Colombian Prisoners Call Attention to Atrocities Carried Out by the Government of Juan Manuel Santos

February 29, 2016

February 29th marks the sixth day of a hunger strike in La Tramacúa prison in Valledupar, Colombia. The hunger strike is meant to call attention to the plight of the political prisoners unjustly detained as part of the "Democratic Security Policy" of the Santos government. More than 500 Colombian prisoners are now participating in the strike not only against the holding of political prisoners, but also against cruel and unusual punishment – including the widespread use of torture.

The hunger strike comes on the heels of a big campaign in the monopoly-controlled media aimed at sanitizing the U.S. government's support for the Colombian government and its counter-insurgency war. For example, the media has recently featured several stories praising the “Democratic Security Policy” and Colombian President Santos for his “public service” and “humanitarianism.” Repeating the propaganda of the Obama administration and the Pentagon, the media portrays Santos as determined to end human rights abuses, prosecute the paramilitary death squads, and begin genuine negotiations with FARC and other armed liberation organizations.

In fact, hundreds of U.S. military “advisers” are busy directing a counter-insurgency war. The Obama administration and Congress know that they cannot simply come in front of the American people to say, “We want your tax monies to organize fascism and war against the Colombian people.” So, relying especially on the monopoly-controlled media, the government has again been trying to conceal its war program in the name of “human rights.”

The U.S.-organized counter-insurgency war is directed against the struggles of the Colombian people for national independence and social progress. In addition, the U.S. is waging all-out war against the popular insurgent forces in the countryside. The Colombian army and paramilitary squads, spawned by the U.S., regularly imprison and assassinate trade union leaders, peace activists and oppositional political figures, trying to suppress any and every manifestation of the popular struggle.

For decades the Colombian workers, peasants and broad masses of people have been struggling against the fascist government, for the democratization of the political system, against U.S. dictate and domination, and for broad social and economic reforms.

For more than a century, U.S. imperialism has supported and organized the Colombian military, which is notorious as one of the most violent and repressive regimes in the world. U.S. agri-business interests have long bolstered the power of the Colombian landed oligarchy and, U.S. multinational corporations have established themselves as the biggest foreign investor in the country.

The counter-insurgency war which the U.S. is waging in Colombia aims not only at maintaining U.S. economic and political domination of Colombia but also at militarizing the entire region – at establishing military bases and dispatching U.S. advisers to Peru, to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and other countries.