NO REASONS FOR OPTIMISM EVEN MODERATE
The message from the FARC on its Web Anncol telling enough, Colombians should not hold reasons for optimism even moderate about the result of the dialogue table of Havana. The FARC are mounted on the workhorse that just are invited, not a negotiating party because they have nothing to negotiate, nothing deliver requiring only alias Ivan Marquez said head of the commission of that narcoguerrilla.
FARC say that Havana is not negotiating the end of armed conflict in over 50 years but always seeking to change the state model in economic, political and social and valid only consider proposals for its political apparatus : NGOs, movements like the Patriotic March, the PCC and the PC3, the Alvear Restrepo Lawyers Collective, the Collective Justice and Peace of the priest Giraldo and others from the legal sponsor terrorristas actions of militants and terrorist weapons.
A Havana attend as invited victims says Marquez and therefore have nothing to give but to demand as compensation to the State and Colombian society and its demands are none other than imposing the model created by the Forum of Sao Paulo at the failure and fall of communist world in the last decade of the last century.
So prepare a wave FARC terrorist from January 20, 2013 as a mechanism to push the change agenda that had previously established with the Colombian government. The whole world can not be declared narcoguerrilla surprised when falsely blame the government intends the new failure in an attempt to dialogue to end the conflict, they are not interested in peace.
And is that the FARC will not give up his new way of life as a major drug cartel in the world, go to Havana only serves to recover his media image in front of the international community as a political organization appearing in arms , but really just use this time to try to rebuild their criminal structures FF.MM hit hard by the Colombian and consolidate control over strategic routes now allied with drug gangs, especially in the southwest and bordering departments Venezuela and exits to the Atlantic and Pacific.
The FARC lying again as they have always done, of that there can be no doubt, and thus do not give rise to false hopes of peace. The only thing left is space for realistic pessimism about the future of table Havana.
The recent announcements of Santos Government, demonstrate that there wasn’t the necessary preparation to face a negative sentence against the national interest of Colombia. From the moment that the proficiency of The Hague was accepted, a serious mistake was committed because it was not considered more than two possible scenarios for the day that the final decision was going to be announced.
Maybe it was ignorance, lack of interest in defending the national sovereignty, lack of preparation or too much confidence. Many variables are still being considered. What is sad is that from the start it was known that the Pacto de Bogotá was the agreement that forced Colombia to accept the Court’s jurisdiction. ¿Why no one decided from the start to withdraw from this Agreement?
The announcement made by President Santos of reviewing the consequences of withdrawing from the Pacto de Bogotá, clearly seems to be a late reaction. It is until now that the Government starts to consider drastic measures to avoid losing national territory, when it should’ve began to analyze them over a decade ago.
The situation promotes a negative image of the country abroad, because it clearly shows a weakness in foreign policy which reflects a lack of strategic vision. Historically, the country has not seen international relations as a mechanism to show power and inset the country in worldwide scenarios. On the contrary, previous administrations have characterized themselves by following international law as a tool to keep good relations and regional stability. Is it possible that we have been thinking more about others instead of what we want as a country?
Most for sure, withdrawing from the Pacto de Bogotá will prevent the Court coming to analyze other disputes, like the one with Ecuador when Farc’s leader a.k. ‘Raúl Reyes’ was killed, or when more Nicaraguan pretensions seek to demand for more territory in the Caribbean Sea. Nevertheless, the issue is that there is a lack of political strategies and poor planning when facing a scenario that was foreseen by national analysts who are experts on the matter.
It yet remains to be seen if tensions with Nicaragua rise after the announcement of Ortega when he said that they were going to start exerting sovereignty in the territory they gained. Colombia must be very astute to avoid hatreds to grow between both nations. It must not be forgotten that Alba is behind Ortega. For Santos Government it would be a tough political blow if the relation with our best friend Chávez, is affected because of the confrontation with Nicaragua.
COLOMBIA CONTINUES LOSING TERRITORY
Surprising and incoherent rule of the International Court of Justice. On one hand, declares that Colombia is sovereign of Albuquerque Cays, The Southeast, Roncador, Serrana, Quitasueno, Serranilla and on the other hand , it extend the maritime border and leaves locked Albuquerque and Serrana Cays in Nicaragua.
Colombia hitches over some rocks and territory but instead lose the possibilities of maritime exploitations and fisheries resources in marine areas, the key to have stability in economic development. Nicaragua achieved its main objective, to extend its control over the Caribbean sea and put Colombia in a corner. Unfortunate decision that is irreversible.
The polemic words of Maria Angela Holguin “Solomonic position” of the Court finally met and now we feel the painful duty of asking permission to go to Nicaragua in able to cross to Albuquerque and Serrana Cays. Now Colombians will have to “jump” from one place to another to exercise sovereignty in these territories, whereas previously belonged to Colombia. Did Holguín words affected the decision or were simply a mechanism to prepare Colombian people?
Daniel Ortega and the Alba won. His victory allows to develop his geopolitically project and to assume a greater role in the Caribbean Sea. The ruling is the final episode of a dispute over 11 years in which he had allegedly Nicaragua opportunities victory.
Now hopefully territorial disputes with Venezuela on the “Monjes”and the Gulf of Coquibacoa do not acquire relevance. We cannot forget that La Guajira is also a strategic territory for the Bolivarian project, and Chavez in Article 7 of the Constitution establish that “The country is the one that belonged to the Capitania General of Venezuela before the political transformation in 1810 (…) “, a fact which confirms the interest of Chavez by projecting geopolitically and get control of this strategic region in terms of natural resources.
Could it be that we are ready to lose territory with Venezuela, while we must reaffirm our respect for international rules and instances in the past also led us to lose ground with Peru, Ecuador and Brazil?
It is important to respect international failures, but also have to sue the leaders and those who represent the interests of the entire state in international scenarios , it is not possible to assume a conformist position from the start. By contrast, just like Colombia has exercised sovereignty in the Cayys also has exercised sovereignty in the Sea.
Let’s wait if politicians, and the media besides analyzing the economic losses, will alsorefer to the geopolitical consequences that this represents for the country. However, there is an air “conformist” inconsistent with a judgment that will surely increase the tension between Nicaragua and Colombia.
PROCESSS OF PEACE WILL FAIL: ELN
In the latest statement, the guerrilla of Eln (“Army of National Liberation”) group said that peace talks between the government and the Farc are destined to fail while they don’t discussed deeply the socio-economic model that prevails in the country.
Words of Eln joint what recently Ivan Marquez said , who addressed the issue by stating that “the only viable way to end the 48-year war of FARC with the State is through the implementation of a comprehensive economic and social reform.”1
Eln also said in his recent statement “If the pursuit of peace by President Santos doesn’t open the doors in that direction [changes in socioeconomic model], the horizon is uncertain and risky.”2
It seems that both groups have agreed to pressure the government to include the issue of socio-economic agenda as part of the negotiations. What is unusual is that it looks like they unknown how the country has been operating in recent years and they are looking through a supposed representation of “the people”, to rebuild the economic model that supports the development of the country.
Such statements only generate more uncertainty and skepticism about the Legal framework for Peace that the FARC and the ELN have rejected. This means that the government needs to consider other trading tools that don’t involve the discussion of the socio-economic model of the country. Otherwise, it would open the door to many issues that involve structural reforms that most Colombians do not approve.
FARC and the ELN seek to achieve a “positive peace”, directly attacking the root causes of conflict, however, is simply a new discourse that seeks to generate followers and show the guerrilla groups supposedly with the support of civil society. This in order to generate pressure and produce the perception of a Government who refused to hand over.
The capabilities of the government’s negotiating team will require strong terms eloquent, and patience, with a FARC that not only seek to include the issue of socio-economic model on the table but also to get all the media attention through their main translator, the Dutch guerrilla.
