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A Neoliberal Tragedy in Colombia
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Tax Warfare

On April 5 2021, the so-called “tax reform” bill was presented by Colombia’s current government under President Iván Duque. Its purpose was to raise an additional 23 trillion Colombian pesos ($6.3 billion) and help the country recover from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The proposal provoked mass street protests and transportation blockades starting from the end of 2020, rising to a crescendo over six weeks in April and May this year, then continuing at lower intensity to the present. The national strike committee, made up of unions and other groups, announced early June it would adopt a new tactic for marches. Official sources have estimated the cost of blockades and protests at $3 billion. At least 21 people died and more than 2,300 people – civilians and security forces – were injured. Human Rights Watch (HRW) says that it received credible reports of 68 deaths since the beginning of the protests and confirmed that 34 deaths occurred in the context of the protests, The human rights organization Justicia y Paz reported evidence in May 2021 of fascistic paramilitary groups, operating in concert with the far-right and US-backed regime of Colombian President Ivan Duque, and of associated torture sites and mass graves intended to suppress protests in the city of Cali, which has been the epicenter of continuing countrywide demonstrations.

Duque’s “reform” would have raised taxes on the middle classes and, through extension of the 19% VAT to more products and services, increased prices of public utilities like energy, water, sewage, natural gas and certain foods, thus impacting everyone but disproportionately hurting the working class and poor. The protests forced Duque to withdraw the reform on May 2nd. Their continuation was fueled by army and police brutality. An HRW report in early June determined that members of the Colombian National Police had committed egregious abuses against mostly peaceful demonstrators. Police officers repeatedly and arbitrarily dispersed peaceful demonstrations, using excessive, often brutal, force, including live ammunition. HRW documented multiple killings by police, beatings, sexual abuse, and arbitrary detention. This was the outcome, it said, of “systemic shortcomings” in Colombian policing.

It has been evident to many that the underlying neoliberal sycophantic prostrating of Colombia’s coopted ruling class before US-led global capitalism remained wedded to continued extractivism, payment of public debt to international financiers, and the uninterrupted flow of national wealth to multinational corporations.

Civil War

The 2021 “tax reform” bill and its corresponding protests are merely the latest manifestation of one of the most bitter struggles in Latin history, both South American and Southern European, between progressive and/or indigenous forces on the one hand, and monarchical and/or imperial, Catholic, conservative whiteness on the other. Although the country has experienced fewer military regimes (1830, 1854 and 1953) than most other Latin American countries and has a stronger claim to being a democracy than many, it has also manifested a very high level of political violence.

Assassination as a political weapon of war is common to both major sides to the civil conflict, but with particular brutality and ruthlessness by the forces of conservatism that, as in so many different areas of the world, have frequently enjoyed enthusiastic US backing (notwithstanding US support in 1903 for Panamanian secession from Colombia). Broadly, and despite periodic foreign policy flirtations with neutrality, the 1920s Colombian doctrine of Res Pice Polum (Follow the North Star) has prevailed. The USA is Colombia’s principal trading partner, its most important source of aid and, above all, its imperial overlord.

For a few weeks in 2021, therefore, Colombian, and international media headlines have reflected the crisis of the regressive economic selfishness of Colombia’s rentier class, turning their attention momentarily away from the never-ending succession of murders, kidnappings, disappearances, and other political violence over which successive Colombian regimes have presided – in association with the rentier class they represent, its armed forces and their off-duty death squads. Away too, from the grim reality of a failed 2016 deal to end Colombia’s seventy year civil war, a war that it is commonly believed to have been initiated by the US-backed assassination in Bogotá in 1948 of Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Ayala, leader of the Liberal Party. Others pin the blame on the 1946 election victory of the Conservative Party under President Mareiano Ospina Perez, which initiated attacks and land sequestrations by peasant supporters of the Conservative Party against peasant supporters of the Liberal Party. In 1947, a year before the purported beginning of La Violencia there were 14,000 political killings. The ensuing violence over the ten-year period of La Violencia accounted for between 200,000 and 300,00 dead, 600,000 to 800,000 wounded, 25,000 disappeared, and 5.7 million displaced. The Liberal Party had been so decimated by the 1950 election that it won barely any seats leaving plenty of scope for Conservative dictatorship under President Laureano Gomez.

The government has come under increasing pressure to execute the 2016 peace deal that was negotiated between the government of Juan Manuel Santos (who was awarded a Nobel peace prize) with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), then narrowly rejected in a referendum, but slightly modified and approved by Colombia’s Congress in November. Implementation of the deal was opposed by Iván Duque Márquez’s far-right, governing Democratic Center party which won the 2018 election. Duque launched a formal challenge to key aspects of the agreement in March 2019. In particular, he opposed the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), a parallel court system designed to try war crimes committed during the conflict and that provides legal guarantees to former combatants who trade public testimony for lighter sentences, a concession that was fundamental in bringing the FARC to the table. Duque’s opposition has fueled the cause of dissident FARC or FARC-type militia, and of the ELN (which chose to stay out of the 2016 agreement and remains active).

FARC and the National Liberation Army (ELN) were founded in the 1960s after La Violencia. Excluded from a power-sharing agreement forged by so-called moderates after the end of the violence, taking the form of a bipartisan National Front government that alternated positions of authority between members of what was perceived by many as a Conservative-Liberal oligarchy up until 1974, these organizations and smaller Marxist groups took up arms. The FARC built on the Communist movement of Colombia and its links to the Soviet Union in association with peasant self-defense groups, while ELN’s ranks were dominated by students, Catholic radicals, and left-wing intellectuals, inspired by Fidel Castro’s successful and ultimately communist revolution in Cuba in 1959.

The U.S. State Department designated both Colombian groups as foreign terrorist organizations. Both militia opposed the privatization of natural resources and claimed to represent the rural poor against Colombia’s wealthy. Right-wing paramilitary groups with links to the state military emerged in the 1980s paid for by landowners, corporations, and foreign interests against guerrilla groups. Both paramilitaries and FARC/ELN have regularly employed violence, kidnappings, sabotage, and extortion as sources of leverage and income. Colombia’s National Center for Historical Memory has estimated that guerrilla groups kidnapped twenty-five thousand people between 1970 and 2010 even though guerrilla violence has been superseded in many respects by the violence of the Colombian army and paramilitaries.

Inequality

Underpinning the social and political problems of Colombia, in common with most of South America, is the problem of persistent inequality. Colombia has the highest rate of inequality in South America, with the exception of Haiti. Colombia is also the world’s seventh most inequitable country. The per capita income of its richest ten percent is 46 times greater than that of the poorest ten percent. The top 10% own more than 95% of the wealth. Out of a total population of over 50 million (2019), more than 12.7 million people in Colombia live on less than $2 a day. The overall population living below the poverty line is 34 percent.

