Skip to main content

After FARC disarmament, Colombia is delivered entirely to paramilitary branches of ruthless corporations


A year ago, the government of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the country's left-wing FARC rebels announced a final peace accord in Havana.

According to the final text of the peace agreement, the FARC will be guaranteed five seats in both Colombia’s lower house of Congress and the Senate in the next two election cycles in 2018 and 2022. The movement will still run in the elections as part of the process of securing those seats. Only if the FARC’s new political party falls short of winning the five seats would the remainder of guaranteed representatives be assigned.

Yet, a year later, the situation in Colombia doesn't look pretty. In fact, it seems that the void left by FARC has been occupied by new paramilitaries on behalf of big corporations. Atrocities, assassinations and human rights violations continue against anyone who dares to question the corporate authority.

Bladimir Sanchez Espitia talked to Oscar Leon and The Real News about his experience on current situation in Colombia.

Here are some key points:

I go around Colombia covering and documenting cases related to Human Right abuses, especially those dealing with transnational corporations. It's all related with the [big] oil & mining Locomotor.

Despite the Peace Process and the decreasing numbers of victims on the military and guerrilla sides; the killing of social leaders, trade union activists and human rights defenders continues, so my focus is to tell these stories and make the world know.

Of course the threats I have received are related with my research and [often critical] journalistic work. Focused as I am on defending human rights. And that ...maybe, will end up making me a victim, of this conflict on which economic, land owning rights and political interests collide. Yet, we continue to do journalism trying to defend human rights. So we suspect that because of that work I do, the death threat was originated. There are many leads, according to our findings the threats come from the paramilitary or could it be law enforcement too, as in police or the army.

Not long ago we produced a documentary, a meticulous investigation piece, produced with a couple of NGOs, (Cospad and one from UK) and in conjunction with a fellow journalist from UK. We proved with serious and blunt evidence the way that transnational corporations financed paramilitarism in Casanare Province and many of their commanding officers were active military many paramilitary have military IDs.

The President and the Minister of Defense, have many times said to the media that 'paramilitarism does not exist [in Colombia]', that it is 'a paper lie' or regular 'informal crime'. Many investigative reporters, NGOs, lawyers collective's and international organizations, had carefully looked into the issue and concluded that the existence of paramilitarism is evident. This is very concerning and dangerous for peace, so far 7 former FARC combatants and their families have being murdered.

To do journalism in Colombia is hard really hard, it has a cost human and political, to talk about human rights, and investigate the issue independently is even harder. And to investigate human right abuses independently is extremely difficult when social leaders are persecuted and killed and human right defenders are assassinated, when trade union leaders are murdered as well.


Note that early this year, in Catatumbo, campesino organizations have blocked the demobilization of FARC units in Caño Indio, arguing that they would be left unprotected.

Recall that, ten years ago, Chiquita Brands International became the first U.S.-based corporation convicted of violating a U.S. law against funding an international terrorist group—the paramilitary United Self-defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). But punishment for the crime was reserved only for the corporate entity, while the names of the individual company officials who engineered the payments have since remained hidden behind a wall of impunity.

Oscar Leon also referred to some unimaginable atrocities conducted by these paramilitary groups that seek to fill the gap left by FARC:

On June 8th, 2017 Telesur reported that just this year, there were already 57 social activists assassinated of the paramilitary in Colombia.

BBC reported that since 1977 to 2013, around 3000 trade union organizers have been murdered, making Colombia the most dangerous place to organize. Like Bernardo Cuero murdered in January 2017 after the state denied him protection despite severe threats made to him, or William Oime, an indigenous governor of a rainforest reserve who opposed a mining project in the jungle, or Sharon Dayana Marmol the 14 year old daughter of a community leader, murdered to teach his dad a lesson.

The list keeps growing by the day. These are just a few examples of a broader pattern of terror used to control dissent and submit populations.

According to a 2014 report by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the BACRIM are the main groups responsible for the great majority of Human Rights violations in modern colombia, in many cases lead and operated by former AUC paramilitary leaders who gravitate around the drug business.

The daily Newspaper El Tiempo reports that since 2012, there is a total 332,000 victims, counting extortion, rape, kidnapping, torture and land theft; 8,194 assassinations and 560 disappeared, who are likely to have been murdered as well.

Have you heard anything about these crimes in Colombia from the hypocrites of the US government? No, they are just 'concerned' about the 'dictator' Maduro and human rights violations in the neighbouring Venezuela.

Well, their huge hypocrisy can be easily explained.

Now that they got rid of the armed-FARC 'headache', the US corporations are ready to loot freely Colombia with the aid of the new paramilitaries. Furthermore, they can focus entirely on their economic war against Venezuela through Colombia, as explained by Venezuela's Minister of Economic Planning, Ricardo Menéndez.

