Colombia, the country of horror | OP-ED
MORE IN THIS SECTION
It is an endless parade of bestial savagery confessed by the sons of hyenas. The long series of lurid tales reveals the infamy of an army whose honor is measured by plates of fake Chinese rice and time with prepaid prostitutes with which commanders rewarded soldiers alienated to obey above all.
As a component of the Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition created by the Peace Agreement between the Colombian Government and the FARC guerrillas, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP, in its Spanish initials) is the scenario where the brutal frankness of victims, witnesses and perpetrators has validated what is known: that in the security system there are hordes of murderers with no other control than madness.
How can one not be shocked when a soldier apologizes to the daughter of a man he killed, while revealing to her: “When your father was handed over to me (by his superiors at Batallón La Popa in Valledupar, so that I could kill him and accuse him of being a guerrilla fighter), he had gone out to buy a cake to celebrate your birthday”?
Or when another, serenely, confesses that his crimes were paid by his commanders with “one hundred thousand pesos (25 dollars) and a Chinese rice” (worth 2 dollars in popular restaurants)?
“The man had two lemons in his backpack, not two grenades”, as was argued to justify his murder, admits another soldier.
Another said that one of his victims told him: “I know you are going to kill me”, and he, with unbelievable cynicism, replied: “Since you know that, put on this uniform of the ELN (another guerrilla group), and I promise you that I will deliver your corpse to your relatives”.
But why all this? The long Government of Álvaro Uribe Vélez allowed that, in the eternal Colombian internal war, within the Military Forces, seniority and merits were replaced by the number of positive results of each unit and each soldier.
Thus, they unleashed a wicked hunt for farmers, unemployed, drug addicts, all innocent people, whom, after murdering them, dressed up in guerrilla uniforms and weapons in their dead hands. Then they called press conferences to inform of subversives killed in combat.
These episodes, which no decent person will ever forget, are known as false positives. Each positive was points to be considered in the evaluations for promotions and recognitions.
The JEP investigated and managed to establish, so far, that between 2002 and 2008 6402 innocent people were killed this way by soldiers of the Military Forces, who look down to those who do not qualify them as glorious and do not call their members heroes.
Not all of the 450,000 soldiers and policemen are hungry and mad hyenas. But, almost without exception, they are all accomplices, because they knew what was happening and kept silent. And, deep down, they were all imbued by the combat spirit against the internal enemy.
The two or three voices that, full of blood and savagery, broke the silence, were expelled with dishonor and silenced either way.
That internal enemy is the conceptual delusion that the United States has instilled in the spirit of the Latin American military, and which preaches, without saying it, that anyone who raises their voice against the status quo is an enemy to be neutralized. It is the euphemism turned into a soldier’s narrative: in Colombia, the military —and here we must include the Ministers of Defense, civilians for many years— do not say they killed someone in their operations, but they neutralized them.
These military forces will have, since August the 7th, a new commander in chief: Gustavo Petro. Elected president with 11 million votes, he was a guerrilla member of the M-19, a guerrilla that made peace two decades ago.
Petro is an internal enemy who survived and whom the extreme right, led by Uribe Vélez, an eternal ally of the military, hates with all its might.