The population is predominantly urban. Since 1985, over 5.9 million Colombians have been displaced due to violent conflict. People migrated to urban areas and created informal settlements on the cities’ borders. Principal centers of population in 2019 are Bogota (7,674,366), Cali (2,392,877), Medellin (1,999,979), and Barranquilla (1,380,425). 20% of the population is rural today by contrast to 50% in 1970. As part of the peace agreement with FARC in 2016, the administration of President Santos pledged to spend billions of dollars in rural areas. Experts estimated the cost at between $80 and $90 billion over the next ten years and hoped this would create economic alternatives to the drug trade.

Inequality impacts four principal dimensions:

(1 ) Land: To pay off debts, the Colombian Government sold off large portions of public land from 1823 to 1931, which led to the concentrated system of land ownership. Mechanisms for the concentration of land included the expulsion of peasant populations, exacerbating inequality. This violent expropriation led to higher rates of poverty in the countryside than in cities. Urbanization was enhanced propelled significantly by the horrific crimes of La Violencia (1948 to 1958), the wars between guerrillas of ELN, FARC, M-19 and armed forces from the 1960s, as well as the violence associated with the rise of narcotics, especially in the 1980s, centered around Medellin and Cali. Today the regime has learned to extend the process of land clearing through the weaponization of environmental conservation as in Operation Artemis, initiated in 2019. n. An army operation earlier apprehended 40 people accused of deforestation and illegal mining, in six different locations in the country. Eight operations in 2020 “recovered” more than 9,000 hectares of forest and 68 people, 20 of whom were minors. Illicit crop production is an added stress on the land. Efforts to stop illegal land acquisition by mining and fossil fuel multinationals can end in international court at great risk and expense to the indigenous people who try to stop them. According to the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development, between 2016 and 2017, deforestation caused by illicit crops increased by about 30%. In 2017, deforestation associated with coca crops in Colombia represented 24% of the total deforested in the country. 137 hectares of natural Colombian forest are deforested daily, due to coca crops.

(2) Income: In 2019, it was estimated that 56.2 percent of the income generated in Colombia was held by the richest 20 percent of its population. The per capita income of the richest ten percent is 46 times greater than those of the poorest ten percent. The top 10% own more than 95% of the wealth.

(3) Gender: Compared to men, women earn 13-23% less for the same jobs. A lack of flexibility in working arrangements directly affects female labor workers. Malnutrition killed 14 children per 1,000 births in 2018.

(4) Indigenous: According to a 2012 UINDP report, almost 30% of Colombia’s indigenous population were living in extreme poverty and the majority of indigenous children were suffering chronic malnutrition. 63% of Colombia’s 1.4 million indigenous experienced structural poverty. 29% of indigenous survived in extreme poverty. Therefore, 34 of the country’s 104 known indigenous peoples faced extinction. Colombia’s indigenous were more likely than other Colombians to experience forced displacement, colonization, mega projects, oil and mining projects, drug trafficking and deforestation.

In 2017 Colombia had the highest unemployment rate in Latin America after Venezuela. Another 8.5 percent of the population was underemployed. For those in employment the minimum wage, with transport concessions, was US $269 a month. Only 12% of employed earned double or more the minimum wage, Some 3.8 million households, nearly 30 percent of all families in Colombia, did not have adequate homes. About 662,146 families were homeless, or 5% of the population. Informal settlements often lack access to basic services, have poor structural quality, low accessibility to resources for house construction, limited access to social and health services, education, and employment. Lack of secure land tenure means people build homes on land they do not own. In 81 percent of poor rural homes in Colombia, there is no connection to the piped-water network. Additionally, 68 percent of the population suffers from overcrowding.

The Covid crisis has exacerbated problems of inequality. On official figures, 5.7 million more Colombians have been pushed into poverty in just the last three years. The Colombian economy experienced a 6.8% drop in production as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). There has been further class polarization. All indicators were showing a decline in working class living standards even before Covid hit. The official poverty rate, which underestimates the real degree of poverty, increased from 36.1% to 42.5% of the population between 2015 and 2020. In the cities, another 10.8% of the population has joined the ranks of the poor.

Drug Trafficking

Narco power surfaced in the 1980s. It accounted for the assassinations of three presidential candidates (one led the polls) in the 1990 elections. In the early 2000s Colombia supplied as much as 90% of the world’s cocaine. The production, taxation, and trafficking of illicit narcotics provided FARC with much of its revenue. Right-wing paramilitary groups were also involved in this industry, fueling conflict as militant groups vied for territory. In 2009, the US government reported that FARC was responsible for 60% of Colombian cocaine exported to the USA, and the US Treasury Department froze the assets of several FARC members. In its later years the ELN has also participated in narcotics. Cultivation fell by more than half between 2007 and 2012, and Peru surpassed Colombia as the world’s leading cocaine producer from 2010 to 2014, perhaps on account of the migration of producers from Colombia. However, coca production was soon on the rise again in Colombia, with 2015 production levels nearly on par with those from 2007. Experts attributed this to the Colombian government’s decision to halt aerial spraying of coca crops due to health concerns, as well as moves by FARC to encourage coca cultivation in hopes that greater cultivation would give them greater leverage in rural development programs.

Uribe, Decline of FARC and Renewal of ELN

In 2000, the US anti-drug campaign, Plan Colombia, was supposed to help the country combat guerrilla violence, strengthen its institutions, and stem drug production and trafficking. In practice US money helped fund rightwing wing death squads, widespread aerial spraying of dubious pesticides (a recent report by the Interim Commission on Drug Policy of the Senate of the Republic of Colombia finds that glyphosate spraying has been ineffective in combating illicit crops and drug trafficking), the displacement of drug producers to more remote regions, and did little to curb entry of illegal drugs into the USA.

A path towards settlement with the guerilla groups was indicated by the government of Andres Pastrana which in 1998 ceded de facto control over a large portion of the southern state of Caqueta to FARC and ELN. But the election of Álvaro Uribe in 2002 ushered in a period of more intense military action against the guerrillas. This took advantage of a decade of extrajudicial killings: copying US tactics in Vietnam, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) paramilitary group had deliberately targeted civilian populations believed to be the guerillas’ “social base” with massacres and forced displacement. Uribe’s main opposition in 2002, the Patriotic Union, had been wiped out by this assassination campaign, which had been initiated in the mid-1980s under President Barco, and it failed to meet the electoral threshold, thus losing its legal status in a manner reminiscent of the decline of the Liberal Party in 1950. The Patriotic Union had been instituted by former guerillas and supporters in 1985 when President Betancourt and FARC negotiated a short-lived peace accord, and whose purpose was to integrate FARC into the electoral political system. By the time the FARC agreed to initiate negotiations in 2012, its ranks had reportedly fallen to some seven thousand members from sixteen thousand in 2001.

