There have been at least six massacres in just one week in Colombia, and the culprits are getting away with it.
More details about the latest massacres are yet to be made public but what we can conclude with the present information is that there is now a significant crisis in Colombia. The lives of young, Indigenous, Black, mestizo and impoverished people seem to be disposable. Although we are yet to understand the direct causes of these killings, we can give a reasonable theory for their root cause. The current government of Colombia is continuing its decades-long Uribista project, which has seen the elites of the country get richer and richer at the expense of the impoverished masses. It is not a coincidence that the spree of recent killings is occurring in the country’s rural and impoverished areas where the lives of ordinary citizens are not respected, where national and international capitalists loot resources, and where local labour is exploited with meagre pay.
Colombia’s national mainstream news sources have been quick to point to leftist guerrilla forces for these massacres despite there being no evidence for it. Suppose we take the history of killings in the country. In that case, we see that the pattern would point to the government of Iván Duque, the national military in his control and the paramilitaries. The paramilitaries, a tentacle of the government and the Colombian elites, hold the number one place for the massacres that have occurred in the country in recent history. The country’s mainstream media pointing to left-wing armed groups, in this context, can simply be seen as the elites forming a foundation for the narratives that will follow. In other words, misleading the public as to who the actors of these horrific massacres are.
During August 2020, there have been at least six separate massacres of young Colombian people in the country’s poverty-ridden regions. The first massacre, in which five 14 to 15 year-olds were murdered, occurred just outside the city of Cali. The second massacre, this time costing the lives of eight young people aged between 19-25 years-old, occurred just a few days later in a town called Samaniego. The third massacre, of which there’s little information apart from the fact that the victims were Indigenous peasants, occurred in an Indigenous reserve in the department of Nariño. The fourth massacre, this time of six people, happened in a town called El Tambo, in the department of Cauca. Just hours later, five more people were killed in the city of Arauca. The most recent massacre occurred on Saturday in which another five people were killed in the town of Guayacana, bordering Ecuador.
These recent massacres bring the total to 45 for 2020 alone. The systematic killing of Colombians by the state, be it to get rid of political opponents, labour and social leaders, or as mere aggression against ordinary citizens, is unacceptable and warrants our immediate attention and action. We, as a diaspora, cannot let this continue. We are calling for all Colombians and our allies to help us combat the current situation by following us, sharing our work, donating, and taking part.