Consolidating the Paramilitaries

Friends in Colombia will be helping me blog from time to time. This friend is Enzo, and he is reporting on something happening in the Colombian press. The following are his interpretations of what is going on. Here goes:

Something orchestrated and intentional is happening as of sunday (Sept 26). It is a mediatic action regarding the paramilitaries. The three largest written media were totally dedicated to this issue on sunday. El Tiempo, El Espectador and Semana. The issue was the paramilitarization of the country. It was presented in a well planned way. Showing evidence of a phenomenon that everyone knows to be a fact as a sudden concern that was just unveiled. The paramilitary strategy is visibilized beyond the paramilitaries.

At the same time, during recent weeks, the different factions are being cleansed and unified. The groups that have oposed Castanio and Mancuso are being massacred or beheaded. Of course, all this began with the “disappearance” of Carlos Castanio (who was said to be sent to Istrael through Panama with the assistance of US intelligence -his brother Fidel, a Drug lord and founder of paramilitarism in Colombia, was seen in Tel-Aviv not that long ago-). Just last week, Arroyave, the commander of the Bloque Centauros, in direct oposition to the AUC, controlled by the President himself and by Mancuso, was killed by his own men. In other words, The paramilitaries are being unified by Uribe and his supporters (always US forces and the CIA) to be placed under his control.

These death squads are a component of a comprehensive National Strategy for Transnational Capital, which uses terror as its main weapon, articulated to political infiltration of the country, control of public budgets and programs, propaganda and drug production and trade (arms trade included).

The paramilitary strategy is a weapon of the globalized right to take over the resources of a country (and its neighbours) and transfer these to the government, which is already under US military and corporate control. This explains the weekend propaganda blitz. Uribe is known to be a paramilitary and wants to rid himself of this image. A perfect action: attack the other paramilitaries and unify the troops of assasins and present these actions as a government’s battle against paramilitarism. Expose the corruption that allows government funds to flow into paramilitarism as a threat that the government is fighting, but which is difficult to defeat and include here the para-narco connection. Present yourself as a victim of this machinery and call for foreign (US) help to fight this huge enemy, while in fact, you (Uribe and his allies) have created these enterprises with the paras to take public funds and invest them into funding paramilitarism, while becoming involved in drug trade.

Uribe himself has been shown to be a drug lord and a paramilitary (see Joseph Contrera’s book, La Biografia No Autorizada de Alvaro Uribe Velez). In fact, paramilitary factions have funded themselves through extorsion, government funds and drug trade for years. What changes now is that someone, somewhere has ordered a unification of these groups within the government, in it and under the President himself. They will keep funding themselves in the same way, but become the government and a single group.

Present this unification as a war between the Government and the paras and in the end the public will be convinced that when the Government becomes the paras, the paras will have been defeated. Colombia is being delivered to death squads, drug lords, corrupt thieves, linked to US and corporate interests. In the meantime a ‘peace process’ advances in San Jose de Ralito, Cordoba between government and paras. This site for negotiations gathers wealthy Colombians, members of Congress and other personalities. The site borders by two haciendas. One is owned by one of the largest landlords in Colombia: Alvaro Uribe Velez. The other one by his longstanding neighbour: Mancuso, the commander of the paramilitaries.

Two final notes:

1. None of this is limited to Colombia. It is being extended into Venezuela and Ecuador, and arguably the globe, wherever multinational interests are at stake.

2. The Government has become a criminal machinery on behalf of private national and multinational interests and its job is to persecute and punish those who opose the para-narco-corporate-US interests. This explains why, for example many health institutions for the poor that exist in the country are under the control of paramilitaries and do not fund health programs, but transfer these funds for the death squads to buy weapons and recruit new troops. This also explains why the Government under paramilitary rule, uses public services, such as the entire judicial system, to criminalize those who opoese its interests. There are many examples, but the most recent one involves Alcibiades Escue, probably the most important and respected indigenous leader in Colombia. Alcibiades is CEO of an Indigenous Health Institution owned by the communities in Cauca, South West Colombia. The paras attempted extorsion on him and the leaders refused to pay. As a result, Alcibiades was jailed and the media quickly condemned him and his communities as a paramilitary terrorist supporter who transferred funds for the health of the poor into the hands of death squads. In other words, the only one who refused to join the paras, was punished for this. Alcibiades is now out of jail, but the President announced that he would personally deal with this case.

