The Party for Socialism and Liberation denounces the massacre of campesinos in the municipality of Tumaco, Colombia on October 5th, 2017 by part of Colombian National Police, Escuadron Movil Antidisturbios ESMAD and the Colombian National Army. These government and military groups violently attacked farmers in Alto Mira, Frontera del Corregimiento de Llorente and left between nine and 16 dead and over 50 injured.
Farmers in the area have been peacefully protesting since thursday September 28th, demanding that the Colombian government comply with Section 4 of the peace agreement. Section 4 of the peace agreement deals with the voluntary substitution of illicit crops. These farmers and agricultural workers were attacked because of their political organizing and participation, continuing the legacy of political repression in Colombia. Such attacks have been conducted by right wing, Uribistas, fascist, state military and paramilitary groups who are funded and directly trained by the government of the United States.
The U.S. government has continuously pressured the Colombian government to conduct forced eradication programs and violate Section 4 of the Peace Accords, which work to minimize coca production via voluntary substitution programs. These forced eradication programs instruct military officers to go into farmers’ homes, terrorize them and destroy all of their crops. Furthermore, forced eradication programs include the aerial fumigation of illicit crops with the toxic Monsanto’s RoundUp Ultra, which has been linked to causing cancer among agricultural communities, and have also completely killed off legally grown crops. The massacre in Tumaco is not a random act, but instead an extension of the forced eradication programs that the U.S. is promoting.
In 2016, the President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos won the Nobel Peace Prize, but has time and again failed to follow through on the peace deal. He has ignored the attacks on the people of Colombia by right-wing groups. He dragged his feet in releasing former combatants, leading to a massive prison hunger strike. While insisting on FARC disarmament, he has remained silent when armed right-wing terrorist groups move into the zones that the FARC vacates.
We demand that the U.S. government stop undermining and sabotaging the Peace Accords. We join with Colombia’s popular and left-wing forces to demand an immediate investigation of the attacks that took place on October 5th, 2017; that all officials who are involved in the attacks be held accountable; and that the Colombian government truly comply with the Peace Accords.
We further call for justice and protection for grassroots, union, political and human rights organizations of Colombia and an end to the repression, attacks and murders targeting people due to their political activity.