"The Circle is Closing" is the title of the report just released by Colombian magazine Semana [[i]]. It refers to how indeed the circle is closing on the Presidential Palace in Colombia, where the headquarters of a "criminal enterprise" involving Colombia’s secret services (DAS), function under the direct orders of President Alvaro Uribe and his advisors. This latest report provides evidence, not only of involvement, but direction, orders and full control from the Presidential Palace and the President’s closest friends and advisors of illegal and criminal operations. This criminal machinery has no parallel in history and a lot is to be unveiled yet. The Government and the President initially denied, then expressed concern and finally indignation at the accusations and against the evidence. The testimonies and documents provided and exposed in this report (and added to the already abundant existing proof) are conclusive.
From Colombia’s top office and higher post, a criminal state structure has been established (it is still in place and being covered up). This structure is dedicated to spying, defamation, corruption, intimidation, threats, assassinations, disappearances and much more. Those affected by these actions include Supreme Court magistrates, human rights lawyers, members of parliament, political opposition leaders, academics, journalists, union members, indigenous, afro-Colombian, women, peasant leaders and advisors and many civilians and community members. Aurelio Suarez described these criminal activities as a "fraction of what the CIA-Nixon-Watergate scandal involved."[[ii]] All of this comes under the direction of Colombia’s presidential palace and the highest people in power. The evidence against those involved makes it impossible for President Uribe to keep maintaining that he did not know. The circle is indeed closing.
But this is only the DAS scandal. Then there are the thousands of assassinations known as "false positives;" the abuse and the misuse of the judicial system to attack civilians and democratic social and political leaders; the corruption of the largest and most notorious government initiatives, where funds for the poor and social sectors are systematically transferred to drug lords, paramilitaries, wealthy industrialists and entrepreneurs and friends of the President and his ministers; the buying of votes in Congress to obtain constitutional reform; and the approval of many legislative acts, including FTAs, to benefit a few at the expense the many in open violation of the Colombian Constitution and all international treaties, agreements and charters of rights and freedoms. Add to that the assassination of key witnesses; the payback of favours to the Government with land, government posts and jobs and funds; the massive and illegal accumulation of resources; the illegal assignment of contracts to the President’s relatives, including his two sons. In all of this, the mainstream media is complicit in these facts by covering them up: the farce of the paramilitary disarmament, whereby massive amounts of capital from the drug trade have been laundered; brutally acquired land legalized; crimes against humanity, including systematic cannibalism, massacres, mass graves and more to be discovered, have been minimally exposed and mostly ignored. When key witnesses and paramilitary commanders have begun to expose their involvement and cooperation with governments and transnational corporations, they have been extradited abroad and silenced. Meanwhile, paramilitary aggression continues and is worsening through threats and assassinations throughout the Colombian territory.
Over the ground laid by previous Governments in coordination with their national and transnational counterparts, during the last 8 years, the Colombian Government has dedicated its every effort to transforming the Colombian State into a criminal enterprise. The structure of the Colombian regime is rotten. It is a State against its obligations, against the Colombian people, against the Colombian economy, against nature, against humanity. All this is known even while those in power maintain control of the State. If "democratic security" and "Investor Trust," the hallmark policies of this government, were to be removed, expelled from the structure of the Colombian regime, and if the required legal proceedings and investigations were allowed to advance as they should, one cannot begin to imagine the horror and perversity revealed to be at the core of this model regime, designed "hand in glove" for -and most likely by- major foreign government and corporate counterparts.
If Colombians are victims of this regime, indeed of this State, one has to ask who the beneficiaries are. The answer has to be sought. This is an International Criminal Legal issue. Amongst many other facts that require volumes to be exposed, Colombia is the largest recipient of US military aid and cooperation in the continent. The Colombian regime is the closest ally of transnational corporate interests (pharmaceutical, tourism, mining, oil, agribusiness, food, energy, biopiracy, infrastructure projects such as dams, the arms trade and almost anyone involved in anything and everything from the legal and illegal organized global crime networks). Through FTAs, the Colombian regime has delivered national sovereignty, freedoms, resources, labour, nature and more to foreign interests at an intolerable expense for Colombians. Investors are attracted to put money into the Colombian economy for guaranteed profit in exchange for absolutely nothing for the Colombian population: No jobs, no transfer of technologies, no profit for the Colombian economy. The Colombian criminal regime promised Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, on November 21 2008, to deliver 50% of Colombian territory to mining and other transnational corporate interests [[iii]]. Every crime of the Colombian State revolves around corporate profit.
Silencing, spying, intimidating, murdering, buying out, dispossessing, destroying individuals and collectives who defend their rights and the well-being of Colombians and of the national territory, by the Colombian regime, benefits corporate interests and guarantees what is known as Free Trade Agreements. There are mass graves for profit. There are massacres for profit. There is a war for profit. There are more than 4 million people forcibly displaced for profit. Colombia’s rural areas are being transformed into concentration and confinement camps for profit. There is a dirty war for profit. There is a war on drugs and a war on terrorism as a pretext for profit. A Colombian war machine has been built to attack neighbouring countries and generate terror and instability throughout the continent for profit. There is a lying propaganda machine that hides and promotes all this and much more for profit. There are politicians, journalists, academics, intellectuals, lawyers and an army of planners, promoters and accomplices of this model of terror, policies and propaganda for export and for profit.
