Monday, January 24

A world that repeats itself in catastrophe | Opinion

A man walks past the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, this Saturday.
A man walks past the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, this Saturday.Fernando Llano / AP

In my long-ago days as an international reporter, Haiti was always present on the media agenda, the Salesian priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide was recently elected, after the fight against the Duvalier dictatorship, it was in 1991. Nicaragua believed with Violeta Chamorro that it had defeated the dictator Daniel Ortega, and an era was ending in distant lands with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. George Bush ruled in the United States and the last days of the cold war still froze our minds, in the middle of a peace conference in Madrid in which the end of the eternal Arab-Israeli conflict was advocated. I remember that yesterday with the feeling of circling over a world that repeats itself in catastrophe.

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The stories of hit men were a daily bread, the conspiracies of the Soviet bloc now back in vogue. States spying on each other as a historical constant and a multilateral institution incapable of proposing solutions other than interventionism.

I bring it up because, in many aspects, the news of the assassination of the president of Haiti Jovenel Moïse forces us to look at this circular geopolitical world that is collapsing borders but raising other more fanatical ideologies. Borders fed as always by the trafficking of narcotics, weapons, white slavery and the dirty money that comes out of the coffers of the apparent legality of governments that finance the deterioration of others and of men capable of selling themselves to the highest bidder for a handful of dollars .

In the murder of Moïse, 26 former Colombian soldiers and non-commissioned officers are involved, at a time when the government of Iván Duque faces more than one problem, including that of the military and police institutions after social protests before a report by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights that makes recommendations on the disproportionate use of force.

They are not active members of the current forces, but it should provoke a reflection on why these men out of the army lose their sense of humanity. It is a failure of training in military institutions, although it is necessary to recognize that there are human conditions that not even an exorcism saves. Our generals know very well how the offices of former officers who are hired for various services abroad operate in the country. Is there any kind of follow-up by the retiree association?

Less than 5 years ago I knew of several cases, some summoned for 40 or 60 million pesos, approximately 15 thousand dollars, to go to Afghanistan to provide surveillance services. They were paid in Colombia and gave them food, shelter, clothing in the territory where they were sent. In 2011, it became known through international media about a private military company through which Colombian soldiers ended up in the middle of the civil war in Yemen. They said our men were proven in commandos or in the war on drugs. In other words, they were death machines.

They are also documented, in the so-called mercenaries of Blackwater, the stories of Colombians involved in the wars against the Islamic state. However, there is a kind of a blind eye to that business that former Colombian defense minister Gabriel Silva calls Armies for sale. Five years have passed since the peace with the FARC and there was no change of vision in our army, running the enormous risk that what we had already seen in Central America with the phenomenon of the gangs and its origin in the deported gangs would happen to us. , or the paramilitaries turned into the same: extremists from the right and left and organized crime acting as one.

And yet one thing is the mercenary industry that Silva mentions – it is enough to remember the English defeating the Argentines in the Falklands thanks to the Gurkas, a group of historical mercenaries from Nepal – and another the former officers hired to assassinate the president of Nepal. a Caribbean nation.

Little seems to change. And what should change does not happen. Haiti, always poor and tragic as a cursed island, returns us to the worst times or reminds us that we have not left them. Meanwhile the world of science fights for us to survive a virus that, according to conspiracy theories, was created to end the powers that threaten their interests to expand the business of everything for a dollar.

A gray world shelters us these days as it has done before without the voices of the great thinkers and historians giving us some hope. Today I believe that we should not graduate another student in the world without having gone through a year of ethics, but for that we will first have to achieve that, in countries like Haiti and Colombia, despite seeing our beauty and culture reflected in the Charm of Disney, all the children of these countries can at least finish high school. The world will not be better without men and women who learn about justice, but above all who internalize moral principles.

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