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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

Carlos Alberto Montaner: Peace Broke Out in Colombia
"It is up to Duque to organize the final crackdown against these criminals," writes Latin American genius Carlos Alberto Montaner. "When Santos began to agree the false peace, the FARC were almost defeated. Duque should not waste time. Now or never."

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

The breaking could be foreseen.

In January 2019, from the underground, Iván Márquez had declared that it was a mistake to hand over the weapons to a “cheater state.”

Iván Márquez, Jesús Santrich and “El Paisa,” surrounded by some comrades-in-arms, finally resumed the fight. They claimed, naturally, the cause of the poor and the lack of guarantees for former guerrillas who were still exterminated. “Timochenko” immediately declared that FARC dissidents were “only” 10% of his group. The remaining 90% remained attached to the peace formula.

They didn’t tell the most substantial part of the story.

Marlon Marín, Iván Márquez’s nephew and “guide” of Santrich (who is almost blind), told the DEA in the United States that they had agreed with the Sinaloa Cartel a large delivery of Colombian cocaine after the signing of peace between the government of Santos and the FARC. They had been caught in flagrant crime or, as common people say, red-handed.

Actually, Colombia was not a cheater state. Especially since Iván Duque won the presidency in August 2018. Before, at the time of Juan Manuel Santos, it had been. Otherwise, Santos would have accepted the result of the referendum on the peace process and would have rethought it. Santos cheated and ignored it for the benefit of the FARC.

The original error was to place on an equal footing the communist narco-guerrillas and the Colombian state. That is always a blunder that ends badly. It is legitimate that there be peace talks, but it is disastrous to forget the differences. The narco-guerrilla is handled with totally different moral and political codes, contrary to those of the Colombian state.

Narcoterrorists do not mind blowing up El Nogal social club, with 33 people dead (some of them children) and more than 160 injured, because history was on their side. It comes with the territory. And then the rhetorical questions come: “Does it really matter that a few peasant girls are raped or some adversaries are kidnapped or killed before the cyclopean task of freeing the poor from their chains? Does it matter that a thousand kilos of cocaine are sent to the Empire before the final project of a classless, happy and peaceful society?”

On the other hand, to the Colombian state, forged around the liberal ideals of the Latin American republicans of the 19th century, compliance with the law is an essential condition. That was the leitmotiv of Francisco de Paula Santander, the key man of Colombian independence, who since then conferred some identity hallmarks to that beautiful and unique country in Latin America.

It is true that in Colombia there is significant corruption and also that law enforcement agencies frequently violate the laws, but the difference with the FARC or the ELN (and with all the mafias), is that the narcoterrorists rely in advance on the Marxist absolution to all these sins or behaviors because they are committed in the name of a supposedly “scientific” doctrine that will have its glorious day after the ultimate triumph.

I know that most of the murderers of the FARC and the ELN have not spent a minute reading Marx or his epigones, but the vulgate, or the rumor of the vulgate, is enough for them to talk a lot about “the poor” and the causes of their misfortune, when, in reality, they return to the jungle and to crime because it is in that atmosphere where they feel materially and emotionally rewarded.

It is up to Duque to organize the final crackdown against these criminals. When Santos began to agree the false peace, the FARC were almost defeated. Duque should not waste time. Now or never.

Carlos Alberto Montaner is a journalist and writer. Born in 1943 in Cuba and exiled, Montaner is known for his more than 25 books and thousands of articles. PODER magazine estimates that more than six million readers have access to his weekly columns throughout Latin America. He is also a political analyst for CNN en Espanol. In 2012, Foreign Policy magazine named Montaner as one of the fifty most influential intellectuals in the Ibero-American world. His latest novel is A Time for Scoundrels. His latest essay is "The President: A Handbook for Voters and the Elected." His latest book is a review of Las raíces torcidas de América Latina (The Twisted Roots of Latin America), published by Planeta and available in Amazon, in printed or digital version.


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