[Marxism] July 20th

Anthony Boynton anthony.boynton at gmail.com
Mon Jul 21 09:33:23 MDT 2008

Yesterday was one of two independence day celebrations held each year in
Colombia. The other is on August 7. This year's was very different, millions
of Colombians marched in the streets of all of the country's cities and
towns, and many cities in other countries,  to celebrate independence and
demonstrate ostensibly against kidnapping, but in fact against the FARC.
The absolute political isolation of the FARC was clearly shown by the
participation of the Polo Democratico and the countries union federations
(CGT, CUT...) in the main demonstrations, mixing their banners with those of
the pro-government parties. Uribista banners calling for an end to the FARC,
and Negotiations or if not Extermination, were prominent. The Polo's and the
left marched with banners aimed at kidnappings by the paramilitaries and
government, but also demanded the FARC free all hostages immediately. The
Polo's website promoted the demonstration as an anti-FARC demonstration,
although it did not call for extermination of the FARC. Ironically the Polo
marched behind a picture of one its members, a trade union leader from
Bogotá, who was kidnapped by police near his home, and then found weeks
later dead and buried outside of the provincial capital of Ibague.

The legal left in Colombia has come within an inch of endorsing the same
people who have been murdering the left for decades. Adding to the bad odor
of the day was the meeting of Presidents Uribe, Garcia, and Lula in the
border town of Leticia to sign military agreements and letters of intent for
purchases of weapons from Brazil.

As the legal left has grown in Colombia, it has moved closer and closer to
the positions of its historic enemies...a phenomenon which has been repeated
time after time in country after country. While yesterday's demonstrations
can not be classed with the votes of the European Social Democracy for war
credits at the beginning of WWI, the Polo is pretty close to the same
destination. Only without much of an internal left wing opposition.


According to government statistics out of the 22,000 people kidnapped in
Colombia in the last decade, 2,000 remain in the hands of their captors: 600
with the FARC, 200 with the ELN, 400 with paramilitaries, and the rest in
the hands of unkown captors: presumably common criminals, the police or the


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