Amy Goodman interviews the following:
[b]Mario Murillo, Professor of communications at Hofstra University and producer at Pacifica radio station WBAI here in New York. He is author of Colombia and the United States: War, Terrorism and Destabilization and is completing a book on the indigenous movement in Colombia and its use of popular media in community organizing.
Michael Evans, Director of the Colombia Documentation Project at the National Security Archive.
Manuel Rozental, physician, human rights activist, member of the Hemispheric Social Alliance and the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca in Colombia. Fled to Canada in 2005 following several threats on his life.[/b]
First of all, what an anonymous poster always dismisses as my “Left-wing” source - Democracynow.org, played the following speech by one of the freed FARC hostages, harshly criticizing the FARC as “not revolutionaries but terrorists”:
[quote]MARC GONSALVES: I want to tell you about the FARC, a guerrilla group who claim to be revolutionaries fighting for the poor people of Colombia. They say that they want equality. They say that they just want to make Colombia a better place. But that’s all a lie. It’s a cover story, and they hide behind it, and they use it to justify their criminal activity.
The FARC are not a revolutionary group. They are not a revolutionary group. They are terrorists. Terrorists with a capital T. Bad people. Their interests lie in drug trafficking, extortion, kidnapping. They refuse to acknowledge all human rights. And they reject democracy.
I’ve seen them hold a newborn baby in captivity, a baby that needed medical help, that was sick. They kept him there in the jungle.
I, myself, and my friends, Tom and Keith, we’ve also been victim of their hate, of their abuse and other torture. And I have seen how even their own guerrillas commit suicide in a desperate attempt to escape the slavery that the FARC have condemned them to.
The majority of the FARC’s forces are children and young adults. They come from extreme poverty and have very little or no education. Many of them, they can’t even read. So they’re easily tricked into joining the FARC, and they’re brainwashed into believing that their cause is a just cause. But once they join, they can never leave, because if they try, they will be killed…[/quote]
Now I ask you, is this some kind of Left-wing whitewash regarding the FARC? However, the three guests point out among other things that in fact the FARC’s existence actually bolsters the corrupt and violent Uribe regime, by giving him legitimacy in the eyes of the US (the enemy of our enemy is your enemy) that has resulted in billions of dollars being poured into his lap.
Manuel Rozental had this to say about the rescue of of former hostage Ingrid Betancourt:
[quote]MANUEL ROZENTAL: But I think it’s very important to put the whole thing into context. First, the Uribe government has peaked in popularity but also has reached a bottom in terms of illegitimacy. It was condemned just a few days before this operation of liberation was carried out because of buying out votes from congress to achieve re-election in a fraudulent way. Uribe’s administration is also linked to death squads, and so are the members of a coalition that led him to win the elections twice and high officials in government, including the secret police. So we’re talking about the regime with the worst human rights record in the continent and the army with the worst human rights record in the continent with the greatest US support, including the contractors or mercenaries that Mario was talking about. So the fact that this regime was involved in this liberation does not and should not and cannot cover up the fact that it is a horrendous regime.
So, the main point I’d like to make here beyond the discussion as to whether FARC or the government, which one is worse or which one is legitimate, the main point here is an SOS for the popular movements and organizations and the people of Colombia who right now, with the validation of Uribe’s regime, are at the greatest risk of continuing to be or even worsening the human rights records and abuses.
And to put this into perspective, there is a major plan in progress within Colombia and from Colombia with US support and for corporate interests to take over resources and wealth in territories in Colombia and, from there, to launch a war or a major conflict in the Andean region. That agenda is going to advance even further, after—if Uribe gets away with the legitimization of his regime after the liberation of Ingrid.
So, to go back to where I started, if Ingrid was the same Ingrid that was kidnapped by FARC, the one that denounced corruption of the government and launched a presidential campaign, she would be saying what I’m saying now. You cannot legitimate a corrupt regime for profit because you have liberated somebody. In fact, the person they’ve liberated fought against that corruption, and we hope she’ll do it again. [/quote]
A very informative interview that clearly demonstrates why we should NOT be dumping tax payers’ money into this country in the name of the War on Drugs or the War on Terror.