Nor can we forget the Patriotic March interference. Piedad Cordoba recently said the process has to go a little further and that the country’s economic model should be part of the negotiation. This is simply a continuation of the discourse of Cordoba, who probably is looking to be a protagonist and have a direct participation in the peace process supposedly representative the civil society.
For now only hope that the Government will continue to ignore this issue and insist on the need to refer only to the agreement previously signed in Cuba. The country’s future is at stake and guerrilla sabotage cannot claim baseless and proposals of the past.
- Available in : http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/peace-talks/26855-colombia-peace-talks-doomed-to-perish-eln.html
- Available in: http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/peace-talks/26855-colombia-peace-talks-doomed-to-perish-eln.html
IMPUNITY FOR THE ARMED FORCES?
Members of the Armed Forces have demonstrated their commitment to the Colombian mission that has been conceived by the Constitution, in the article 217: “The nation will have for its defense a permanent military forces: the Army, Navy and Air Force (…) they will have as their main purpose the defense of the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national constitutional order”. Each strike under the framework of military operations are the result of the professionalization of the troops, who towards maintaining the security of Colombians have mitigated a significantly threat for the country: the FARC.
Today in the dialogues between the government and the FARC, we don’t understand how the guerrilla group who is protected under the Framework for Peace, will receive important legal benefits which doesn’t mean impunity, but it does generate nonconformist among Colombians, because the terrorist wont paid condemns in the jails. Transitional justice that protects the framework for Peace should be understood as a step towards peace, but it shouldn’t be direct just to those who have attack the population, international law and the development of the country.
In regard, some politicians have realized the incorrect message that has been send to Colombians, where no matter how many crimes have been committed by the FARC, they will find a way to not end up behind bars. The Vice President of the Senate, Guillermo Garcia Realpe said: “that as you will be given opportunities legal, economic and working for the guerrillas, an approach should also be given to members of the military forces that are in prison”. This doesn’t mean to put in the same level Forces members with the guerrillas, but would generate a balanced scale preventing overflow sideways and delay national reconciliation.
In the General Agreement which defines the top 5 issues of the negotiating table, is establishing political participation rights and guarantees for movements arising after they sign the agreement, which means that the group will seek to project itself as legal and legitimate political actor in the country. So senator Realpe said:”It doesn’t make sense the benefits the guerrillas will have like occupying political positions, while the police and military remain in prison.” It’s a purpose of the government to achieve the end of the conflict in Colombian, but now the question in the atmosphere is what will happen to the soldiers who are being judge by the ordinary courts for acts committed in the year of service?
While the main leaders of the FARC received the suspension of arrest police orders and attend meetings on international scenarios with the government, they are militaries that are spending long sentence because they don’t count with legal guarantees despite being in an internal armed conflict. One of the main reasons is because the congress haven’t approve the reform of military justice, and NGO´s continuously make critics, pointing that this reforms seeks the impunity of the military members. Base in this scenario, I wonder to whom
would actually the justice is giving impunity?
THE DREADFUL GESTION OF PETRO
Resounding article of Maria Isabel Rueda,directly attacking what she has named the “catastrophic” management of Mayor Petro. According to the journalist “Not only the Bogotá of Petro has not moved an inch on anything, it´s actually moving backwards in infrastructure, employment, mobility, construction, the right of access to water and now in trash collection “.1.
Rueda’s words refute the statement of Petro who declare in an interview of El Tiempo journal: “We do have risky policies, but we’re not improvising. We measure them every day” . It is precisely the lack of planning and execution capabilities of Mayor that people criticize. His experience as ex guerilla and senator goes back to his undeniable ability of a good speaker, but let’s face it; he doesn’t have clear proposals or implementation that demonstrates improvements he declare to have done.
Popular idiom says that people get what they deserve; an example of this is Chavez. What concerns is that after three periods of leftist local government, scandals do not stop and instead tend to get worst in the absence of a good management. Another problem is that Petro use the mayor´s office as a simple political platform in which he experiments. Why the citizens continue voting for these characters if year after year they have shown no management capacity?
Situation may tend to get worst, especially with the trash collection subject. The mayor’s decision to uncharged the Empresa de Acueducto continues to be a topic of discussion and debate, considering that this is one of the tasks that generate more public resources and that undoubtedly involves rethinking the role of waste pickers.
For many people, this is simply a clear reflection of the ability of Mayor to improvise, lack of planning and implementation of measures that Maria Jimena catalog as a “dictator style” . The crisis of the city goes far beyond, reaching the health and the inconsistent of hiring 122 persons as permanent staff.
The questions continue to rise and it seems that Petro responds to them avoiding the relevant issues and arguing that in concern to the role of the national government and his Mayoralty “they must organize and plan everything” . Planning and setting? Precisely your plan should had contemplated since his election the priorities for the city, identify threats and develop programs address to solve the problems.
The situation will become more complex if relations between the Mayor and Council of Bogotá persist under a tension atmosphere, and most significantly, is that the city has to live with Petro for three more years.
- Disponible en: http://www.eltiempo.com/opinion/columnistas/maraisabelrueda/ARTICULO-WEB-NEW_NOTA_INTERIOR-12338572.html
- Disponible en: http://www.eltiempo.com/colombia/bogota/ARTICULO-WEB-NEW_NOTA_INTERIOR-12338493.html
- Disponible en: http://www.eltiempo.com/opinion/columnistas/maraisabelrueda/ARTICULO-WEB-NEW_NOTA_INTERIOR-12338572.html
- Disponible en: http://www.eltiempo.com/colombia/bogota/ARTICULO-WEB-NEW_NOTA_INTERIOR-12338493.html
THE RIGHT OF THE MILITARIES TO VOTE
The Congress began to process a constitutional reform, which will generate a big polemic. The Vice President of the Congress Edgar Espíndola Niño (PIN) filed a parliamentary initiative in which returns to members of the Armed Forces the possibility to vote 1.
According to the proyect the article 219 of the Constitution of Colombia: “Members of the active security forces may exercise the right to vote, but not take part in activities or political discussions , political parties or movements” 2.
Defending the initiative, Espíndola argued that in countries like England, Spain, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Mexico, security forces are allowed to vote. “These countries have showed that is healthy for the democracy the participation of all citizens in the election of those who will govern,” said the senator 3.
The right to vote in elections for governors or collegiate bodies has the origins in 1851 in France wich established the right to vote to all citizens and in Colombia the Constitution enshrines it as a right and a civic duty in his art. 258, in the country are only deprived of political rights those facing prison for common crimes mandated by the criminal law and the military and police imposed by the constitution. Sadly they were put back on the same category.
It is ideal, that members of the Police and the Army be allow choosing as stated in art. 258 of the Constitution and is healthy to limit their possible interference with the right to participate in the establishment, exercise and control of political power that marks the art 40 of the Constitution in terms of participation, activism, deliberation or activities of political parties.
The military itself is not a person to whom you can deprive to exercise their rights as citizens because of political prejudices, applying a presumption of opposition to liberal or socialist models and labeling them a priori as recalcitrant extremist of the right wing. In Colombia even the narcoguerrillas and left groups talk about progressive militaries.
Be warned in advance, with the proposal of changing military doctrine implied by Luciano Marín Arango in Oslo, it is the recognition of the rights of citizens who are entitled under the same command of the Constitution contained in the art. 85, in both military and police enjoy the quality of citizens of the Republic of Colombia.
We agree with the not political activism of the active militaries or police ranks, but we do support the free development of individual’s personality that shapes the Armed Forces and police, according to their pattern of thought, to elect who should rule the destiny of a country they have sworn to defend to the death, as sadly is confirmed daily in this bloodied soil.
