martes, abril 08, 2008

To the New York Times - 8 apr 08

In his article "Killing a trade pact", Edward Schumacher-Matos manipulates numbers just as the Uribe administration use to do.  I live in Cali, Colombia, worked as a journalist for El Espectador and i can say quite the opposite.  The DANE director, our statistical national office, suffered the loss of his own boss, with the allegation of receiving pressure from the government.  The killings have reduced, that's real, but human rights violations haven't.  They're increasing dangerously; the invasion to Ecuador is just a small symptom.  Since the start of this administration, massive detentions became regular; violations by the armed forces (those were plunging) now are growing.  They have a tremendous pressure to show victories.  Even worst, the president was publicly angry about the election of the Bogotá's mayor, a man from the opposition.  There's an allegation of participation in politics of the president's wife in Medellin's mayor election.  But the most obscure situation is inside the armed forces.  Now there's clear that they participated in the killings of children and innocent people in San José Peace Community in Apartadó.  A friend of mine took his military service in Tolemaida, the army's main training center.  He told that a colonel said to all his men: "If your mother is a communist, kill her!  If your grandma is a communist, kill her!"  That culture of anti-communism is not new between the troops, and it hasn't been removed.  It's related with the death of Gaitán, with all the bloodshed in our history.

The decline in deaths isn't because things are better in human rights and trade unionist protection, is because the government has more money, as plain as that.  If they hasn't it would be impossible to them to collect the money from their own people.  The "U party" (a word trick around "Union" and "Uribe") is far of being united.  First they have to show something, and the United States made them the work.  Without your money the stagnation of the peace process would be national history: they would have been forced to negotiate a peace agreement, not from the guerrilla but from the inside.  Because they're weak for a simple reason: they support assassins giving them only 8 years in prison, it doesn't matter if they have committed atrocities.

The big fail is that democrats are supporting trade unionist stronger than human rights defenders.  It's to do exactly as our nation do and exacerbate the violence: put dignity below their political interest.  First you have to protect innocent people, then your group of interest.  We are speaking about widows and orphans, victims of land robbery.  Please, visit, investigate about its story.  Send one of your best journalist (or a team of them) to Puerto Tejada, a village near Cali.  Make questions about human rights situation there and make your best to protect human rights activist there.  The "war on drugs" is supporting the war against our people. And not only from the government.


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