Joint Communique №38
The National Government and the FARC-EP report that during the 6th and 7th of July, delegates from both parties had several meetings in Havana to prepare the next point of the Agenda. During the meetings, progress was made in the discussion about how victims’ representatives will participate in the peace conversations.
It was agreed that on July 15, we will meet again in Havana in order to make further progress on this matter.
Last modified on Friday, 12 September 2014 22:25
Interview with Natalie Mistral, international combatant of the FARC-EP
“I am a communist, I have always been, and as such I am internationalist; I don’t recognize neither the bourgeois concept of the nation-state, nor the artificial boundaries that want to restrict my identity. I am part of the people, a citizen of the world who decided to take part in a global war declared a long time ago by the big capitalists to the rest of humanity”.
This is part of an article written by Natalie Mistral, entitled “We are internationalists … so what!” in which she vindicates her status of internationalist combatant, while she extols the value and detachment for anything individual of so many men and women like her, who decided to expand their frontiers to give the best of themselves to the noble cause of the oppressed.
This statement is enough to know that Natalie is a woman who, like many other human beings on this planet, does not believe in borders when it is about defending issues of justice and human dignity. She affirms that feeling of solidarity when she says “Colombia deserves the world’s attention”. Another important aspect to highlight is that she used to be a labor activist and she participated in the different social struggles of her country.
Nearly two years after these statements, with the experience of more than twelve years of membership in the FARC-EP, a period characterized as one of the bloodiest in the fascist onslaught against the organization, Natalie speaks with mujerfariana, on foreign policy, Latin-American integration and feminism.
Mujer Fariana (MF): What do you think think of the foreign policy of the United States? What relationship do you see between the conflict in Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela, and in that context: what role does Colombia play?
Natalie Mistral (NM): The foreign policy of the United States is an aggressive policy aimed at the geo-economic control of the planet, in a colonial way.This means that the survival of the American way of life depends on its unlimited access to energy and biological resources produced by other nations, and all means to guarantee them seem valid.
What we are seeing now is the implementation of a strategy of destabilization against governments who do not submit to their interests. Therefore, they use and enhance an internal reactionary opposition, which they artificially organize and feed with the help of the CIA. This, with the help of paramilitary groups that generate street violence and with full support of the international media, gives an impression of chaos and lawlessness. It happened in Libya, Syria and Ukraine, among many sinister examples. The Venezuelan case is an example of heroism of a people that doesn’t allow anybody to pressure or manipulate it, despite the obvious and intense destabilization, which has increased since the death of Comandante Chávez.
In Colombia, the context is different, because the Republic has, since its inception, been subjected to the interests of Washington. Therefore there is no democracy but a masked dictatorship of changing faces. Here, the political opposition evolves towards a class struggle, and the highest expression of it is the revolutionary armed struggle, which arises from the impossibility of the existence of a true democracy. I am talking about an armed people, which has been resisting for more than 50 years and which has suffered more massacres and disappearances than during the dictatorships of the Southern Cone. The intervention of the United States in this case is to maintain the relationship of dependency, to avoid the fall of the government, at whatever cost. Without their intervention, Colombia would have had its revolution and established true democracy many years ago.
Colombia is a key player in the geo-strategic board of the continent. Its central geographical position, its water, its biological and mining- and energy resources are important for the United States, but also critical for achieving democratic consolidation in the region, once real democracy for the people is achieved. We can say that who controls Colombia, controls Latin America, and our commitment is to the people.
MF: What do Latin American integration processes, such as UNASUR, ALBA and CELAC mean, can these bodies contribute to peace in Colombia?
NM: I think they are important processes, from states, so that all of Latin America and the Caribbean can regain their sovereignty… for the construction of the Great Bolivarian Nation. And of course, the consolidation of a new power bloc to defend the well-being of its people and peace, changing the outlook for the colonialist and militaristic U.S. game, principles outlined in the Declaration of the Second Summit of CELAC held in Havana, Cuba in January 2013. ALBA is, moreover, an economically and politically independent body, in relation to the interests of central capitalism. I believe that they are some of the few international bodies that could be suitable to mediate in an armed social conflict, as intense and prolonged as the Colombian one.
MF: Let’s talk about being a female guerrilla combatant. Do you consider yourself a feminist?
NM: If we define feminism as critical thinking and political practice that rejects the unjust treatment of women and the domination of one sex over the other, yes. But above all I am a communist. I believe that the class struggle is anti-racist, anti-homophobic and anti-patriarchal and absolutely internationalist by nature. That’s not just a cute statement of principles, it is a necessity, because the capitalist system is based on racial, sexual and social division of labor; therefore capitalism won’t be destroyed without overcoming these misconceptions. Equity in all these matters is my aspiration for society.