Colombia has now definitely fallen to the hands of the US imperialist hawks. Next target: Venezuela.

Comments

  1. Anonymous5/8/17 03:10

    I checked Mr Sanchez Espitia's video to see what his work was about, and do not find him credible. His first source for his video, Francisco Ramirez, who was involved with Terry Collingsworth in the Drummond RICO case, and was apparently recently indicted. Although the Chiquita case is a horrendous example of what can happen when companies finance these groups, there are also a number of fraudulent ones out there. - Paul Wolf

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

It has started: Big corporations institutionalize land-grab to control the global food production

globinfo freexchange   As we were writing back in 2014:                        Having secured the new labor force through fully automated machines, what has left for the dominant elite now, is to take all the resources. Big corporations are grabbing huge cultivable areas especially in the developing countries in order to control food production.  We have come now to the point where big corporations literally institutionalize land-grab to control the global food production.   As The Grayzone recently revealed [emphasis added]:  In June 2019, the office of UN General Secretary António Guterres, without previous discussion in the General Assembly or any other intergovernmental process, signed a strategic partnership with the World Economic Forum. [...] The 2021 UN Food Systems Summit was initiated through a partnership with the World Economic Forum, with limited participation of other UN bodies, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization or the Committee on World Food Secu

Fifty years from Nixon's shock: The moment the gates of hell opened to release neoliberalism and financial capitalism

globinfo freexchange   Half century passed from Richard Nixon's economic reform. The "Nixon shock" included " the unilateral cancellation of the direct international convertibility of the United States dollar to gold. Although Nixon's actions did not formally abolish the existing Bretton Woods system of international financial exchange, the suspension of one of its key components effectively rendered the Bretton Woods system inoperative. While Nixon publicly stated his intention to resume direct convertibility of the dollar after reforms to the Bretton Woods system had been implemented, all attempts at reform proved unsuccessful. By 1973, the Bretton Woods system was replaced de facto by the current regime based on freely floating fiat currencies. "   And so, one of the worst presidents in the history of the United States opened the door to the domination of financial capitalism and the correlated destructive neoliberalism.    Two years after Nixon's s

Corruption in Britain - ‘City of London at Forefront of Tax Evasion & Money Laundering Industry’

Going Underground   Lord Prem Sikka discusses the neoliberal structural problems in the economy that neither the Labour or Conservative Party are willing to address, the privatisation by stealth of the National Health Service (NHS) and the subsequent decline of the NHS’ standard of healthcare provision, the government’s main priority being to provide tax cuts to corporations and the rich as the poor lose out, corporate and super-rich tax avoidance in Britain as the #PandoraPapers are leaked, the auditing industry and the government’s refusal to crack down on malpractice, the refusal of both Keir Starmer and Boris Johnson to address income inequality and call for redistribution, ties between elected MPs and the financial sector, and how London is at the forefront of tax evasion and money laundering. 

US drone killed 10 Afghans including aid worker & 7 kids after water jugs were mistaken as bombs

Democracy Now!   Reporter Matthieu Aikins on how his investigation for The New York Times found an August 29 U.S. drone strike, which the Pentagon claimed targeted a facilitator with the militant group ISIS-K, actually killed 10 Afghan civilians, including seven children and Zemari Ahmadi, an Afghan engineer who had worked since 2006 for an American aid group.  A review of video evidence by the Times shows Zemari loading canisters of water at the charity’s office, after the Pentagon claimed surveillance video showed Zemari loading what they thought were explosives into a car at an unknown compound earlier in the day. “ We put together evidence that showed that what the military interpreted as a series of suspicious moves from the sky was, according to his co-workers and colleagues and video evidence, just an ordinary day for this aid worker, ” says Aikins.

Το Μητσοτακικό καθεστώς ετοιμάζεται να χαρίσει 23 δισ. στα αρπακτικά ταμεία βουλιάζοντας βαθύτερα τη χώρα στη χρεοκοπία!