The discovery of oil in Araucain the early 1980s helped finance the ELN, which received millions of dollars by extorting oil exploration and related services, and inspired the movement’s demands for nationalization of, and redistribution of wealth from, extractive industries. FARC later moved into Arauca and between 2006 and 2010, the two guerrilla groups fought a war, with as many as 1000 resulting deaths. ELN operates mainly in northeastern Colombia and in some former FARC areas and its strength was estimated to have fallen to about two thousand members in 2017, from as many as five thousand in the late 1980s. But it appears to have experienced a resurgence, with numbers increasing to four or five thousand today. Uribe’s successor, Juan Manuel Santos, had tried dialog with the ELN but negotiations did not reach fruition. More recent talks in Cuba between the Duque government and ELN were terminated when the ELN set off a car bomb at the National Police Cadet School in Bogotá, killing 22 people.

ELN’s more decentralized structure allows it greater local autonomy and flexibility, factors that impede prospects for a one-off peace deal with central government. The group is more embedded with local peasant populations, but relations with indigenous groups are not always benign (e.g., poor ELN relations with Chocó social leaders). In many areas it is considered a requisite to have the ELN’s approval before launching an electoral campaign. Since March 2018, the ELN and a small, regional guerrilla group, the Popular Liberation Army (EPL), have fought a series of battles in the Catatumbo region from which ELN appeared to have emerged victorious by 2020. The Peace and Reconciliation Foundation has documented ELN presence in 136 of Colombia’s 1,100 municipalities (counties). These are clustered in six regions of the country: Arauca, Catatumbo, Magdalena Medio, Chocó, Cauca, and Nariño. Today, much of ELN’s Eastern and Northeastern War Fronts are believed to be operating inside Venezuela. The ELN has a record of attacks on non-combatants, extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, and dozens of massacres. But paramilitary groups have committed far more massacres than guerrillas. Colombia’s Center for Historical Memory attributed about 70 percent of 1,667 massacres between 1980 and 2012 to paramilitary groups, and 21% to guerillas of which the ELN committed about 20 percent, or perhaps 70 massacres.

ELN has participated in ransom kidnappings of civilian non-combatants. It had kidnapped 7,108 people by 2013, second only to FARC with 8,578 kidnappings. ELN has been a major recruiter of minors, accounting for 15% of 5,156 former child combatants who ended up in Colombia’s child and family welfare system between 1999 and 2013. Its share increased after 2013. ELN has also been implicated in the laying of landmines. It is a major perpetrator of attacks on civilian infrastructure and in recent years has become a major generator of displacement. ELN bears some responsibility for increasing attacks on social leaders, human rights defenders, and demobilized FARC members . Of the 177 cases of killings of social leaders that Colombia’s Prosecutor-General’s Office claimed to have “clarified” as of August 2019, it attributed 14—or 8 percent—to the ELN. As of January 2020, The Prosecutor-General’s Special Investigative Unit was able to attribute responsibility for 93 murders of demobilized FARC members. Of these, the Unit blamed the ELN for 12.

Assassination Culture

Combined state and ultra-right paramilitary violence have worked to eliminate all forms of opposition, including social and political mobilization. Levels of violence in Colombia are almost always horrific; the peak year for violence was 1989, which was even worse than any during La Violencia whose violence is remembered not only for its numbers of victims but by its sheer, barbaric cruelty.

In the two weeks of mass protests from 28th April to 12th May 2021 39 homicides were said to have been committed by the police state forces. But this pales in contrast to more customary levels of violence. According to the Institute of Development and Peace Studies (INDEPAZ, a think tank), 310 environmentalists, human rights defenders, indigenous, peasant and social leaders, and 64 ex-combatants of the FARC were killed in 2020. The organization also reported that around 375 people were killed in 90 massacres registered in the country that year. The institute further reported at least 78 people were killed by the national security forces. Additionally, over 500 femicides and more than 300 assassinations of transvestites and transgender were recorded in Colombia in 2020. Camilo Gonzalez, a conflict expert for INDEPAZ, 368 community leaders and human rights defenders were assassinated between Duque’s taking office in August 2018, and late 2019. Gonzalez confirmed social organizations’ claims that “there is an omission or even complicity by elements of the public force, by agents of the state” with illegal armed groups accused of many of the killings. While Duque has blamed drug trafficking for the killings, think tanks and the UN find that land disputes and mining are also among the main motives. A TeleSur report of December 7, 2020 reported that at least 1,054 community leaders had been killed since the signing of the Peace Accord in 2016, of which 286 had taken place in 2020, among the total of 340 murders recorded that year by Colombian human rights organizations, in 79 massacres.

In the first four days of 2021 two social leaders and two former combatants of the FARC were assassinated. The Common Alternative Revolutionary Forces (FARC) political party denounced the murder of former guerrilla fighter Duván Arled Galíndez Nadia on January 3. With Duván’s murder, the figure of demobilized FARC combatants killed since the signing of peace agreements reached 251. Two of those killed were members of the Colombian Federation of Education Workers (FECODE).

At least 15 community leaders were assassinated in the first 12 days of 2020, mainly in former territory of demobilized guerrilla group FARC in the south of the country where the state is virtually absent. Some were killed in an area where two rival FARC dissident groups and a group calling itself the “Sinaloa Mafia” had been intimidating the population. Others were killed in the southwestern Neiva and Cauca provinces along a two-way drug trafficking route between coca fields in central Colombia and the Pacific, and marijuana fields in the west and the capital Bogota.

In a series of assassinations of social leaders over one weekend in June 2020, 4 Indigenous, peasant and social leaders were killed in the departments of Chocó, Guaviare and Meta, North Santander, and Sucre. On June 22, a 13-year-old Indigenous girl was kidnapped and raped by seven soldiers on a sidewalk in the Pueblo Rico municipality, in the Risaralda department. Armando Valbuena, spokesperson of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), told the BBC that the sexual harassment of Indigenous girls by soldiers and paramilitaries has become a widespread problem in rural areas of the country. Three days later, a 15-year-old boy was murdered at the hands of the Mobile Anti-Disturbances Squadron (ESMAD) as it evicted unarmed poor homeless locals and migrants from a settlement on vacant lots in the municipality of Soacha, to the south of Bogotá.

In Colombia, the phenomenon of “false positives” refer to the kidnapping and murder of civilians by the Colombian National Army, presented to authorities as guerrilla fighters killed in combat for the purpose of obtaining promotions and other benefits.

Israeli and Other Foreign Assistance in Assassinations

Recent work by Dan Cohen as reported by Mnar Muhawesh Adley for Mint Press News shows how the Colombian government’s genocidal policy of massacring its political opponents between 1984 to 2002 — killing over 4,000 members of the Patriotic Union Party, including two presidential candidates, 14 parliamentarians, 15 mayors, nine mayoral candidates, three members of the House of Representatives and three senators — was done on the suggestion of an Israeli official, Rafael ‘Rafi’ Eitan. Eitan was employed by the government to advise it on counterinsurgency strategies. Another Israeli mercenary Yair Klein, provided the training for many of the most notorious far-right paramilitary groups, including the AUC, thought to have been responsible for around 80% of the killings during the civil war. The leader of the AUC, Carlos Castaño, was educated in Israel and credited the apartheid state for teaching him all he knew about terrorism.

