Forwarded from Anthony (on ATC/FARC post)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Jun 1 11:55:42 MDT 2001

Hi Lou: Thanks for keeping me posted. A few comments. I don't think the
corporate leaders are hedging their bets, they want a peace deal with
Tirofijo, and think they can get one if they can handle the paramilitary
problem that they created. The corporate leaders of Colombia (and many
multinationals and international agencies, e.g. Bank for Inter American
Development, Enron, Total, Standard and Poor's) generally think they have
two problems with the peace process:1) the paramilitaries are out of their
control, and under the control of a group of generals, landowners, and the
DEA. (The State Department generally - at least publically - goes along
with the corporate leaders, [especially the agricultural, and commercial
attaches.] 2) The FARC is not simply reformist political organization with
guns, it is a reformist political organizations with guns AND which
operates a big - and illegal - business.

The big bourgeoisie in Colombia is handling part A of the problem by going
after the paramilitaries at the highest level. The Colombian corporate
leaders put constant pressure on Pastrana - while the military leaders put
pressure on Pastrana from the opposite direction.

The biggest groups here within the bourgeoisie are more united politically
than in many years: the two biggest groups, Santo Domingo and Lule are
forming many joint business ventures in food products, telecommunications,
newspapers, television, and are both supporting Horacio Serpa for President
this time. (Last time Lule supported Pastrana, and Santo Domingo supported

The Medellin group - centered in the food processing and textile industries
remains outside to fthe joint business ventures - but is also supporting

It is unclear where Grupo Aval (mostly in banking) is at politically, but
they may be discretely behind Alvaro Uribe - the paramilitary Liberal

Noemi Sanin, so far, seems to have lost support within all major bourgeois

Behind the scenes, they are trying to negotiate a deal with the generals
and the paras parralel to the deal with the FARC. Without demobilizing the
paras there can be no deal with the FARC. BUT, even if they do succeed in
demobilizing their thugs - they then face the problem of the divisions
within the FARC - which many people here from different parts of the
political spectrum think are along the lines of political orgznization vs.
business organization.

Put simply, the coming presidential race is between a big escalation of war
- advocated by Uribe, and a peace deal or at the least a continuation of
the present situaiton, advocated by Serpa.

What could tip the balance one way or the other? Events in the USA
certainly are high on the list - starting with the economy, but also
including 'the war on drugs', how the Senate handles baby Bush's
appointments, etc.


Louis Proyect
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