Tag Archives: paramilitarism

Leader of Deathsquads Wins Colombian Election

The following article from VoltaireNet is by James Petras:

With just a 30 percent turnout, the election of new Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was celebrated as a “victory for democracy” by major western media outlets. However, they blithely omitted to report on Santos’ role in the killings of over two thousand people presumably by the security forces while he was Defence Minister and his close involvement with death squads and narco traffickers. As one of Washington’s staunchest allies in Latin America and enthusiastic free-market champion, Colombia’s appalling human rights record and model of brutal political and social repression is news that doesn’t make the news.

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FARC-EP: May 1st, the Workers’ Day!

The following is a translation for The Marxist-Leninist of the statement for International Workers Day, May 1, from the website of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP), where it can be read in its original Spanish:

“Proletarians of all countries, unite!” – Karl Marx and Frederick Engels

It has been 162 years since the greatest thinkers and philosophers of the proletarian class, Marx and Engels, united in an unprecedented friendship in the history of humanity, and invited us to the unity, fraternity, and solidarity between exploited peoples of the world with the Communist Manifesto. These two great thinkers and tireless workers of intelligence armed the proletariat ideologically, and created consciousness in the proletarian class. More importantly, they scientifically described the universal historical mission to transform it, to bury the bourgeoisie as a class, and on its tomb, to build a new society without classes, where man gives up on being its own enemy.

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Paramilitary U: New Death Threats on Colombia’s Campuses

The AUC is Colombia's largest paramilitary death squad

The following commentary by James Jordan is from Fight Back! News:

In early November I received a copy of a death threat made against student activists at the University of the Atlantic in Barranquilla, Colombia. The threat was sent out in the name of the “United Self-Defense Forces (AUC)-Rearmed”. The AUC is the largest paramilitary organization in Colombia, though it supposedly demobilized due to government efforts. However, a number of organizations, from Arco Iris Corporation to Human Rights Watch, have reported that para-militarism is actually on the increase, often in the form of new or reconstituted organizations.

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Military Buildup in Colombia: A Rumor of War

The following article, originally from The Rag Blog, is being re-posted here from the website of the Colombia Action Network:

A rumor of war:
Shadows of Vietnam in Colombia

By Marion Delgado / The Rag Blog / January 22, 2010

CARTAGENA DE INDIES, Colombia — I borrowed the title of this post from Lt. Philip Caputo’s excellent book covering the U.S. Marines’ first six months in Vietnam, not only because I like the title, but I also see some correlation between his story and the story of our troops now being written in the jungles of Colombia.

As in Caputo’s war, death, destruction, and mayhem were preceded by, first, a troop build-up, and then, small skirmishes which were the precursors to all-out war.

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Super Criminals: Chiquita Lauded for Human Rights Abuses

The following is from CounterPunch. For more on the Chiquita paramilitary case, see the documentary, Chiquita: Between Life and Law, as well as the material collected on the website of the Colombia Action Network:

Super Criminals
Chiquita Lauded for Human Rights Abuses
By DAN KOVALIK

In its most recent edition, the magazine, “Super Lawyers,” gave its cover story to the General Counsel of Chiquita Brands International, praising him for navigating the complex and difficult waters of Colombia. What it failed to mention is the trail of tears in Latin America left behind by Chiquita (formerly United Fruit, the architect of the 1954 coup in Guatemala as well as the 1928 massacre of striking banana workers in Cienaga, Colombia memorialized in One Hundred Years of Solitude). The following letter, by union labor lawyer, Dan Kovalik highlights the contradictions in the applause given to Chiquita. We note that, just after this letter was written, Chiquita also received (quite ironically) a “sustainability award” for its business abroad.

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Chiquita: Between Life and Law

An excellent documentary about U.S. banana giant, Chiquita Banana (formerly the notorious United Fruit Company) financing and arming Colombian death squads. For more about this visit the Colombia Action Network website.

The Killings Go On: Targeting Unions in Colombia

I am posting this in light of what was said regarding Colombia in Wednesday’s presidential debates. The following article is from Counter Punch:

By CONN HALLINAN

There are lots of places in the world where you need to watch your step. You don’t want to be a Sunni in a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad (or vice versa). It’s probably not smart to speak Tamal in southern Sri Lanka. You might want to keep being a Muslim under wraps in parts of Mindanao. But most of all you don’t want to be a trade unionist in the U.S.’s one remaining ally in South America, Colombia.

“Colombia is the most dangerous place in the world to be a trade unionist,” says Jeremy Dear, chair of the British trade union organization, Justice For Colombia (JFC), “In fact, more trade unionists have been murdered in Colombia during [Alvaro] Uribe’s presidency than in the rest of the world over the same period.”

In April, the Colombian Trade Union Confederation reported that the first part of 2008 saw a 77 percent increase in the murder of trade unionists. Continue reading