Wednesday, February 21

A new massacre of peasants once again puts the Colombian Government in trouble

  • The death of 11 people, including a child and a pregnant woman, once again point to the responsibility of the Ministry of Defense

  • President Duque defended the operation, while the left-wing candidate, Gustavo Petro, spoke of a war crime

The numbers are scary. Throughout 2020 and 2021 they were perpetrated in Colombia 187 massacres with a total of 719 deaths. Until April 3 of this year, 32 similar episodes have been registered, with 117 fatalities. One of them has taken place on the border with Ecuador and at this time again points to the right-wing government of Ivan Duke who, from New York, where he intends to explain his human rights policy to the United Nations, praised the Army’s operation in the remote town of Alto Remanso. There, 550 kilometers south of Bogotá, 11 people died, including a minor, a pregnant and the authority of the original Kichwa community. The government said that the military action sought to capture Carlos Emilio Loaiza, alias Bruno, head of the 48th front of the so-called FARC dissidents that have not accepted the 2016 peace agreement. Human rights organizations, however, maintain that seven of the dead were of peasant origin and denounced the tampering with evidence.

What happened in Alto Remanso, said the Bogota newspaper The viewer “It has several very serious inconsistencies and contradictions.” “There were dozens of civilians. The Army entered disguised as guerrillas“, pointed out José Guarnizo, director of maelstrom. Gustavo Petro, the left-wing candidate leading the polls ahead of the presidential elections on May 29, spoke of a “war crime.” His rivals from the right and center, Francisco Gutiérrez and Sergio Fajardo, demanded a serious investigation. “This was an operation marked by International Humanitarian Law (IHL),” said the head of the Colombian Army, General Eduardo Zapateiro.

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Congress has become this Monday the resonance box for the controversy. Voices have broken out that propose a motion of censure against the Minister of DefenseDiego Molano. The Duque administration has been through critical situations in that portfolio. The first of his ministers from that area, Guillermo Botero, had to resign when the concealment of the death of eight minors during a bombing was revealed. “While justice advances in determining criminal responsibilities for these very serious events, the minimum in a democratic state is that political responsibilities be assumed. In that order of ideas, Minister Diego Molano should resign,” said Guillermo Rivera, a columnist for The viewer.

Duque came out in fact to support Molano. “The operation had planning, it had intelligence information, it had precise information about the presence of leaders and members of terrorist cells and drug traffickers in that part of the territory. We proceeded with clear information,” he said from New York, before appearing before the United Nations Security Council, where he must take stock of the implementation of the Havana Pact that put an end to the half-century confrontation between the State and the FARC Duque, a dolphin from Alvaro Uribetook office two years later and never hid his rejection of some terms of the agreement.

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“During the four years of Duque’s government there was a serious deterioration of the human rights situation in Colombia, without the president considering it a priority issue, on the contrary, he has made enormous efforts to justify the state agents who caused some of these events and has shown no empathy with the victims,” ​​said Héctor Riveros, a columnist for the portal the empty chair. “The indifference with which his government was commissioned to implement the agreement that allowed the demobilization of the FARC guerrillas, coupled with the permanent use of a stigmatizing discourse framed in a anti-communist conception, typical of the Cold Warled to a bloody attack against social and demobilized leaders being unleashed during the first part of his Government, without Duque taking the hint and, on the contrary, he always wanted to minimize the seriousness of the events and tried to find justifications derived from alleged clashes between people outside the law”.

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“What happened in Putumayo is unheard of and unfortunately common“, said Ingrid Betancourt, a FARC captive who was freed in 2008 during the so-called Operation Jaque. The centrist presidential candidate linked the recent episode with the cases of “false positives”, as the reports became known. extrajudicial executions of 6,403 civilians carried out by security forces against civilians and which were passed off as counter-insurgency actions. “This is very serious, because assuming that they had wanted to find criminals, they had every possibility in front of an unarmed population to verify the identities of each one of those who were present. They had no excuse, there is no justification for that hunt , killing people from afar and hidden”.

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