Opinion | Colombia: Are there reasons to celebrate?

COLOMBIA. Former President Santos shared with Londoño / @ LaTrochaCerveza

Beatriz de Majo, internationalist. Screenshot photo.

By Beatriz de Majo | One of the best practices in life when acting righteously is to keep up appearances. In politicians it is even mandatory. Good sense advises discretion in human actions, but there are those who do not get carried away by this type of “nonsense”, as they say in good Colombian.

The fact is that through the networks and the Colombian media since Wednesday the photograph circulates in which the smiling former president of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos celebrates, beer in hand, with the leader of the FARC Rodrigo Londoño, the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Havana Peace Agreement, which would have decided the demobilization of this guerrilla group, the architect of innumerable crimes against the Colombian population and institutions. Timochenko, as he was known on the FARC grounds, was the third commander of this group of irregulars that sowed terror and desolation in the neighboring country for half a decade and assumed its leadership after Alfonso Cano, another bloody terrorist hero, was decommissioned exactly a decade ago.

It is certain that for a man on whom a red Interpol circular hung and more than a hundred arrest warrants to celebrate his current situation, after his misdeeds were erased at a stroke with the Havana Peace Agreement, it is extremely appropriate, until necessary.

It is that before 2016 the United States Department of State offered a reward of up to $ 5 million for information that led to his capture, to answer for drug trafficking charges. But its record in Colombia includes much more than that: innumerable attacks and deaths and kidnappings in bulk in much of the geography of New Granada ordered from its strategic management center of this guerrilla force. For the sake of respecting the space of this column, I only quote that this unfortunate character is attributed the tragedy of the El Nogal Club in Bogotá, on the night of February 7, 2003, when 200 kilos of explosives ended with one blow with the life of 36 people and 198 others were injured.

Not only is memory short when a glass is raised to toast the peace of Colombia with a criminal of this lineage and the trail of pain that this single man has caused the country is forgotten. Morality must also be weak to provide ignoring facts such as those that are endorsed, because any legal order establishes, and with good reason, that reparation and repentance is necessary for the damage caused to third parties when the own deactivation is promised and committed as criminal. This new champion of peace had signed it in Havana on behalf of the FARC when it was decided there to lift the arrest warrants against him and many others in Colombia.

There are those who will say that the abandonment of arms by 13 thousand guerrillas is a source of greater satisfaction, but it is not so much when just over half (just 54%) have been able to take advantage of productive plans and when violence in the The country is as present or more than before Havana. Today, more than 1,200 social leaders, defenders of the land, human rights and indigenous people have been assassinated, according to the Indepaz organization. The same must be said of the thousands of cases of displacement, extrajudicial executions, false positives, forced recruitment for the infant population. Does Santos forget that a decade after his new Nobel Prize, there are still 100,000 missing people in his country?

The memory of the 262 thousand deaths that has been the tragic balance of 50 years of violence cannot be the object of any toast. These dead will forever offend the history of the New Granada country.

Article originally published in El Nacional de Venezuela

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Opinion | Colombia: Are there reasons to celebrate?