In Light of the Continuous Killings of Human Rights Defenders: Paras Never Really Left (S)
Denying paramilitary activity in Colombia is not something new. When the paramilitaries, commanded by the Castaño brothers, first appeared in Valle del Cauca and carried out their initial massacres in 1999, the Army and the state government denied their presence. More than 2,300 murders today show that paramilitaries were indeed in Valle.
It is a denial that’s accompanied by evading the political responsibility of the state in the formation of paramilitary groups, which contains a subtle message that, in advance, tells us that the state will not work to stop the murders directed against the political opposition in Colombia.
The year 2016 closed with a balance of 117 social leaders and human rights defenders killed in just one year. For a society that claims to be democratic and a defender of life, that figure is but an embarrassment and should lead people to pour out on the streets protesting. It is a concealed, silent genocide by a government that denies the systematicity and political motives executed through paramilitarism.
The defense of peace also involves the defense of life and political participation. Today, when it comes to implementing the peace agreement signed between the Government and the FARC, and as dialogues develop with ELN, it is necessary to bare the words and to show the face of the war that’s perpetrating a genocide against the political opposition in Colombia. Con la Oreja Roja