Colombia: State Massacres of the Civilian Population Rising

What is behind the selective assassinations of social leaders and the bombing of entire villages?

Misión Verdad

In the country of Juan Manuel Santos the days are counted by people killed and wounded. The sad record last year of a popular leader killed every three days has been increasing, and in January 2018 the figure doubled to a political murder every day and a half. All at the hands of the state security agencies and their paramilitary bodies. content with “allowing” the selective assassination of 23 social leaders in the month of January 2018 in Colombia (five at the hands of the Colombian Army), the Colombian Air Force closes the month on January 29 with the bombing of the indigenous reserve Chagpien Tordó on the coast of San Juan, department of Chocó, as reported by the Ombudsman’s Office.

So far there are six deaths, several people injured, including an indigenous girl who would have lost her legs.  Hundreds of people in the area have been forcibly displaced. Meanwhile, General Alberto José Mejía, continuing the long tradition of false positives, denied the bombing and said that the mutilated indigenous girl was a guerrilla, which was categorically denied by Luis Fernando Arias, senior advisor of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia ( ONIC), who assured the local radio station that the indigenous girl was not part of any armed group.

The aforementioned Colombian military high command indicated that the operation was carried out in accordance with international standards. Beyond the silence of Juan Manuel Santos, the evidence of this new aggression against rural communities and specifically against  indigenous communities by the Colombian Armed Forces against the civilian population, prompted Amnesty International to issue a statement on January 31 in which they accused the Colombian State of violating International Humanitarian Law and maintaining links with paramilitary groups that violate the human rights of the communities:

Amnesty International has been drawing attention to the serious situation relative to security and human rights in the department of Chocó, and has called on Colombia to act and guarantee the effective implementation of the Peace Agreement on the ground and to comply with its international human rights obligations.

The NGO statement also says:

“It is regrettable that, at this stage of the process, communities are denouncing human rights violations at the hands of the security forces and exposing links between these forces and the paramilitaries.”

It has been many years since Chocó, an area whose extreme poverty and abandonment of the State has generated a humanitarian crisis denounced even by the United Nations, has been viscously attacked by State security forces and paramilitary groups. This bombardment against the indigenous community has generated a forced displacement to the city of Buenaventura, where only two days before, assassins murdered Temístocles Machado , who was leader of the Process of Black Communities, and leader of the recent Breakaway Buenaventura that affected governmental and transnational interests in the area.

The new military doctrine of the Colombian army makes it clear that neither the Colombian government nor its army are preparing for peace but for the opposite: the deepening of control and repression, criminalizing all forms of protest by considering them part of the System of Permanent Threats (SAP) that, according to the military, would threaten stability after the signing of the final agreement with the FARC, and in light of Colombia’s plans to become a mercenary army willing to carry out international operations under the tutelage of NATO.

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All of the above suggests that, more than isolated actions, or “collateral effects” of counter-guerrilla operations, the political assassinations and bombing of the Colombian army are military actions that obey a political agenda of the Colombian State, currently led by Juan Manuel Santos, former defense minister of Álvaro Uribe Vélez, whose actions against the Colombian people and against Venezuela make it clear that he is a president who receives and executes instructions from the US government, contrary to peace in Colombia and throughout the region.