Colombian President Barco secretly brought the veteran Mossad agent Rafi Eitan to Colombia on August 7, 1986, to advise how to defeat the FARC. Eitan spent months touring the country with Colombian advisors, secretly funded by the Colombian energy giant Ecopetrol. Yair Klein arrived in Colombia at this time and began training narco-paramilitaries in how to defeat the FARC. His firm, Hod Hahanit (Spearhead), recruited former Israeli police and special operations units. Klein was originally hired to provide security for the banana-growing operations in the region of Uraba, where fruit company Chiquita had paid millions of dollars to Colombian death squads. The Colombian Federation of Cattlemen contracted to have Eitan train a force to fight guerrillas. Klein trained brothers Carlos and Fidel Castaño, who would later form the United Self-Defense Forces (AUC), which as already noted, committed many massacres aimed at terrorizing communities into fleeing from their land.

A Faltering Economy

Iván Duque is described by analyst Andy Higginbottom as little more than a pawn for the former president, ultra-right Álvaro Uribe Vélez, who is still the real ruler of the country. When he came into office in 2018, Duque promised that he would reduce taxes on the corporations. The 2021 package was his third tax reform. Colombia’s ruling class, Higginbottom says, is comprised of a cluster of elite economic groups, corrupt politicians, the military, and their narco-paramilitary auxiliaries, on the one hand and, on the other, international big business backed by the US military and the UK.

Duque’s reform package was a response to Colombia’s fiscal deficit. In 2020 tax revenues were only 20 per cent of GDP, whilst state spending was 28% of GDP. Total indebtedness of the state under Duque rose from 47% in 2018 to two thirds of GDP in 2021. A large part of state revenue is lost to profit flows in the form of corporate tax breaks for locally owned or multinational corporations and debt repayments to the banks. The real tax actually paid by big corporations is much less than the official rate of 25% of their profits. Once the various exemption schemes are taken into account, the mining multinationals have paid only around 10% since 2013; and the oil companies even less, around 2% since 2015. Whereas the extractive industries provided a third of government revenues in 2013, such taxes now provide only 8%. Colombia could be losing up to US $11.6 bn annually to corporate tax abuse, second in Latin America only to Brazil ($14.6 bn) and highest on a per capita basis. Some 23% of all revenue, or US$19 billion, goes to banks in payment of public debt. Duque’s efforts to raise taxes and cut state spending are intended to avoid higher interest rates on public debt.

At the same time, Colombia’s military spending is by far the highest in Latin America, as a proportion of state expenditure, at US $10.6 bn per annum. Since 2018, Colombia has been the only Latin American member of NATO. It maintains 267 thousand armed forces, 186 thousand police and 24 thousand civilians on the payroll, nearly half a million personnel in all. One third of the Colombian army, 82,000 military personnel, are in the ‘mining and energy’ battalions to protect mines and oilfields. Since the 1960s, when the UAS sent military personnel to Colombia to stop the spread of the Cuban revolution, US and Colombian militaries have been close. The USA maintains at least forty bases in Colombia mainly as forward operating locations from which to launch attacks anywhere in South America and the Caribbean.

Conclusion

The “tax reform” crisis of 2021 and the mass protests that it provoked have exposed the persistence of deep social inequality, extractivism, racism, and political violence in Colombia, in a cauldron that has been in the making since even before the US-backed murder of Liberal Party leader Gaitán in 1948. It therefore also exposes the customary but always astonishing hypocrisy of US foreign policy that has ceaselessly denigrated and openly sought to destabilize the Chavist revolution of neighboring Venezuela, while consolidating the hold of the Colombian rentier class.

Oliver Boyd-Barrett is Professor Emeritus at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, and at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is an expert on international media, news, and propaganda. His writings can be accessed by subscription at Substack at https://oliverboydbarrett.substack.com.

 
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  1. GMC says:

    Good article for a formal introduction to Colombia’s on going problems, but without explaining the 6 or 7 old US bases in Colombia that act as the same drug runners out as in Afghanistan , then both the Colombian army and Farce are irreverent and they are only playing along with the Game. Between Colombia and Afghanistan , I’ll venture to say its a trillion dollar a year` or two US/Israel military /CIA venture, that owns every politician and presidente’ since – Pablo Escobar was erased. Most likely the good folks that are being assassinated are those that know this story , better than any one else. And they have paid the ultimate price for their honorable beliefs.
    Nope, until a journalist fully writes about the US participation in the World Drug Running , like G Webb did – everyone else is second best – but Alive – but Alive – and that is good. Thanks Professor.

    • Agree: goldgettin, Curmudgeon
    • Thanks: Arthur MacBride
  2. zimriel says:

    “mostly peaceful demonstrations”
    Ah, so color-revolution riots and attempted violent overthrow, then.
    I quit reading there.

  3. Notsofast says:
    @GMC

    couldn’t agree more, escobar was a cia asset under cia protection. barry seal was paid by escobar to fly cocaine into arkansas where the cia had their airport, protected by bill clinton (daddy bushes favorite son). escobar like noriega knew too much and like you say was erased. interesting side note: escobar had a zoo at his compound, after he was assassinated all the animals were removed except for his hippos which were to dangerous to capture. the original four hippos have expanded to over 100 and are thriving in the amazon.

    • Thanks: GMC
    • Replies: @Geraldo Kaprosy
  4. Anon[158] • Disclaimer says:

    But the election of Álvaro Uribe in 2002 ushered in a period of more intense military action against the guerrillas. This took advantage of a decade of extrajudicial killings: copying US tactics in Vietnam, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) paramilitary group had deliberately targeted civilian populations believed to be the guerillas’ “social base” with massacres and forced displacement.

    Canada’s Stephen Harper was Uribe’s best friend.

    Canada is a disgusting colony.

    Now that Canadan and its European pals have signed multiple FTAs with Latin America, they will continue to massacre civilians with a military ultra-right wing regime and try (AGAIN) to hijack Venezuela’s Maduro using the military equipment sent by the Brits.

    Canada still supports Colombia’s repressive right-wing government:

    ”The Justin Trudeau Liberals has promoted President Iván Duque who Le Soleil labeled “le champion du retour de la droite dure en Colombie” (champion of the return of the hard right in Colombia). After Duque won a close election marred by fraud allegations, foreign minister Chrystia Freeland “congratulated” him and said, “Canada and Colombia share a commitment to democracy and human rights.” In August 2018 Trudeau tweeted, “today, Colombia’s new President, Ivan Duque, took office and joins … others with a gender-equal cabinet. Iván, I look forward to working with you and your entire team.” A month later he added, “thanks to President Ivan Duque for a great first meeting at UNGA this afternoon, focused on growing our economies, addressing the crisis in Venezuela, and strengthening the friendship between Canada & Colombia.”

    Excerpt from:

    https://yvesengler.com/2021/06/07/canada-still-support-colombias-repressive-right-wing-government/

  5. E_Perez says:

    A lot of copy-and-paste from statistics sources, much lopsided accusations and few serious analyses. The typical stuff which gets you tenure in US academia and expert status “on international media, news, and propaganda”, like his biographic note reads.
    Yes, propaganda.

