FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Secret Political Genocide in Colombia

“One does not know if the paramilitaries are going to kill you first or if one will be killed by the avalanche of Hidroituango.”

– Ana María Cortés, campaign organizer.

While much of the main international media outlets have been captivated by the World Cup or covering the current political developments occurring in Venezuela or Nicaragua, little coverage has been awarded to the startling increase in the systematic assassination of community leaders and political activist in Colombia. There have been 19 recorded assassinations in the past 8 days, 100 or more assassinations just this year and countless death threats as well against these individuals. Some death threats over the phone have been recorded and published. The threats follow a similar pattern that essentially demand, “If you do not leave town you will become a military objective.” Today Ana María Cortés, a leader of the ex-presidential campaign of Gustavo Petro, in Cáceres, Antioquia was found dead. This event is connected to a thread of assassinations of opposition campaign leaders after the presidential victory of Ivan Duque on May 27th. Neither the incumbent president nor the current president has presented a solution to stop this new threat of violence. Many point to the complicity of the state in these assassinations. For example, the ex-presidential candidate Gustavo Petro has signaled the head of the police in Cáceres of being the intellectual perpetrator behind the assassination of his campaign coordinator, as days before the murder the sheriff had threatened her life. Due to this fact, many opposition political leaders struggle to find remedy through traditional juridical or political means.

The recent popular hashtag in Colombia has been #NosEstánMatando which translates in English to, “They are killing us.” This hashtag sums up the general sentiments of the 8 million Colombian citizens who voted for Gustavo Petro and who want to see a change in Colombian politics. Many social organizations have been galvanized by the recent uptake of violence and public assemblies have been scheduled in memory of the victims. Camila M., a community leader in Bogota, Colombia comments, “We feel great pain for the tragic situation we are going through, there is no respect for life. However, the citizenry are organizing to demand the exiting administration and the one that will arrive, that the peace agreement be implemented, that security is given to the defenders of peace, and that the Justice system accelerate the investigations of the recent assassinations.” Fifty cities across Colombia and thirty-two cities across the world have joined the call to hold a candlelight vigil in public centers on July 6th. This serves to mourn the losses and protest the recent wave of violence that has had a negative effect on the advances of peace processes.

The function of these systematic assassinations of community organizers is to intimidate and deter the political opposition to the new presidency, who is ostensibly Álvaro Uribe Vélez, a close ally to Washington. He is a current senator and former president of Colombia (2002-2008) that has 274 investigations pending in the judicial system. Some of the crimes which he is implicated in include, crimes of lesser humanity. The sense of anguish and urgency of the current situation is exacerbated by the silence of the major media outlets in Colombia, the Attorney General and the Minister of Defence. While the American public is bombarded by news of democratic losses and persecution of political opposition in Venezuela and Nicaragua, little is said about the dire situation of democratic rights for the political opposition in Colombia.This would suggest that political resistance in some countries is more laudable than in others. The Colombian defenders of peace yearn for their voices to be heard to prevent the impending political genocide.

More articles by:

Mario Murcia is a former political campaign organizer of the ex-presidential candidate Gustavo Petro.

January 23, 2019
Charles McKelvey
Popular Democracy in Cuba
Kenn Orphan
The Smile of Class Privilege
Leonard Peltier
The History Behind Nate Phillips’ Song
Kenneth Surin
Stalled Brexit Goings On
Jeff Cohen
The System’s Falling Apart: Were the Dogmatic Marxists Right After All?
Cira Pascual Marquina
Chavez and the Continent of Politics: a Conversation with Chris Gilbert
George Ochenski
Turning Federal Lands Over to the States and Other Rightwing Fantasies
George Wuerthner
Forest Service Ignores Science to Justify Logging
Raouf Halaby
In the Fray: Responses to Covington Catholic High
Kim C. Domenico
No Saviors But Ourselves; No Disobedience Without Deeper Loyalty
Ted Rall
Jury Trial? You Have No Right!
Michael Doliner
The Pros and Cons of Near Term Human Extinction
Lee Ballinger
Musical Unity
Elliot Sperber
The Ark Builders
January 22, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
On the Brink of Brexit: the Only Thing Most People Outside Westminster Know About Brexit is That It’s a Mess
Raouf Halaby
The Little Brett Kavanaughs from Covington Catholic High
Dean Baker
The Trump Tax Cut is Even Worse Than They Say
Stanley L. Cohen
The Brazen Detention of Marzieh Hashemi, America’s Newest Political Prisoner
Karl Grossman
Darth Trump: From Space Force to Star Wars
Glenn Sacks
Teachers Strike Dispatch #8: New Independent Study Confirms LAUSD Has the Money to Meet UTLA’s Demands
Haydar Khan
The Double Bind of Human Senescence
Alvaro Huerta
Mr. President, We Don’t Need Your Stinking Wall
Howard Lisnoff
Another Slugger from Louisville: Muhammad Ali
Nicole Patrice Hill – Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Scarlet “I”: Climate Change, “Invasive” Plants and Our Culture of Domination
Jonah Raskin
Disposable Man Gets His Balls Back
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
January 21, 2019
W. T. Whitney
New US Economic Attack Against Cuba, Long Threatened, May Hit Soon
Jérôme Duval
Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests
Dean Baker
The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like
Eric Mann
All Hail the Revolutionary King: Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
Binoy Kampmark
Spy Theories and the White House: Donald Trump as Russian Agent
Edward Curtin
We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth
Bill Fried
Jeff Sessions and the Federalists
Ed Corcoran
Central America Needs a Marshall Plan
Colin Todhunter
Complaint Lodged with European Ombudsman: Regulatory Authorities Colluding with Agrochemicals Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
The US War Against the Weak
Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail