Cooperation for Repression in Latin America

Revista Crisis ultra-right governments cooperate at the regional level to guarantee the greatest deployment and use of repressive instruments against the people, in the midst of social uprisings. South-South cooperation has been twisted into its repressive version, in which the ultra-right, linked to the economic and industrial power blocs, and local oligarchies, establish cooperation links.

On several occasions, loans have been made for the shipment of tear gas, stun munitions and lethal, short and long range ammunition. As specified by the Commander of the National Police, Tanya Varela: “there is international cooperation. We have associations such as Ameripol, Europol, Iberpol, where not only information is exchanged. If we need tear gas, we lend it to other countries”.

An example of this “solidarity” tactic for repression and war against the people, was when Colombia and Peru lent weapons for the October 2019 repression in Ecuador, in the framework of the National Strike.

The systematic violation of Human Rights and protocols of proportional use of force, against the lives of demonstrators, had a tragic result of 11 murders at the hands of the repressive forces, in addition to dozens of eye mutilations, arbitrary detentions and political persecution of several militants of social movements and opposition.

In the same logic, Ecuador lent lethal and non-lethal repressive equipment to the Bolivian dictatorship, with which the popular masses that rose up in rejection of the coup d’état were most certainly repressed.

From this loan, which was made on November 16, 2019 while María Paula Romo was Minister of Government, a total of 8,449 units of armament were registered: five thousand GL-302 hand grenades, 500 sound and flash grenades for exteriors, 2,389 long-range 37mm caliber projectiles and 560 short-range 37mm caliber projectiles.

In the following days, after the arrival of the loan from the government of Ecuador to the dictator Áñez, the Senkata massacre was perpetrated on November 19, 2019, in which at least 11 people were killed at the hands of the military coup forces. In previous days, the dictator Áñez had executed another massacre in Sacaba on November 15, where at least 11 people lost their lives. Between the two massacres, 27 people were killed by the coup government.

The regional and continental military cooperation is unimaginable, and comes hand in hand with the Yankee imperialist interference in America, product of the anti-subversive indoctrination for decades in the School of the Americas.

Both in October 2019 in Ecuador and in the coup d’état in Bolivia, the US Embassy played a leading role in promoting, establishing and legitimizing the “maintenance of order” and disproportionate repression, which resulted in State crimes.

In Colombia, the extensive and deep military cooperation since Plan Colombia, in 1999, continued by Uribism, has resulted in the transfer of military equipment and training of troops, valued at more than 10 billion USD over 15 years.

After Israel, Colombia is the main recipient of military aid from the United States. Because of the FTA between Colombia and the United States, which provides for the import of war machinery, and is exempt from any tax levy when entering the country.

This has led to a tide of arms imports from the U.S., which in many cases have ended up in the hands of paramilitary forces. The weapons imported from the U.S. are used in massacres of civilians, both by paramilitary groups and by the repressive forces of the State.

Following the principle of military and police cooperation, the Commander of the UMO, Pablo Dávila, sent a public message of solidarity and institutional support to the ESMAD, in the midst of the serious human rights violations committed by this unit on a daily basis. Last May 10 and with fervent religiosity, Davila presented his message of explicit support for the systematic murder of civilians, a practice that is at the backbone of the logic of existence of the ESMAD, another product of the famed and murderous Plan Colombia. “From the center of the world, we give them our unconditional support” and “we are sure that they will be victorious in the preservation of peace, order and democracy.”

The ultra-right governments build on the discourse of the internal enemy, and position their own people as their primary adversary. With this strategy, the people become subversive, terrorists and vandals, legitimizing a frontal discharge of the entire neoliberal shock force and machinery of death against them.

The technique of militarization of social protest, with the false positives created by the paramilitary government of Uribe, has been replicated throughout the continent. Imperialism and its anti-subversive doctrine in Latin America are undergoing a strengthening.

In Ecuador, Lasso warned of his intention to replicate the same repressive mechanisms committed in Colombia and Chile, against the Ecuadorian people. “We are going to fight hard, we are going to defend democracy and we have to support each other, that is why it is the right time to send a message of solidarity with President Duque”.

In Colombia, counterinsurgency tactics are practiced with human targets, in which any blunt material, be it nails, nuts, tear gas, stun ammunition, becomes a projectile with lethal potential.

Is this a legitimate practice in the democracy with which they fill their speeches? In the war against the people, any mechanism is valid, to suppress whoever opposes the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and capital over life.

The ultraconservative neoliberal governments, and above all, servile to Yankee imperialism, are co-responsible for all the deaths, mutilations, disappearances, torture, rapes and arbitrary detentions that have been executed in recent years in the region, and in the framework of the popular protests against the precariousness of life.

Violence becomes the only mechanism to sustain capitalist processes so devastating to the lives of the people.