    Although US intervention in Latin America is rarely to the benefit of the countries involved, and the record of multinationals is mixed (many were highly beneficial to the locals, Chiquita’s banana production, for example), the problems of Latin America are not caused by external influences.

    They are home-made, some are inherent in Latin culture, like amiguismo/corruption, violence and inefficiency.

    You dont make a country rich breaking up a productive finca and giving a hectare each to families whose four children will have 16 heirs in some years, to build each a shack on 600 square meters.

    Fighting poverty is a long-term process and involves convincing youngsters that they have no chance without
    – qualifying/studying
    and
    – limiting the number of children
    And convincing voters to avoid the sirens of socialist redristribution parties and leftist mafias. Socialism/communism has ruined enough Latin Nations.

    Of course, Prof. Boyd-Barret does not even hint to a solution. He seems to approve of the protests. It does not come to his mind that a country spending more than it earns, must either indebt itself or raise taxes … or avoid the madness of lockdowns which generated the debt in the first place.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  6. TG says:

    1. Whenever a politician announces a program for “reform,” hold on to your wallet. “Reform” is a great catch-all term to cover the most disgusting and amoral actions of any government.

    2. The columbians breed like rodents. Sorry, oh please excuse my French, but it’s true. It isa lie that first people become rich and then they limit their fertility rate: the iron law of development is that first people limit their fertility rate to something that is REASONABLE for current circumstances, and then – if everything else goes halfway right – they can slowly accumulate per-capital wealth. Never the other way around.

    3. Yes, the total fertility rate (TFR) has declined recently – but remember, that if people breed like rodents, they create a demographic momentum that means that even with a TFR of 2.0, the population will need to double or triple before stabilizing. And remember also that a low TFR is not good if it is caused by people being so poor that they physically cannot support more children.

    • Agree: Sarah
  7. @Anon

    Canada stopped being Canada more than 50 years ago. Successive governments, irrespective of political stripe take orders from the people really running the show, the “rootless cosmopolitans”.
    Sure Harper was a turd for buying into Uribe’s narrative, but it wouldn’t have made any difference if a different political party had formed government. Canada, and all of the political parties having a realistic chance to form government, have long been occupied territory.

  8. @E_Perez

    Socialism/communism has ruined enough Latin Nations.

    1) Socialism is not communism.
    2) It is impossible to assess whether either socialism or communism has ruined any Latin Nation. Any policy or objective pursued by a Latin Nation, that the occupied US decides isn’t in its interest, is “communism” or “socialism” and subject to sanctions, covert military actions, and if all else fails, invasion.

    • Replies: @E_Perez
    , @Robert Lindsay
  9. E_Perez says:
    @Curmudgeon

    Socialism is not communism.

    That’s why I put the OR-slash: Peron, Allende, Chavez, Maduro, Morales were not communists, Castro was.

    Any policy or objective pursued by a Latin Nation, that the occupied US decides isn’t in its interest, is “communism” or “socialism” and subject to sanctions, covert military actions, and if all else fails, invasion.

    That’s too simplistic.

    Blame the gringos and their stupid wars when they deserve it, but Latin America is not the best example.

    Latins are largely responsible for their failures and inefficient economies.

    Latin countries are not (yet) densely populated, have abundant water, food and all sort of natural resources, from oil to copper. They are rich compared with other 3rd world nations and have a much better starting position than, for example, China, Korea, … whosoever.

    But they are unable to take advantage of it. Its a mentality problem.

    Put in racist terms:
    If during some hundred thousand years you have food any time a year and when bananas get yellow you know you can eat them, you don’t develop any particular concern for the future.

  10. Ludwig123 says:

    Duque is Far Right? Using that term is an epithet and not a political designation. Have you been to Colombia? A city like bogota is split in 5 economic strata. The lower tier pays no utility costs at all. The second pays pennies. All taxes are paid by something like 10% of the population. The overwhelming majority pays ZERO taxes. Your article is the usual admixture of opportunistic statistics and accusations from partisan organizations. Yes, HRW is the latter. They’ve shed ink for more than one color revolution.
    The mob (possibly payed agents, could well be) destroyed public infrastructure, hundreds of bus stations were ransacked, and the entire city was besieged! that’s correct for several days one could not leave the city – all exits were blocked by protesters. In some countries that is an of military agression. I was there. I can tell you this for a fact. Average people – I’m talking about the guard at thee we place where I worked , hate these people! It would behoove you to take your lefty goggles off and get the lay of the land on the ground before making outrageous statements like that. It does not serve the working people of Colombia but only professional subverters who cloak themselves in such articles as they await the color revolution

    • Replies: @aleksander
  11. @E_Perez

    My point, probably not well expressed, was that every time they do try to take advantage of it, it has been thwarted by the US. Smedley Butler recognized that 90 years ago. More recent examples are Bolivia and Brazil. It isn’t just Latin America, Ukraine showed that.
    Personally, I could care less what type of government people in other countries want to elect, because I know there are too many problems with my own government acting against my country’s best interests.

    • Replies: @acementhead
  12. LATIN AMERICA GENERAL QUESTIONS

    1. How do the white elite of Latin America stay at the top of the tree there but in the USA the Mestizos & Mulattos run whites clear out places like SoCal or South Florida? What is the difference exactly?

    2. Latin gangs menace whites in the USA but not whites in Latin America. Why not?

    3. What is the genetic background of Colombians. In the film SCARFACE they were referred to as Indians. Is that what they essentially are?

    4. Spain is a relatively safe country & so is Portugal. Why are former Spanish colonies so out of control & even white descendants of Portuguese in Brazil our of control like PIXOTE. Why do Spanish & Portuguese behave differently in Latin America?

    5. If Mestizos are mostly Indian, why do they too seem to victimize the Indians?

    6. Why are Native Americans in North America less of a menace? Cherokee are not creating crime waves & nor are the Navajo of Arizona. Why does Indian blood in Latin Americans cause such barbaric behavior?

    7. Why are former Spanish colonies worse than British ones? Why did Australia end up better than Colombia or Venezuela?

    8. There was Independence from Spain so why are these countries still run by a white upper class of elites? Why weren’t all the Europeans killed by the Mestizos or Indians or Mulattos upon Independence?

    9. Why aren’t the European elite targets of violence in these countries like whites are by Mestizos or Mulattos in the USA?

    10. Politically, why do Mestizos & Mulattos despise white Americans but don’t seem to hate white Cubans even though Andy Garcia is whiter than Al Pacino or other Italian-Americans in the films where he plays an Italian?

  13. Anonymous[278] • Disclaimer says:

    Another in a series of overly long articles. Please put a stop to that, unz.com
    I will sum it up:

    Colombia is still a shithole country and there is nothing on the horizon to indicate that will change.

  14. Half of this article might as well be about the US. Just do a find and replace on the word “Colombia”. Same income disparity etc.

    Major difference is the US prints money and does other financial trickery instead of raising taxes to deal with it’s giant deficit.

