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Del Castillo: Democracy on the Hacienda

Del Castillo: Democracy on the Hacienda

Only a few days remain until Colombia's presidential election. This Sunday, May 28, President Uribe - the best friend of the country's rightwing paramilitaries who has his own history of links to drug trafficking and who has waged a total war against the country's impoverished peasantry in the name of the "war on drugs" - faces, primarily, leftwing candidate Carlos Gaviria, who for years - first as a justice of the Colombian Supreme Court and then as a national senator - has been a fierce opponent of the country's drug policies and of prohibition in general.

From Bogotá, Laura del Castillo brings us a look into the mentality of the social and political elite of her native country. She demonstrates the reality that lies behind Colombia's electoral politics and especially the reelection campaign of President Alvaro Uribe, which has been characterized by corruption and the demonization of his opponents. This lies behind the current wave of repression against the historic campesino and indigenous mobilizations across the country this month, in protest of the Free Trade Agreement, inadequate land distribution and the crop fumigations carried out in their territories. Del Castillo takes these events to make a comparison between Colombia's situation and that of the repression in Atenco and upcoming elections in Mexico.

Del Castillo reports:

"In a speech given during the Other Campaign on January 9 in Tonalá, Chiapas, Zapatista Insurgent Subcomandante Marcos spoke of the consequences of the "civilized, decent and peaceful path of elections" within the Mexico's current social and political scenario.

"Oh, please, Subcomandante! Don't be so presumptuous. Here in Colombia, right now, we are also going down the "civilized, decent and peaceful path of elections" (please remember, kind readers, that this is the country with the oldest democracy in Latin America). You can believe it: the spirit of "democracy," democracy for the most select members of Colombian society's conservative political class, can be felt in the air.

"Just like in Mexico - where presidential candidate Felipe Calderón, following the wise teachings of his master, Fox, is using every political trick in the book to assure his triumph and the National Action Party's (PAN's) continued rule, with the kind assistance of top U.S. political consultants Dick Morris and Rob Allyn (as Al Giordano reported recently) - the electoral contest in these lands has been so decent and honest that late last year President Alvaro Uribe assured that the article of the Colombian constitution prohibiting the reelection of presidents, mayors and governors be repealed by the honorable Congress of the Republic. This all happened thanks to one of the president's typical outbursts of generosity, in which he doled out a number of important political posts to the relatives of the congressmen and women who helped him in his noble goal of staying in power for four more years, and, if possible, many more after that."

Read the full story, here:

http://www.narconews.com/Issue41/article1839.html

From somewhere in a country called América,

Dan Feder
Managing Editor
The Narco News Bulletin
http://www.narconews.com

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