It is more and if you do so, the narco-terrorist enemy, the BACRIM and common criminals have no constitutional or legal limits to intervene in the election of our leaders at every level. As the number of minority offenders, it seems, as a result of criminal proceedings against the representatives of developed political power, which weighs more crime, that majorities who defend and fight in their jobs, homes, neighborhoods or cities for a better society.
Today the FARC-ONT, is responsible for the greatest crimes of war and crimes against humanity in Colombian history, the government provides a legal framework for them to exercise political activity, such as amnesties, leaving members of the Police and FF.MM as third class citizens, who do not even have the guarantee that announces art. 220 and 221, hitting the military honoring any way by those who don’t know the reality of military science, but posing as judges or prosecutors, considering the militaries as a zero.
At that point, Mr. Juan Manuel Santos nd other representatives of the political class, the international communism is going to win the game, if you deny the continuity of the proposal of Senator Edgar Espindola Niño.
I’m not a militant of the PIN party, I also do not know the Senator Espíndola, I am an old soldier of the country which has not abandoned the trenches for the defense of democracy and freedom as synonymous of the human being.
- EL ESPECTADOR. Fuerzas Militares quedarían facultadas para votar. Política. 24 de octubre de 2012. En: http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/politica/articulo-382958-fuerzas-militares-quedarian-facultadas-votar
THE CHANGE IN THE MILITARY DOCTRINE THAT THE FARC PROPOSE
In an arrogant way Luciano Marin Arango, alias “Ivan Marquez”, spokesman of the Farc, in the opening negotiation in Oslo announced a relevant point for the criminal organization to discuss, they mention changing the military doctrine, making plubicity over the goal that was set in the Forum of Sao Paulo (1990), : The use of the military forces as a political instrument in asymmetric war against Western democracy, the image and likeness of what is happening in Venezuela and developed in Bolivia. 1.
And that socialism truly believe in winning politically the war that terrorist organizations could never achieve by force, once the obtain the political victory, they will subjugated the Military Forces that fought them, thwart the forces and been useful for the dictatorship, declaring Armed Forces as “socialist, anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist”, guiding the development of a militia system “popular” formed by former members of criminal organizations and putting to the side the officers of the military ranks that are not agree with the new plan, turning them in a juridical target looking to justify the years of violence that the foment.
The first objective to achieve their purposes in Colombia as “Iván Márquez” says, would be the elimination of art. 219 of our Constitution, which would be replaced by something like the tax in the art. 326 of the Venezuela Constitution replying the thesis of the full frontal defense, which includes the use of Armed Forces as political arm of the regime.
The Armed Forces from its preparation, training, equipping and indoctrination, should be decisive in support of the so-called geopolitical XXI century socialism.
Thus, the FARC-ONT would be set as a major goal the dismantling of the current military structure Colombian military factor including the establishment of militias calls with power control and command the new military structure, arguing provide initial reintegration opportunities to former militants and the need to base the responsibility between State and Society under the theoretical postulates enunciated by the Chinese People’s Army colonels, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, in his book “the War Without restrictions “.
Given an asymmetric war, whose hypothetical enemy is none other than the U.S. and Western democracies, Cuba and Venezuela have justified a defensive strategy (overall defense), based on the formula of a war of attrition, where the direct participation of the citizenship is considered essential for victory. That is why the Forum of Sao Paulo is responsible for developing a new military doctrine, based on the same defensive strategy, involving civilians in national defense. In Bolivia since 2007, President and Army Commander General Evo Morales announced the design of a “defense system” called “patriotic struggle”, designed for a prolonged struggle of small towns and communities assisted by the across the country, they would fight the invaders to defeat him permanently, with the ally’s own environment “.
It’s not uncommon then and despite the warning of the negotiating team of the Colombian government, the FARC-ONT designed to achieve some concession in a reformulation of military doctrine for Colombia. Must be attentive Colombian society who committed crimes with weapons against the state and society in no way can be part of their FF.MM or police, because this would amount to maintain existing terrorist cells with the same weapons of the Republic.
- SAUMETH C, Erich. El nuevo pensamiento militar en las Fuerzas Armadas Nacionales de Venezuela.Camuflaje. Enero 25 de 2011. En: http://adolfoalfonzo.el-foro.net/t364-la-nueva-doctrina-militar-de-venezuela
- REAL INSTITUTO ELCANO. Bolivia también se prepara para la guerra asimétrica. La nueva formulación estratégica boliviana y sus paralelismos como Venezuela. 11 de enero de 2011. En http://www.realinstitutoelcano.org/wps/portal/rielcano/contenido?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/elcano/elcano_es/zonas_es/america+latina/ari2-2011
Speaking of illegal mining used by the FARC, the opinion shouldn’t only focus on the interest that the guerrillas have in achieving funding sources but also the side effects caused by this action in both, societies and in the environment.
Dabble in illegal mining represented for the FARC the best mechanism to create factors that allowed money laundering, illicit enrichment and avoids paying royalties. According to the report published by the International Center for Peace of Toledo , the FARC is the illegal armed group that exerts more influence in these areas, with a presence in Antioquía, Bolivar, Caquetá, Casanare, Cauca, Chocó, Nariño and Tolima.
The income coming from the extraction of minerals such as gold, generates greater productivity because international prices are rising, so that explains why the experts say the FARC are replacing drug trafficking by illegal mining. According to the report “86% of the gold mined in 2010 came not from th legal industry, so the FARC would be staying with 20% of the illegal business, followed by the ELN and criminal gangs.” This demonstrates how the incursion of the FARC in this sector has been widely accepted by their commanders, as they have found a way to finance from illegal mining.
However, one of the points more relevant that Toledo revealed is that it is possible that the interest of the FARC on tungsten mineral, is due to the ability to make profits from the negotiation of a material that works to fabricate ground-air missile and the production of missiles capable of breaching shielding shells. The FARC have clear that the handling of mineral resources; will help to expand their tentacles, to offset the weakness that the organization has in this moment, due to the operations of the armed forces against the illegal armed organization.
The FARC from this form of financing have managed to buy the machinery needed to extract minerals, but nonconforming they charge fees to small and medium scale miners, who use the activity as way of surviving. Similarly, targeted killings have increased in regions where the FARC have established their presence because of the illegal mining. The Colonel Jose Gerardo Acevedo Ossa, said to the El Colombiano newspaper that homicides in northeastern Antioquia have risen 192% so far in 2012, “where there is a dispute over territory and control of finances receiving illegal armed groups by extortion charge to the miners.”
The context creates a new gap in the problematic because the illegal groups used forced recruitment to make them work in mines, the sexual exploitation of women and what the Indians have called the disease of fear. This disease causes among indigenous to suicide, because they rather
die that to be forced to the displacement of their homes . Factors like this are a treat to the integrity of special groups, despite the existing rules and regulations for their cultures that the Farc knows very well, since in some cases the use the Indians as human messengers.
The environment suffers irreparable effects. Illegal mining develop inappropriate practices using the cyanide, for example, in Bolivar, “it is estimated that for every 2 thousand hectares exploited for mining, between 6 and 7 are exploited illegally by the Farc, which will open sores stunning a large area south of Bolivar . “The damage is mainly done in areas of special environmental protection”.
With this form of financing the FARC, once again reveal how they generate negative impacts to the country: socially, economically and environmentally. A guerrilla who has no solidarity with the special groups or biodiversity, has the nerve to say they represent Colombian people, ignoring every action that threatens the integrity of the country. His performance does not measure consequences, traces that the have leave in a unfixable way cannot be repair despite the end of the conflict, which does not mean they should not stop their terrorist actions.
- Observatorio Internacional. Centro Internacional de Toledo para la paz. Actores Armados Ilegales y Sector Extractivo en ColombiaV Informe 2012. Tomado de: http://www.toledopax.org/uploads/Actores_armados_ilegales_sector_extractivo.pdf?bcsi_scan_AEF13F8F510EE8AE=0&bcsi_scan_filename=Actores_armados_ilegales_sector_extractivo.pdf Citado el: 22 de octubre de 2012.
