Death Squad Responds

The second day of the conference on political prisoners, “Colombia Behind Bars” went well, other then the thugs menacingly taking photos of everyone entering the hall and a death squad called the “Black Eagles” issuing death threats to all the Colombian NGOs here and us internationalists.

Inside the hall all went smoothly with powerful and professional reports coming from former Colombian senator Piedad Cordoba and Xiomara Zelaya, wife of the deposed Honduran president.  Most moving though were the numerous presentations by family members on the murder, torture and imprisonment of their loved ones.  One young campasina summed up the situation well when she said “My husband was jailed for dreaming of a better world.”  Sadly no government representatives attended the conference to hear these people, except perhaps the thugs outside the hall photographing us.

We were hoping to visit some of the 7500 political prisoners today and tomorrow, but the government refused this request, saying that Colombia has no political prisoners so we have no one to visit.  Strangely though, immediately before our attempted visits, the government moved 25 prisoners who we specifically wanted to see, to unknown locations.  If there are no political prisoners, what are they trying to hide with this action?

Two statistics from the conference jumped out at me.  22% of the Colombian budget goes towards the state security apparatus and only $3 a day goes towards each of the 110,000 prisoners here, which includes the cost of the guards and administration.  And to add insult to injury family and friends of the prisoners have to pay to keep thier loved ones properly clothed and fed.

Why oh why did Canada sign a Free Trade deal with such a government as this?

Thanks for your interest and support.

Kevin

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Why Canada signed the Free Trade deal with Columbia? According to Michael Ignatieff: “…. um….uh….let’s see…ENGAGEMENT! That’s why?”

    Reply

  2. […] Why I’m going to Gaza « Death Squad Responds […]

    Reply

  3. […] and her family are now in great danger from right-wing death squads, like the Black Eagles, who threatened all the participants at the recent conference. One very good response though came from the British embassy, which […]

    Reply

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