Global Forest Coalition expresses solidarity with the Colombian people
A bill that would raise taxes and force working people to bear the costs of the Colombian crises is the spark that has lit a fuse in the country, which has gone to the streets for six days demanding an end to the measure as well as others that would perpetuate the poverty of the masses in exchange for the privilege of a few.
The cost of the crises should be paid by those who are responsible: those who have imposed on the world (and Colombia) a form of production that impedes the reproduction of life: monocultures, unsustainable livestock production, mega-mining; hydroelectric dams and infrastructure at the service of industries, burning fossil fuels including fracking, GMOs and the use and spraying of agro-chemicals everywhere. All of this is done in search of monetary profit without any concern for the needs of people and other living beings, even though Colombia is classified as the second most biodiverse country in the world.
The Colombian people — and other peoples around the world — are forced to pay the cost of the destruction wrought by these undertakings, to pay for its own recovery from the damage caused, and now it is facing repression of warlike proportions: according to Temblores ONG, in four days of protests, more than 21 members of civil society (mostly young people) have been killed. There have also been 672 arbitrary detentions and 940 cases of police violence.
Although the tax reform bill that would have perversely favored the rich at the expense of the poor was already withdrawn by President Duque, the protests continue and are demanding its permanent withdrawal. The person responsible for the measure, Housing Minister Alberto Carrasquilla, has tendered his resignation, as has the Vice Minister who was in fact rewarded by Duque by being named Minister of Trade.
The people’s demands include ending the health reform bill that remains in place and is seeking to privatize services so that only those who can pay are saved, as in the “best” U.S. system.
While corporations are responsible for Colombia’s environmental, economic and health crises, it is Ivan Duque who is responsible for the violence that the Colombian state is now carrying out, with abuse of power, the militarization of cities and orders to shoot civilians.
The Global Forest Coalition expresses its solidarity with the victims of this state violence and warns that, as long as the practices that perpetuate inequality continue on the planet, the victims of destruction and poverty will continue their attempts to shake off the corporations and governments who are responsible, because the drive for life always overcomes the drive for death. Another world is possible, and necessary, and the people will build it. #SOSColombia #DuquePareLaMasacre
Please also see our member group CENSAT Agua Viva’s Statement and call to action for Colombia.