Repression reaches unsuspected limits in Colombia
Interview with the Bolivian channel Abya Yala
Repression reaches unsuspected limits in Colombia, and the investigations into the murders of social leaders, indigenous people and demonstrators, which should have advanced, have not. And they will make very little progress.
Text of the interview by journalist and international analyst Juan Alberto Sánchez Marín for the channel ABYA YALA (Bolivia).
- 1 So serious that the IACHR is one hope
- 2 Persecution of the press
- 3 Repression reaches unsuspected limits in Colombia
- 4 The brave are killed by cowards.
- 5 Duque will pay before the ICC for what he commits now
- 6 The elementary formula to end violence
- 7 Owners of the country are murderers and looters.
- 8 More murders in Arauca and Cauca
- 9 Duque discovers warm water
- 10 Indigenous territories in the path of ambition
- 11 Mobilizations are the hope
- 12 Repression is sought, not dialogue
So serious that the IACHR is one hope
I said, in some text or interview, that the situation in our country is so serious that one hope is the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the IACHR, a commission that has a sad history in our continent.
The case of Bolivia is a clear example. You experienced firsthand the Commission’s support to the coup, to the coup leader Mrs. Jeanine Áñez. That is the IACHR and that is the hope in our country. And that expresses at what level our situation is desperate, desperate and serious.
This Commission will make a report, because the evidence is overwhelming, the situation does not need to be explained. The images alone show what is happening in this country.
Persecution of the press
The situation is going to be quite complex. Not only the current situation, which is desperate, as I said. They are killing young people, they continue to do so.
They are killing those who protest in different places of resistance, in Cali and other cities. And they are going to continue doing it.
Of course, this is not disclosed, it is not shown. Very little is denounced openly. And the journalists and media that do so are threatened, as is the case of the brave journalist Alberto Tejada and of CANAL 2, of Cali.
Nothing new in this country, where uncomfortable journalists are assaulted and even killed.
The reality is that the situation has not changed in relation to what happened a few days or weeks ago, visible in images that went around the world.
Repression reaches unsuspected limits in Colombia
Repression reaches unsuspected limits in Colombia. What can be seen, the merciless attack of the security forces against unarmed citizens, is just a visible tip of what is happening.
Those armored policemen, who are the SMAD, firing their weapons, half-legal, half-illegal, at point-blank range against boys in T-shirts. Or those policemen firing firearms against demonstrators with stones, and protected with a tin or plastic shield.
Those paramilitaries shielded behind the glorious National Police firing mercilessly against indigenous people armed with chonta sticks. And against shouting demonstrators.
That, all that, is nothing. It is nothing more than a miniscule sample of the crimes being committed by these lethal Colombian police forces against a population fed up and disgusted with a gang of criminals that has taken over the government.
The Government, the Congress, the High Courts, each and every one of the control entities, the Attorney General’s Office, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Comptroller General’s Office, the Ombudsman’s Office. The so-called Ombudsman’s Office, which in truth protects the murderers.
The brave are killed by cowards.
They are killing young people because they have the courage to shout in their faces what they are: murderers. They kill them to ratify that yes, they are, they are thugs. Yes, we are murderers! So what?
Some kill because they are ordered to do so. The president, his minister of Defense, his minister of Justice, the general director of the National Police, the general commander of the Military Forces, etc., order them to do it.
Others because they are, in effect, the assassins, the ones who pull the trigger. The policemen for hire, the paramilitaries, that is to say, those who were previously called “birds” here. They are the official trigger pullers, the state hitmen.
Duque will pay before the ICC for what he commits now
What is happening in this country has no name. And if there is still any remnant of justice left in the world, this whole bunch of thugs has to pay dearly for their criminal nature.
The International Criminal Court of The Hague (ICC), created by the Rome Statute, and Colombia is a signatory to that pact, has jurisdiction to try those responsible for genocide and crimes against humanity.
The ICC offers them life imprisonment and fairly broad sentences. The lawsuits are already underway, some in the making, others in progress. And sooner or later they will operate against these individuals who massacre their own people.
Iván Duque will be a young ex-president. He will have enough time to pay later for the barbarities he is committing now.
The elementary formula to end violence
The only way for this country to get rid of so much violence and so much depravity is by judging and condemning the perpetrators.
If the murderers are prevented from escaping through the sewers, if the impunity that eats away at the structures is stopped, let’s be sure, the rampant violence in this country will stop.
Iván Duque will be a young ex-president. He and his police and military leadership will have enough time to pay later, before the International Criminal Court, for the barbarities they are committing now. And this is not a warning. It is the threat of justice, which always looms over criminals and genocides, even if it is in Colombia.
At least so many massacres, displacements, murders, rapes, land and property usurpations would decrease.
Total impunity is the fuel that feeds the fire of violence in Colombia. The validation of fortunes of blood and riches of death are the gasoline.
Owners of the country are murderers and looters.
