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Fight Back! Forum at the SOA

No to U.S. Intervention in Colombia

By staff |
November 20, 2009
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The following flier will be distributed at the School of Americas Protest in Columbus Georgia on Nov. 21.

Fight Back! Forum at the SOA: No to U.S. Intervention in Colombia!

Saturday, November 21, 2009
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Howard Johnson Presidential Room
1101 Veterans Pkwy, Columbus, GA

No To US Bases In Colombia!

Close the School of the Americas!

Free Lily Obando!

The US is expanding its dirty war in Colombia. Training death squads at the School of the Americas is a big part of that, but there is more. The Pentagon will soon occupy seven bases in Colombia, adding to the $7 billion spent on a war against the Colombian people over ten years. US troops will increase to 1400, with 600 US mercenaries fighting in the counter-insurgency war. The US will pour $46 million into the Palenquero base alone for "refurbishing". This is bad news for the Colombian people who live under a corrupt and criminal government led by President Uribe. It is also bad news here at home too, as we face the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression--as well as a health care crisis, a housing crisis, and two ongoing US occupations. Why is the White House escalating the war in Colombia instead of seeking peace? Our HOPE is for peace with our neighbors, not more US bases! We want CHANGE, not more US intervention!

The fact is that the US Empire is in decline and is losing its grip on Latin America. Throughout the region, people’s movements are sweeping into power, with democratic, reform minded, and socialist leaders. Militarizing Colombia is central to US plans to stop this progressive wave and reverse it. However, Plan Colombia, the current US war plan, is failing. Plan Colombia is aimed against the most powerful revolutionary group in Latin America—the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The FARC organizes poor peasants and the disenfranchised to defend themselves against the rich Colombian elite and to take back their country from US corporations. Inside Colombia, the revolution, both armed and unarmed, is deepening and spreading, even reaching the cities. In the face of this, the White House and Congress are siding with the wealthy land owners and big corporations by funding and supporting Colombia’s corrupt government—nearly tripling the Colombian Military in ten years. The new US bases will clearly threaten Colombia's neighbors too.

Colombian Death Squads - "Made In America"

Colombia sends more soldiers to the School of the Americas than any other country in Latin America. Colombia also has the highest number of human rights abuses. The Pentagon directs the Colombian Military and their training at SOA, and gives the nod to their death squads. Colombia's former top general, Mario Montoya trained and instructed others at the SOA. Montoya along with two other Colombian generals and 24 Military officers were forced to resign last year due to the "false positives" scandal - they "hired" unemployed men in the cities, shot them dead in rural areas, and then dressed them in FARC uniforms to claim success against the revolutionaries. We say, "Close the SOA!"

Free Lily Obando

Liliani "Lily" Obando is a political prisoner of the Colombian government. Unfortunately, Lily's story is all too familiar—she works as union organizer with FENSUAGRO, the largest peasant and farm worker federation. She produces documentary films and writes about the struggles of those who work the land. Here films show that in Colombia, there are more displaced people - around four million, than in Iraq. It is outrageous! Thousands of labor unionists and other activists are routinely assassinated and threatened by death squads. Coca-Cola, Drummond Coal, and Chiquita Banana are all known for funding death squads.

Like many unions and other groups, FENSUAGRO is heavily repressed. The Colombian Army and their death squads killed 1500 members of FENSUAGRO over the past 30 years. Counting 450 murdered since President Uribe took over in 2002. Lily Obando was about to release her study of these assassinations when Uribe ordered her arrest in August 2008. Besides assassinating popular leaders, arrest and detention is the new tactic of the reactionary government. Liliani Obando is charged with "rebellion" and "managing resources related to terrorist activities". Despite the danger, Lily is willing to challenge the injustices that are imposed by the US supported war in Colombia. Now Lily is fighting for the rights of women prisoners. Since her imprisonment, Lily’s two young children and her elderly mother barely scrape by. We demand "Free Lily Obando!"

Speakers Include:

  • James Jordan from the Campaign for Labor Rights
  • Angela Denio from the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera
  • Sarah Buchner from Students for a Democratic Society
  • Jeremy Miller from the Colombia Action Network
  • Kosta Harlan from Freedom Road Socialist Organization
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