NEW YEAR'S MESSAGE FROM THE CENTRAL GENERAL STAFF, FARC-?==?iso-8859-1?Q?EP

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at SPAMtao.ca
Sun Jan 7 23:17:40 MST 2001


Committee for Solidarity with Colombia/FARC-EP
P.O. Box 21564, 1850 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, B.C. Canada V5N 4A0

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NEW YEAR'S MESSAGE FROM THE CENTRAL GENERAL STAFF, FARC-EP
To all Colombians we send a warm New Year's greeting and our optimistic resolve to
persevere in the pursuit of non-violent and political solutions to the national
crisis.

First among the challenges the country must face during 2001 is the defence of our
national sovereignty threatened by the imperialist Plan Colombia and the neo-liberal
impositions of the INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND.  Second is the need to expose and
defeat STATE TERRORISM which, by means of the paramilitary dirty war, is trying to
intimidate the people, rob its conquests and divert it from its democratic struggles
for better living conditions.

Convinced as we are of the necessity of finding solutions to the crisis, we are
persisting in the dialogues process at San Vicente del Caguan.  But we also
understand the need to make it consistent:  we insist in demanding that the national
government produce actions and strategies against the paramilitary barbarity, in
accord with the constant assertions of President Pastrana and the conversations he
held with Commandant Manuel Marulanda.

On Jan. 24, 1999, we provided the national government with a list of military
personnel and civilians connected to Para-militarism but to date there has been no
concrete response to this information.

The reform of Military Criminal Justice with respect to forced disappearance and
genocide has been ineffective since the mechanisms of the paramilitary facade have
already been created and they claim the official dirty war as their own deeds.  What
happened recently in Putamayo and Valle de Cauca, when soldiers disguised with masks
massacred the civilian population and took credit for their crimes in the name of
paramilitarism, testifies to this official conduct.

In the meantime, and after the status conceded to it by the Minister of the Interior,
paramilitary barbarism has continued its infamous genocidal march under protection of
the military High Command, the political bosses of the traditional parties, the
leaders of the business associations, the superstars of the national Congress and the
flattering collaboration of the big national media.

Since paramilitarism is a structural policy of the Colombian state, we are demanding
transparency and concrete action. We are not just asking for minor statistics about
non existent squabbles with the armed forces, nor the list of hit men detained in
military custody and the prisons.

We sustain our decision to await unequivocal stances, concrete results and definitive
anti-paramilitary strategies on the part of the government,  in the same terms of the
public communiqué of November 12, 2000.  We are convinced that President Pastrana
will make a timely response to this concern which is shared by the majority of
Colombians.

The FARC-People's Army call upon those Colombians who long for a democratic peace to
struggle for a political solution to the conflict in the coming year and reject the
neoliberal measures, like the miserable minimum wage approved in shameful accord
between union leaders and bosses, the announced privatizations of more public
enterprises and the new taxes, measures that are heaping poverty onto the workers.

We call upon them to repulse, with struggle in city and countryside, the yankee
military presence on the soil of our homeland.  We call upon them to denounce and
punish those corrupt individuals who take possession of the national budget for
personal benefit.  We call on them to prevent the new war legislation against the
popular movement, announced by the President.

We call on the people to join the alternative political Bolivarian Movement to
continue strengthening the foundations of the New Colombia, worthy, sovereign and
socially just.

CENTRAL GENERAL STAFF
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - Peoples Army
FARC-EP

Mountains of Colombia, December 2000









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