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(en) Anarkismo.net: Colombia, If there's smoke ... does it means peace in sight? by José Antonio Gutiérrez D. (ca) [machine translation]

Date Tue, 28 Aug 2012 19:19:52 +0300


Guerrilla of the FARC-EP in Caquetá (Photo by Carlos Villalon) ---- Peace talks have come back into, with the blessing of a good part of the establishment, in the Colombian political agenda. This approach is not free and comes from a willingness of the president: it is obvious that the thesis of the "end of the end" without merit and that the Plan Colombia peaked. Although the signing of this agreement is a positive development, we can not be overly optimistic, far from triumphalist, thinking that "peace", by itself, represent a triumph for the popular sectors and their historical claims, blocked by blood and fire for over half a century, from the State. We must be fully aware that the road to an eventual negotiation process is fraught with setbacks and that there are substantial differences, background, on the issue of what to expect from these negotiations or what is meant by that word of mouth all, "peace."

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If there's smoke ... means peace in sight?

Peace talks have come back into, with the blessing of a good part of the establishment, in the Colombian political agenda. A tantrum Uribe, who denounced government rapprochement with the FARC-EP in Cuba, seeking to channel support for far-right project [1], was sufficient to generate a groundswell of opinion in favor of these approaches, coming out the shot by the butt. Santos, towards the subject, was handled with great secrecy but today TeleSur has already given the news of the million: FARC-EP have signed the beginning of a peace agreement with the Colombian government. [2] Expectations are high when Gabino few days ago, the top commander of the ELN, said to be willing to join a dialogue initiative to take part in the FARC-EP [3]. Statement of great importance since among the lessons of the past, is that it is not possible today in parallel negotiations with the various expressions of the Colombian guerrilla movement. At times I write these notes, we await the official announcement about Juan Manuel Santos.

This approach is not free and comes from a willingness of the president: it is obvious that the thesis of the "end of the end" without merit and that the Plan Colombia peaked. The insurgency has responded to the challenge posed by the advance of militarism and a new cycle of social struggles threatens the deteriorating political situation in the medium term, to a level that is difficult to control for the oligarchy. The political scene seems, sometimes, dangerously volatile. Moreover, not surprising the will of the insurgency to approach the negotiating table: first, because it is an insurgency that has been raised for 30 years, in every shade possible political solution to social conflict and armed, and partly because the insurgency has improved markedly in recent years its position of strength, not only militarily, but above all, political.

Beware of the delusions


Although the signing of this agreement is a positive development, we can not be overly optimistic, far from triumphalist, thinking that "peace", by itself, represent a triumph for the popular sectors and their historical claims, blocked by blood and fire for over half a century, from the State. We must be fully aware that the road to an eventual negotiation process is fraught with setbacks and that there are substantial differences, background, on the issue of what to expect from these negotiations or what is meant by that word of mouth all, "peace." We must be fully aware that the oligarchy which is traded is the bloodiest of the continent and not come to negotiate for a sudden change of heart.

While all the social organizations argue that peace is much more than a cease-fire, but would be the collective resolve structural problems that cause violence, the State is still a matter of demobilization, reintegration and discussion legal formalities related [4]. Santos wants "a 'peace express', summary, mechanical. The clandestine want, without the presence of the crowd, no civil society, no organizations. He wants no reforms, no changes whatsoever in the national society. For him it is sufficient legal framework that was recently approved and perhaps the regulations may deal with difficulty in a Senate hostile to it quickly removes the imminent electoral process "[5].

Santos has maintained an ambiguous position with the issue of peace: one hand to hold the keys to peace, one day you will lose and the next day are in a safe, and secondly, the dirty war deepens, by strengthening the militarization of rural communities (called Territorial Consolidation plans) by strengthening the blows to middle of the insurgency and a prosecution strategy of "support networks" of the guerrilla movement that subjects the judiciary to counterinsurgency project needs (Plan essence Sword of Honour), and finally, by strengthening impunity for actions of armed forces within a systematic strategy of state terrorism (the resurrection of the military justice called , agreement reached with Uribe Santos recently).