- El Colombiano. En 192% aumentó homicidio en el Nordeste antioqueño. Tomado de: http://www.elcolombiano.com/BancoConocimiento/E/en_192_aumento_homicidio_en_el_nordeste_antioqueno/en_192_aumento_homicidio_en_el_nordeste_antioqueno.asp Citado el: 23 de octubre de 2012
-  El Espectador. Los reclamos de la tierra negra. Tomado de: http://www.elespectador.com/impreso/choco/articuloimpreso200969-los-reclamos-de-tierra-negra Consultado el: 22 de octubre de 2010.
- Asociación Regional de Municipios del Caribe. Minería ilegal destruye medio ambiente en el sur de Bolívar. Tomado de: http://www.aremca.gov.co/ultimas-noticias/mineria-ilegal-destruye-el-medio-ambiente-en-el-sur-de-bolivar Citado el: 22 de octubre de 2012
ARE THE FARC VICTIMS?
Not even for the many fantastic stories that the guerrilla Farc manifested in the peace negotiations, seeking to show a organization that defends the population, there is a part of society that evidence with real facts the terrorist nature of the Farc, which systematically is attempting against the human dignity of Colombian people. The group generates repulsion and rejection among Colombians for every crime they have committed and which was increase by listening to the words of “Iván Márquez”, when he said: we are the victims.
A clear example of that occurs in the meeting on October 14 at the Plaza de Bolivar in Bogota, where about 300 Colombians were found with the same purpose: to know the truth about where are their relatives, if they were kidnapped, missing or recruited by the Farc. Even when victims are greater in number, lack of presence was due according to journalist Herbin Hoyos because “the Farc threatened the families and ordered armed strikes, so the victims wouldn’t be allowed to mobilized in some towns of Caquetá, Putumayo, Huila, Cauca and Norte de Santander “.
It is evident that the group performs this action, since the context is helping them to increase their popularity, so any movement in the country that goes against their words, who are looking to show an angel face, ensuring that they do not hijacked, will become a direct treat and obstacle to their goal of gaining legitimacy in international scenarios, therefore they will turn into a battle tag.
According to the Presidential Program Acción Integral contra Minas Antipersonal, between 1990 and September 2012, there were 10.412 victims. Among the people affected are the: Armed Forces, children, indigenous, afro-Colombians, and peasants. What is clear is that this people won’t forget what the Farc did in their life’s, because they will never recover their parts of their bodies, which they lost because of the mine that the Farc puts in the lands.
The list of the criminal actions that perpetrates the Farc goes on, Victims of terrorism Foundations denounces that woman and girls are cruelly turned into sex objects: “If they become pregnant, they are forced to abort, 90% have to do it under unhealthy conditions and under brutal methods, that make them have negative consequences physically and psychological. The woman that belong to the farc, suffer all kinds of humiliation and abuse, so many of them wants to leave the organization. But is not enough to have the courage, because if they find out they will kill them”  .
Karina a ex guerrilla who decides to demobilized from the terrorist organization and who is now a Peace manager, told the media , she was force for the guerrilla commanders to do 2 abortions, because according to her “the only one who are allow to have kids are the leaders” . The farc takes advantage from the woman vulnerable condition and of their superiority in their strength. Performing against them very type of humiliation, looking to satisfy their sexual appetite and the force them to abort, risking their life.
In the same way, you find the displaced population who according to the Agencia Presidencial para la Acción Social through May of 2011 they have registered about 3.7 million people . The violence unleashed by the Farc has force thousands of Colombians displaced from their homes, with their whole families, often being force to beg for money , so they can at least have a bite of food during the day. This generates human crisis and poverty incensement, wading the violence in the country,
Looking that scenario, society doesn’t understand how the farc lies to the whole country, passing over the victims, seeking to avoid responsibilities. Nevertheless, nothing else is expected from a illegal organization, who is has been characterized for attacking the society, blames their self when they are looking to earn the sympathy of the international community. Therefore it produce anger, frustration and patriotic pain when you hear them trying to manipulated and confuse with fallacies the international community, because every word they mention is charged of lies, for example when they call their selves Colombian representation when the only truth is they are the assassins.
The scenario becomes confusing, the government design the Marco Jurídico para la paz, under the concept of Transitional Justice, approved by the Congress, which the characteristic is the Truth, turning this in the warranty for the reparation of the victims. That is why, counting with the possibility of signing a peace agreement, exist the doubt over what will happen with the victims, the Frac doesn’t seem to show the real interest in the reconciliation with the country, because they are just looking to obtain legitimacy to strength their political speech trough fallacious statements that violate the reality of 48 millions Colombian people.
- Revista Semana. Así fue el Encuentro de víctimas de las FARC en Bogotá. Disponible en: http://www.semana.com/nacion/encuentro-victimas-farc-bogota/186481-3.aspx. Consultado el 22 de octubre de 2012
- Programa Presidencial para la Acción Integral contra Minas Antipersonal. Disponible en: http://www.accioncontraminas.gov.co/Paginas/victimas.aspx. Consultado 22 de octubre de 2012
-  Fundación Víctimas del Terrorismo. La miserable vida de las mujeres de las Farc. Tomado de: http://www.victimasdelterrorismo.org.co/?idcategoria=6860 citado el: 22 de octubre de 2012
- El Tiempo. Con 119 casos se abre capítulo de violencia sexual de las Farc. Tomado de: http://m.eltiempo.com/justicia/119-casos-de-violencia-sexual-de-las-farc/11620446 Citado el: 22 de octubre de 2012.
- ACNUR. Desplazamiento interno en Colombia. Tomado de: http://www.acnur.org/t3/operaciones/situacion-colombia/desplazamiento-interno-en-colombia/ Citado el: 22 de octubre de 2012
LANDMINES AND PEACE
Peace dialogues begin on October 8. Government and Farc already signed a General Agreement to End Conflict and the subject of landmines that are still planted all around the country does not seem to have the attention by any of the parts, how can this be interpreted?
In the agreement that was already signed, the subject of location of all landmines that have been planted by Farc does not appear in any Agenda, and most for sure if peace is signed ignorance of the location of the landmines will keep rising the number of victims because of these silent enemies.
The Government must seriously act with regard to this issue and demand that Farc deliver the location of planted mines to avoid that in a future post conflict scenario victims keep multiplying. Nevertheless, it seems that the Government is more concerned with signing the peace agreement rather than designing a future project about what could happen when violence stops with the guerrilla. Do the Government’s negotiators know the importance of demining as a way to achieve peace? Although in the first agreement there is a reference to victims and justice, what will happen to landmines victims of the next ten years?
The agreement signed between Colombia and the European Union which focuses on the strengthening of initiatives against landmines in 12 of Colombia’s departments, is one more backup to work in demining in the country and to prevent more victims. However, international agreements are not sufficient because many times the population that lives in a high risk area do not know how to avoid stepping a landmine, assisting victims or simply promoting demining.
Dialogues could not be considered successful while the process of demining is not complete. This implies that Farc must be the first ones to answer for the location of the landmines instead of declaring themselves as the main victims of the conflict, a statement that hurts and promotes rancor after more than 50 years of violence.
Yielding in excess is a mistake that could have disastrous consequences for the country if from the start of the negotiation aren’t establish clear, direct and brief negotiation parameters. Why not think beyond the rush of signing peace, and develop a post conflict scenario that comprehensively faces challenges that will emerge if the Government reaches and agreement with Farc?.