globinfo freexchange   Ούτε τώρα απαντήθηκε η ερώτηση του Γιάνη Βαρουφάκη προς τον υπουργό οικονομικών του Μητσοτακοκαθεστώτος, Χρήστο Σταϊκούρα. Η ερώτηση αφορούσε, για άλλη μια φορά, τον σκανδαλώδη και κατάπτυστο νόμο "Ηρακλής" του καθεστώτος Μητσοτάκη. Ο Βαρουφάκης ρώτησε αν η κυβέρνηση προτίθεται να εγγράψει στο δημόσιο χρέος τα δισεκατομμύρια με τα οποία θα αποζημιωθούν από το Ελληνικό δημόσιο τα αρπακτικά ταμεία για τα κόκκινα δάνεια.    Όπως αποκάλυψε ο Βαρουφάκης:                       Σήμερα, έχουμε πληροφορίες - το γνωρίζουμε πολύ καλά αυτό - ότι η Eurostat εξέτασε την επισφάλεια των δανείων του πακέτου του "Ηρακλή" και απαιτεί να γραφτούν τα 12 συν 11, 23 δισεκατομμύρια στο δημόσιο χρέος. Δεν ξέρω αν θα γίνει. Ξέρω ότι υπάρχει μεγάλη πίεση και ξέρω ότι έχετε χάσει τον ύπνο σας κύριε Σταϊκούρα γι'αυτό. [...] Αν προσθέσετε σ'αυτό, τον δανεισμό που έχετε προγραμματίσει, των 15 δισεκατομμυρίων για του χρόνου, μιλάμε για συνολική αύξηση του δημόσιου χ

Kidnapping, assassination and a London shoot-out: Inside the CIA's secret war plans against WikiLeaks

Zach Dorfman, Sean D. Naylor and Michael Isikoff   Part 1 - Some in the White House worried that the campaign against WikiLeaks would end up “weakening America”   In 2017, as Julian Assange began his fifth year holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London, the CIA plotted to kidnap the WikiLeaks founder, spurring heated debate among Trump administration officials over the legality and practicality of such an operation. Some senior officials inside the CIA and the Trump administration even discussed killing Assange, going so far as to request “sketches” or “options” for how to assassinate him. Discussions over kidnapping or killing Assange occurred “at the highest levels” of the Trump administration, said a former senior counterintelligence official. “There seemed to be no boundaries.” The conversations were part of an unprecedented CIA campaign directed against WikiLeaks and its founder. The agency’s multipronged plans also included extensive spying on WikiLeaks associates, sowing discord a

Iran at UN: ISIS would be Europe's neighbor if not for Iran, Syria, Iraq

Moderate Rebels   At the United Nations, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called US intervention " the biggest hindrance " to peace and stability, denouncing murderous American sanctions and the new cold war.  https://benjaminnorton.substack.com/p/iran-at-un-isis-would-be-europes  

Kidnapping, assassination and a London shoot-out: Inside the CIA's secret war plans against WikiLeaks

Zach Dorfman, Sean D. Naylor and Michael Isikoff   Part 3 - The immediate question facing Pompeo and the CIA was how to hit back against WikiLeaks and Assange   On April 13, 2017, wearing a U.S. flag pin on the left lapel of his dark gray suit, Pompeo strode to the podium at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington think tank, to deliver to a standing-room-only crowd his first public remarks as Trump’s CIA director. Rather than use the platform to give an overview of global challenges or to lay out any bureaucratic changes he was planning to make at the agency, Pompeo devoted much of his speech to the threat posed by WikiLeaks. “ WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service and has encouraged its followers to find jobs at the CIA in order to obtain intelligence, ” he said. “ It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like

How US media misrepresent the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s laboratories and safety protocols

Even if we were to accept all the accusations against the WIV regarding their alleged subpar safety standards, none of it has any relevance to the Covid-19 pandemic unless it can be shown the WIV possessed SARS-CoV-2 in its lab before the outbreak, and there is no evidence of that.   by Joshua Cho    Part 2 - State Department cable a ‘nothing burger’   The claim that the WIV was conducting its experiments in substandard or unsafe working conditions started gaining mainstream acceptance when Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin published an op-ed based on redacted State Department cables from 2018. Rogin claimed that the redacted cables were evidence of “safety issues” at the WIV:                                    Two years before the novel coronavirus pandemic upended the world, U.S. Embassy officials visited a Chinese research facility in the city of Wuhan several times and sent two official warnings back to Washington about inadequate safety at the lab, which was conducting risky s

Water as weapon of war: Activists say Israel is drying out the West Bank to drive out Palestinians

What was billed as a cooperative venture between Palestine and Israel is merely the occupation of water in disguise   by Jessica Buxbaum    Part 2 - Soldiers aiding settlers in water attacks   Saturday’s protest was calm and without clashes, but the event was underscored by earlier violence. Tuesday of that week, at least 60 masked Israeli settlers raided Mfakara — throwing stones, turning over cars, cutting water pipes and slitting the throats of sheep. Five children were injured during the attack, including a four-year-old boy who was sent to the hospital after being pelted in the head with rocks. Israeli soldiers watched from the sidelines — during what activists are describing as a “pogrom”– intervening only to fire tear gas, stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians. Earlier in September, a CFP protest to deliver water to Palestinian communities was met with violence from Israeli soldiers. Six Israelis and two Palestinans were injured — including Rabee, who was