The Colombian liberalization

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By Cecilia López Montaño

Bogotá, May 17, 2007. These are not easy moments for Colombia now. The atmosphere is heavy and many people have lost the sleep, even those who rarely have felt threaten by nothing. Justice is particularly efficient these days and day per day they are falling the names of persons linked to the so called “Para-politic”. Those industrialists who did accept Para militarism as a minor evil and who did fell protected by such reality in some way and, even supported those groups – so much assassins as the guerrillas -, today are much worry as they end either in prison or being investigated at least.

This is other country now because at least, at first sight, it seems that some privileges are going to finish, like all those denunciated by Gaitán: Justice [in Colombia]] is only for those of ruana [the people]. Cattle dealers, industrialists, big national and foreign companies, are being denunciated and, although still the sentence, for the first time many big men are under suspect. Where it will bring this process? Until it will be necessary, as it is said by the Justice, that is living its edge of time.

Undoubtedly, not everything said by the “paras” [Paramilitaries] in their declarations must be believed, but it is evident that everything said must be investigated because that is worrying. What is impressing is that for most of the Colombians, many things that have been revealed did not cause surprise and that is expressed clearly by many. The fact that the Army is linked to massacres was well known by many, especially in those regions where the “paras” have done their harvest. The fact that industrialists and cattle dealers paid “taxes” to them and that some of them supported them, it is not news. The fact that big companies had among their costs the financing of those groups, it was well known by the people. However, probably what did not get much surprise was the linking of politicians to those illegal sectors. In the Congress [of the Republic], since time ago, it was speculated with great certainty about the names of some personalities with clear links to militarism.

What is new is the suddenly liberalization of all those facts and the role of Justice. Few did believe that so many personalities would end in prison in a country where – since the 8.000 Process – there was not something similar. What is different is that at this time it is not only the political arena but also the military and, of course, the untouchable private sector.

This process is becoming a real liberalization where it will be evident the tolerance of many estates of the Colombian society, the ones that passed by the 8.000 Process with impunity; at that time the 8.000 Process only touched the political class and living aside all those that were getting benefits from narcotraffic selling by absurd prices their properties or serving as money laundering. It is one of the reasons why all of those problems, far to be resolved, came to be incremented. The Government denied the impact of money from narcotraffic in the internal demand and, in consequence, in the inflation and other economic variables. There is only the drug to explain the complicated situation of public order in the country.

In conclusion, if this step is well manage by Mister President Uribe, the Colombian leaders, the political parties and the Mass Media, this liberalization could open the doors for a new country. Under this premise it must be initiated the true strategy to face the root of those Colombian evils, the fight of the narcotraffic. No more complacency with easy money, illegal solutions, tolerance to crime, attitudes that have done a lot harm to the country. There is not at easy solution for the big national evils, but this painful stage could be the principle of a new country.

Translation by Al Rodas, Sihanoukville, 2007

Cecilia López

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