archivos de los protestos globales

Fascism Colombian Style: The Method to Emulate in the Americas

Manuel Rozental, Canada Columbia Solidarity Campaign

September 14, 2002

The following as a partial and limited list of the continuing advance of the fascist model being implemented in Colombia:

1. 100 people were murdered for political reasons in Colombia in 1980. By 2002, 8000 political assassinations a year are committed in Colombia; 20 people are murdered every day for political reasons. Every 5 days 100 political assassinations take place. That is the same number of people that were murdered in a year in 1980.

2. 85% of all political assassinations are carried out by state agents and paramilitary groups. 3% directly, 82% through complicity, collusion or negligence between armed forces and paramilitaries. 15% of political assassinations are carried out by guerilla forces.

3. More than 2.7 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes in resource-rich territories. In 1996, 180.000 people were displaced. In 2001, 360.000 people were forced to leave their homes; that is 1000 people are forced to displace every single day. More than 50% of those displaced are children (boys and girls). More than 50% are afro-Colombians, more than 50% are women. 60% of the displacement of people is forced by paramilitary forces and 40% by guerillas.

4. 9 people are kidnapped every day: 3000 people every year (1500 people 5 years ago). 60% of people are kidnapped by guerillas, 10% by paramilitaries and 30% by "common delinquents" (often involving state agents in active service or retired).

5. 10.000 homicides a year occurred in Colombia in early 1980s, 20.000 a year during the nineties, 30.000 since 2000 (one homicide every 15-20 minutes).

6. Alvaro Uribe Vélez (AUV), Colombia's president was elected with fewer votes than his predecessor Andrés Pastrana: less than 25% of those who could vote participated in the elections and 53% of these voted for Uribe Velez. More than 75% of Colombians did not (and do not) support Uribe Velez, yet he rules as an autocrat and claims to have the overwhelming mandate of all Colombians.

7. AUV wants to establish a national network of salaried informants, which he calls the "million friends" (in a country with more than 25% unemployment and where more than 60% of the population are under the poverty line). The process has started. El Tiempo, Colombia's largest paper supports this strategy. A recent article read :"They are so secret and safe that your own wife could be an informant and you would not know it". Innocent civilians are the victims of these rewarded informants.

8. The government is arming peasants to fight against insurgency. Both the informants and the armed peasants have inevitably turned into paramilitary groups who commit atrocities against civilians in collusion with government authorities. AUV has organized these groups of informants and armed peasants in the past as Governor of Antioquia. These groups are being established now in-spite of the fact that their predecessors (called "CONVIVIR" "COEXISTENCE"-cooperatives were ruled unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court.

9. A State of Emergency has been declared in Colombia by AUV and his cabinet. The President and his Minister of the Interior and Justice want to establish a permanent State of Siege. Within this State of Emergency, the Colombian army (with the worst Human Rights record in the Continent) is allowed to carry out arbitrary arrests against civilians and take people for questioning into army facilities without any judicial process. The army has been granted absolute power over territories and people under their jurisdiction.

10. Rewards in money are being offered to anyone who provides information that would lead to the capture or elimination of guerilla leaders. No rewards are offered for information about paramilitary commanders. This reward strategy has been used in the past: most of its victims are unarmed civilians.

11. The Colombian government, under pressure from the US government granted inmunity to US personnel with regards to the recently created International Criminal Court and its mandate to investigate and try those who commit crimes against humanity. Colombian authorities will not comply with the ICC for the next 7 years. What crimes is the US planning to carry out in Colombia in coordination with Colombian authorities within the next 7 years?

12. There is 100% impunity with regards to human rights violations in Colombia. For example, forced displacement is a crime under Colombia's criminal legislation: only one investigation regarding displacement has been carried out (see 3 above).

13. The Attorney General's Office has established mechanisms to restrict the independence of those involved in investigating human rights violations involving government agents.

14. Impunity cannot be justified as the outcome of lack of resources or capacities: the actions of the government are aimed at seeking to grant impunity to those who commit crimes against humanity (see 11, 12 and 13).

