Columbia’s President Peace Prize and the False Positive Slaughter of the Poor, Disabled and Drug Addicted in his Neoliberal Country

by Scott Creighton

Fitting, huh? President Peace Prize, Kissinger, al-Qaeda’s White Helmets. Great company to keep of previous winners and future winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Columbia’s President Juan Manuel Santos has just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to cut a deal with the left-wing FARC rebels. The deal was put to the people for a referendum and it failed to gain their support. I wonder if they use electronic voting machines.

A Nobel prize for a failed peace treaty facade and a career of imposing harsh austerity on the people of Columbia not to mention 7 years of the extra-judicial murder of thousands of his country’s poorest and most defenseless citizens?

Seems about right these days in Bizarro World, doesn’t it?

Santos is a silver-spooner. His family has a long, storied history of being super-wealthy and super-connected in Colombian politics. He’s a pure neoliberal having been schooled at the London School of Economics.

Back in 2005 as he was working his way up the ladder, Santos founded the Social National Unity Party  to support the President Álvaro Uribe. Uribe was a particular favorite of the neoliberal West and all of their “national interests”. So, as payment, Santos was named Minister of Defense on 19 July 2006.

In May of 2006, President Uribe issued presidential decree 1400 which incentivized soldiers to kill as many FARC rebels as they could by paying them a sort of bounty on their heads. A similar decree had been made in 2005 by the former Minister of Defense.

What followed was the slaughter of civilians in the “False Positive” scandal.

In 2008 22 men were recruited in Soacha for some work they desperately needed. They were taken a couple hundred miles away and summarily executed by the Colombian military while now President Santos was serving as Minister of Defense. They were dressed up to look like FARC rebels and photographed in various “combat” positions and their bodies were dumped in unmarked mass graves like garbage.

When this story broke, several investigations began and all sorts of numbers started trickling out of Columbia. Turns out over 3,000 of Columbia’s unwashed masses were executed in this manner along with a number of political dissidents, journalists and other malcontents as far as the government was concerned.

The victims — often poor, disabled, or dependent on drugs — would be abducted or recruited with promises of work before being taken to remote areas and murdered in cold blood. Soldiers would then dress them in guerrilla uniforms and declare them combat kills VICE

Over the course of 7 years during the neoliberal Uribe’s presidency, Columbia’s military, led by another neoliberal for much of that time, conducted a systematic slaughter of their most vulnerable citizens getting them off the streets and out of the way for their new Shining City on the Hill country they were busy building.

Military leaders who excelled in this “false positive” program were given promotions and awards. Shiny medals and higher pay-grades for killing the poor, the disabled or those addicted to drugs all in the name of progress.

In spite of the fact that this program happened during the two administrations of President Uribe, he was given immunity and now serves as a senator in the country. And of course, the Minister of Defense at the time is now Columbia’s President Peace Prize.

It’s very hard to believe army troops across the country were engaging in at least 3,000 of these killings over a seven year period with the same modus operandi without the knowledge or even orders of their commanders,” Max Schoening, Colombia researcher for Human Rights Watch, told VICE News on Wednesday. VICE

“I have found no evidence to suggest that these killings were carried out as a matter of official Government policy, or that they were directed by, or carried out with the knowledge of, the President or successive Defence Ministers. On the other hand, the explanation favoured by many in Government – that the killings were carried out on a small scale by a few bad apples – is equally unsustainable.” UN special rapporteur Philip Alston 

It is naive to suggest the president and Minister of Defense did not know about these false positive murders being conducted by the top brass of their military. At best they are guilty of criminal negligence. At worse, mass murder of the poor and disabled in their country. People they were sworn to protect and serve.

I guess the Nobel Prize constitutes Defense Minister Santos’ shiny medal award for the false positive program, huh? After all, he already got his higher pay-grade promotion.

Nobel Prize committee chairwoman said “The award should also be seen as a tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace, and to all the parties who have contributed to the peace process,”

Ironic isn’t it considering the fact that the Colombian people supposedly voted against the agreement.

A Nobel Peace Prize for a deal that didn’t happen given to a man, who by all rights, should be incarcerated for the mass murder of his own people.

Yep. Seems about right. I guess next year al-Qaeda’s White Helmets are a shoe-in. Unless of course they want to give one to Hillary before she launches WWIII.

One Response

  1. Here’s a fun little reminder of who Alvaro Uribe is:

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