CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, CORRUPTION, HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
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URIBE: INVESTORS FRIEND, PEOPLES NIGHTMARE!
With the smugness of a petty tyrant, Uribe self-congratulates his eight years in government, claiming his success was based on three pillars – ‘security’, ‘social cohesion’ and ‘investor trust’. Let us see …
‘Security’ ? State terror and crimes against humanity; corruption
The grave at La Macarena was discovered accidentally by local school children detecting a sour taste in the local stream. The army said that the bodies are of guerrillas killed in combat, but this is the normal cover story for their massacres; known as ‘false positives’ where they dress up the cadavers of civilians in combat fatigues. There were over three thousand extra-judicial killings by the official state ‘security forces’ known of under Uribe – clearly an executive strategy. Uribe frequently stigmatised his critics, laying them open to assassination, as happened many times. Heads of the DAS secret police reporting to Uribe were caught mounting extensive phone tapping of journalists, politicians, high court judges and supplying lists of trade unionists to be assassinated. The Colombian political system was even more corrupted by Uribe with one third of all congress seats occupied by paramilitary front men. Uribe’s family and close associates have been involved in a series of scandals which in a functioning democracy would have obliged his resignation. Uribe leaves a sour taste indeed.
‘Social cohesion’ ? Displacement and poverty; yet more violence
Uribe’s regime has polarised the gap between official and real Colombia, the rich and poor, especially through the forced displacement of poor farmers, indigenous and Afro-colombians from rural areas. Two and a quarter million Colombians were displaced in the eight years of Uribe’s rule, almost all now destitute. Official agencies only recognise a third of these people who are left utterly abandoned by the state, except when the riot police descend at night to evict them again, from their cardboard shacks on the fringes of the big cities, where the displaced and working class youth are targeted for assassination.
‘Investor trust’ ? Record profits, corporate complicity
Multinationals have made huge profits, especially in the extractive industries. Coal corporations made $1.7 billion, and oil and gas corporations made $6.1 billion profits in 2008 alone. Under Uribe there was a more than ninefold increase in outgoing profits. His strategy was to encourage a huge land grab – mineral claims rocketed from 1.13 to 8.53 million hectares. Mining on this scale will devastate the environment. The mining zones are overrun by the military, working with paramilitaries. Corporations like BP have benefitted from ‘disappearances’ to deter community and trade union organisation. Big business toasts Uribe, but no amount of public relations gloss can cover up his strategy of state terror and misery for the majority of Colombians. Uribe craves international status to protect him from the inevitable, growing and justified demands for his trial. By offering Uribe a platform, the London Business School and LSE are legitimizing state terror and giving impunity to a criminal. Shame on you.
P&p Colombia Solidarity Campaign, PO Box 8446, London N17 6NZ email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web www.colombiasolidarity.org.uk