Housing Complex

Colombian Hearts Protest Shots


This afternoon, I'm closing the book on this whole Colombian hearts story, which I've blogged about six times in the last week—but is getting a fair amount of traffic! So clearly the interest doesn't belong solely to me.

There will be two more posts: First up, some rather dramatic photos that were sent to me by Brandon Wu, who's with Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch (and occasionally blogs for us over at Black Plastic Bag.) They're better than the footage below.



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  • Aline Helg

    Dear Editor:
    As historian specialized in Colombia, I am truly scandalized by the current Uribe Government campaign to hide daily violations of human rights by his administration, police, military and paramilitary forces (which are now officially referred to as "armed groups"!). I am also deeply sadden by the fact the newspapers like yours don’t try anymore to search the truth about Colombian reality beyond the five-star hotels of the major cities. Today, 10 % of the country’s population has been forcibly displaced—that is about 4 000 000 men, and above all women and children. But few people care, because most of them have fled Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities. And these communities, whose rights to their lands are recognized by the 1991 Colombian Constitution, live in areas that huge Colombian and multinational companies would like to exploit, destroying some of the last primary forests in the world. Is this what the American public wants? To continue to help a government and a Parliament, with many members currently under investigation for drug trafficking, human rights violations, and complicity to murder?
    U.S. taxpayers should know that their dollars have funded Colombia’s army as they kill innocent civilians in rural areas and dress them up in guerrilla fatigues in order to appear to be “winning the war” and to gain career advancement. Meanwhile, Colombia is the most dangerous place in the world to be a trade unionist, with 49 unionists murdered in 2008. Although, it’s not a lot safer to be a journalist, human rights defender, or Supreme Court judge, as Colombia’s government has been illegally wiretapping these people, their families, and anyone else pegged as opposition in order to use the information obtained to threaten them into silence.
    I urge you to inform your readers about these terrible fact, so that they can know what U.S. funding is really funding. Thank you.
    Aline Helg
    Author of Liberty and Equality in Caribbean Colombia (UNC Press)