Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Putting a Shine on a Dirty War


Juan Forero has an absolutely triumphalist piece on ATC tonight about the losses of the FARC and the successes of the Colombian government. He mentions that the people of Colombia have suffered "pain from the long guerrilla war - one that's cost thousands of lives." He notes that "mayors and small town dignitaries...praise the army for having pushed back the rebels...but they say they're still suffering." He states that the war has "touched every part of the country" and that "for years FARC guerrillas have destroyed small towns and attacked military posts," but "a modern fleet of helicopters and fighter planes regularly pound FARC units." Forero tells us that Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos "says he expects the guerrillas to continue with acts of terror..."

I'm not interested in covering up the crimes of the FARC; they have committed many war crimes in their struggle against the Colombian government. BUT any review of the crimes of torture, massacre and terror in Colombia over the past several decades will put the huge majority of the blame squarely at the feet of the Colombian government (and of course its benefactor, the US). Whether it is Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch (which is very critical of the FARC) the main purveyor of violence and terror in Colombia has been the state and its allied paramilitaries. The 2001 Human Rights Watch report linked previously states:
"Most political killings by far, over 50 percent, were the work of paramilitary groups, which continued to work with the tolerance or open support of units of the Colombian security forces. Eight percent of political killings were attributed to anti-government guerrilla groups and 10 percent to unidentified forces. Two per cent were linked directly to the security forces. The balance could not be attributed to a specific group."
Though, according to Amnesty International's 2008 report, civilian killings are down in Colombia, the government has hardly cleaned up its act - and has done almost nothing to hold anyone accountable for the horrendous crimes of the past.

Some victory...

1 comment:

larry, dfh said...

Juan Forero = cia