Carlos De Urabá
Economic bankruptcy and recession have taken their toll on the most vulnerable population. It was not necessary to be clairvoyant to predict exactly what was going to happen in May 2021. How can we forget the murder of Dilan Cruz-transmitted live and direct- by the police in the protests in Bogota in 2019 and that imprinted the collective unconscious of the youth.
This is a social and economic juncture that has provoked an unusual wave of indignation both in the countryside and in the city. The indigenous people of the Minga, the CRIC, the ONIC, peasants, workers, Afro-Colombians, and young people of the popular sectors who, after decades of exclusion and neglect, are demanding to be heard and taken into account. We are confronted by a montonera, a war of castes, a popular war between the poor and the rich. The popular uprising has accelerated vertiginously after the national government’s attempt to impose a tax reform (neoliberal package) and raise taxes on the Colombian people, victims of a development model that suffocates them. It would take 12 generations to get out of poverty.
The mothers of the first line
But this is not the first time this has happened, because if we refer to historical data, in 1781 the Comuneros del Socorro (Santander) also rose up in response to the Royal Decree issued by Charles III, which imposed taxes on American subjects and reserved the monopoly on the cultivation of tobacco and aguardiente. Everything has been repeated cyclically over the last 500 years, and only the dates on the calendar have changed.
Latin America has been the region of the world most affected by the coronavirus pandemic because in one year it has set back the achievements made in the fight against hunger and misery by almost a decade. If the productive sector is not reactivated, the only thing that awaits us is ruin and bankruptcy.
In Colombia there are 20,000,000 people earning only 3 dollars a day and millions more who only eat one meal a day. Anguish and desperation accelerate psychological and mental illnesses, stress, depression, anxiety and suicide attempts.
We are part of a medieval capitalist system that classifies human beings into social strata, castes of outcasts and untouchables, the invisible, the lowest and the lowest, the impure who must “accept” the destiny or karma of a race born to suffer and serve the masters of the upper strata. The disinherited have no life project and only hopelessness and uneasiness await them. There is no job, no unemployment benefit, no retirement, no savings, no housing, and no patrimony to ensure them a decent future. Dreaming of a better tomorrow costs nothing. After all: to be born poor to die poor. The former mayor of Cali, Maurice Armitage, stated that this will not be solved by the government, but by private enterprise, which must invest in short and long-term social programs with the support of foundations and the Catholic Church represented by Monsignor Darío Monsalve. A process of industrialization and professional training for 30,000 young people must be promoted.
Youth resistance in Cali
In the popular shantytowns of the suburbs, migrants and displaced persons from rural areas are concentrated. A population of impressive ethnic diversity is crammed together in squatter communities lacking basic services. Rather than resign themselves to their fate, the new generations have decided to take to the streets and fight openly for their rights, which have been violated a thousand times over. Schools are closed and children and young people without access to virtual education have deserted the classrooms. Fed up with quarantines after 14 months of confinement, the humanitarian tragedy is immeasurable.
The only destiny of these young people of a lost generation is to swell the ranks of criminal gangs or drug traffickers. Those who are contemptuously called scum or lumpen, victims of addictions, have already had the noose around their necks and are being led to the gallows. How can we transform a society that is so unjust and structured under classist and racist principles?
The ideal for the system is that these young people and adolescents of the lowest strata escape from the cruel reality with drugs and alcohol, television, social networks, PlayStation or video games. The capitalist consumer society produces a bewitching opiate ecstasy. Alienated and brutalized, they no longer represent a destabilizing response.
Youth Denounce ESMAD Atrocities
Colombia – according to a report by the Latin American Regional Development Index (Idere-Latam) is one of the most unequal countries in Latin America, especially in terms of socioeconomic well-being. Inequalities that originate from its very birth as a nation.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, chronic poverty has increased by 7% compared to 2019 and already affects 23 million people. In Cali, for example, 600,000 young people are registered, a high percentage of whom belong to the lower classes. Most of them do not have a job or a stable income. (In Colombia, 60% are engaged in informal work). Therefore, it is urgent to implement a basic income to make up for so many deprivations and shortages. In addition, we have to add more than one million Venezuelan refugees (80,000 in Cali) that make the picture even more dramatic. In Cali the popular communes are made up of rural migrants from the south of the country (Cauca, Nariño and the entire Pacific coast). Generations that have been born and raised in the midst of violence (displaced by the armed conflict and the onslaught of drug cartels), factors that exacerbate class hatred and social revenge.
The denunciations transcend the economic and reveal the fascist character of the regime.
The Duque government must accept the dramatic consequences of a tax reform that intended to finance social projects by increasing taxes on income and basic products (although it was also planned to reform the health, education and labor system). But it did have to bail out the banks to alleviate the losses of the pandemic or buy 24 F-16 warplanes.
This has been the perfect storm that has unleashed the anger and indignation of the popular classes as never seen before. A riot of the disinherited that has put the Colombian narco-paramilitary regime in check. On April 28, 2021 the Movimiento Juvenil Popular y de Barriadas was born.
Some political scientists and analysts believe that the only real hope of changing the system is the next elections in 2022. Something very unlikely since historically the powers that be (organized in parties) will never give up their privileges.
