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The Twisted Logic of Colombia’s Peace Deal with FARC

By: Vanesa Vallejo - Oct 12, 2016, 9:04 am
(Radio Santa Fe) paz
Supporters of the peace agreement seem to forget that there are still hundreds of child soldiers in FARC custody. (Radio Santa Fe)

Propaganda and the macabre use of language that the Colombian government has deployed since the peace negotiations is overwhelming. In Colombia, people do not talk about the signing of an agreement; they talk about “the signing of peace.”

Colombians no longer call Guerrilla members “terrorists.” Many have also forgotten the term “drug dealers.” President Juan Manuel Santos and local media presented the kidnapping of journalist Salud Hernández back in May as a simple “retention.”

But the continuous demonization of those who disagree with the negotiations in Havana has caused a greater division in Colombian society. President Santos popularized the term “enemies of peace” to refer to anyone who spoke against the peace process.

The government’s campaign follows the usual Marxist logic under which society and “the good” must fight an enemy that prevents peace from flourishing. Santos’ government has told Colombians that everyone who does not approve the peace process is an “enemy of peace.”

Sadly, values in Colombia are distorted. An enemy of peace is anyone who violates people’s liberty, life, and private property. The real enemies of peace in this country are the guerrillas, and not those of us who condemn their actions and demand for justice.

Many people were surprised when “No” won in the plebiscite held on October 2, 2016. Until that day, what we heard on the streets, what we saw on TV and what we read in the press was that “Yes” was going to have a landslide victory.

It is uncomfortable for many Colombians to openly comment in this regard, knowing that they may be branded as enemies of peace. It is very difficult to establish any dialogue when the moderator assumes that you have bad intentions.

The successful campaign of the government has managed to separate Colombians between those who want peace and those who want war, instead of people who agree or disagree with what was signed in Havana.

It turns out that the “enemies of peace” are not the members of the terrorist group that has killed, extorted and murdered for 50 years. Rather, these are Colombians who have never attacked anyone, but who refuse to accept that murderers such as “Timochenko” get a seat in the Senate without spending one day in jail or paying a single penny.

After the victory of “No,” the division and attacks in Colombia are even stronger. The government has succeeded in creating some sort of generalized Stockholm syndrome in our society.

Social media and local news are filled with opinions such as that of Senator Claudia López. On her Twitter as well as in every interview she has had since the plebiscite, López has asserted that those who voted “No” are responsible for all the deaths caused by FARC.

In four years, the negotiations in Cuba made Colombians forget that the blame of any murder falls on the one who commits it. A giant extortion is taking place in our country: the most powerful drug gang in Colombia is demanding that we give them political power. And the part of the population that agrees with the extortion is now blaming those who do not support the agreement for all the murders that this criminal gang may carry out in the future.

The day after the plebiscite, Timochenko posted a video in which he stated: “Peace is a counter-majoritarian right.”

He added that, for this reason, the agreement reached in Havana should be respected despite the majority of Colombians voting against it.

Of course, peace is a right that should not be put to the vote, but what the top leader of the FARC calls “peace” is the agreement that grants his group multiple benefits beyond peace. Many Colombians, who are deceived by the twisted language these people use, support FARC claiming that peace must be reached by any means.

In recent days, there was a rally to support the signing. Colombians, instead of going out to demonstrate for the 3,000 children that FARC has in its possession and do not want to release, requested that the result of the plebiscite be ignored.

Colombians have distorted values. Some people are posting selfies’ with Timochenko, applauding him and saying that he should have also won the Nobel Peace Price.

They forget that he was once the enemy. Instead, they think the agreement means peace, and that whoever voted “No” is their enemy.

Vanesa Vallejo Vanesa Vallejo

Vanesa Vallejo is a Colombian economist, columnist, and classical liberal activist. She is a member of Colombia's Libertarian Movement. Follow her: @VanesaVallejo3.

Leader of Mexican Left Lopez Obrador to Sue WSJ Over Tax Story

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Oct 11, 2016, 1:41 pm
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EspañolLeader of the Mexican left Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is suing The Wall Street Journal. The lawsuit has to do with the publication of a story showing that the politician did not declare two apartments on his tax returns. According to Communications Director for the National Regeneration (Morena) Party César Yáñez, the political leader intends to put a stop the US media from publishing such stories, as "it is an outrage against the decency of Obrador." Read more: Mexico Says It is Preparing in Case Trump Makes it to the White House Read more: Mexico's Finance Minister Resigns over Trump Visit There is still no set amount of money for which he will sue. However, Yáñez stated that the compensation will not go to Andres Manuel or his family, but rather to children of immigrants. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); The Federal District Court will assess the complaint for moral damages. "We will fight it," Yañez said. "This is a case where we believe it's worth drawing a line here. The authorities will draw this line." Julio Scherer will be the lawyer representing the Mexican politician. Source: López Dóriga Digital

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