Activists protest in New York
UNITED NATIONS (FinalCall.com) – Activists answered the call from El Comite Contra La Violencia En Colombia and the International Action Center to gather in front of the Colombian Mission to the United Nations in mid-town Manhattan to protest “state sponsored terrorism.”
“For too long, Colombians have suffered torture, displacement, disappearance, and general misery under the dark shadow of paramilitary and military terror, constantly taking new and more menacing forms,” Noam Chomsky, activist and professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in a prepared statement for the press.
Reasons for the demonstration were stated in a flyer: “Because there are 700 people kidnapped by he FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia); Because there are 3.8 million people displaced by the paramilitaries; Because 2,574 trade unionists have been assassinated; Because since 2002 the Armed forces have executed 950 persons extra judicially; Because between 1982 and 2005 the paramilitaries perpetrated 3,500 massacres and left 3,000 common graves; Because of the forced theft by paramilitaries of 14.8 millions of acres of land from the poorest people.”
“The vigil on March 6 is a courageous stand by the victims and their supporters, in Colombia and around the world, a passionate plea for this savagery to be brought to a final end,” said Mr. Chomsky.
The Party for Socialism and Liberation said, in a statement, “The Colombian people have courageously faced-off against death squad violence and U.S. military intervention in their efforts to build a new Colombia, free of exploitation.”
However, death squad violence is not the only killer stalking Colombians. Reports are now surfacing concerning human and animal sickness and environmental issues facing crop and food distribution because of herbicide spraying.
Thousands of health complaints from herbicide spray victims have found their way into a U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., and the Colombian government has taken its case to the International Court of Justice in The Hague in the Netherlands.
The herbicide is sprayed by a U.S. contractor, DynCorp International, and is manufactured by the Monsanto Company. The spraying operation was started by former Pres. Bill Clinton and carried on by Pres. George W. Bush under the “Colombia Drug War Plan.”
High tension between Venezuela and Colombia eased as the two countries sought to reestablish diplomatic ties following a tense week that saw Venezuelan military troops stationed near the Colombian border. President Hugo Chavez recalled Venezuelan embassy workers from BogotÃ¡ and ordered the Colombian embassy in Venezuela closed while expelling all diplomats from the neighboring country. This all followed Colombia’s strike against leftist rebels that had been stationed in Ecuador.
In that strike a prominent leader of FARC was killed, an outfit designed to overthrow the U.S. supported government of Columbia. President Chavez, an adamant anti-U.S. leader, has long been believed to support FARC through intelligence and financial backing, said TransWorldNews.
Mr. Chavez condemned Colombia’s attack on Ecuadorean soil, calling it an attack on the country’s sovereignty. That was followed with a show of arms as President Chavez marched several troops along the border March 2 in what many feared could have evolved into a full-scale war.
Those fears were relieved over the March 8 weekend at a summit in the Dominican Republic as President Chavez, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa and Columbian leader Alvaro Uribe shook hands and agreed to a peaceful resolution.
President Uribe apologized for the strike and agreed to end his country’s plan to seek charges against President Chavez at an international court in relation to genocide charges due to his alliance with FARC, TransWorldNews said. In turn President Chavez agreed to restore diplomatic ties with Colombia and re-open Venezuela’s embassy in BogotÃ¡ as well as welcome back Colombian diplomats to his country, said TransWorldNews.