From the perspective of Santos, peace and war are nothing but strategies to impose an unsustainable neoliberal economic and social project, based on the Plan (Sub) National Development santismo, whose pillars are agribusiness and megaminería. If we can turn this opportunity to open negotiations on a space from which to promote social change demanded by the Colombian people, depend on the ability of pressure and mobilization of the people themselves, and such will happen despite the state, not because of it .

Peace? What peace?


There is one thing that the ruling bloc keeps track. Is that negotiations with the insurgency today is not the same as the 1990-1994 negotiations. Here there are no organizations whose ideological spectrum is a radical liberalism, we are not facing weapons reformist groups, whose address is taken over by the "socialbacanería", nor the political demands of these insurgent organizations will be met with promises of constitutional reform or cosmetic generous guarantees to demobilize, or accept an "agenda restricted". We are in revolutionary movements representing the poorest of the poor. We are facing guerrilla movements that represent the historical aspirations of the peasantry was always under all initiatives of "peace." We are facing insurgents whose feet are confused with the land they walk. We face those who had nothing and deserve everything.

Nor are defeated militarily before groups like those demobilized in 1990-1994, but we are deeply rooted in organizations with large parts of the country, with operational capability in almost all the national territory, with a renewed ability to hit the armed forces of State, in large parts of the country, the insurgency is an inescapable political reality, a real dual power that is legitimized in other communities trampled by consolidating territorial army and paramilitary scourge. Although you want to convince you otherwise some commentators [6], if the insurgency today is because trading can negotiate, because it has strength and ability to do so. Well known in the presidential palace that demobilization and accountability desired by the Uribe is not a policy option.

This is recognized in an August 25 article in The Spectator:

"It is clear that the FARC are not an easy partner. They want to reform, whether based on the Land Law and the Law of Victims; intend to discuss the hiring with multinational oil and mining, require political space to move towards a more democratic, and believe that peace today also involves optimal management of the environment. The rest are details such as the unshakable realize that if a negotiation, must be done in the country. "[7]

It is only obvious that the discourse of the FARC-EP as a "terrorist", "bandolerizada", "Gone drug cartel", "lumpenizada" is unsustainable, pure propaganda, even though they may question certain methods used. Nobody in their right mind can deny that all aspects of the insurgency claims (land, natural resources, democracy, environment, education, health, social security, etc..) Are crucial issues, where government policies and watering requiring the widest participation of the whole society. The insurgency and take these issues become inseparable elements of the advancement of any attempt to overcome the social and armed conflict in the bud, is a nightmare for the most recalcitrant of the oligarchy. Not the alleged bandolerización of the insurgency, so ballyhooed by the official media, which terrifies the oligarchy, but its political and revolutionary character, and their ability to articulate the demands of different social sectors.

That is why the ruling bloc known that the great struggle that comes forward is on the political, rather than military. Entrepreneurship spokesmen have spoken in favor of a molded restricted bargaining agenda in negotiations with the M-19, ie a negotiation without structural changes [8]. They hope to get out of the negotiations with the fewest possible concessions and reforms, and know that this puts them at odds not only with the insurgency, but with an important sector of organized people. For this, we must be alert to the resurgence of the dirty war and attacks against the people's organizations fighting for social change that have traditionally accompanied the dialogue process in Colombia.

Runs momentarily military strategy


But although much suspicion that oligarchy has opened the door to negotiations, surely end up in a national debate over conflicting projects of country, also known to persist in the course warmongering is put the rope around his neck, the insurgency is strengthened and today there is an escalation of social conflict and popular mobilization across the country, that to persist, could seriously threaten the hegemony of the ruling bloc. The country is on the brink of a new cycle of violence precipitated by forced displacement, violent dispossession of farmers and communities megaminería penetration and agribusinesses throughout the country. The violence with which it has imposed on the model sanctified Plan (Sub) National Development Santos generates necessarily resistance. And the resistance, in a country like Colombia, is given in many ways, being a breeding ground for a potentially explosive situation.

