Why August 7th?
For Colombians, August 7 marks the 1819 Battle of Boyacá, which ensured the victory of Colombia’s independence from Spanish colonialism. While Colombia has been a formally sovereign country for over 200 years, its economic and political life remain largely dominated and shaped by foreign powers, primarily the United States. From the war on drugs and the largest US military “aid” package in the Americas to the US-Colombia free trade agreement, a staggering foreign debt, and seven US military bases in Colombian territory, it is clear that Colombia’s state policy not only serves its ruling oligarchy but also the economic and geopolitical interests of the US government, at the expense of its own people.
For these reasons, our fight to end US sponsoring of Colombia’s state terror is also a fight for sovereignty and self-determination. On August 7, we take the streets of the United States for human rights, social justice, and Colombia’s second independence. Not another nickel, not another dime for Colombia’s state crimes!
Not Another Nickel, Not Another Dime for Colombia’s State Crimes
On August 7, the Colombian diaspora, together with human rights defenders, anti-imperialists, and working people from the United States and beyond will mobilize in a national day of action to end US funding of state repression and human rights violations in Colombia.
Since April 28, the Colombian people have risen up against the right wing government of Iván Duque and the oligarchic, neoliberal order it represents. With close to half the population living in poverty, over half of the labor force in the informal sector, a gross mishandling of the pandemic, and an ongoing wave of paramilitary killings, the regime’s attempt to impose regressive tax and healthcare reforms gave rise to a mass rejection of the status quo. The popular uprising, known as Paro Nacional, not only brought down the two regressive reforms through the largest and most militant mobilizations in recent Colombian history; it also sparked a wave of solidarity around the world.
The Duque government responded with an all-out campaign of state terror that, as of June 28, has resulted in at least 44 deaths, 1617 injured, 2005 arbitrary detentions, 28 victims of sexual violence, and 82 victims of intentional eye injuries. Additionally, amidst the militarization of Cali, Bogotá and other cities, members of the Colombian military and national police have been documented collaborating with paramilitary armed civilians and entering working class neighborhoods to persecute, torture, and shoot live ammunition at unarmed protesters and residents.
The imperialist government of the United States and US capital in general are directly implicated in the suffering of Colombians through the funding and training of Colombian military and police forces, which have historically been involved in major human rights abuses and are brutally repressing protesters today; direct funding of the
criminal war on drugs; and the shameless profiteering of weapons manufacturers that fuel militarization and repression in Colombia. Moreover, the US government “dumps” heavily-subsidized agricultural and industrial goods that displace local farmers and jobs through the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement; it holds a key influence over multilateral institutions that are choking Colombia with debt while promoting neoliberal austerity; and corporations like Pfizer impose extortive contracts on desperately needed vaccines.
As residents of the United States, it is our duty to put an end to the use of our taxpayer dollars to sponsor state terror in Colombia. On August 7, a date that commemorates Colombia’s independence, we will take the streets in cities throughout the US and speak with one voice in solidarity with the people of Colombia. We call on all working class people and organizations to join us and endorse our day of action.
Not another nickel, not another dime for Colombia’s state crimes!
End US funding to the Colombian military and police
End US funds for the War on Drugs in Colombia
End corporate profiteering off militarization and repression in Colombia
Colombia Solidarity Network
REGISTER YOUR CITY
Colombia Solidarity Network needs your help to organize actions across North America on August 7th. Register your city here. (Questions also welcome)