Landmines cannot be isolated from the negotiation because it means accepting that the population keeps living with fear of becoming a new victim. It is not the time to give benefits and concessions to a group that if it doesn’t confess the location of the landmines, will keep generating victims, uncertainty and pain.
THE TREMENDOUS ECHO OF RENÉ LANGLOIS
After 20 days of being released the French journalist René Langlois formed part of a television program at which he stated without any remorse that Farc had made a goal to the Colombian State with his kidnapping and that the armed group had won a “media war” that according to him, had been losing for years.
Committing the kidnapping crime against him, allowed Farc to gain media image abroad and the State turned out to be the loser. Not even Ingrid Betancur or the US contractors, who had more international exposure, had such impudence or elevated ego. Langlois was not a playing card for Farc, his kidnapping was an accident that happens during a conflict situation.
The French praises his captors, “they treated me very well, they did everything they could to prevent me from suffering. They never kept me tied, that’s why I didn’t leave traumatized”, and thanking this ‘humanitarian crime’, now he offers to be a spokesperson so that his truth is widely known. His theses will be that Farc’s actions are not a message “of rancor or hate, but of national reconciliation”.
He has such an intentional distortive vision that without any remorse he states that “Colombia has a political, drug traffic economic and social problem, which for thousands and maybe millions of Colombians there is no other choice in life to take arms to move forward”.
There is no political problem in the country. The Constitution of 1991 guaranteed the incorporation of all segments of thought of political ideology that existed and that would be afterwards created. Therefore if nowadays the Constitution or any other in the world does not accept the so called combination of all forms of struggle, armed and political, it is not a problem it’s barely a logical norm that guarantees coexistence and social order.
We have socio—economic problems that state organizations cannot run away from, socialist models couldn’t and that is why they failed. But Mr Langlois and other narco guerrilla supporters do not recognize that the country is doing an enormous effort to overcome poverty and exclusion problems and that such efforts are recognized worldwide just now at the G-20 meeting in México.
If socio-economic problems were the natural cause of conflicts or of narco terrorist threats, only some Nordic countries would be able to escape from the existence of armed clashes, civil wars or criminal actions determined by small minorities which claim that they act on behalf of majorities affected by those phenomena.
Drug traffic is not an excuse to justify narco guerrillas; it is also a worldwide phenomenon which nurtures from the demand of illicit drugs, especially from the so called developed countries. Consumers are the ones that provide capital which feeds conflict in countries like Colombia, the banks of those countries are the ones that hide and allow money laundering which enriches delinquent organizations. The omission of these governments to decisively combat drug traffic is what allows mafias to feel unpunished and act freely.
In Mr. Langlosi interview it can be seen that he is suffering from elevated ego syndrome that does not allow him to recognize himself as a Farc victim. Instead he praises them from not making him suffer like the other kidnapped people have suffered, it is something similar to the Stockholm Syndrome, but consciously he transforms into the spokesperson of his captors because that represents economic benefits and professional recognition especially in European media, who are unaware of our reality.
THE VENEZUELAN OFFENSE THAT WILL BEARLY BE A JOKE
It’s enough to hear the hasty heels of the Foreign Affairs Minister, running to explain that what the Venezuelan government said through their puppet dolls is not an official statement. Instead it is a ‘harmless’ comment of a journalist that was not intended to injury Colombian’s sensitiveness. This was enough to convince us that the Venezuelan government is our best friend.
Any idiot, similar to those that the Chavez regime pays, went out in public television of that country, not in private channels which could have been assumed as a statement of the enemy, and said that the terrorist attack against Fernando Londoño had been prepared and executed by Uribe’s followers. What worries me is that President Santos himself wanted to avoid calling Farc responsible for the terrorist attack. Is it coincidence or perverse political identity?
24 hours after this issue, Colombian political community entertains itself with Chavez affirmations, situation that enhances not only polarization but also the impossibility to reach a national peace agreement. Why has not Santos made any official statement with regard to such aggression against the national sovereignty?
Venezuela must not confuse us; the so called singer of Farc keeps being the manager of Continental Bolivarian Movement, which is why they haven’t delivered him to Colombian authorities, and the guerrilla leaders protected by that State will not be delivered either. Venezuela will not give to Colombian authorities those who are guilty of homicide in Colombia; they will keep searching among the idiots that thought that in that country they would find some kind of security. Those idiots will see how their labor rights are violated by working in a farm or rural property to justify their alleged support to the Chavez regime.
We only have to look to Venezuelan nationalist press, which diminishes the violent actions that Farc and their criminal allies commit against Venezuelans and Colombians. It is clear they must find a justification to tell their citizens that when they are not accomplices of the violence against their people, they are incapable of fighting it.
END TO EXTORTIVE KIDNAPPING?
War journalists have become the main source of information about an international or national conflict. Events like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya or Syria are only few examples of how these journalists risk their lives to obtain fresh news. Nevertheless, their risks of their profession force them to seek better protection mechanisms to avoid becoming a new victim.
Considering this situation, the Federation Union of Journalists designed the bylaw of the War Journalist, which establishes a series of basic principles to assure the safety of the reporter. The document states that “in any war or conflict situation the reporter must take decisions with regard to his/her job; including how to do the media coverage and his personal safety”.
The bylaw also states that “When the time comes to do a media coverage about a war or a conflict or a situation that involves risk, the most important thing for the journal’s company must be the safety of the reporter (…) the company will provide resources for his/her safety such as bullet proof vest, helmet, medical kit, satellite phone (…)”. 
Considering the above, it is clearly stated that the responsibility of the safety of the French journalist kidnapped by Farc, is of his company. The enterprise must have previously granted him all the necessary elements for his security so that he could do his job calmly.
His kidnapping has become worldwide news. Unfortunately, Colombia keeps appearing in the media from a negative point of view. However, the initial lack of certainty of whether he had disappeared or if he was actually abducted by Farc, seem to have been cleared out. The important thing is that the world is finally seeing the true modus operandi of Farc, a group that has never considered establishing a peace dialogue. With the journalist they intend to clamor for their so called ‘war prisoners’.
It is unfortunate that the world keeps issuing groundless accusations about the journalist’s clothing, whether he was wearing military elements. It is more regretable that the government gives explanations about the decision taken by an independent and autonomous person that in spite of the risks was aware that he was possibly going to become indirectly involved in the conflict.
The most embarrassing situation is for those that call themselves ‘facilitators’, people who proclaim peace ideas while Farc kidnap a civilian that wasn’t part of the conflict, an action that contravenes International Humanitarian law and that they intend to disguise him as a ‘war prisoner’, when his only weapon was a camera.
Is it possible to talk about peace dialogues when these types of situations happen? Where are Farc’s peace intentions if they keep using kidnapping as a political weapon?
ORGANIZED CRIME IS THE BEST BUSINESS IN THE WORLDO
During the week different media have emphasized their analysis and news on transnational organized crime and its influence around the world. According to information revealed by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) , organized crime is about 3,6% of the Gross Domestic Product of the world. The chief of the organism, Yuri Fedotov, said this criminal activity moves annually approximately US$2, 1 billion, amount that is equivalent to one of the top 20 economies of the world.
The international organism stressed that the most vulnerable countries to organized crime are those that are still developing and that have high levels of corruption. Additionally, it highlights the adaptation capability that these criminal structures have in order to face combat measures designed by States. In the case of Colombia, the General Attorney’s Office estimates that money laundering is approximately US$8.000 million, amount that is equivalent to 3% of the national Gross Domestic Product.
Besides from the report of the UN, the journal El Espectador revealed alarming information that affirms that Buenos Aires, Argentina, is an “open door for Colombia’s drug trafficking”. Colombia’s concern is so high that the ambassador of the country in Argentina met with the Minister of Security to deal with the situation directly. According to the Prevention of Addictions and Drug Control Traffic Commission of Argentina, this is an attractive and permeable country because there is no control over airspace, frontiers are vulnerable and there is no State Policy against drug traffic.
