We are called cynical because we express our condolences to the families and friends of the victims, as if understanding the pain of others and sympathizing with it, were a miserable attitude
We tried to explain the situation that caused the death of two policemen in the rural area of Tumaco. And we warned beforehand that the reaction of certain stakeholders in the breakdown of the peace process we are carrying out with the national government, would be bothersome. Both general Palomino and presidential candidate Uribe, among others, led the crusade against the FARC again, calling with ferocious howls for a total war.
We are called cynical because we express our condolences to the families and friends of the victims, as if understanding the pain of others and sympathizing with it, were a miserable attitude. It hurts us that Colombians or foreigners die as a result of this war that we never wanted. That we first kill them and then send our condolences, as our critics suggest, is not exactly an objective way of looking at things.
The whole country and the world witnessed how President Santos cried with happiness after the death of our comandante Alfonso Cano. Nobody from the Establishment of from the media thought about launching not even the slightest reproach for it. Not even when a Catholic bishop expressed his bewilderment at the fact that rather than arresting Alfonso - who was alone at night, almost blind, defenseless and more than sixty years old - they killed him.
Not even in the private space of the necessary meetings that led to the initiation of the Havana peace talks did we receive the slightest sign of grief from the President; even though the first contact of his government took place precisely with the Comandante he ordered to kill. We would never have considered it a gesture of cynicism if he had; perhaps we would have interpreted it as sincere gallantry from someone who is ready to talk about peace and reconciliation.Attitudes are usually different, depending on which side of the war things happen.
They only proceeded against them when they felt they were surrounded by an aggressive operation of enemy forces
After the breakdown of the Caguán process, as a necessary consequence of the implementation of Plan Colombia, defined by Presidents Bill Clinton and Andr?s Pastrana, and carried out well before the rupture of the peace process (February 20, 2002), U.S. and Colombian military unleashed all possible forms of violence against the FARC and the population of the areas under our influence. Today, people talk about conflict as if none of this had ever happened.
The paramilitary horrors, socially and politically increased and recognized during the government of Andr?s Pastrana, and increased in such a way that it became state terror during the first administration of Álvaro Uribe, the millions of displaced people during that period, the widespread repression, the crimes and judicial prosecution, the thousands of executions known as false positives, the death of hundreds of guerrilla fighters at the hands of professional soldiers, who earned a lunch with chicken or a permit, don't bear any relation to the conflict today, according to our critics.
These are not serious analyses. The military are carrying out a war plan called Sword of Honor II, which is the follow-up of the Sword of Honor I. It failed, just like Plan Patriota or Plan Victoria that preceded them, other attempts to eliminate the insurgency and the dissatisfaction. From the time of Marquetalia and Plan Laso, all these plans have combined a counterinsurgent military offensive with marginal and precarious social care, which meets people's needs for a while, in order to subtract influence to the guerrillas and build information networks for war.
The two policemen, in the exercise of their official duties, were wearing civilian clothes, which could be interpreted as even more dangerous in a war zone. When they were arrested, the members of the militia wanted to take them to a responsible commander, who would decide what to do with them, or who would communicate it to a higher command. They only proceeded against them when they felt they were surrounded by an aggressive operation of enemy forces.
Why isn't it cruel to kill with a burst of rifle, as in Alfonso Cano's case, as it is when there are no firearms involved, at a moment in which using firearms would endanger one's life?
It's easy to guess what went through their minds in these difficult moments. The enemy came to take away the prisoners from them by force. What would other military, policemen or guards have done, if they faced a situation like this? Why isn't it cruel to kill with a burst of rifle, as in Alfonso Cano's case, as it is when there are no firearms involved, at a moment in which using firearms would endanger one's life?
Whatever the answer is, if the militia had to answer for the commission of a crime, they would do so before the guerrilla laws, according to our rules. In no case would we proceed to hand them over to the enemy authorities. That's how we perceive it, in accordance with the specific rules of the law of war. Many experts would agree with us. The real problem is of another nature, it is political, it responds to the interests of this moment.
Last weekend, eight policemen died in a helicopter affected by a mining, activated by guerrillas of the 33 Front of the FARC in Sardinata, North Santander. The fact did not even merit a headline, simply because the MoD knows it cannot use this military action, which discredits the Vulcano Task Force and puts the arrogant military presence in Catatumbo on the grill, against us.
When an aerial bombardment of a guerrilla unit, surprised late at night in the dark of the jungle, produces the death of one or two dozen fighters, the minister of defense can't hide his excitement and happiness when he exultantly communicates the result
This also happened in the case of the soldiers who died in the helicopter shot down on 22 February in La Uribe, Meta. These aren't deaths that can be attributed freely to the FARC's vileness; thus, they are low-category deaths, which are not even worth ireporting to the Colombian and world population. After all, the official propaganda speaks of an army that is winning the war, and those facts call that into question; therefore, the best thing to do is to hide them.
When an aerial bombardment surprises a guerrilla unit late at night in the dark of the jungle and produces the death of one or two dozen of fighters, the minister of defense can't hide his excitement and happiness when he exultantly communicates the result. Even though he's talking about Colombians; poor, common people. Let's not talk of not allowing impunity for acts of war. Let's sign a ceasefire, Santos, and make peace possible.
CHIEF OF THE CENTRAL HIGH COMMAND OF THE FARC-EP
March 26, 2014