Taken from: www.mujerfariana.org
Last modified on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 13:16
- Written by Tanja Nijmeijer
In recent days, Dutch peace organization PAX has started a campaign to call Dutch people to not use energy from Essent, Nuon, E.ON, Delta en Electrabel; Dutch energy companies who directly buy coal from the transnational corporations Drummond (U.S.) and Prodeco (owned by Anglo-Swiss Glencore) in the region of Cesar (Colombia). The campaign is called STOP BLOEDKOLEN (“stop blood coals”). PAX also called for these companies to stop buying coal from the mining companies Drummond and Prodeco.
For many years, Drummond has been infamous in Colombia for its human rights violations, its irresponsible pollution of the environment and its links with paramilitary structures. Between 1996 and 2005, in Cesar, 3.100 people were assassinated and 55.000 peasants were displaced by paramilitaries, who were financed by Drummond and Prodeco. Victims are still waiting for compensation (read report PAX).
The response of Nuon, one of the Dutch companies, was that if it stopped buying coal from Colombia, others would buy it and then they would completely lose control of the local situation. The company states it wants to work, through Bettercoal, on bettering the situation of the population in Cesar. Bettercoal is a European initiative which has developed an assessment protocol for mines that supply coal to Europe.
However, its findings are not binding, the companies are not compelled to report about the source of their supplies and the people who are directly affected by their policies (like the thousands of displaced peasants in Colombia) aren’t involved at all, only three of the many reasons given by PAX to prove that the initiative doesn’t have any real impact on the situation of the population in Colombia.
Furthermore, Nuon states in its press release that the Colombian government and justice system are to be held accountable. “We shouldn’t and can’t sit down on the judge’s chair. It’s not up to us to judge companies, that is the task of the Colombian state and its legal system”.
However, a Dutch professor of international law, Van Genugten, stated that according to the principles of the UN Global Compact, the Dutch companies are supporting the human rights violations in Colombia, when they continue buying coal from these multinationals. If you, in spite of knowing the abuses that are being committed in certain companies, keep on making economic gain out of it, you become complicit of the situation, it’s as simple as that.
Let’s get this straight: PAX says Dutch companies should take their responsibility. Dutch companies say the Colombian government should take its responsibility. The Colombian government, in turn, works together with transnational companies and paramilitaries under the slogan ‘Impunity for all’.
Is economic gain the driving force for all of them?
Their ostrich strategy has worked until today. Dutch people, at the final end of the energy chain, have been buying bloodcoal without knowing it. Colombian people, at the beginning of the same chain, have been threatened, assassinated, displaced from their lands, and no compensation has been paid for it. PAX’ call on Dutch people to boycott companies that buy bloodcoal is the last resort.
Last modified on Saturday, 12 July 2014 15:34
Colombia: Human Rights
2 July 2014:
Taken from: www.semanariovoz.com
Approximately 200 peasants from Hacarí, San Calixto and El Tarra (Catatumbo) took refuge in a humanitarian camp, established by social organizations from the area. Since three months, combats and bombings have been going on in the area.
The situation became especially tense after the death of an eight-year-old girl, victim of a bullet. Civilians have been intimidated, stigmatized and tortured by masked, unidentified military.
5 July 2014:
Taken from: www.elpilon.com.co
During a public audience for the indemnizatons of victims from the 2002 massacre in El Limón (Guajira, north of Colombia), paramilitaries confessed how they killed their victims. The members of the AUC bloc “Resistencia Tayrona” dismembered their victims and cut them into pieces with machetes.
12 native people were brutally assassinated, among them 3 children, between the 31st of August and the 4th of September 2002.
“We don’t forgive, we only forget. There is no reason to kill elderly people of 78 years old and children“, said Pedro Loperena Loperena, a Wiwa community leader.
9 July 2014:
Taken from: www.prensarural.org
Peasants from the Peasant Reserve Zone Pato-Balsillas have denounced, once again, the behaviour of the soldiers of the Colombian Armed Forces in the area.
They have been affected by continous aerial bombings and shootings, as well as by abuses, excesses and human rights violations by army soldiers.
The peasants, organized in AMCOP (Municipal Asociation of the Pato Colons) asked themselves: Is the army’s behaviour an official policy of the Minstry of Defense or are the soldiers acting autonomously? yet they have made the same public complaints many times, but have never received response by any public institution.