Report from Havana
February 3, 2016
Havana, Cuba – Pastor Alape, member of the FARC-EP Secretariat, answered questions to the press today, mainly about the FARC’s assessment of the anniversary of Plan Colombia, which will be celebrated tomorrow in the White House, with the presence of ex presidents Pastrana, Uribe, Clinton and George W. Bush.
The spokesman left clear that for the FARC-EP, there is no reason for celebration. For them and for many Colombians, Plan Colombia represents “15 years of national tragedy, during which the number of victims of the armed conflict increased, displacements increased up to 7 million people, as did the number of disappeared people and false positives. The results are sad and painful.”
According to Alape, Plan Colombia has a public and a non-public component. The public component was the “war against drugs”, which according to scholars and analysts all over the world, has failed. The illicit use of crops, instead of decreasing, has grown in Colombia, and aerial sprayings with Glyphosate have affected peasants, crops and environment.
The non-public component and the true essence of Plan Colombia, was to annihilate the insurgency. This wasn’t achieved either; what they did achieve was the already mentioned painful worsening of the conflict in Colombia, with false positives, state repression and state terrorism.
A last question was asked about the announcements made by president Santos on a series of measures to fight against the so-called “criminal gangs”. The spokesman said that at this crucial moment at the peace talks, “it becomes more and more important to leave aside rhetoric and start with concrete actions, which might be less visible to public opinion, but more efficient for people on the Colombian countryside”.