Declaration by Senator Gina Parody on the March 6th March
(Translated by Peter Lenny, a CSN volunteer translator)
( Note : Senator Parodi is a close ally of President Uribe)
- For the victims and against the paramilitaries -
Tuesday 26th February 2008
A declaration on the March 6 march
What is there in common between this march and the one called for 4th February?
· They are marches against violence
· They denounce Colombians’ indifference to crimes against humanity and war crimes
· The reject the use of arms in the struggle for power
· They call for respect for life
· We want a Colombia in peace
· Peace means there are no future victims and that present ones receive reparation. That is why the March parade – in solidarity with the victims – is important
· “Common graves never again”: the government inspectors now say they have found 1054, some on the farms of Congress members’ relatives or front men
· “Forced displacements never again”: Colombia holds the record of 2 million refugees, making us the world leader in forced displacements, and comparable in numbers only with Afghanistan
· “Paramilitaries never again”: one of the groups that has committed the worst human rights violations, and stands accused of 9,000 crimes all over Colombia
· “Para-politicians never again”: today we have 52 members of congress accused of being connected with crimes of aggravated conspiracy to commit a crime, electoral fraud, voter coercion, and even kidnapping – and another 22 in custody in La Picota prison and 3 sentenced. That means they violated the political rights of each and every citizen who gave them a vote in their area of influence
In Colombia we do not have first-class and second-class victims. There can be no surrendering to the psychological blackmail of those whose intention is to sabotage this march, just as they intended to do in February:
· The other Mancuso was sent a communiqué – more like a bombshell – that the march had been manipulated by the media to support Uribe and that it was a march in favor of the establishment, of an establishment half of whose members of congress are under arrest and therefore is a “mafia” establishment (give this a tone of rather burlesque irony, so as not confuse it with your own opinion)
And saying of this march:
· That it is organized by the FARC,
· That it is sponsored by Chávez
· That it is against the armed forces and the police.
Which is why it is worth clarifying that
I WILL NOT MARCH AGAINST THE ARMY NOR AGAINST MY POLICE, BECAUSE THIS MARCH IS NOT AGAINST OUR POLICE NOR OUR ARMY, AS SOME WANT TO MAKE IT APPEAR. However, it is against the paramilitaries and their partners, who have cause thousands of victims - millions in fact – and in solidarity with those victims. In fact - given the enormity of the crimes committed – it is in solidarity with the whole of humankind.
Not to come out on the march is once again to choose the lesser evil and THE LESSER EVIL CANNOT BE AN OPTION IN COLOMBIA, because after all it is an evil: the paramilitaries have come this far as if they owned the place.
· Not to march is once again to turn our backs on the 2,000,000 displaced people who we haven’t yet given back their land; it is to turn our backs on the more than 15,000 families who are still waiting for relatives to come home (or at least to find them in a common grave), it is to turn our backs on the thousands of victims of the massacres committed by the “self-defense forces” in the name of A NEW PROJECT OF STATE.
· Not to come out is to legitimate the recruitment of children and teenagers that the “self-defense forces” carried out and that their leaders have systematically denied in the statements they have made to government prosecutors.
· Where are the children who were held by the self-defense forces?
· To permit the March 6 march to fail is to permit the paramilitaries, para-politicians and violence to triumph, once again.
Colombia Support Network
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701-1505
phone: (608) 257-8753
fax: (608) 255-6621