The Colombia Elections

By Maria Cristina Gutierrez

On May 31, 2010 Colombia held the most dangerous elections not only for our country, but for the whole continent. In Colombia, for all purposes, 44 percent of the electoral elected a narco-paramilitary president, 22 narco senators. Eight of those narco-senators are from the Uribe Party, seven are from the Party of National Integration (PIN), five from the Colombian Conservative Party, one from the Radical Change Party, and one from the Colombian Liberal Party, and the influence of the narco-paramilitaries in the House of Representatives is even bigger.

Are we to conclude that the Colombian people really see the government of Uribe as the solution, or that the people endorse the so called “seguridad democratica” (democratic security)? No. Not only did 56 percent of the people eligible and registered to vote abstain because there was not one candidate that offered any solutions, but at the same time, the people of Colombia know that every time there is a candidate that offers a solution they are murdered by the state. This is what happened with the “Union Patriotica,” that had five thousand members killed because they decided in 1984 to take the electoral route and were running a very successful campaign. At the same time, out of the 44 percent that voted, the Uribe party got 25 percent. That is, out of the 30 million people eligible to vote, only 13 million voted and 3,500,000 people voted for the Uribe party. The candidate for president of the Uribe party got six-and-a-half million votes and they are deciding the future of a nation of over 47 million people.

But let us look at how and why these people get elected. Since 1999 the paramilitary forces of Colombia through the Auto Defensas Unidas de Colombia (A.U.C.) an organization of not only paramilitaries but also narco traffickers, made an alliance with traditional politicians with the goal of taking power of the public administration little by little. This information is based on what has been said by the informer, Rafael Garcia Torres, an ex-member of the Department of Information of Security (DAS). The situation is so pathetic that there is a rumor that when there is not a quorum in congress all they have to do to get a quorum is to go to the “picota,” the jail where are all the friends and family members of these narco-politicians are being held, including the brother and cousin of president Uribe.

In the first Uribe administration different bureaucratic positions in government were distributed among the different groups of auto defensas (paramilitary groups) as an action in thanks for the support that these groups gave Alvaro Uribe, which in return helped him win the elections in 2002-2006.

There is no doubt that the Colombian government is saying that a second round of elections has to take place in order to determine who will be the next president, but they are also saying that the winning candidate will be Juan Manuel Santos, the candidate of the Uribe party. Antanas Mockus, [Green Party] is nothing but a puppet used by the government to legitimize the elections. The party of Uribe owns most of the media and communication forces in Colombia. They play this media offensive to make Mockus look like a real candidate and in that way make the people not only of Colombia, but of the world, believe that Colombia was running a democratic election.

Colombia will continue to be run by narco politics, to live from scandal to scandal. We will continue to find mass graves with 2000 to 3000 unidentified babies of peasants and community leaders that have been murdered by the military and the paramilitaries. We will continue trying to find the over 100,000 disappeared. We will continue to live in one of the countries with the worst poverty levels in Latin America, with a police force accused of corruption, and with the intimidation, harassment, imprisonment and murder of opposition politicians, journalists, trade unionists and human rights activists.

The government of Colombia is stained by narco-politics. The boss of all of this, Mr. Alvaro Uribe, should be cited at the international tribunal and accused of crimes against humanity. But instead, the U.S. government has given him the highest award that this country can give. Mr. Obama’s hands are stained with the blood of our people. Mr. Obama is consciously supporting and financing the narco paramilitary government of Colombia and Mr. Obama has also legitimized the exclusive use of seven military bases in Colombia by the U.S. armed forces. We accuse Mr. Obama of being the most hypocritical and the most cowardly president in the history of the U.S. of North America. We accuse Mr. Obama of allowing the torturers in Guantanamo to go free. We accuse Mr. Obama of continuing to legitimize the stealing of the Palestinian land, not by the Jewish people, but by the Zionists; and for blessing the murders of Palestinian children. We accuse Mr. Obama for giving in to the greediest in the U.S., the banks and corporations. We accuse him of conspiring to destroy the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina and Brazil because these governments are trying to give to the poor and to find national dignity

Without the help of the U.S. the Colombian government would have fallen years ago. The different revolutionary forces of Colombia such as ELN and FARC are a people’s army that has been trying to negotiate a peaceful transition of our government towards a more humane society. A society that will provide housing, healthcare, education and employment, for all its children, but the U.S. and, now in particular the Obama administration, are using the government of Colombia, not only to destroy the opposition and revolutionary forces of Colombia, but also to destroy the progressive governments of Latin America; specifically, Venezuela, because Chavez has been the most outspoken anti-imperialist and pro-socialist elected president in the area.

In Colombia the people have been and continue to fight for justice, for equality and for a socialist society, we believe that that is not only our right, but our duty. We believe also that it is not the role of the progressive forces and revolutionary forces in the U.S. to tell us what kind of society we want or how we are going to achieve our liberation, but to demand of your own government not to intervene in the affairs of any country around the world; demand and fight for immigrants’ rights; demand and fight for better education for your own people. Demand the return of the houses to those who lost them to the banks and corporations, most important, to fight against racism—in particular against the black people of this country. It is because of the oppression of blacks, that the U.S. has been able to keep their imperialist face. You must fight and demand equality and reparations for the black people of the U.S. The day that the progressive and revolutionary forces of the U.S. fight for revolution—a real change in their own country—that day the progressive and revolutionary forces of U.S. will be finally doing real and effective solidarity work with the peoples of the world and we in Latin America and the world will be able to finally win our freedom.

Workers of the world unite!

Long live socialism!

Statement of FECOPES (The Colombian Front for Socialism)