Santiago de Cali, 10 December 2008.
Today the world commemorates 60 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, however in Colombia, in the south west and in Cauca Valle we have nothing to celebrate.
For our country and our region there have been six decades of opprobium, taunts and carrying out the most cruel crimes that have been registered in the world, crimes against humanity protected by the most absolute impunity. On the retina of Colombians, there remains recorded an accumulation of inhuman and degrading events starting from the violence of the fifties, the outrages by the security forces in the 1970s and 80s, the mafia in power and the State Crimes of the 1990s and of this new decade.
The schizophrenia of power has covered the country with crosses in the name of State Terrorism that was born in the highest structures of the executive and helped by the legislature and judicial arms in different ways and in distinct historical periods; so validating methods that have been openly violating the rights defended by the Universal Declaration. Sixty years after its promulgation contempt for human rights in Colombia continues giving rise to barabarous acts that are an insult to the conscience of humanity. On only needs to look at state crimes such as those that the current government likes to call false positives, to reach the essence of a state dedicated to defending its interests at whatever cost: to demolish human life.
More than 955 extra-judicial executions in the last 5 years directly attributal to the State Forces, 200 of them committed between June 2006 and June 2007, cannot be an error by isolated members of the Army. The murders in Guitarrilla, Soacha, Jamundi, Huila, Bajo Ariari, Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, Cauca and across the national territory are part of a state policy that avails itself with the repeated lies of the communication media such that the government presents itself as the victim to the international community. The deception of the Colombian people and the international community, the media war that covers up for the criminals maintains lethargy inside and outside the country with the aim of electing and re-electing the intellectual and material authors of thousands of murders committed in Colombia.
It is not only the bullets of the private armies, paramilitary groups and state forces that have been unleashed upon Colombian society, but also the mass media shoots out lies constructed in the corridors of the Casa de Nariño and with the urgency of this government to show results, has desmolished thousands of lives of hardworking, hardened and courageous men and women.
The high spheres of national and international policy and the interests of states maintain in power a leader who has since he was a Congressman and then as Governor of Antioquia sponsored the formation of Rural Security Cooperatives, more exactly paramilitary groups. Inspirer of the most regressive labour norms, he has carried out an economic policy favouring multinational interests and made use of them to finance armed structures that have left the richest and most fruitful zones of the country strewn with corpses, and who now perform their delinquency under the names of the New Generation (Nueva Generación) and Black Eagles (Águilas Negras).
To celebrate 60 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would be to applaud the National Government passing over the agreements and conventions signed by the international community, whilst not fulfilling the recommendations of multilateral UN organisations, and so honour the strengthening of its policy of war.
The social and armed conflict in Colombia has a birthday every day of the year. We must daily commemorate forced disappearance, assassination, arbritary detention, massacre, the forced displacement of a friendo, a cofrade, a brother. The sons and daughters of the conflicto, the grandsons and granddaughters, the nephews and nieces, the husbands and wives, the mothers and fathers and the Colombian people are in daily mourning because of those urging war upon us, the very same ones who continue to dig their heels in against a solution to the armed conflict. The intellectual and material authors of the death of José Orlando Giraldo in Yumbo, those who mowed down Jhonny Silva on the campus of Universidad del Valle, the same ones who shot against the lives of Erika, Julián and William. Those who sowed terror in the Naya, Cisneros, Trujillo, Buga, those who by blood and fire have taken possession of the natural resources of Suárez, Buenos Aires and Morales in el Cauca.
Those who have barbarously attacked the most recent and just protests of the cane cutters, leaving more than 40 seriously injured, those who in their excessive and bloody attacks against the Social and Community Minga left one dead, 122 wounded, 8 destroyed houses in Maria Piendamo and 2 more dead in Villa Rica. The same who are responsable for taking lives over six decades in Magdalena Medio, Uraba, Sur de Bolívar, Arauca, Antioquia, Tolima, Catatumbo, Meta, Huila and across the country from north to south and from east to west.
The authors of the law for plunder – the mining code, of the associated work cooperativas, those who have auctioned off the forests, the mountain highlands, the water, gold and oil. Those who today put their efforts into privatising education, health and social services, those are the same ones who wrote Plan Colombia, Plan Patriota, Plan Puebla Panamá, and the FTA. The designers of the mega-projects, the writers of the National Development Plan that is imposed against the rights of communities.
Disregard for the defence of freedom, justice and peace by different Colombian governments have left as a result only slight opportunities for reccomendations from the 63 sessions of the United Nations. Reccomendations which to date have not been complied with and which should be rigorously followed by the international community. The World cannot go on accepting as a response that the commander of the armed forces in Colombia, ALVARO URIBE VELEZ and his lieutnenant JUAN MANUEL SANTOS state that every time a State Crime is committed that they have been deceived. The World should assume an ethical posture that the defence of life gives a clear precedent for their responsibility.
Señores of the United Nations, Organisation of American States and the International Labor Organisation, comrades in the national and international community, we lament to say that today we Colombian have nothing to celebrate; ethically it is impossible to celebrate the 60 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today our commitment with the Colombian people is to continue this long struggle for Truth, Justice and Reparation for the Victims of State Crimes.
Today we can commit to continuing the struggle for the dignity of the peoples, to keep pushing on to strengthen the communities, to implement from the different knowledges of our people the right to autonomy, to sovereignty, respect for civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights. This, in the end, is the legacy left to us by the thousands of victims of this conflict in Colombia. The only possibility to defend human rights is to organize ourselves to resist with dignity and to one day take those responsible for so much barbarism to national and international tribunals.
Asociación para la Investigación y Acción Social, Nomadesc
Corporación Jurídica Utopía
Campaña Nacional e Internacional de Derechos Humanos contra la privatización, la Corrupción, la Penalización de la Protesta Social y la impunidad, Prohibido Olvidar