Mass media also mentioned the situation that is taking place in Venezuela, especially how Mexican cartels and criminal gangs have become the owners of drug traffic routes thorough the neighbor country. The concern is that these felonies no longer imply policing or military measures; transnational crime has infiltrated political and institutional structures of the Colombian and Venezuelan border. ‘Los Zetas’, Dominican and Colombian cartels have initiated a ceaseless dispute to control frontier territories. Their presence is frequent between La Guajira and Zulia. Drugs travel through Venezuela reach Brazil, and are afterwards sent to Africa and Europe.
Unfortunately the problem transcends States’ borders, which means that regional and worldwide policies must be designed in order to attack this threat from all its angles. Due to the transnational, adaptability and malleable characteristics of this enemy, combating it is much more difficult and not entirely definitive. Besides, the situation complicates even more if the problem infiltrates state’s institutions.
Colombia is still a problematic piece of this puzzle. Nevertheless, the acquired experience combating drug traffic consolidates us as leaders in this type of scenarios. Additionally, it’s important constant coordination between the Chancellor and the Defense Ministry, because confronting this threat is not only Colombia’s responsibility. Shared responsibility must be fostered in order to design not only national but regional strategies. That is why we have to use international scenarios such as the Andean Community, Mercosur, Celac and Unasur. We must not have a short term vision; co-responsibility is a necessity and an obligation for all States.
Finally, we need to understand to approach the threat not only from a military or policing perspective, if corruption exists within States’ institutions, political will and efficient judicial systems are required. We need interagency compromise and combined it with tween entities in different countries of the region.
EXPROPRIATION SYNDROME IN LATIN AMERICA
Recent decisions made by Argentinian President, Cristina Kirchner, announcing the expropriation of 51% of shares of Spaniard company Yacimientos Petrolíferos (YPF-Respsol), concentrate the world’s attention. Her decision motivated positive and negative statements, showing deep differences between Presidents of the continent.
According to the information revealed by the Argentinian government, this decision was made because the Spaniard company didn’t invest in the country. In fact, Argentina had to import fuel during 2010. Spain is demanding de Argentinian government retribution of more than 10.000 million dollars because of the expropriation.
Argentina joins Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, countries where nationalization of countless enterprises has already happened. President’s Chavez and Morales made a statement in favor of Kirchner. The Venezuelan Ministry of Energy and Oil said: “We support the sovereign decision of the Argentinian government. We understand that all governments have the right to sovereignly use their natural resources. Yesterday we spoke with the Argentinian Minister, Julio de Vido, and told him we were ready to assist them with all our operational capability and legal policies”.
On the other hand, Evo Morales also announced his support to Kirchner’s saying that Argentina has recovered its natural resources. Additionally, he considered that the decision “will not influence Bolivia at all because our agreements are signed between company and company and with the trust of the governments of Spain and Bolivia”. Brazil has the same view: “each country is sovereign and has the right to make its own decisions”.
Due to the strong impact that this ruling has had, Colombia through the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Sergio Díaz Granados, confirmed to Spaniards entrepreneurs that “We don’t expropriate”, an announcement that intended to reaffirm Colombia as an excellent investment opportunity. The Minister’s words are shared by the President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, who insisted all Latin-American countries to avoid promoting judicial instability. Clearly, Colombia and Mexico maintain similar policies and under no circumstance they want to jeopardize international commerce.
Socialism of XXI Century keeps deepening differences between countries of the continent only days after the Summit of the Americas took place. How can we understand and accept these differences and simultaneously consider enhancing commercial bonds through Mercosur and the Andean Community, when presidents are motivating instability, protectionism and isolation of the region?
Unfortunately abysses keep consolidating in Latin America, a region that is significantly affected by the excessive level of personalistic presidentialism of leaders that use democracy’s discourse and participation to perpetuate their rule.
This is what happened at El Plateado, department of Cauca, where soldier Diego Fernando Arias of Brigade XXIX died while moving a food shipment that was going to be sent to a Military Unit.
No one can justify that an armed illegal organization, that insists in convincing society they have will to dialogue, statement that is also expressed by their supporters, resorts to insane attacks against unarmed military units, like the one of soldier Arias or those that they repeatedly commit against civil population southwest of Colombia.
This cannot be considered a demonstration of strength that is part of and asymmetrical confrontation. It cannot be understood as a ‘normal’ situation that takes place during the development of a conflict. It is a despicable assassination, intentional and aggravated homicide against a citizen who in that moment was helplessness and towards whom the attacker acts pretentious and with cold blood.
It is unthinkable that diverse NGO’s that defend human rights keep silent in face of this heinous crime. If these organizations denounce and condemn ‘extra-judicial’ crimes, they must also censure these shameful actions in order to show once and for all that their interests are common good, and not serving as a media outlet of those who unjustly where once called “altruistic fighters” by a magistrate of the Republic.
Situations like the one in Cauca must motivate deep and serious thinking of those that prematurely promote in Congress a legislative peace proposal. Farc’s criminal conduct uses these gestures of good will to viciously attack Colombian society; this has been demonstrated for more than 50 years of criminal activity by this organization.
At international scenarios, International Red Cross and even in United Nations, it has been stated that the wish of the non-state side, in relation to internal armed conflicts, of acquiring political and even judicial legitimacy, has to be founded in the promotion and respect of international humanitarian law. If this condition is not fulfilled there is a legal and moral obstacle for making such recognition, as some of our congressmen want to hurriedly grant it to Farc.
Legitimizing narco terrorists, involving them in a peace legislative proposal when they have not showed any concrete peace gestures, like for instance halting terrorist actions, is a very expensive mistake for national security, Colombia has many examples. This shameful history cannot be repeated.
PEACE AS A SEMIOTIC MATTER
Throughout time Farc and Eln aggressions towards Colombians have evolved, left wing supporters of these groups have justified their transgression of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. They have made their own interpretation of concepts and definitions that ultimately become socially accepted or politically correct. It’s an intolerable moral dictatorship of minority thought, as Stuart Mill would say.
It was mandatory to define a narco terrorist action, not as an aggression or a threat against the existent democracy, but understood as an internal armed conflict in which direct actors were given an undeserved role. Today they want to force us recognize the existence of political or war prisoners, referring to those delinquents that are serving time in legitimate prisons, as a ‘pay back’ for liberating military and police men kidnapped by Farc.
Colombian people cannot forget that at least 50 military and police men and 400 civilians have disappeared because of this armed illegal organization (OAI in spanish). Therefore, it has become a necessity and a social challenge demanding narco terrorists to tell the truth about the whereabouts of these people as a sine qua non condition to address any topic that may lead to dialogue or peace negotiations between the State and OAI.
Yesterday Professor Juan Gabriel Gomez was quoted in relation to the requirement to avoid that Farc take over our own clamor, which should be used to demand the existence of real social justice to rebuild the country. Due to today’s avalanche of notes and media commentaries the same ones that in 1998, proposed dialogue with OAI as the only solution, as if today they are considered a narco terrorist threat for the development of our democracy.
We are only a step away of granting Farc and Eln the famous quote of Magistrate Carlos Gaviria Diaz, making legal any crime that they have committed, which is justifiable if it means improving life’s of others. Forgiveness and forgetfulness for narco terrorists, while all the load of law for those that fought them. These will be the politically accepted demands in a country whose regimen has to interact with minorities and not majorities, with the electoral strong point that they was previously committed with.
Colombia’s President uses as a model “make peace” with Farc and Eln, the same one used to fix relations with Venezuela and Ecuador.
