Colombian Paramilitaries defend Multinational Corporations from “bureaucrats”

An urgent action from the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin American just arrived in my inbox. It included this quote from a new death threat from the Colombian paramilitary group Black Eagles, who are also active in Barrancabermeja, where I’ve worked with Christian Peacemaker Teams:

With the help of “Familias en Accion” “Guardabosques” and the country’s Democratic Security policy, a group of men and women worried about the state of the country. We have decided that it is necessary to start a fight against those that camouflage themselves as social organizations such as the CUT Valle, NOMADESC, Human Rights Defenders, NGOs, enemies of our democracy.

Those bureaucrats don’t allow us to progress in CAUCA, where they don’t allow multinationals to enter which would benefit the communities of SUAREZ, MORALES and BUENOS AIRES…

…Today we have decided to declare as military targets those (SOB) bureaucrats, human rights defenders, NOMADESC, CUT VALLE, PCN, The Community Council of La Toma, Cerro Tijeras, Licifredy, Eduar Villegas, Jose Goyes, Diego Escobar, Recheche, Plutarco, MeraldiƱo Consejal”

Claiming associations between social organizations and the guerilla is almost as old as the civil war itself, but I’ve never seen a paramilitary group so open about acting on behalf of multinationals. The Colombia CPT project has often pointed out paramilitaries clear the way for multinationals coming in to set up mines and palm oil plantations, but it now appears the paramilitaries are beginning to make the connection too. Its interesting to note the increasing similarities with right wing rhetoric in the United States. Good intentioned Multinationals vs. that SOB Bureaucracy. It sounds like a Glenn Beck special.

Comments (5)

  1. Josiah Garber

    I think you would be interested in reading ‘Confessions of an Economic Hitman’ by John Perkins

    Reply
  2. Robert Martin

    I would not go so far as to compare the paramilitary organizations in Columbia with Glenn Beck. Glenn advocates peaceful demonstration within the constitutional rights of the people. He speaks harsh truth at times that can be construed as advocating violence, but in fact they are truths that give warning that there are people who MAY turn to violence. He urges, vehemently and often, to NOT resort to violence, but to live in truth.

    As for Glenn being “right” or “left”, I would be willing to bet that, if asked, he is neither. He is neither liberal nor conservative, neither right nor left, but instead stands for the founding principles of the US and their basis in Judeo-Christian ideals. No, we are not a Christian country per se, but that does not negate that the ideals by which our country was founded did not have, at their basis, a strong grounding in Christendom.

    Reply
  3. TimN (Post author)

    Robert, I have never actually listened or watched Glen Beck at all, just read things about him, so I can’t really comment on him specifically.

    However, its quite possible for people who are themselves not violent to advocate ideologies that are very destructive. The neo-liberal pro-corporate agenda has a symbiotic relationship with paramilitary and military violence in Colombia, even though the commentators and the business executives never have to raise a finger.

    Josiah, thanks for the recommendation. I’ve read Confessions of an Economic Hitman and found it very good. Did you know that Kathy Kern (who I posted an email from here on YAR) wrote a chapter in the sequel, A Game as Old as Empire?

    Reply
  4. mountainguy

    Well, after all Colombia is somewhat a “para-democracy”, and Uribe pretends that paramilitarism is not there anymore.

    Robert: just a correction, it is ColOmbia, not ColUmbia.

    Saludos desde Colombia

    Reply
  5. Josiah Garber

    I was not aware of that. I’ll check it out! :-)

    Reply

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