From the Palacio de Nariño, President Duque, as supreme chief of the armed forces, ordered the police, GEOS, ESMAD and the army to shoot at the demonstrators in order to demobilize the protests. He promised to crush the Castro-Chavist conspiracy that is sowing chaos and terror among the citizens.
The Minister of Defense responded: “the state is not going to kneel before some maladjusted gang members whose demands are unacceptable”. Youth genocide has been chosen as the best way to pacify the country. The most perverse thing is to confront young policemen and soldiers, sons of workers and peasants whose superiors order them to shoot at youths from the slums who could very well be their own class brothers. The seed of evil has taken root and the military controls democracy.
Faithful to the ideological principles of Democratic Security, no matter what, the uprising must be demobilized. These marches and blockades cannot be allowed to threaten the sovereignty of the homeland. According to the anti-terrorist manuals, the leaders must be captured, tortured, disappeared and killed so that their henchmen may learn their lesson.
In a few weeks the waters will return to their course and peace and tranquility will once again reign in “the salsa capital of the world”. We just have to let time pass until the “chusmeros” get tired and surrender to the rule of law. “Because this is a macabre plan of the radical left and drug trafficking to destabilize democracy” The prosecution will prosecute for “terrorism and conspiracy to commit a crime” those who remain at the points of resistance. The stigmatization and persecution promoted by the wealthy sectors fearful of an invasion of vandals that endanger their patrimony and private property.
So there is no choice but to entrench themselves in the First Line, Second Line or Third Line, to raise the white flags in those liberated spaces or independent republics where the popular assemblies or community kitchens are held. The bare-chested montoneros fight at the barricades ready to sacrifice their lives for the cause. Because the public forces unceremoniously apply the death penalty -constitutionally prescribed since 1910- Puerto Resistencia, Portal Resistencia, Siloé, Puerto Rellena, La Candelaria, Loma de la Cruz, La Loma de la Dignidad, the bridge of the thousand struggles, the passage of commerce, Portada del Mar, Jamundí, Jumbo, Buga, Bogotá at the portal of the Americas, the monument to the Heroes, Plaza de Bolívar, etc., are declared liberated spaces. Today Cali is the capital of resistance and the focus of the Colombian and Latin American insurrection. An uprising that has transcended borders and has placed Colombia on the front page of the world’s media.
The Congress of the Republic has become the nest of the country’s biggest robbers. The fathers of the fatherland, the usurious bourgeoisie and the landowners, together with their foreign partners, share the theft of natural resources and raw materials. They reap the bonanza of dollars from drug trafficking. The greed of this mafia of 200 families, owners of 46% of the land, has no limits: tax evasion, tax crimes, front man, money laundering, accounts in tax havens, illegal contracts or commissions. A plundering that amounts to 50 billion pesos.
At this moment the armed forces are closing ranks around President Duque who refuses to dialogue with the montoneros (pressured by the generals headed by the bloodthirsty General Zapateiro, the Minister of Defense Molano and former President Uribe). If things become increasingly worse, a self-coup d’état in the style of Fujimori in Peru in 1992, annulling constitutional guarantees and decreeing a state of emergency, can not be ruled out. That is why the phrase of former president Laureano Gómez, the “basilisk”, pronounced in 1951, becomes particularly relevant: “The country must be set on fire to maintain power” This tribune of the people, admirer of Nazism and Francoism, displayed a racist, classist and segregationist ideology. Laureano Gómez governed under a state of siege and restricted the rights of citizens in the so-called “revolution of order”.
The result of this infernal onslaught that lasted almost 5 weeks is calculated in 1000 wounded, more than 80 dead, 1400 wounded, an undetermined number of tortured, disappeared, political prisoners, sexual abuses, raped women, one-eyed, blind, crippled.
Will the international human rights bodies be able to guarantee that those guilty of committing crimes against humanity are brought to justice? In general, these cases are delayed in time and after a long process, due to lack of evidence, they are shelved. It is unlikely that members of the police or the army will sit in the dock, as has happened on other occasions. As of June 8, the IACHR of the OAS will verify in situ the human rights violations. In the end perhaps all the deaths will be in vain and as always the culprits will enjoy impunity.
Dylan Cruz killed by ESMAD
In the seizure of the Palace of Justice by the M19 in 1986, the army leadership forced President Betancur to authorize the assault on the Palace of Justice, massacring guerrillas, magistrates, workers and anyone who got in the way. “Dead the dog, dead the rabies” are the ethical and moral principles of the Armed Forces.
The US gives 150,000,000 dollars of annual aid to the Colombian police for the fight against drug trafficking. The riot equipment and weapons used in the repression of the protests are made in the USA or imported from Europe or Israel.
Colombia is a key component of U.S. imperialism, which is why it has implemented Plan Colombia and Plan Patriota (investing billions of dollars to combat the guerrillas and drug trafficking groups). The Democrat administration of President Biden has positively certified Duque’s government on human rights issues. While the UN High Commissioner, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International demand the government stop the violence and repression. During tomorrow’s major march (June 9) “The taking of Bogota” the main demand will be: resignation of the president and early elections. Sovereignty in Colombia lies exclusively in the hands of the people.
Translation by Internationalist 360°