Negotiate with the insurgents can serve the oligarchy, in their most optimistic projections, for peace that will further neoliberal neoliberal project agro-extractive, reducing resistance levels at least insurgents project. In a survey made by the Colombian businessmen Ideas for Peace Foundation, "The vast majority made it clear that rules out a negotiating agenda that includes structural reforms and with multiple actors, as in the Caguan. They prefer a restricted disarmament, demobilization and reintegration in which the state can be 'generous'. "[9]. So, peace to facilitate the exploitation of the masses and the Colombian environment.

In less optimistic projections of the oligarchy, the negotiations would serve the least to gain time and prepare to meet, more lethal and efficient, the next cycle of violence looming over the horizon. Such was the real intention of the Pastrana government to face the process of negotiations San Vicente. Pastrana himself, speaking of peace, while negotiating the Plan Colombia and he unleashed paramilitary tool State, cynically admitted in an article at ten of the breakdown of the talks of Cagúan this:

"[The] Plan Colombia (...) [us] allowed to sit at the negotiating table in initial disadvantage, virtually unarmed, with the certainty that he would have to conclude, after success or failure, with a state armed to the teeth and ready as never before, both for war and for peace. "[10]

In both cases, whether the oligarchy seek to pacify the country without substantial changes, or whether seeking to buy time to continue with the business of war, any peace that is achieved will be short-lived, is just the calm that precede the violent storm that arreciará the hand of the excluded, the dispossessed, the abused, the oppressed. And it is they who must be mobilized to impose the necessary structural changes will of background: the wind is in your favor now, as popular mobilization is rising and there is a healthy trend for the struggling unit. These two factors favor the possibility that the popular block becomes a factor in the negotiations, especially when the ruling bloc has internal contradictions, without being antagonistic, are quite sharp and will generate a crisis of hegemony.

The "enemies (not so) crouching" Santoyo and contradictions interbourgeois


The hegemony of the ruling bloc, established for almost a decade of Plan Colombia and the misnamed "Democratic Security" (which was a continuation Santos), is affected not only by the growing mobilization and popular discontent, but by erosion unit of the ruling bloc. Increasingly become more frequent clashes between the Uribe enraged entrenched among the elements of the military, farmers, and the narcoburguesía gamonalismo, all of which are in war the great business, and representing the interests santismo supreme cocoas and transnational capital, seeking "peace" to make way for their businesses and investments in agro-extractive area. Although the latter sectors have also resorted to ensure paramilitarism "investor confidence" and to enrich despoiling, privilegiarían a less expensive way to ensure their profits, putting them in a situation somewhat different sectors of the bourgeoisie dependent, structurally, the despoiling of accumulating capital.

The columnist Alfredo Molano, a few months ago, I analyzed this contradiction in the ruling bloc and the impact of a possible negotiation process:

"The president is left easier to negotiate with the guerrillas that the military, entrepreneurs and defeated bosses not to end in another Caguan. It was that lack the real obstacle to negotiations between Pastrana and Marulanda. The former error was not clearing 30,000 kilometers, was not previously have negotiated with the military establishment and the price that these two powerful forces were willing to pay. "[11]

While deepening the crisis of hegemony of the power bloc, and while advancing popular struggles and the insurgency, it would be foolish to not react Santos agitation that conducts Uribe in barracks and work within the establishment polarization . Neither Santos (or cocoas it represents, nor imperialism backing him) accepted that Uribe will become a destabilizing factor. They all supported Uribe as he served them and helped them rebuild the battered hegemony of a decadent oligarchy. But neither imperialism nor the oligarchy have friends but only interests. In the time left to fulfill that role, Uribe becomes a "disposable".

