'Justice and Peace' with Colombian Paramilitaries
Del Castillo: "Justice and Peace" with the Colombian Paramilitaries
March 17, 2005
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For nearly two years, the Uribe administration has been going through a so-called ''peace process'' with the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC in its Spanish initials), that country's right-wing paramilitary organization. The process has been essentially a charade, since the government, especially the Uribe administration, was never really at war with the paramilitaries in the first place, but rather a sometimes-bystander and sometimes-ally in the group's war of terror against the Colombian people in the name of fighting communism, massacring hundreds, sometimes thousands of unarmed peasants and workers each year.
As Narco News Editorial Columnist Laura del Castillo writes in her latest column, there are now several competing plans for how to deal with paramilitary fighters who claim to want to "demobilize." Imprisoned AUC chief Salvatore Mancuso and his men want a free pass to re-enter society in return for "handing over their guns," without any accountability for the atrocities they have committed. Various politicians floating proposals for a legal framework for these negotiations, meanwhile, want the paramilitaries to pay various forms of reparations to the poor they have driven off their land and robbed of their loved ones. Mancuso, incredibly, whining from his cell, sees his men as the real victims in the conflict. He sees himself as one who has atoned for his sins, and, in the best Christian tradition, should be forgiven with open arms.
Del Castillo writes:
"As for 'reparations,' the former comandante comes to a more than logical conclusion: that should be given, but to the AUC, not the other way around. What's more, according to him, 'there is not enough money to pay for the damages incurred by the state's neglect and the guerrillas' devastation' (to the properties of the big landowners and the areas occupied by multinational corporations, of course)."
"Relax, Saint Mancuso, in the event that the proposal is approved, the government will guarantee you a pleasant stay in prison during the five years (or less) of your sentence (and that just to calm down the international community). There will surely be a cell just as luxurious as Pablo Escobar's 'Cathedral,' so that you can pass your days as a defendant in the comfort that you deserve. So, while you, ex-comandante, take that well-deserved vacation, we common Colombians will be learning to be merciful, to pardon offences committed against social leaders for trying to organize, or against the townsfolk of El Salado, of Mapiripán, of Urabá, of Ovejas, and all those towns and rural roads where your men mutilated bodies with chainsaws, raped women, tortured the elderly, and massacred children. "Now, of course, we are beginning to understand that this was all for our own good…"
Read the whole column, at:
From somewhere in a country called América,
Managing Editor, Narco News