Friday, August 19, 2011

Women Against War

Not One Woman, Not One Man, Not One Dollar for War
Women in Black, an internatioal anti-war organization founded in Israel, is holding its convention in Bogotá this week. This morning they rallied along Jimenez Ave., chanting against war and vowing that women 'Do not give birth to send their sons and daughters to war.'

No War in My Name!
War is always terrible, and Colombia has suffered far more than its share of it, with its many civil wars and its ongoing armed conflict involving guerrillas, the military and right-wing paramilitaries. The current conflict, which has dragged on for more than a half century, has killed untold thousands of people, driven millions of peasants from their homes and cost the nation tremendously in wealth and opportunity.

Everybody in their right minds wishes it would end!

But in the late 1990s the Pastrana government tried to negotiate with the FARC guerrillas, even giving them a region larger than Switzerland in southern Colombia to use as a neutral negotiating region. But the guerrillas were apparently never sincere, and Colombia's two succeeding presidents have used a no-holds-barred military strategy, with billions of dollars in aid from Washington. The military offensive has produced results - altho with a big cost in human rights - and made both presidents Alvaro Uribe and Manuel Santos very popular.

Today, the guerrillas continue invading towns and attacking vehicles in remote parts of the country and display little interest in negotiating peace. When groups like Women in Black call for an end to war, they often seem to be demanding a unilateral government disarmament.

International Encounter of Women in Black

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


Green Idea Factory said...

Interesting, since Colombia is one of (fascist, apartheid) Israel's closest friends in Latin America.

Miguel said...

With all of their imperfections and failings, neither Israel nor Colombia is fascist. And their conflicts have virtually nothing in common, either historically or politically.

Green Idea Factory said...

By the way I was not comparing the Colombian govt. to the Israeli one, though they are both close friends of the U.S. and Israeli special forces have trained their Colombian counterparts, and so on. Anyway, there are lovely people in both countries.

Miguel said...

Yes, the two nations have cooperated in various ways. Both, however, have essentially democratic gov'ts, albeit flawed ones, friendly to Washington. But the similarities just about end there.