    Only 68 deaths? Our BLM protests were way bloodier. Eat it spics. Come call me when your suicide rate is over 500K per anum. Chumps. USA still no 1.

  15. As always with these things, the country in question has deep problems, but they would likely be much worse if Colombia went with the alternative. There are 1 million Venezuelan refugees in Colombia and no Colombian refugees in Venezuela. It seems that ordinary people can’t eat leftwing hyperbole and agitprop.

    • Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle
  16. JLGS says: • Website

    The question is much deeper: South America and in fact practically all of America is simply stolen from Spain through Anglo-Saxon conspiracies and internal traitors; to simulate this fact and try to destroy its culture, in addition to stealing everything possible, a demonization of the Spanish (black legend) was forcibly established in order to hide the truth.
    This false fact, which does not coincide at all with their history and reality, has made these new countries, cut up from a single common country, simply schizophrenic societies, lost and without knowing who they are and with no possible solution. They do not know themselves and their true origin, which is hidden from them, therefore they will always be submerged in the dual personality and will have no solution, much less with the Anglo-Saxon terrorists ready to drink their last drop of blood.

  17. @E_Perez

    Sadly, the Latins are as hot of blood as they are dim of mind. They have demonstrated repeatedly that they are incapable of running their own countries. More fun to protest in the streets than go to work.

  18. So Columbia won’t be borrowing from global financial entities to recover, even without taxes then? This article is clownish, college-level socialist bullshit from the 1970s. Get a job, Boomer, or better yet, just die already.

    • Replies: @Montefrío
  19. This article is nothing but a collection of baloney. I have lived and worked in Colombia, off and on, since the early 1980’s. I live and work there now. The author who is – surprise! – a college professor obviously knows nothing about the country. He has picked up his information from the media, which is overwhelmingly leftist in orientation. The recent riots in Colombia were indeed sparked at first by opposition to President Duque’s tax plan, tax increases made absolutely necessary because of the Covid 19 crisis. While Duque did a poor job of presenting the plan to the public, the idea that the Colombian government is some kind of Fascist regime is absurd. The brutal fact is that Colombia has been under sustained attack by Communist terrorist organizations like the FARC and ELN for years. As for the recent events, the serious violence was coordinated by extreme left groups from all over the continent, with direct help from Russia, Cuba, and the Maduro regime of Venezuela; Russian and Cuban “diplomats” have been expelled for their meddling. The reason is simple. Colombia is and has been the most staunch friend of the USA in all of Latin America. Colombia is a democratic country that up to now has managed to avoid a government run by leftist extremists. Our enemies are determined to undermine Colombia, the major obstacle to their goal of imposing anti-US regime in all of Latin America. The author should be ashamed of himself for spreading leftist propaganda.

    • Agree: Treg
    • Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle
  20. “On April 5 2021, the so-called ‘tax reform’ bill was presented by Colombia’s current government under President Iván Duque. Its purpose was to raise an additional 23 trillion Colombian pesos ($6.3 billion) and help the country recover from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.”

    Whatever the reason for President Duque’s tax increases on the middle and lower classes, it isn’t Covid.

    Even if the pandemic was real, the Colombian government has no need for tax revenue in Colombian pesos, since the government can create infinite Colombian pesos out of thin air.

    • Replies: @Rich
  21. This is anti-Catholic propaganda. Latin America is a Holy Land.

    Ex-Jesuit Seminarian Jerry Brown’s California is fast transfiguring into a new Holy Land where the abundance of miracle working priests, Jesuit-trained community organisers and AGs means schools, hospitals, electricity, hygiene and law enforcement officials are increasingly unnecessary – as well as the English language – just like Guatemala and Chicago.

    And before anyone mentions Obama’s first employer and mentor in the mid 80s at Chicago’s Ford/Soros funded Gamaliel Foundation – community organiser Jesuit Greg Galluzzo (….who was sentenced to probation in February 2020 after pleading guilty to delivering the cocaine police said killed his girlfriend) that is just crazy talk. Let’s Move On

    • LOL: The Anti-Gnostic
  22. Leo Den says:
    @GMC

    There will NEVER be peace on earth as long as Apartheid Israhell exists.

    http://biblicisminstitute.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/israel-is-the-problem/

    • Agree: GMC
  23. @Jeff Stryker

    Because of World War II. Also tribalism isn’t just racial, it can be linguistic, regionalist, religious etc.
    Also if you kill all the men and rape all the women it usually means you win forever, because now most of the future generations are also a part of your group. If Anglos had simply raped the native women like the Spaniards instead of being cucks and bringing their wives along, they wouldn’t be in this mess.

  24. Treg says:

    “Underpinning the social and political problems of Colombia, in common with most of South America, is the problem of persistent inequality.” WRONG. Lets fix that right now. Underpinning the social and political problems of Colombia, in common with most of South America, is the problem of persistent disrespected, undefended & undefined PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS.” — There, fixed it.

    Notice that the entire article is written as if the 60 plus years of communists/socialists violence (which never ever respect private property rights) is some kind of natural “response” to Conservative government. Notice its never the other way around, that Conservative government is actually a response to communists/socialists and their desires to steal, take, use private property that is not theirs.

    And because the author gets that wrong, along with 99.9% of everyone else in Latin America (See the book, The Perfect Latin American Idiot”), they foolishly write and see the issue of Communists and Socialists “rising up as a response to Conservative Governance.” Nope, Conservative Governance is a response to disrespected, undefended & undefined Private Property Rights. One can say, its never gone far enough in getting all this well defined, respected, defended, and supported by the populace.

    But one thing is very clear. Unlike Americans who stand by and watch Antifa & BLM “activists” walk the day after being arrested, the Colombian populace did NOT want the commies do get away their crimes. They did not like that “deal part” about them NOT being charged with their crimes against he Colombian people for murder, assassination’s, terrorist blowing up of electrical power grids, and on and on.

    That is why the FARC agreement of surrender was so MORALLY WRONG to the average Colombian for they knew who the real murderers were and are. For the average Colombian, morality in society must start with one’s life and property being respected (as it should all people). ELN and FARC are a sick social virus that respects NO LIFE, NO PROPERTY above their cause and THAT one fact incapacitates your otherwise healthy society. You can see that sick social virus right here in the USA with Antifa and BLM.

    Actions mean everything, the words they spew mean nothing. Like ELN and FARC, Antifa & BLM are also the very same “idea parasites” who do not respect the lives and Private Property of others and destroy societies. The answer is always stronger Conservative Government, leaving no grey areas and defining and defending private property of all Colombians or Americans.

    • Replies: @AKAHorace
  25. Rich says:
    @A little boy in the crowd

    “The government can create Colombian pesos out of thin air”. I think you need to read about the Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe and what happens to a country that creates paper money out of thin air. The reason the US gets away with it is because it is the world’s reserve currency and has the most powerful military.

  26. @David Rodriguez

    It’s obvious the author himself is a leftist lmao. Why would he be ashamed of spreading his own side’s propaganda?

