An alarming report from the CCJ Bipartisanship
Oct 252004

To those who, like President Uribe, have trouble distinguishing between non-governmental human rights groups and guerrillas (recall Uribe’s characterization of most Colombian human rights NGOs as “spokespeople for terrorism,” among other things, on several occasions over the past 13 months), we direct you to the website of CODHES, one of Colombia’s best-known human rights organizations.

In an editorial published Saturday, CODHES strongly condemns a group of misguided activists in Denmark who recently raised $8,500 and sent it to the FARC. The Colombian group makes clear that no money for war – whether cash for the guerrillas or helicopters for the Colombian army – is welcome from the international community. An English translation follows.

The announcement that a group of Danish citizens donated US$8,500 to the FARC elicits not only indignation and condemnation, but should also serve to open a national and international political debate about the methods of finance and support for the internal war from which Colombia suffers.

We should not accept support of any kind, be it economic or political, from governments, non-governmental organizations, or social organizations that continue to feed the confrontation, because after 40 years we are convinced that war is not the path and weapons are not the answer.

The country is mired in a deep social crisis, the result of accelerated poverty for the majority of the population combined with the utilization of a sizeable portion of resources for war.

The FARC, ELN, and self-defense groups are spending approximately US$2,592,251 each day, much of it coming from drug trafficking, to prolong this unjustifiable war.

Last year, the national government spent a daily average of approximately US$7,287,175 on its defense and national security budget, amid the warlike enthusiasm surrounding the idea of a military solution.

From the United States, US$1,680,175 arrives in our country every day to feed this war, in the framework of the struggle against terror and drugs, with no result other than the indefinite prolonging of the conflict and the unchanged supply of narcotics in the streets of the world’s largest cities

This is why it is imperative that all types of support for those who make war must be condemned. The aid we demand of the world is aid for peace, democracy, human rights, justice and social equality.

Nobody should send their money to buy guns, promote attacks, displace, confine or kidnap civilians, disappear citizens, lay mines, destroy the national infrastructure, or arbitrarily arrest people.

Instead of money for war, Colombia requires support for a political and negotiated solution to this conflict, a serious process with results, which includes broad participation of civil society (including the victims) and serious mechanisms of international facilitation and verification, within the framework of the principles of truth, justice, reparation, and international human rights instruments.

Ladies and gentlemen of Denmark, we do not want your money for the FARC.

One Response to “Donations to the FARC”

  1. jcg Says:

    CODHES is a certainly serious organization and their criticism both of the naive Danish donation and of the military focus of overall spending/aid to Colombia is certainly well-put. It demonstrates that most NGOs do not deserve such criticism, as it is fully evident by now that Uribe’s words were misguided and misdirected, considering the dangers that NGOs have always faced in Colombia. Still, while I rather hate to be the “devil’s advocate” (though someone has to do it), let me point your attention towards this paragraph of your own coverage on the matter:

    “Uribe’s speech distinguishes between serious human rights groups and “politickers,” but fails to explain how he makes this distinction.”

    Still, the fact that he actually made a distinction, which is very often overlooked and barely stated when this matter comes up, puts his comments, hot-headed and dangerous as they were and still are, in context. That doesn’t change the fact that, if he didn’t want to expose serious and respected NGOs nor his own persona to both virtual and physical backlashing, he shouldn’t have used such terms at all.

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