At a town-hall meeting in the department of Meta, the president made comments once more tying his critics – in this case, human rights and peace advocates – to Colombia’s brutal, murderous guerrillas.
In fact, Uribe said, those who oppose his security policies are part of the FARC. They are nothing more than a guerrilla unit he calls the “Intellectual Bloc of the FARC.”
There’s no nuance here. This isn’t political debate. At best, this is McCarthyism. At worst, it’s a powerful president publicly, and with no evidence, linking his political adversaries with a terrorist group – which essentially declares open season on them.
The Obama administration must take note of this behavior which, to say the least, does not befit what one would expect of a close U.S. ally, much less a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Here are translated excerpts of Ãlvaro Uribe’s own words, uttered earlier today.
Let’s not get distracted. While they kidnap and murder and set off car bombs, the guerrillas want to dress themselves in the cloak of peace.
We aren’t going to let them fool us now. The guerrillas, trying to disorient us, produce blood but talk of peace. We’re not going to allow this, compatriots.
We’re not going to allow the FARC’s “intellectual bloc” to disorient us now with a discourse of peace, which in the end strenghthens terrorism. And we have to wage this battle in the whole country.
The FARC’s “intellectual bloc” is very clever. In the past, in Europe, they said: “the FARC are justified, because Colombia is a very unjust country, there is no democracy in Colombia,” knowing that they taught this country and they taught the paramilitaries to murder mayors, to pressure governors, to eliminate democracy, and knowing that they cause more and more poverty, that they and tha paramilitaries were the largest causes of displacement in Colombia, of unemployment, of the absence of investment.
And they shield themselves in something else: at all hours they live talking about human rights, simply to make our soldiers and police more timid.
We punish every violation of human rights, but what we cannot allow is that, with their little story about peace and with their permanent accusations against the armed forces, they now paralyze our Democratic Security policy, as the FARC’s “intellectual bloc” seeks to do.
Now, people say to me: Mr. President, don’t use that combative language, be very careful. Then I ask: we can’t fight this battle? Must we then allow the country to return to the disorientation that leads to the exaltation of terrorism, led by the FARC’s “intellectual bloc?” Let’s not fall into this trap.
What the FARC’s “intellectual bloc” does is say in Europe and in the United States: “careful, Uribe is a paramilitary, don’t approve the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia because Uribe is a paramilitary and a human-rights violator.”
Now, the FARC’s “intellectual bloc” doesn’t dare to defend the FARC directly; the FARC’s “intellectual bloc,” is very clever, very astute, it doesn’t dare to oppose fundamentally the Democratic Security policy; the FARC’s “intellectual bloc” defense the FARC simply by talking about peace.