Popayán, Colombia – Operation in the eternal war

Helicopter rotors boom above our heads. One after the other arises into the air, propeller-driven planes roar. We knew that there is a military base close to the house of Carlos and Lucia. But who would have guessed that there are so many helicopters stationed here? The noise doesn’t seem to end and Popayán’s inhabitants slowly start to worry. It can’t be an exercise. Something’s going on. But only the evening news discloses the secret: The Colombian military killed the leader of the biggest guerrilla organisation FARC, Guillermo León Sáenz Vargas alias Alfonso Cano, during a large-scale operation that was planned for two years. He held the office since 2008. His body was found besides the one of his girl-friend close to the village Micay. The detailed facts of their deaths are unknown at present.

The Pacific region of the department Cauca, of which Popayán is the capital, is in the hand of the guerrillas for years. Although the targeted killing without legal proceedings seems to be questionable according to criteria founded on the rule of law, the Colombian nation welcomes the act. The guerrilla organisation that might really have fought for the country’s workers and farmers became really only an end in itself. It terrorises citizens, steels land from farmers instead of getting it for them as basis of life, abducts, kills, and finances itself with drug trafficking. The FARC shrank from originally 17,000 members to about 8,000 today.

The people still stay suspicious. Many of the former or present members of the government (including an ex-president) are said to have belonged to a guerrilla or paramilitary organisation in the past. Many government members are suspected of dealing with illegal organisations and exchanging information. Further the rulers are reproached for promoting the eternal war since arms trade is as lucrative as the drug dollars that flow into the country. Therefore the blow against the FARC is a big thing for Colombians, during American and European news hardly takes notice of this incident.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.