Protesters outside Downing Street shouted “Asesino! Asesino!” as Colombia’s president-elect Juan Manuel Santos arrived for a meeting with British premier David Cameron yesterday, Monday 5 July.
The protest demanding no aid for criminal government in Colombia was organised by left opposition party Polo Democratico Alternativo (UK) and the Colombia Solidarity Campaign.
Santos, like Cameron, comes from the elite, he is from one of country’s the richest families, owners of El Tiempo daily newspaper and much else besides.
Miguel Puerto, representative of the Polo Democratico Alternativo said:
“Santos has emphasised that he will continue the policies of Uribe, in whose government he was Minister of Defence. He is entirely compromised in human rights violations, such as the scandalous policy of ‘false positives’, thousands of Colombians have been executed by the armed forces and then dressed up in guerrilla fatigues to pretend they had fallen in combat.
Like Uribe, Santos surrenders our country’s economic and military sovereignty. He will continue the neoliberal policies that have increased poverty, unemployment and social inequality. He is in favour of Free Trade Agreements with the US and EU that will hand over even more control to the multinationals. He welcomes US bases in Colombia that threaten progressive governments in neighbouring countries, especially Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia.”
Andy Higginbottom, Secretary of the Colombia Solidarity Campaign said:
“Thirty one trade unionists have been assassinated in Colombia this year alone. Hundreds more in the indigenous, afro-colombian and other social movements are similarly targeted. Colombia is not a democrcay, it is a killing ground.
Santos wants to renovate Colombia’s image internationally, which is why he met Tony Blair’s advisers and Cameron. In providing military, diplomatic and economic support British governments are condemning the Colombian people, the large majority of whom did not vote for Santos, to more human rights violations.”
The protest was joined by Chileans, the Movement of Ecuadorians in the UK, and the Latin American Workers Association who work together in the Coordinadora Latinoamericana.
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