In this regard must read the general rounding that justice is subjecting the inner circle of Uribe, with the conviction of Rito Alejo, growing signs of paramilitary Mancuso from its ties to the AUC, the troubles of the family of former President narcos and deportation of General Santoyo. Not that we're just realizing how rotten Uribe environment, it is known for some time, but now the context is different. Santoyo particular case seems important tightening against Uribe: if anyone can compremeterlo in drug trafficking and paramilitaries, he is. Have already started talking about some generals, including Uribe's right arm, Mario Montoya, and has threatened to "sing" on political [12]. Will santismo Santoyo's letter to Uribe to try to control? Be seen Uribe's reaction to the announcement of peace, which will probably through Twitter. But if you decide to keep playing to destabilization, his fall is likely to be only a matter of time.

People put him to bargain


Although we should see the negotiations without naivety and quite realistically, it is clear that the present moment opens a huge potential to overcome the structural conditions that have led to the social and armed conflict in Colombia, and have fed this mafia capitalism model accumulates in despoiling function. Both Santos and employers reject, or are reluctant to accept the participation of "multi-stakeholder" in the peace process. That is, seek to exclude the people from the resolution of a conflict that affects you directly, leaving intact the conditions for the outbreak of new violence, as those chronically plaguing post-conflict societies of Central America. Although the guerrilla movement in Colombia is part of a major cumulative struggles in Colombia, and even if you have a level of legitimacy very important in many regions of the country, it is clear that neither insurgency nor any expression of Colombian popular movement can take the exclusive representation of the popular movement.

The insurgency has manifested itself many times in agreement with this position, which they see as consistent with their historical postulates. In response to Professor Medófilo Medina, the commander of the FARC-up EP, Timoleon Jimenez, explains the meaning of the political struggle, "for power to the people" of this communist guerrillas: "Neither [the] program Agrarian, nor in any subsequent document of the FARC to date, has ever raised that as military political organization our goal is to take power after winning a war of positions to the Colombian Army, as is repeated over and over again for all those who insist in pointing the impossibility of that objective. From birth we conceived FARC access to power as a matter of stirring and moving crowds. "[13]

In that line, that article of the Spectator clearly pose as a problem for the negotiation, that:

"Beforehand we know that one of the difficult aspects is the agenda of the FARC. In this regard, it is clear that in principle the claim of civil society guerrillas put him to the question. That is, social movements, academic or political minorities have the same spokesperson who may have economic associations. So the movement called the Patriotic March may become prominent. It's about creating political spaces where discussion is not limited only to the standoff between the government and the guerrillas. (...) On the subject of Cauca FARC have a clear thought: if you get to give a peace process with the government, the natives of that department must have a special spokesperson at the negotiating table. "[14]

It is necessary that the people claim and demand their right to take part in this process and turn it into a national dialogue in which they discuss the country projects that are confronted in a conflict that is not only armed, but primarily social. On the political solution, the same commander Timoleon Jimenez response states that it:

"Can not be understood as a restatement of the existing order. It is not that repentant guerrillas previously discredited and extreme surrender their weapons, are subject to legal and media derision, then, with the sword hanging by a thread over their heads, to enter the market of partisan politics in order to choir official lies. Of what it is to rebuild democracy rules for discussion ideas and equal opportunity programs. Without the risk of being killed when I get home. O disappeared and tortured by a mysterious black hand already announced there, as those dark forces that exterminated the Patriotic Union under the impassive gaze of the Colombian political class. It is right to open and free public debate on these issues, you can discuss these issues without being overwhelmed immediately by concerted information monopolies. "

There are people who put him into these negotiations, but the oligarchy bothers see both patirrajado monopolizing political debate, land reserved for two long centuries of Republican elite golden, a dying and decadent strains whose last names are repeated over and over again occupy all positions of power. These surround the space, bring the political debate on peace and war, on political and economic model to all public places in Colombia, to all faculties and schools at all workplaces, mines and rural villages. It's using this debate to promote a national project to collect and harmonize the most pressing demands of all sectors today popular fighting economic model of death and plunder imposed by the above.