    Why is isn’t writing for MSM probably has to do with criticism of Israel. That’s a no-no, no matter how much else you agree with the MSM on.

  27. @GMC

    No, the US is at war with drugs. Drugs are bad MMkay? Why else you the US make so many movies glorifying their use? Why would they prescribe opiates for very minor pain that you could simply take an aspirin or ibuprofen for? Why would they give me thirty Vicodin with a refill for another 30 after a wisdom tooth extraction that only caused mild pain for less than a day if they weren’t against their citizen’s being addicted to drugs?

    Give me a reasonable answer and maybe I’ll give your wild claims about the US being an evil empire of death a few seconds of consideration.

    • Replies: @GMC
  28. “Duque’s reform package was a response to Colombia’s fiscal deficit.”

    That is the Duque government’s excuse, and it is a lie. The Colombian government can create infinite Colombian pesos out of thin air. The Colombian central bank can do the same, as loans.

    Therefore the Colombian government has no need for tax revenue in Colombian pesos.

    Therefore the Colombian government’s debts and expenses in Colombian pesos are not a problem.

    Inflation, however, is another matter. The article says that, “In 2020 tax revenues were only 20 per cent of GDP, whilst state spending was 28% of GDP.”

    If this is true, then Colombia has a severe problem with inflation.

    In order to deal with inflation, the Colombian government seeks to reduce the amount of Colombian pesos in circulation. To reduce Colombian pesos, the Duque government imposed new taxes, and told the masses that tax revenue was needed to “fund the government.”

    Here is an analogy….

    The U.S. government can create infinite U.S. dollars out of thin air. (The Federal Reserve can do the same, as loans.) The U.S. government got by without taxes until the Civil War. The Union government could create infinite dollars out of thin air, but consumer goods were rationed for the war effort, since consumer goods were needed for the military. Hence there was an excess of dollars in circulation, combined with a shortage of things to spend the dollars on. This created inflation. If inflation became bad enough, it would cripple the war effort.

    To control inflation, the U.S. government needed to remove dollars from circulation. To remove dollars, the U.S. government started to impose taxes. The Union enacted its first withholding taxes in 1862.

    World War 1 created another inflation problem. The US government created dollars out of thin air for the war, but consumer goods were rationed, since the goods were needed for the military. To control inflation, and get dollars out of circulation, the U.S. government imposed new taxes, and told the peasants to buy “Liberty Bonds” to supposedly “fund the war.”

    World War 2 created another inflation problem.
    The US government created dollars out of thin air for the war, and everyone had a job, but consumer goods were rationed, since the goods were needed for the military. To control inflation, and get dollars out of circulation, the U.S. government imposed new taxes, and told the peasants to buy “War Bonds” to supposedly “fund the war.”

    The U.S. government had no need for tax dollars to “fund the war.” The purpose of federal taxes and “war bonds” was to get dollars out of circulation in order to control inflation.

    THE POINT is that national governments impose taxes for various reasons, but “funding the government” in the government’s own currency is never one of the reasons. (This does not apply to governments that do not create their own currencies — e.g. European governments that use the euro.)

    Governments lie, because the peasants insist on it. The peasants do not know about inflation, and do not want to know, but they are easily seduced by the lie that the central government “needs tax revenue” in its own currency. The lie even seduced the author of the article above.

    Colombia has an inflation problem because of extreme inequality. Unemployment is so high that the Colombian government must create massive amounts of Colombian pesos to fund (minimal) government programs in order to keep the peasants (barely) alive. Otherwise Colombia will have a revolution.

    To control inflation, and get Colombian pesos out or circulation, the Duque government imposed new taxes. This squeezed the peasants harder than ever, and sparked the current riots. The Duque government falsely told the peasants that tax revenue was needed to fund the pandemic hoax, but the peasants don’t care, since they are starving.

    Therefore the Duque government withdrew the tax increase, and is now hoping to ride out the riots until things settle down.

    But things will not settle down. If the Colombian government does not do something to reduce inequality, or at least to boost employment, a revolution is inevitable.

  29. @Ludwig123

    I am Russian, but have been to Colombia many times. (we have no-visa reciprocity). I’ve had Colombian friends to Moscow many times.

    The author has no clue how these protests have hurt the poor. Highways were blocked (sounds like Black Lives matter), and caused truck problems. Everything now costs much more.

    Most the protestors are leftist university students, brain-washed by Che Guevara loving professors.

    The article is no good. No reality.

    • Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle
  30. @Eric Novak

    Learning to spell the name if the country might be a good start even if the comment is inane.

  31. @Notsofast

    “…hippos… to dangerous to capture. the original four hippos have expanded to over 100 and are thriving in the amazon.”

    There is a message here.

  32. GMC says:
    @Tom Marvolo Riddle

    Yep, the US is king in using reverse psychology on their people – spreading democrazy, bringing the troops home, fighting poverty, drugs, racism, terrorism etc. Only thing,, is that they are 100% guilty of doing the complete opposite. But watching the politicians, so called experts , the president, generals and others – they all have a stern facial honest looking expression , while they spread their BS and lies. Thanks for the reply .

    • Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle
  33. FvS says:

    As with all multi-racial societies, race differences play a huge role in the conflict. Maybe the Amerindian areas of Colombia and Venezuela should be allowed to secede and join together to form their own Amerindian nation. Or maybe white Colombians and Venezuelans should relocate to Argentina, Chile, or Uruguay. But barring that, third position dictatorship would be a better solution for Colombia as opposed to neoliberal democracy or whatever the communists are selling.

  34. Poco says:

    The problem is not enough industrial capitalist nationalists in the world. In all countries.

  35. @Triteleia Laxa

    I’m definitely not left wing, hard right actually, and on that note, the people describing the US as an Anglo-empire are dumb as bricks (as if 99.99% of anglos have any real power in the US, lmao, delusional hispanic anti-whitism and complete ignorance of how the US power structure works, which you’d think they would look into seeing how cornered they are with it, blaming it for all their problems as they are, that they would bother to find out what group really pulls most of the levers of power in the US foreign policy but hey I guess lazy and simple people will gravitate away from mental labor and into simple and easy answers). But to be fair, That probably has a lot more to do with the oil embargo. Their economy was pretty much 90% oil revenues. If the Saudis were embargoed like that they’d be eating rats too. It was a big shock to their system, it was the US that caused it, not handouts. Oil rich countries can afford to give out handouts.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
  36. SafeNow says:

    “The future belongs to crowds.” – Don DeLillo, 1991

  37. @aleksander

    The article was in fact written by an American university professor. They really are the worst. I only ever had 1 halfway decent one. They don’t really care about the poor or the other various sub-par groups they purport to champion(actually most of them don’t seem tgaf about the poor anymore, because that’s not really trendy anymore). What they do care about is ideological conformity, the associated social brownie points and being a petty king in their bubble kingdoms.

  38. @Tom Marvolo Riddle

    That probably has a lot more to do with the oil embargo.

    This is a weak excuse.