Without any doubt, justice has yet to begin to establish some judicial facts:
1. The charges for criminal and political involvement and responsibility of Colombian President Uribe and of his Government, high officials and State Institutions in criminal activities that range from corruption to crimes against humanity and everything in between.
2. The charges and criminal involvement of those funding, arming, supporting, covering-up and reaping the benefits of this regime both within and mostly outside of Colombia.
Nothing of this magnitude and reach could be happening without the knowledge, complicity and indeed, direction of people and powers above the Colombian President. Isolating this abscess as was done with Noriega (Panama) or Fujimori (Peru) or Saddam Hussein (Iraq), will just not do. No one can believe that the military and intelligence advisors, the embassies, the corporate headquarters, the governments, functionaries, politicians, ministers, members of parliament and others did not know and or participate.
As the circle closes in on the Colombian government, it should also open out, surrounding those who have arrogantly denied these facts, attacked as "ideologically motivated," "against trade," and supportive of “terrorists” any witnesses or indeed anyone opposing deals with a criminal regime for criminal intent. The circle must include those who have (on record!) insisted on stating loudly and firmly that the Colombian regime, its policies and Free Trade with this criminal State, are for the benefit and wellbeing of Colombians; those who are extracting and plan to extract resources, labour and wealth, taking advantage of a country subdued under terror with the aid of a criminal enterprise placed in power for their interest and at the expense of Colombian people; those in Europe, the U.S and Canada (and elsewhere), who have distorted the truth to promote the exploitation, bloodshed and pillage of Colombia for profit. These people support and promote this state of affairs. On the other hand, we do not speak from statistics. It is our pain that speaks out, that which these people try to silence and disrespect. We have friends, relatives, communities, suffering, exploited, exiled or dead while you tell us we are being impoverished, displaced and murdered for ideological reasons. No, we are not. It has all been truth. It has all been for profit. The mechanisms of horror, policy and propaganda for profit are in place, and you know it. You have been there when they were being implemented. Were you part of their design? You are there now. When we tell you once again the truth, you call us liars even while more and more evidence is coming out. We will not forgive or forget when you will say "I didn’t know". You know. You are against us and for those who gain from our suffering.
As all this has been known, the attacks have increased against those of us who have exposed facts against the regime and against its transnational counterparts: intimidation, threats, media distortions, unwillingness to respect and recognize the truth. All this and more can be observed, for example, throughout the proceedings of the Canadian Government and within the Canadian Parliament and its Standing Committee on International Trade (CIIT), under the leadership of Conservative and Liberal Members of Parliament. They are ratifying an FTA with Colombia at the very time that all the evidence of the criminal regime is being exposed. In fact, the entire process in Parliament is a strategy to validate the lies of those whose crimes are being exposed now. Agents of the criminal Government and corporate beneficiaries of these actions are invited to speak and treated respectfully, while victims are insulted. The more the Liberals and Conservatives know, the more they rush to promote an agreement based on terror for profit, and the more they attack those who expose the truth and the victims of this criminal regime. We want trade. We want it for the benefit of Canadians and Colombians. But trade cannot continue to mean the inevitable exploitation of the many, the psychotic and outrageous destruction of life and Mother Earth for the profit of a few who act as though they have a right to own the planet and our destinies.
As the circle closes in on the Colombian President and State, it only begins to open out on those who have made it possible for this regime to carry out its crimes and those who reap the benefits of murder, exploitation and theft.
Given the judicial facts known and those that need to be exposed, the Colombian regime has to be dismantled, the rotten structure replaced, truth and justice must be established and all involved and responsible removed and punished. If Canada ratifies a FTA, like the Conservatives, if Mr. Brison, Mr. Ignatieff, Mr. Rae, Mr. Silva and rest of the Liberals insist on carrying on with their business under these conditions, their words and actions will provide further evidence (on record!) to their involvement and complicity with what can only be described as a fascist transnational criminal regime for profit. Up until now, the rhetoric to embellish horror is being imposed on the truth, through a system for the system. Liberal Members of Parliament, only you and your gullible accomplices can believe your own lies, while the truth accumulates in mass graves, destruction, dispossession and pain.
The circle has closed in and is opening out to close in again on those who now, like Uribe and his Government before, have lied and are lying to cover-up and commit their crimes for profit. No CCFTA. Yes to trade with justice, for life.
[i] Semana, “Se cierra el círculo,” May 15, 2010, http://www.semana.com/noticias-nacion/cierra-circulo/138929.aspx.
[ii] Aurelio Suárez, “Sobre Chuza-DAS y toda suerte de crímenes y delitos,” May 11, 2010, http://www.moir.org.co/Sobre-Chuza-DAS-y-toda-suerte-de.html.
[iii] República de Colombia, “Declaración y rueda de prensa del Presidente Álvaro Uribe durante la firma del Tratado de Libre Comerio Colombia-Canadá” (Presidencia de la República de Colombia, November 21, 2008), http://web.presidencia.gov.co/sp/2008/noviembre/21/19212008_i.html.