Imagine this: the President of your country is a commander of a unified Death Squad that rules the nation through fear. The Government serves this machinery of fear for profit for the sake of transnational interests under US guidance. Most of the funding comes from drug trade. The rest is taken away through taxes from the people to be used against them. All this, leads to a regime that delivers wealth to corporate interests. The victims who refuse to tolerate this, are then either murdered or disappeared by death squads (indistinguishable) or accused of crimes committed by the regime. The Victims are chased after by the Criminals on behalf of Justice.

In the midst of the consolidation of this death squad corporate nation, indigenous people stand up peacefully and march to establish a new popular government, weaving popular autonomies for Life, Justice, Happiness and Freedom. Now, back to where we began. Why this media strategy? Who is behind it? Official terror uses propaganda, but official today in Colombia means global, multinational and US. If the Colombian State is being consolidated as a corporate-narco-terrorist machine, it is only emulating the largest corporate-terrorist-narco government in the world. And resistance comes from indigenous-popular coalitions now weaving a new project that calls for the concioussness and action of the world.

This unbelievable reality is truth. It is so unbeleivably true that most choose to ignore it, while the assasins take over the wealth and the life of the planet.

Justin Podur

Author: Justin Podur

Author of Siegebreakers. Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.

2 thoughts on “Consolidating the Paramilitaries”

  1. I read this article with
    I read this article with great dissapointment. It is unbeliveable the way some people portray Colombia as a dictariorship under a Paramilitary-Druglord. This is simply not true.

    Presindent Uribe has been democratically elected and today has 70% popularity among Colombians, thanks in great part to his policy of “Seguridad Democratica.”

    The associations that are made to Uribe with paramilitaries are misleading. President Uribe did support private security groups in Antoquia, while he was governor of the state, because of the threats and kidnaps from the guerrillas (ELN and FARC). This security groups WERE NOT FINANCED by drug traffic. However, one must accept that some of the members from these security groups became paramilitaries later on.

    What people cannot forget is that the Paramilitaries are a consequence of the major killings by the guerrillas to the Colombian people. The fact that the State was not able to protect its people through the military forces made possible the rapid development of paramilitary groups. This by no means gives the paramilitaries rights to kill and ‘protect’ people. This is the job of a democratic State and the government.

    Alvaro Uribe has given Colombians new hopes to solve the internal conflict by making peace negotiantions with the paramilitaries. Some of the people directly affected by these right-wing groups disagree with the way the government is taking forward these negotiations. I personally feel that the paramilitaries have shown a strong commitment to make peace with the government and this can be seen in the thousands of troops that have already given up their weapons to the government. The main challenge now for Colombians is to forget and forgive, not only the paramilitaries that are given up their arms but also any guerrilla who is willing to make peace with the government.

  2. “The groups that have oposed
    “The groups that have oposed Castanio and Mancuso are being massacred or beheaded.”
    Which Castano do you meen? You should know that the narco-wing, with Vicente Castano, Diego Murillo (aka Don Berna, aka Adolfo Paz) and Salvatore Mancuso, plotted against Carlos Castano and tried to kill/ killed (both not confirmed) him. Arroyabe (el senor de los liquidos) wasn`t opposed to the central command (Mancuso, V. Castano, Paz), but was actually an old friend and ally of them (he bought the rights for his bloc for a special price for a friend). He was killed because of an internal dispute with some of his men. Which shows once again that the AUC isn`t a homogenic politic-military organisation, but an alliance of mafia family-style blocs and criminal organizations.

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