15. Individuals charged or accused or suspected of crimes gainst humanity, corruption and violation of human rights have been appointed without any investigations to the highest positions within the government (including the president and the minister of justice and of the interior) and as commanders of the armed forces.

16. Government institutions and mechanisms dedicated to the protection of rights of individuals and organizations heve been or are being dismantled. These include: · Personerias Municipales: Established at local levels to deal with forced displacement and other complaints of violations of basic rights. · Ombudsmen's offices · "Acción de Tutela": an efficient legal recourse created with the 1991 constitution that allows individuals and organizations to present a claim against government authorities and to have these claims studied and resolved within 90 days. · The Constitutional Court (the highest tribunal whose role is to determine whether government and congress legislation respects the National Constitution). · The Constitution of 1991; the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (the Minister of the Interior and Justice has stated that he wants to "tear this constitution into pieces")

17. Within a month of taking office the Government has presented a thorough legal reform process that includes: · Anti-terrorist act · Restriction to the freedom of expression · Security legislation · Control, restriction and supervision to non-government organizations · Regulation and control of International Cooperation

18. All of the above (see 7-17) is presented by the government of AUV as its Human Rights policy.

19. The United States of America, under clause 567 of the Foreign Operations act requires that all military aid to Colombia be subject to certification based on reports presented by Human Rights institutions. In order for the US government to provide military aid to Colombia, three conditions have to be met: · Officers who have been linked to human rights abuses must be suspended · The Colombian army must prove its cooperation with the civilian judiciary authorities · The Colombian army has to break ties with paramilitary forces and execute arrest warrants against paramilitaries and their supporters and collaborators Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Washington Office on Latin America, presented a joint report with statistics and cases proving that the oposite is a fact. Colombia has failed to meet any of the human rights conditions that US law imposes as a prerequisite to military aid. Since May of 2002 when the last report was presented, the abuses have worsened and the impunity, collusion and complicity of the government has increased. In-spite of this, the US government certified the improvements and positive efforts made by the Colombia government in Human Rights matters. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage presented this human rights certification on behalf of the US government on September 9 and released an estimated 70 millionUSD in training, weapons, munitions and other supplies.

20. A rapid process aimed at the unification, legitimation, negotiation with and legalization of criminal paramilitary forces is being implemented.

21. The human rights abuses include evidence of deterioration of living conditions for most Colombians as a direct result of the aggressive implementation of IMF lead reforms and policies aimed at providing access to wealthy resources and territories, dismantling social organizations and social security institutions, transfer of government resources to poor regions and sectors of the population with greater needs and to cheapen productive processes through the imposition maquila model of labour exploitation. The "UN Committeee for Economic, Cultural and Economic Rights" has stated that "extreme inequality and social injustice are prevalent in Colombia". The report of this Committee documents a dramatic deterioration with regards to these rights. While most Colombians are worse off, a wealthy minority continues to concentrate more land, wealth, income, resources and power.

22. War taxes have been imposed on the majority of Colombians. Impoverished majorities will have to contribute from their meagre income to fund the armies and weapons that abuse, murder, exploit and displace them.

23. Indiscriminate air spraying (fumigation) of the Amazon basin and other rich ecosystems and fertile lands with toxic chemicals has re-started under pressure from the US Government, in-spite of evidence of documented damage to life and the environment. Fumigation is one of the main causes of forced displacement, a crime under Colombian law.

24. The same model is being extended within the Andean region, Central and South America (see Guatemala, Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Argentina)

25. President elect AUV toured the US, Canada and Europe meeting with the highest government officials and obtaining their support for his programs and policies. AUV met with CEO's pf multi-national corporations with interests in Colombia and offered them cheap and easy access to Colombia's wealth and labour "in exchange for" support for the war and security initiatives and policies that would guarantee the safety of these corporate interests.

Fascism is being implemented in Colombia, but it will spread throughout the Americas if successful. It must be stopped.

Sources:

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EL TIEMPO:

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