Tag Archives: parapoliticas

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

Colombia: Mercenaries freed, FARC carries forward fight for liberation

This is a repost from the old ML blog.

Colombia: Mercenaries freed, FARC carries forward fight for liberation

Free Ricardo Palmera!

Free Ricardo Palmera!

FIGHT BACK! NEWS: Analysis by Tom Burke

The Bush Pentagon and State Department are crowing after a raid in which 15 prisoners of war, including three American mercenaries, were freed. What they are not telling you is that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were preparing to unilaterally release the prisoners in early July 2008.

The FARC moved the prisoners of war from three separate jungle camps to one location, planning to transfer them by helicopter and release them to French and Swiss government envoys. It was a simple plan that would have given the FARC a platform to demand freedom for 500 FARC fighters in Colombian prisons. For FARC negotiator Ricardo Palmera and rebel Sonia (Anayibe Rojas Valderrama), held as hostages in U.S. jails, the raid and the refusal of the U.S. and Colombian governments to negotiate is bad news.

During its 44 years of fighting a guerrilla war in the countryside of Colombia, the FARC has unilaterally released prisoners a number of times, including seven months ago. These prisoner releases provide a rare opportunity for the FARC to present their political views and talk about pathways to social justice and peace in Colombia. At the prisoner release ceremonies, the FARC message sharply contrasts with the typical media distortions and censorship about them. In recent times, the U.S. strategy is to criminalize the FARC, to make it impossible for the FARC to negotiate with the Colombian government (or anyone else) and to deny the legitimate struggle of the peasants and workers. Continue reading