The announcement of the start of this new journey in search of a political solution, should not mean you have to demobilize the people. Quite the contrary, indicates that it is time for the people to come out to fight even more decisively, the deepening social mobilization and the strengthening of the unity of the people spaces in struggle. We surround, more than ever like the patriotic march expressions to prevent another genocide and protect the spaces from which the mobilized people feel their voice and their commitment to a new society. We support the struggles of peasants, workers, political prisoners, who are now in disobedience and strikes throughout the country. We demand an end to the stigmatization, persecution and detention of social activists. We must demand the lifting of the nickname "terrorist organizations" to the insurgents in order to ensure optimal conditions for the frank and free. We must demand that this initial agreement is advancing a bilateral ceasefire and to dismantle the paramilitaries as a way to protect the life and integrity of the people who today must become the key player in this process.

Only popular mobilization ensure that the peace process is on the horizon with the structural completion claiming broad sectors in Colombia. And in light of the enormous challenges posed by power, the struggle for peace will be nothing less than a struggle openly revolutionary. It's time to speak out about the revolutionary nature of this struggle, which involves the comparison of a model based on exploitation, plunder, death and exclusion, with a model that grows in the hearts of the people, based on inclusion, respect to communities and the environment, of sustainability to protect the life, dignity and self-determination of people. It is nothing more nor less than the type of Colombia that wants to build what is at stake.

José Antonio Gutiérrez D.
August 27, 2012


[1] http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/politica/articulo-368724-uribe-dice-santos-esta-negociando-farc-cuba
[2] See also http://www.telesurtv.net/articulos/2012/08/27/santos-y-las-farc-firman-acuerdo-de-paz-en-la-habana-5250.html
the-pub
http://www.caracol.com.co/noticias/escuche-aqui-la-entrevista-de-caracol-radio-al-director-de-telesur-confirmando-un-inicio-en-un-acuerdo-de-paz/20120827/oir/1750915.aspx and
http://www.semana.com/nacion/telesur-dice-gobierno-farc-suscriben-acuerdo-para-iniciar-dialogos-paz/183501-3.aspx
[3] http://www.semana.com/nacion/eln-dispuesto-proceso-conjunto-farc/183507-3.aspx

[4] For an article that reflected prevailing attitudes in the state on the limited scope they expect an eventual negotiation, see http://www.elespectador.com/impreso/politica/articulo-370302-paz-de-santos
[5] http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=155098&titular=la-pax-santista-sin-reformas-y-sin-pueblo-
[6] See, for example, the last column of Humberto de la Calle http://www.elespectador.com/opinion/columna-370093-paz or the following article http://www.elespectador.com/impreso/politica/articulo-370302-paz-de-santos / article-3 ... antos See, in response to this thesis, our previous article http://www.anarkismo.net/article/21961
[7] http://www.elespectador.com/impreso/politica/articulo-370074-hora-de-decisiones-de-paz
[8] http://verdadabierta.com/component/content/article/52-farc/4179-empresarios-apoyan-una-negociacion-con-las-farc/
[9] http://verdadabierta.com/component/content/article/52-farc/4179-empresarios-apoyan-una-negociacion-con-las-farc/
[10] http://www.eltiempo.com/Multimedia/especiales/caguan-proceso-paz/gobierno_11154861-7
[11] http://www.elespectador.com/opinion/columna-353508-gran-partida
[12] http://www.elespectador.com/impreso/judicial/articulo-370071-santoyo-hablaria-de-politicos
[13] http://prensarural.org/spip/spip.php?article7176
[14] http://www.elespectador.com/impreso/politica/articulo-370074-hora-de-decisiones-de-paz
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