We still can do the right thing
Photo: Naturaleza, Foto18, Carlos Hoyos, Fuente Proexport.
The objective of this project is to show to the world the history of the Colombian conflict, what was the cause and the consequences, how the government has tried to end the war failing every time. Then, analyzing why there will not be a stable and lasting peace with the current agreement and how can we end the war from its roots. It’s important to know that we are dealing with left-wing guerrilla FARC. They had been doing extortions, massacres, kidnappings, drug trafficking for over 50 years.
Some years later, there was a period of violence called “La Violencia”. It was a civil war between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party, which took place from 1948 to 1958. Both parties wanted the power and they fought for it. Conservative farmers unite and created “Los Chulavitas”, it was an armed band that supports the government of president Mariano Ospina Pérez. They achieve their goals and then they began to fight against Liberal guerrillas. Besides “Los Chulavitas”, there was another armed band called “Los Pajaros”, their main objective was to eliminate Liberals and they were paid by rich Conservative people. As a consequence, liberals had to create armed bands called “La Chusma" to protect their families. Under this situation of violence, The General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla took the power of the country with a coup d’état, he did a peace agreement with the insurgent groups in which the government used a series of subsidies to help them reintegrate into society.
FARC CONCENTRATION CAMP
INTERVIEW TO GENERAL LUIS MEDINA
This agreement failed and it generated more war. The problem was not solved, the cause was still there, poverty and inequality. As a result, some of the insurgent groups mutate to communist guerrillas like FARC, bringing innocent lives to chaotic situations. Conservative and liberal Parties made a political deal, they agreed to switch power for the next 4 presidential terms, this was called National Front. They also agreed to have parity in every other office millimetrically. This was the beginning of bureaucracy, because the state had to hire double the people required to complete a task, therefore it became an everyday attitude in the political class. It also generates more poverty and injustice to the country, strongly affecting the poor. They didn't solve the social problem, it was still the poverty and the abandon of the countryside. In this period of time, the guerrillas were formed as a result of the situation with the government. Additionally, guerrillas were driven by communist countries that were booming at that time. As a result, the violence was not over because they resolve the problem according to the consequences and not the causes.
The Colombian Conflict began in 1964 and it’s been an endless war that the government hadn’t solve in more than 50 years. Although there had been an attempt of a peace deal, the outcome was not the expected. In 1998 Andres Pastrana was elected President of Colombia and he began a peace deal with FARC, a deal without analyzing the real cause of the war, a deal which FARC used to get power. They got five departments of the country just for themselves, without military forces. They used this opportunity to became stronger and to rearm. They used this space and time to become stronger than the military power and they did. Therefore, the peace deal didn’t work. Then, in 2002 Alvaro Uribe was elected President of Colombia. He implemented the democratic security, bringing order to the country and fighting against insurgent groups like the guerrilla and paramilitary groups.
He used legal power to break the equilibrium of forces between insurgent groups and the army. In order to do it, he invest in the army and it became stronger, this situation lets him make an agreement with the paramilitary groups making justice. The cause of this problem was resolved, the government had the power to fight against guerrillas. He proceeds in that way because he was conscious that the army had to be stronger than the insurgent groups and only then there is a possibility to negotiate with them. In 2010, FARC was weaker than the army, and Juan Manuel Santos was elected under Uribe’s political ideology and Government plan. But, Santos did the opposite. He didn’t continue to fight against guerrilla and he began a peace deal with only FARC, but there are more guerrillas in Colombia like ELN. In addition, the current government increased the external debt therefore there will be no money to solve the social problem of poverty and inequality.
Analyzing the history, if the current government would have continued oppression against guerrillas and they have used some of the national budget to end poverty, the conflict in Colombia could end. But instead, we are repeating the same history as it was in 1953 when Rojas Pinilla was the president. The problem will not be solved with a peace agreement if the cause of the problem is still out there. This peace deal is getting rid of justice, democracy, and humans rights.
At the beginning of the 20th century Colombia was getting through a moment of abandon of the countryside, accordingly, almost half of the country was immersed in extreme poverty. Additionally, the administration of the country had serious problems of corruption, also the impunity and injustice were growing, as well as the investment in the military forces by the government. The people was protesting because they were under paid by the transnational agencies and they didn’t have an acceptable quality life, but the government was not on the same side of their own people, they were helping the transnationals and they used the military power to end protests. In other words, They were trying to solve a social problem using politics and doing investments to get rid of the consequences, not the causes. In this case, the consequences were the protests from the countryside and they try to solve it using military power, but the real cause of the problem was the poverty. So they control the situation for some time but the problem was still there.
Colombia Protest 1930s
Presidential Candidate Poster
If Colombia exported its corruption...
We would be millionaires!
Protest against President Juan Manuel Santos
Ospina,William. La franja amarilla, 1996.