilitary command 35% of the Congress, not because the people voted them in, but because people were forced to vote them in. "There is every indication that President Uribe is with the paramilitary. The policy of Uribe and his administration is to paramiltarize the entire society. They do this by strengthening the informers' network, by arming its citizens, and by using legal organizations. They no longer need 'illegal' paramilitaries, thus the negotiations. This is the first case in history where negotiations occur among friends. [Laughs] -
"For example: If the U.S. wants to solve the drug problem, for every $100 dollars made in cocaine production, only $2 remain with those who produce it, the drug mafia, which is more paramilitary everyday. Most money remains in the international economy. If I concentrate on the $2 of every $100, and want to cut coca production, the way to do it is through land reforms, in order to make land available to peasants, rather than through fumigation or alternative crop programs.
"U.S. foreign policy is wrong. It is using the drug issue to get at the oil fields. In the Americas, Venezuela is more important than Colombia. The first U.S. Green Beret battalion was not located in the coca area, but in Arauca, the main oil producing region near Venezuela. The paramilitary are being pushed toward Venezuela, and they now control 80% of the Colombian-Venezuelan border. Showing graphs and statistics, he pointed out that contrary to the U.S. claim that social violence erupts when there is drug growth, in 1957 through 1968, violence fell with the National Front and land reform policies. In 1985, negotiations between the government and the M-19 also lowered the amount of violence. 1991, the year the new constitution was being drafted, also saw a drop in violence. History, he concludes, demonstrates that violence diminishes with efforts to initiate land reform policies and democratic processes.
The Colombian People Resist the Authoritarian Curse
The beginning of the end for Colombian President Alvaro Uribe came on September 8, 2003. At a military ceremony in Bogota broadcast nationwide, Uribe lost his composure and told his country's military that human rights groups critical of his crackdown on leftwing rebels are cowards and terrorist sympathisers. The same day a group of 80 human rights groups and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) released a report titled The Authoritarian Curse that criticized his policies as systematically violating human rights.
Uribe closed the September 8 speech with these words: "General Velazco, from the bottom of my heart, one word: gratitude." Velazco resigned from the Air Force after the US restricted funding to it because of Velazco's cover-up of the 1998 mass murder at a Colombian village, Santo Domingo. How will Uribe repay the general for his brave protection of Occidental Petroleum and for shielding the Santo Domingo murderers from justice?
Fittingly, twistedly, Velazco will be Colombia's new ambassador to Israel.