When the people take on the state in an attempt to bring justice and freedom to the ordinary people, they should have no doubt the extent the state will go to, to suppress that drive for justice and freedom. Recent examples are Myanmar, Belarus, and ongoing in Columbia. At the moment the people of Columbia have been in constant revolt for months now, and the cost to the ordinary people is a sickening toll of death, torture, disappearances. These incidences should be warnings to the people of what to expect from their particular state apparatus should they decided they have had enough of its authoritarianism, corruption, injustice and inequality. The end of the state system will be a blood bath not a bubble bath, but it is the only road to freedom and justice for the ordinary people.
‘Colombia cries but does not surrender.’ Photo: Misión Verdad
These are but a few of more than 60 victims confirmed dead of government terrorism against protesters by the U.S.-armed and funded Colombian Armed Forces, police and death squads since the national uprising against the regime of President Ivan Duque began on April 28.
Thousands have been arrested. Hundreds more have “disappeared” — and bodies have begun to turn up, washed up on the banks of rivers and buried in hastily-dug mass graves.
Colombia is called the Israel of Latin America, and like its counterpart in West Asia, the country’s brutal capitalist rulers loyally serve their masters in Washington, D.C. Colombia is a member of the U.S.-dominated NATO military alliance — the only one in Latin America.
The elite Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (ESMAD) of the Colombian National Police — established on the initiative of U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1999 to repress leftist movements — is carrying out murders, police brutality, sexual assaults, and, in the style of its Israeli Defense Force trainers, has blinded numerous protesters with shots to the eyes.
In Cali, the epicenter of state violence, a warehouse owned by the Éxito Supermarket chain stands revealed as a bloody torture center. “When human rights organizations were finally able to enter to do oversight, they found pools of blood in the underground parking lots, blood even on electrical appliances in the warehouse, a nauseating smell. And they were totally prevented from visiting one of the floors of the parking lot,” according to reports compiled by Resumen Latinamericano.
“For two days, live protesters were brought to this shopping center, families and the community denounced in anguish, shouts were heard, repressive forces and garbage trucks circulated incessantly.” As of May 23, more than 200 people have disappeared in Cali alone.
In a statement demanding an end to the disappearances, the Legal and Humanitarian Team of the Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission reported: “Since May 14, the first reports of the existence of mass graves were known in the rural area of the municipalities of Buga and Yumbo, where [the police] would take the bodies of many young people from Cali.”
“Since the start of the strike, the Colombian State has kidnapped and disappeared more than 600 people,” Resumen reported. “Some of them have appeared floating in the Cauca River, others buried. In recent days the police have been increasing the practice of enforced disappearance, taking away protesters who then do not reappear.”
President Duque and the media label the protesters “terrorists,” even while his government draws out talks with some groups in the leadership of the national strike movement, including the National Unemployment Committee (CNP) and Central Union of Workers (CUT).
Duque & Co. accuse Cuba and Venezuela, the FARC-EP and ELN guerrillas, even faraway Russia, of causing the uprising — anything, anyone but their own greedy, repressive policies that have left 42.5 percent of the people in poverty and a quarter unable to eat three meals a day, according to Colombia Informa.
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