Colombian elite sows chaos
Colombian elite sows chaos and the government of Iván Duque dodges an indispensable dialogue. The current mobilization is one of the most intense, prolonged and dramatic in national history. The situation is serious. No agreement is being reached, nor will it be reached.
Comments by Colombian international analyst Juan Alberto Sánchez Marín in an interview with Edison Restrepo, host of the program “Despierta País”, of Abya Yala TV channel (Bolivia). This is a version of the recent interview on the difficult situation Colombia is going through.
- 1 Paramilitaries: from the field to the new battlefield
- 2 A violent duchy of Duque
- 3 Repression against pressure
- 4 The dark force has its own name
- 5 The citizenry against the ropes
- 6 Political and economic corruption
- 7 Government for some, misgovernment for all
- 8 Rural massacres, urban massacres
- 9 Duque stokes the fire
- 10 Good people
- 11 Calculated vandalism: the Colombian Elite sows chaos
- 12 Cover up, cover up and cover up
Paramilitaries: from the field to the new battlefield
The ultra-right-wing government of Iván Duque initially tried to divide the talks with the leaders of the national strike. But the reluctance to dialogue is evident, and the arrogance is enormous.
Thus, we have reached the situation we are in precisely because of the lack of dialogue. President Duque does not attend the scheduled meetings. He always tries to impose his measures, and what he does is to decree increased repression.
In Cali a sinister, macabre experiment has been carried out. The city is militarized and, in the meantime, paramilitary actions in the city are covered up.
Urban self-defense groups, supposedly. In reality, it is not known to what extent they are self-defense groups of the neighborhoods themselves, of the inhabitants of the residential complexes, and not, rather, interventions exported from other places. To shoot, for example, marchers, members of the indigenous minga.
A violent duchy of Duque
Colombia is one of the most unequal countries, the second most unequal in Latin America and one of the most unequal in the world. It is a country that has lived in confrontation, in war, for more than two centuries, since the times of independence from Spain.
The Colombian elite has always sown terror and division. It has sown, above all, the fields of blood and death. We have had such prolonged violence as that of the middle of the previous century, the so-called Violence of the fifties, which lasted, badly counted, ten, twelve years. And which produced between two and three hundred thousand dead.
Here in Colombia there have been brief periods of peace and preparations for the next conflagration. Now, when there was a little hope for a peace agreement, this government arrived and tore it to shreds, and the era of terror that we have lived through in the last two years began.
Repression against pressure
The current protest is tremendously justified. It is the only way left for large sectors of the population to express themselves.
However, Iván Duque confronts it with brutal repression. Such is the usual way of the elites. What the current government is doing shows how the phenomenon of social protest is handled in this country, but taken to implausible extremes.
In chile, there were more than 30 deaths during the 2019 protests, and the Piñera Government had to call for a constituent. With the death of far fewer people, governments have fallen. But here, in Colombia, nothing happens.
Here the Duque Government continues to intensify its atrocious measures and continues as if nothing happened.
The dark force has its own name
In Colombia there is an absolutely mafia-like power, criminal, installed in the Government. Duque represents those criminal interests. From Álvaro Uribe, María Fernanda Cabal, José Félix Lafaurie.
A power of landowners that has been sinister. They are the dark forces, which have their own name, and which are so clear.
Oligarchies that in this country are used to keep political and economic power. At the national level, sometimes more, sometimes less. But always, intensely, at the regional and local levels.
They are the big landowners and land dispossessors, accustomed, moreover, to conserve their wealth by blood and fire.
Every now and then they set up new paramilitary strategies, new groups that are growing, and now with very close links to drug trafficking. And that is what we have in power.
The Colombian elite sows chaos for convenience, but also because it is the known and accustomed practice to stifle social protest and mobilizations.
The citizenry against the ropes
The Colombian society, the Colombian people are deeply hurt by their dead, their young people. But these elite sectors are not hurt in the least.
Hence, this ruthless way in which the State confronts rebellion, protest, peaceful marches. Because most of them have been peaceful. But there are sectors that are tired.
Why the repeated attacks to the financial sector, to the banks, to the police force, to the authorities?
Because they have no legitimacy. Because they have been the ones who have plundered, repressed and assassinated a large part of the social sectors, union, indigenous, community and peasant leaders, in short.
It is permanent death. Assassinations and massacres are carried out throughout the country, and now we are experiencing them in the cities themselves. Because it is the citizens who are on the ropes.
Political and economic corruption
I believe that during this government there is no possibility of things changing.
Those who hold power, Mr. Duque and all the structure that accompanies him, and, above all, the real presidency, headed by Álvaro Uribe Vélez, are behind the decomposition.
As are those economic forces of powerful landowners, large cattle ranchers, agribusinesses, and also, of course, the financial sector.
During this pandemic, we cannot forget that one of the biggest beneficiaries has been the corrupt bank of tycoon Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo. The fortune of this banker, one of the largest in the world, was made from the looting of state coffers.