The President, who certainly settled relations with Venezuela after months of diplomatic crises, insisted that he would directly get involve in a peace dialogue with rebels in order to terminate with a conflict that has lasted more than 50 years; to achieve this, he “demanded a true manifestation of will [of peace]”. He highlighted the recent liberation process of 10 military and police men that Farc kept kidnapped from 10 to 12 years, and also recognized the announcement made by the group halting extortive kidnapping, one of their main financing methods along with drug trafficking. “These are examples, but I don’t consider them enough manifestations” said Santos, and he also emphasized that he wouldn’t start any negotiation until he is not sure that it ‘could be successful’.
USEFUL IDIOTS AND OTHER CAUSESY
Farc and their followers intend to affect the combat motivation of Military Forces through a meaningless letter written by a person that calls himself Esteban Martinez. The message was published in one of the web pages of the narco guerilla group and its goal is to show Colombian soldiers without Fe en la Causa.
The author of the message wants to show narco guerrillas as invincible, a criminal organization that hasn’t lost its fighting capability in spite of all the strategic blows that it has suffered. They want to use as their own the moral victory of all legitimate Colombian soldiers and ascribe them to the same criminals that assault our society since 1964 and before.
The significant defeats that they have suffered are explained by them as an internal weakness, not caused by obvious superiority and efficiency of Colombian Military Forces and the guerrilla’s dimness that forces them to recruit children and adolescents to supply their loses throughout their structural organization.
Recycling the same argument that narco guerrillas are defeated is a military action of ‘imperialism’, it shows strategic and tactical ignorance of the same illegal armed organizations. This is proof of their historical stiffness and their lack of vision of Colombia’s current reality. It explains why Fidel Castro classified them as an anachronism impossible to justify.
However there is an unquestionable reality, Farc, Eln or Criminal Groups have never gained the necessary popular support in order to be considered as insurgent forces. During the democratic history of Colombia, less than 1% of Colombians has expressed public recognition of a force that favors narco terrorism. This is a socio-political reality that narco guerrillas do not represent any political cause, hence, their armed aggression is not a synonym of liberation war or any other title that International Humanitarian Law could grant them.
Corrupt expressions of judicial power that have raised them to humanitarian organizations in order to justify their abhorrent crimes are not enough. Colombian society has expressed itself rejecting narco guerrillas and their violation conduct of International Humanitarian Law.
Demanding as a previous condition to release all military hostages the visit of Piedad Cordoba to terrorists that have been sentenced is a mockery of future expectations of peace and national reconciliation. This gets more serious when a veil of silence and forgetfulness is maintained with regard to the destiny of more than 700 Colombians kidnapped by Farc and from who no news has been received.
Peace in Colombia is not only built with the declaration of Farc saying that they want to halt extortive kidnapping. Peace requires a true demonstration of putting aside and halt using terrorism as a form of political struggle. It really means creating historical memory that communism has perverted since the 1950’s. Requests have been made demanding penal responsibility of those that promoted and created illegal AUC groups, therefore it is also right to request the same treatment of those who endorse and support narco guerrillas, they have to answer judicial claims and to the Colombian people.
There are no words to describe the anger and pain that overwhelms the hearts’ of Colombians caused by the cruel murder of 11 young soldiers in Arauquita committed by Farc. The assassinations violate International Humanitarian Law and War Law mandates because delinquents murdered with coup de grace soldiers that had already been ambushed and weakened while watching over energetic infrastructure.
Beyond the possible tactical error that the military unit could have committed, Farc’s cruelty is a deplorable act of violence. Since 1929 the international community has elaborated rules that demand respect for human dignity and integrity towards those that form part of the military forces during an armed conflict. Specifically when members of the military are weakened or wounded because they cannot continue performing soldier duties.
A series of rules control behavior during war: the Geneva Convention of 1929 with regard to the army’s sick and wounded; X Hague Convention of 1907, that adapts maritime war to the Geneva Convention principles and the Convention of 1929 related to the right treatment of war prisoners. All of these norms are applied during an internal armed conflict like the one that is taking place in Colombia.
If Farc and Eln are searching for national and international political recognition, they have to start obeying humanitarian rules, which include not kidnapping military or police men to use them as an instrument of political war or social blackmail. NGO’s that support narco guerrillas use the terms “war prisoners” to refer to those kidnapped by Farc Hopefully, these same NGO’s demand terrorists respect towards international rules about kidnapping and reject all types of violations to international humanitarian law committed by the perpetrators of such behavior.
From the moment a soldier is wounded or loses combat capability in any conflict, he immediately acquires the condition of protected person preset by international law. Therefore, the criminal conduct of narco terrorists is more serious when their actions are against this type of person because they are committing a war crime, which is defined as such by international Conferences and established in articles 49 to 52 of the I Convention, 50 to 53 of the II Convention, 129 to 131 of the III Convention and 146 to 149 of the IV Convention, all of which were ratified in the XVIII International Conference of the Red Cross.
The text written in 1929 only demanded respect and protection for the wounded. Article 12 now comprehends and lists prohibited actions against life, torture, willful neglect, etc. It also specifies what data is needed with regard to captured wounded, as well as duties related to dead people (Articles 16 and 17). In a new layout (Article 18) population and relief societies are guaranteed their right to assist wounded and sick people. These last two mandates are usually systematically violated by narco guerrillas, that without any sorrow dare to call themselves a political-military organization with capacity to negotiate peer to peer with the Colombian State.
In addition to Farc’s mockery with regard to Colombians desire for peace, they now condition the release of the ten military men if the government allows Piedad Córdoba to visit inexistent political prisoners. These prisoners are a political price that she continues to accumulate by manipulating victims and their families.
The liberation process was suspended until the State, Red Cross, Brazilian government and spokesmen of Farc approved security protocols. Nevertheless, Córdoba aberrantly and indiscriminately proposed, through Colombians for Peace and accompanied by Marleny Orjuela and Asfamipaz, visiting prisons to interview terrorists that are paying for their crimes. The liberation process was pending on exchanging delinquents already sentenced by Colombian justice.
Without doubt these facts show the true criminal and cruel nature of narco guerrillas and their supporters. Their goal is to reach some kind of political success disguised as dialogue, so that illegal armed organizations can have a new opportunity to continue their aggression towards Colombian society with more strength.
Farc and their followers have unleashed a war rumor that intends to ‘create political pressure conditions’ on the government so that it opens negotiation doors with this illegal armed group. Objective conditions don’t exist yet. Farc hasn’t relinquish terrorism as a form of struggle, they haven`t stop recruiting minors or halting extortive kidnapping. Although alias ‘Timochenko’ has done several statements, until today Farc actions towards peace are non-existent.
Since the end of last year Farc has been announcing the liberation of military and police men kidnapped for more than 14 years, in a sinister game accompanied by Colombianos y Colombianas por la Paz. These remarks have delayed the accomplishment of the legal obligation to free the kidnapped people; instead they have used all types of tricks to postpone the process in order to obtain more political support for the organization and its followers.
While Farc talk about putting an end to extortive kidnapping as a way of finance, they don’t provide any explanation for more than 450 Colombians that have disappeared because of their criminal actions. In addition to this, NGO’s Human Rights defenders keep insisting on a ‘humanitarian exchange’ of prisoners, instead of demanding these narco-terrorists the truth about all who have been victims of kidnapping.
This war rumors that were part of the false armed strike in Choco, which was promoted through threatening leaflets against the population to stop normal life activities in this Department, have a clear goal: show themselves strong in the face of possible negotiations with the Colombian government. Criminal attacks against innocent people and murdering the poorest and most vulnerable are also a way to show their strength.
By means of these assassinations, Farc seek to deliver a message to the population: the State will not be able to defend you from us. This has always been the goal of terrorism, produce joint panic and mistrust towards institutions.
This war rumor has led some interested people to leak information to the media, affirming that President’s Santos trip to Cuba was to agree with Dictator Castro and Hugo Chavez on a possible exile for Farc and Eln leaders in the island.