The owners of the country cannot be enshrined as promenaders and role models, but must be vilified for what they are: ruthless murderers and looters.
So the solution to a problem that is so complex, so unsolvable, is ultimately elementary. It is, plain and simple, a matter of justice, which is conspicuous by its absence in Colombia.
It is a matter, elementally and clearly, of putting an end to impunity, which encourages the commission of all kinds of crimes. From corruption to crimes against the State, in all its manifestations. The solution seems very complex, but when it comes down to it, it is simple.
Second part of the interview with journalist Juan Alberto Sánchez Marín.
Reference to the murder of social leader DANILO GALINDO and his son DAVID GALINDO, in Arauca, and of teacher and indigenous authority ARGENIS YATACUÉ and her husband, MARCELINO YATACUÉ IPIA, in Cauca.
More murders in Arauca and Cauca
These are the most recent murders. In the department of Arauca, bordering Venezuela. An area where the fuel of violence, the murder of social leaders is multiform and with too many actors.
All the groups are active there, paramilitaries, drug traffickers, ex-members of the former FARC guerrillas dedicated mostly to drug trafficking, the ELN itself, that is to say, there are a number of quite complex actors.
Danilo Galindo was a defender of the indigenous communities in the Arauca region, one of the hardest hit communities, but now he was part of the municipality’s mayor’s office. He was dedicated to activities in defense of human rights, of coexistence, as the dependency is called there.
The indigenous people of Cauca, the two people murdered, were leaders in the community, in Corinto, in Cauca, which is another of the most critical areas for the indigenous people.
Duque discovers warm water
The situation of the indigenous people is critical throughout this country. In general, it is complicated because they are in the path of ambition. Their territories, their resguardos, as they are called, are located on the routes of too many pretensions.
Every now and then, President Ivan Duque and his team, that team of inept people, declare through the media, and the mechanisms they can, that drug trafficking is to blame.
Better said, every now and then they discover the warm water. They affirm that drug trafficking is the enemy, and the one that kills social and indigenous leaders.
Of course, drug trafficking exists in regions formerly controlled by the then FARC guerrillas. And it is the fuel of many territorial wars and turf wars, of disputes over those territories.
Of course, the State has never been present to replace those regions with programs and support, or it did it with militarization and lead, and it continues to do so. Now, where the greatest militarization is taking place, as in Cauca, the most tenacious and strongest assassinations are committed.
The State did not make the required presence, with rural development. Or, simply, it did what it has always done, and that is that it never showed its nose in these vast territories.
And one of the causes, in addition to the well-known causes of the State’s laziness, bureaucracy and institutional incapacity, one of the main causes is that they tore peace to shreds. This government destroyed the peace agreements.
Indigenous territories in the path of ambition
The situation of the indigenous peoples is desperate in many regions, throughout the national territory, because they cross the paths of too many, and very large and powerful ambitions.
Of many individuals, of the great lords of this country. Of their agro-industrial projects, sugar, timber, palm, in short.
Of the enormous greed of the mining and energy projects of the transnationals. And of much state greed that seeks to benefit precisely those projects in exchange for a few coins.
Impunity is the fuel that feeds the fire of violence in Colombia. The validation of fortunes of blood and riches of death are the gasoline. The owners of the country cannot be consecrated as promenaders and role models, but must be vilified for what they are: murderers and ruthless looters.
The situation of the indigenous people, therefore, is critical, and that is why they are being killed. Because in this country, whoever claims their right to exist and to territory is murdered.
Territories that, in addition, fulfill a function of social benefit for those same destructive agribusinesses. Because the indigenous people are the ones who take care of the water sources.
In Cauca, for example, it is said that the indigenous people are the great possessors of land. Of course, they own some territories that are not arable, they are in the páramos. They defend the Colombian Massif, which is the water that supplies large populations. The same happens in Catatumbo and everywhere else.
So, there are many of these reasons. It is a tangle of causes that causes what is happening in the country and, in particular, with the indigenous people.
Mobilizations are the hope
What is happening is really serious, but, at the same time, it is also hopeful.
Young people must be defended, they must be protected. We must insist and denounce the massacres that are being committed.
Not only in rural areas, with social and indigenous leaders, but also in the streets. And not in the remote towns, or in the remote capitals, but in the capital of the republic, in the big cities, in Cali or Medellin.
We must continue with the action of denouncing what is happening, I insist, which is serious. But it is also encouraging to see these massive mobilizations, which the mainstream media do not show.
Those mass protests in front of President Iván Duque’s own house, calling him what he is: a murderer.
Repression is sought, not dialogue
And demanding that he sit down to dialogue, because those dialogues he has offered are non-existent. It does not seek dialogue or fellowship. It does not seek to reach an agreement.
They are looking for repression, and the way to set themselves up later as the saviors of the very phenomenon of decomposition and violence that they themselves cause.
It is important to offer other visions and to inform in relation to what is being hidden here in a big way.
Publicación en español: Represión alcanza límites insospechados en Colombia