April 08, 2005

Theft of rural land from the poor in Colombia

In June of 2000, several writers for the Wall Street Journal won awards for daring reports of specific instances of terror: terror that continues systematically throughout Columbia. A frightening timeline leads to a trail of US funded terror squads operating in a similar manner today.

"Parmilitaries routinely induced fear in the rural population by entering villages and rounding up the residents in the town plaza. They would then brutally kill a handful of villagers, often dismembering them with machetes and chainsaws, before ordering the rest of the people to leave the region...
By forcibly displacing the rural population in this manner, the paramilitaries hoped to eliminate local support for the guerrillas. This strategy has aggravated the already grossly inequitable distribution of arable lands as large landowners, as well as multinational corporations interested in oil, coal and natural gas resources, have taken over much of the abandoned land."

update - 10-30-2010 - the link to Colombia Journal didn't work because they've moved their stories around. Here's a newer story that relates to theft of rural land by Uribe and his henchmen.

Morales Gains Credibility in Bolivia

In October of 2003, Evo Morales led an uprising in Bolivia that ousted former president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada. In a vain effort to retain his position, Lozada had ordered his troops to shoot to kill. In spite of this, the US State Department assured Lozada of support in his "effort to restore order". More than 80 protesters died, and Lozada fled in disgrace to the US, where he has been in hiding since.

"We want to charge him with economic damages and crimes against humanity," Morales said. "We are soon going to see him in prison."

Morales may yet prevail, since the Bolivian congress has recently voted to put Lozada on trial

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