In different conditions this might’ve been possible; however leaders of illegal armed organizations must answer judicial claims of crimes against humanity. Besides, Colombia’s commitment with the ICC, forbids the government to grant any type of amnesty or pardon to these delinquents, not even asylum. If Santos committed such act, the government would be obstructing justice and omitting the implementation of punitive norms. This will transform those who must answer judicial claims into ICC inmates.
It’s probable that given objective conditions to deny a political negotiation with Farc and Eln, legal instruments of transitional justice will be applied, the same ones that have been criticized with the Auc. Nevertheless, the government cannot waive the application of punitive norms.
Saul Hernandez Bolivar affirms that when Farc announced the end of extortive kidnapping, they were not motivated by any humanitarian reason. They decided this pragmatically. Farc finance with drug traffic and don’t depend on extortive kidnapping as they used to, that is why this decision cannot be considered as meritorious. Besides, they intend to sustain kidnappings with a political end, and don’t inform anything about what has happened with hundreds of kidnapped people whose life is uncertain.
Media show of Farc supporters is perverse and harmful. It aims to convince Colombian people that what is good for them is good for Farc. This is why we don’t have to yield to peace statements that represent war rumor, which unfortunately finds in media a social and invaluable ally that is used as a soundbox of unverified information.
THE REAL ARMED STRIKE IN CHOCOY
¿Armed strike in Choco? There is no armed strike because Farc doesn’t have any type or armed power that inhibits normal life activities of people in this department. It is a terrorist action that attacks collectively and paralyzes citizens.
Threatening the weakest and unprotected to claim a power that they don’t possess cannot be considered a success for the insurgents. It would’ve been a triumph if the population supports and armed group, decides willingly to suspend their daily duties and demands the State to embrace policies that respond to the ideological purpose of such group.
Assassinating a humble bus driver to force enterprises suspend their travelling routes, shooting fishermen’s’ lodgings or launching 4 improvised explosives devices against humble houses in Bojaya, it’s not precisely an example of Farc’s courage or political victory. On the contrary, it shows they are desperately coward and that have politically failed by using criminal and delinquent tools to impose themselves through fear.
Chocoan’s have answered with dignity. During the last few days, Quibdo has marched and other communities demand narcoterrorists to respect their fundamental rights. Farc not only threatens to murder civilians that don’t abide to their terrorist messages of imposing an inexistent armed strike, they also isolate them psychologically and halt all transportation of products such as food, fuel, health related. It’s a crime against humanity. Medieval places and Farc became outdated many years ago.
Nothing can be expected from a criminal organization whose leader lives in the past. He even delivers irrational speeches in Latin and is convinced that nothing has changed since the Berlin Wall fell.
Rejected by the entire world, these terrorists hide in the jungle and threaten small communities to show that they still exist. They use terrorism over native and afrocolombian communities so that their organizations speak out and use insurgent’s arguments as their own.
This week’s terrorist actions of Farc in Choco have nothing to envy of those criminal strategies applied by ‘Los Rastrojos’ last month. In that opportunity NGO’s defending Human Rights, MOVICE, Colombians For Peace and law firms spoke out claiming urgent actions from the State against “paramilitarism”, however they have remained complicity silent about what is happening in Choco.
Farc put in grave danger civil population, but it seems in this case that for those NGO’s rights of victims are not considered as such.
The IV Convention of UN of 1949, related to protecting civil population during war or non-international conflict, compels Farc although cynically during times of the demilitarized zone because alias ‘Tirofijo’ affirmed that it wasn’t signed. NGO’s and our judicial authorities cannot forget that the infringement of this international regulation is a felony against humanity. Omission to investigate and sanction facts like the one that is happening in Choco, give the International Criminal Court competence to intervene and investigate the authors and sponsors of such crimes.
Sooner or later our justice system has to expose narco-terrorists and those who politically shelter at their expense. Colombian conflict cannot keep prolonging because of a democratic misconception of impunity towards illegal armed groups and their supporters. What is happening in Choco deserves an overwhelming answer of all Colombian society.
There is no need to be an expert to conclude that once Farc accomplish their criminal operation against Choco, their followers will keep insisting on the release of kidnapped military men. With this strategy they seek to diminish public attention of those who demand punishment towards the same sponsors of illegal abductions.
THE ONSLAUGHT OF FARC IS AN EXPRESSION OF PUSILLANIMITY
Placing explosives near schools or roads that peasants, women and children transit, communities that the guerrilla affirm they represent, are a cowardly expression that shows their weakness. Only their defenders would intend to explain such terrorist actions as a violent escalation that must have a political outcome.
Accepting this thesis, means asking Colombian people to yield their most sacred values and principles to organized crime, whether it’s guerrilla or criminal bands. If this suicide route continues, we shall also yield our cities to micro traffic, to those who manage prostitution businesses and to every delinquent that commits crimes for social reasons or because he/she feels like a social and economic outcast. Our reality cannot be expressed in any other way.
The current onslaught forms part of a march promoted to vindicate supposed State victims, endorsed by the communist organization Movice, which will take place on Mach 6th. It’s no coincidence that Farc ordered an armed strike in Risaralda and Choco between March 1st and 8th and intensified their attacks against civilians in Cauca and Arauca. There is coordination. Narcoguerrillas are going to use the liberation process to take back land which they have lost thanks to the determined action of People-Government and Armed Forces in the implementation of the Defense and Democratic Security Policy.
A succession of facts demonstrates such behavior: at the end of 2011 four kidnapped soldiers were assassinated. Farc’s political spokeswoman try to hide their action saying that they killed them because of intense military pressure, a few days later Farc said that they were going to liberate them. Shortly after Farc declares they are liberating 6 kidnapped soldiers, afterwards Piedad Cordoba (Farc’s main ally) publicly demands the release of 10 people and calls for an international media crusade that follows the entire process. The narcoguerrilla then announces that they are willing to release all 10 and at the same time broadcast epistles to talk about their desire of peace.
Simultaneously, Farc unleash a terrorist trend against civilians in Nariño and Cauca and attack transporters in Putumayo and Caqueta, leaving victims and destruction. Colombian people and the international community express their repudiation towards this criminal entity.
Movice answers with a rally rejecting State victims, talking about rebirth of paramilitarism and of joint operations between the Armed Forces and criminal bands. The sole intention of these actions is to distort the image and nature of a conflict promoted by the Colombian Communist Party (PCC) through Farc more than 50 years ago. One of the sponsors of the rally is precisely the son of one of the ideologists of the combination of all forms of struggle, motto that the PCC used to create peasant self-defense groups, that later became known as Farc.
Other Farc supporters create commotion with the liberation process topic and manage to do a hypocritical declaration emphasizing that Farc are putting a halt to extortive kidnapping. Nevertheless, nothing is said about 750 Colombians that still remain captive. These crimes have been silenced by guerrillas, Movice and other NGOs that supposedly defend human rights. Forced recruitment of children and adolescents, whom are used as sex slaves or cannon fodder, are also victims that no one mentions.
These are the true victims of conflict who no one speaks about. They are not the ones that promote clashes serving as militias, informants, economic supporters or politicians that conformed illegal self-defense groups.
This has been a dramatic story that has repeated itself for more than 50 years. From a legitimate scenario people and organizations abuse democracy and defend assassins in the name of communism. However, they have showed their real nature: narco-terrorists. Story repeats itself. Indifference of authorities towards those who look for national or international political recognition has allowed criminal organizations to jeopardize any authority in remote regions of the country.
It’s time to rise and reject once and for all and through every legal mean, any institutional weakness with regard to Farc. These warlords have to know that Colombia will never yield and that Colombians support their Armed Forces in the decisive battle to return peace to our suffered country.