It is a bank linked to the phenomenal corruption of Odebrecht, which in the country has been serious and deep. But also, totally unpunished. And that put Attorney General to wash away the sins.
The current prosecutor, Francisco Barbosa, is second fiddle to Duque’s policies, but the previous one, Néstor Humberto Martínez, was art and part of the corrupt criminal organization. One of the most corrupt people in the country and linked to extreme cases.
Government for some, misgovernment for all
Such serious impunity has eaten away the structure of the country. We have a man, Iván Duque, who reaches the presidency in a questionable way. He does it by buying votes, and with the support of paramilitarism and drug trafficking. So, on top of everything else, he is illegitimate.
A government with such characteristics, with an exclusive way of governing, which deepens inequality. These are factors that are at the root of the present chaos.
The sunk tax reform proposal was simply the detonator of a deep and structural situation. An attempted reform that placed the entire tax burden on the lower and middle strata of the population, one, two, three and four.
Just two years ago, there was a tax reform with exemptions for big capital, big companies, such as those of Sarmiento Alguno, the financial sector. With the privileges granted then to the rich, the fiscal needs that exist today would have been covered.
So it is a way of governing that is an attack against the majority of the population. To which is added the abysmal management of the COVID-19 pandemic, where vaccines do not even arrive, and where there is no national vaccination strategy.
Rural massacres, urban massacres
I am very pessimistic about what can happen. There is a lot of distrust with the dialogues.
It is not a distrust because of past situations, because of the betrayals to which Duque subjected the counterparts after reaching agreements.
It is because of what is happening now, because of the insistent denial of dialogue. It seems that there is an interest in not alleviating the situation.
Just as there is no action against the assassination of social and peasant leaders in rural areas of the country, now nothing is being done against the actions of urban paramilitaries.
It seems that they are seeking to generate destabilization and chaos in order to stay in power. There is no dignified government here.
Duque stokes the fire
In Colombia a “cleansing” of the military institutionality has been practiced. The purge has been to take to the extreme a debased conception that prevailed during the government of Álvaro Uribe.
The kind of doctrine that was the breeding ground for the sinister activity euphemistically known as false positives.
That is, the killing of innocent young people by the military, in exchange for a weekend off or a new medal. Some infamous inducement.
In truth, we are not facing an institutional problem, because there are two, or ten or twenty policemen acting in a certain way. The problem is one of conception. There is a totally perverse and perverted military and police leadership. Corrupt and sinister, moreover.
Starting with Zapateiro, the General Commander of the Armed Forces. Or the Minister of Defense. It is inconceivable that a guy like this is still in power, after the massacres he commits and encourages.
It is an institutional conception that favors and allows illegal actions on the part of the Public Forces. The structure is accommodated.
There are voices, of course, in disagreement with that, in the Police and the Army. There is discomfort. But Duque and the leadership stoke the fire.
Colombia suffers from a generalized confrontation, affecting all layers of society. We are not even talking about high or low strata, but about a perverse, fascist, Nazi elite, with the tools of the State at its disposal.
A circle that has ill-gotten fortunes. That has maintained its power, for decades, thanks to war. Thus it has increased them, and has expanded that center of war generation in Colombia which is land, land tenure.
Those layers, those elites, are really small, but they have a great national influence. Throughout history, they have formed and financed paramilitary groups. Those sinister ones are the ones in power.
I wrote an article entitled: “Criminals of good rule in Colombia”. It seems to me that this line defines what is happening. A good criminal elite, because that is how its members consider themselves.
I don’t know if they believed the lie, but there are people who believe it and consider them good people.
And that is why these good people shoot at very dangerous indigenous people who defend themselves with sticks, while the good people defend themselves with rifles and pistols.
That is why eight or twelve Indians are shot and wounded in Cali, and not one of the good people is wounded.
Calculated vandalism: the Colombian Elite sows chaos
This is a situation of media management, of opinion control. A clear strategy. Here we are not facing chaos, or a vandal who did this or that.
There are vandalism strategies generated by the elites themselves to create a bad image for the marches.
Maneuvers carried out with the purpose of damaging the social movement. They fear it very much because, if things continue the way they are going, these elites will lose power in the next elections, in 2022.
Cover up, cover up and cover up
The support that the international community can give to the difficult situation in Colombia is very important.
Here they are trying to silence the massacres that are being committed, not only in rural areas, but also in the cities, in the streets, with our young people.
Colombian society is very hurt by the death of young people, by the rapes, kidnappings and disappearances that are happening right now.
The government is trying to silence what is happening. The mainstream media spread a cloak of silence. That is why it is so important this diffusion, this voice, to share and demand the infamous government to stop the repression and death.
Thank you for the support to spread other points of view that, at least, contrast and confront the government’s unidirectional vision. A vision that covers up what is really happening in Colombia.