The Twisted Logic of Colombia’s Peace Deal with FARC
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.
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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.