The Forgotten War
The Forgotten War
Every day 20 persons are killed in Colombia and 1,000 are displaced. Here and there, I will use some examples.On January 19, 2002 more than 200 paramilitares entered the towns of Florida, Miranda and Corinto; they massacred 15 people, several disappeared and many were displaced; some children and adults were tortured.
Charrito was disappeared in the first days of February. He was a hard working peasant, humble and harmless. He had a doctor¹s appointment in the town and on his way to the hospital, he left a small bag with his things with a neighbor, promising to pick it back when he returned from the hospital. He never came back and has not been seen since then². This is a description from one of our sister communities in Colombia.
Since the month of May the town of Medellin del Ariari has experienced assassinations, threats, robberies, machine gunning, bombings and displacements from ³armed civilians² that participate in the paramilitary strategy. Battalion Vargas from the Colombian army came after and settled in a place only a few minutes distant from the camps of the ³armed civilians², but people in the town never heard combats or military actions against them.
In Arauca in the first week of June in the banks of the Cumaral river, three bodies were found showing signs of torture, gunshots and one was without the head.
Last July, Jose Alirio Gonzalez, a peasant resident of the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado, decided to go to town to sell a bag of lemons. He was taken from the local bus and beheaded with a machete by military agents dressed as civilians. On July 28 between 7:15 and 7:30 p.m. in the middle of a heavy rainfall, members of the same community heard a gunshot. The next morning, the lifeless body of Jorge Eliecer Atehortua was found.
In an email from another sister community we read : ³ They killed a lawyer in my town and since I am also threatened, some friends sheltered me in an ambulance last saturday and I left my town".
On September 3 at 7 a.m. Oswaldo Moreno was assassinated when he left his house, by 4 men dressed as civilians that rode in motorcycles in the city of Ibague. A woman neighbor came out of her house when she heard the noise and was shot and killed instantly. Oswaldo Moreno was a human rights leader only 28 years old. It is painful to see the silence and the loneliness that accompany this tragedy. Is it that because this war benefits United States corporations such as Drummond, Occidental, Coca Cola, Dole, to name just a few, that what happens there is not important ? Or maybe it is because there is no urgency of sending American troops for now, that this war is good since it is made through the Colombian army and its paramilitaries acting as a proxy army?
The truth about the Colombian war is that the geostrategic location of Colombia is extremely important to the development of the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas and (FTAA) and the globalization plans. Only by ending this war, at any cost, can they really be implemented. Right now, the Colombian war is fought with American mercenaries, but if it becomes difficult, American troops will be sent to protect U.S. interests. It does not matter what we call this war as long as it is forgotten. Meanwhile, today¹s 20 deaths and the thousand displaced, wish you a good night.
*Co-founder and Program Director of the Colombia Support Network email@example.com