Invisibility serves the abuse of power only too well in the continued struggle of ordinary Colombians. Thus, understanding the context of recent astounding events in this nation, post peace-accords, is essential, because it is illustrative of the difficult path to be traversed towards real peace and democracy.
In June 2018 – when it looked like an alliance of opposition political forces (consisting of the progressive Colombia Humana / Decentes, the Green Alliance and the left Polo Democratico) might just win the general elections and achieve a massive turn-around for this nation – the usual lot got back into power (54% versus 42%), to a certain degree helped by intimidation and vote buying.
Let us be clear. What Colombians now have is not just a “right-wing” government. It is a government infused with callousness, incompetence and deceit, where that minority who bleed the country dry, (and often literally to death – at least 533 human rights defenders have been killed since 2016), continue to implement a moribund and savage version of neo-liberalism.
That is the creed: an inhumane project elaborated via a dual minority elite business/latifundial alliance working hand-in-hand with military/narco-paramilitary support, financed by billions of war-dollars from abroad – ostensibly, to sequentially, and unsuccessfully, “fight communism”, “eradicate the drug-trade” and “get rid of terrorism”.
In truth, the billions of military funds invested have actually gone into cementing a ruthless state and its repressive apparatus, in favour of its cronies, thriving in a country where the “oldest democracy on the continent” paradoxically exists alongside extreme inequality and injustice. And, even though most conflict with the largest guerrilla organization, Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) has now stopped, there are now persistent attempts at watering down the Peace Agreements and negotiations with the other major guerrilla combatants, the Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN), has ground to a halt.