    Oil is oil. Minus transportation, it has a global price. Venezuelan oil can still find markets and so still gets global prices.

    Their economy was pretty much 90% oil revenues.

    Yes, a complete joke of an economy, managed by a joke of a government, to the detriment of ordinary Venezuelans.

    • Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle
  39. @E_Perez

    I’ve lived on the island of Roatan, Honduras for the last 16 years and came from living in Texas and New York for decades before that. I run several businesses here, or at least I did till Covid ruined almost everything. The locals will work only if they absolutely have to and only as long as they have to. The predominant atmosphere here is that as long as there are fruits on the trees and fish in the ocean that work is optional.

    Almost none of the men work. They do drugs, and inseminate the women; that’s their chief occupation. The women work until they get pregnant and the local laws mean that I as the employer am responsible for maternity leave and medical expenses. Essentially, I pay their salary for months and many never return to work after the official pay period is over. They then show up a year or so later looking for their job back.

    A friend (gringo from Chicago) that owned a dive resort once related an incident that sheds light on the topic. He called in one of his workers to give him a raise and told him that his efforts are appreciated and thus the raise is warranted. The next day the employee didn’t show up for work. He did show up the following day and when my friend asked why he didn’t show up or phone in an excuse, the employee replied that since he got a raise, he doesn’t have to work as often.

    Now you may think this is made up. It isn’t. I’ve experienced similar unbelievable ‘logic’ from my employees over the years. They see the world differently and is why one woman can have 6 children from different fathers has never been married and will never wise up to keep her legs crossed.

    One of my restaurant employees was staring out the window one day watching a man walk past. I thought the level of concentration was a bit extraordinary, so I asked her about it. She said that was her father. I asked why she didn’t go out and greet him. She said he doesn’t know she’s his daughter. That was hard for me to write. I can’t imagine what she feels.

    The culture here, if you can call it that, is so warped and laid back that nothing will ever be produced by any locals to advance civilization. It’s just not in their being, never mind their IQ level.

    • Thanks: nsa
    • Replies: @bike-anarkist
  40. @Triteleia Laxa

    Not really. The biggest thing the US has going for it is it’s navy. Oil countries are mostly like cavemen who found thousands of tons of gold in the depths of their cave one day, sure. Doesn’t make the gold disappear though. They might spend it poorly, wasting a lot of it on giant luxury hotel castles, yachts, Lamborghinis, hookers etc. but they also can and do buy mercs, alliances and weapons with it, because while they may be dumb, they aren’t retarded.

    Venezuela is different that the gulf states because it has less oil, more people and a leftist gov’t. In that order. It’s also different because it pissed the US off somehow, and now can’t ship it’s oil overseas. Sanctions our our way of doing wars now. End goal is probably to replace the guy with a puppet. Probably the goal of the Colombia thing too. Agit prop is cheap, oil is not. US is weakening, cheaper oil would offset that weakness somewhat.

    But in the end I don’t really care. The US is too black and transsexual for me to give a shit about anymore. It does bug me that people call the US “The Anglos” though. That shit ain’t true. Anglos who have power in the US are puppets too.

  41. @GMC

    They are also facilitating the gradual extinction of 90% of their founding stock. I think the policies of the US may have actually killed more of it’s own citizens than those of other countries over the years. They recategorize suicides as “deaths by despair” so the numbers don’t seem as bad, just as they do with many of their other false metrics, but somewhere around 500K of US citizens kill themselves each year. This is far worse than covid, as many are quite young. 18-24 age group has increased by 312% over the last decade, for example. With whites dying at much higher rates, which they blame on “racism” somehow in their MSM articles that bother to touch upon the subject. Go read them, they are darkly comedic.

    The US ruling class brings death to all, especially it’s own.

    • Agree: GMC
  42. BorisMay says:

    The usual biased and blinkered tract about Latin America, with a few oblique inflections to the real causes.

    The UK is the cause of most of the problems. The Old Guard, using the US and Israel as its strong arm boys.

    ‘Repaying loans to banks’ is the first clue. More correctly repaying loans at 4% compound interest a year to Rothschilds Bank based in the Queen of England’s private fiefdom the City of London.

    (The UK’s national debt originates from the same source and can never be repaid after the lavish borrowing by the current government blamed on the fictitious Covid19 palaver.)

    The second factor ALWAYS ignored by these uninformed writers that utilise other sources to qualify their information is that poverty, unemployment and homelessness is caused by usury. This causes a lack of cash in society at large meaning no employer can afford to employ all the workers for best practice.

    All the rest of the ‘evidence’ such as certain supposed racial failures of character is just smoke and mirrors to deceive the gullible from perceiving the truth.

    Would be interesting to know which oligarchs fund this writer’s employer… This might explain the writer’s inability to write the truth: that all poverty is caused by usury.

  43. @Tom Marvolo Riddle

    Venezuela exports oil by ship. It is not prohibited from doing so. This is an uncontroversial and undisputed fact.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-oil-exports-idUSKCN2AT3HC

    Where did you get the idea that it doesn’t?

    • Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle
  44. KA says:
    @E_Perez

    America is a big toxic presence .Until this is taken out of the equation , one cant say how and when Latin America would develop its potential as a prosperous egalitraian continent.

    American finance system has wrecked it from the time of Monroe Doctrine .
    Coup after coup and interefrnce by proxies or direct interventions have shaped its vioelnce,drug problem,ecolgical damage,and peiodic economci collapses . Migrant crisis is also directky related to US’s policies .

    Yes blaming same country ( USA) again and again sounds banal and evokes – anything new – question . It is alwyas new at least to Americans and may be sometiems to its protege but not to Latin American .

    When crimes happen one after another and happen from the same perpetrators, peopel might lose the reelvance ,contrxt,and ignore cause and effects .

    If no war ensued after Iraq war ,we still would be focussing on the neocons ,we would be asking for investiagtion for failures in Iraq,for failures to prevent the neocons from damaging the countries – USA and Iraq . But that has totally disappeared from self – reflection .Instaed moron and cheap thug George Bush is being rehabilitated .

    In the smae vein,if there were no withdrawal from Vietnam and instead ,7 more neighboring countries getting attacked for next 10 years, we never would have talked of Vietnam . It would have possibly continued to be protrayed as a good necessarry but somewhat mismanaged war.

    3 rd world is a metaphor for the externalities of the colonization,imperialism ,and neoliberalism. One segued into another without rasing much of a ripple .

    Now there is a panic across Trump land and Brexit slackers because the 3 rd world has entered sacred space with its ugly face .Capitalism has no ‘ value’ we have been told but we have been expecting otehrwise .That reality hurts

  45. joe007 says:

    LATIN AMERICA GENERAL QUESTIONS

    1. How do the white elite of Latin America stay at the top of the tree there but in the USA the Mestizos & Mulattos run whites clear out places like SoCal or South Florida? What is the difference exactly?

    Ans: Mestizos and Mulattos dont run anyone out of anywhere. Whites clear out of anyplace once the percentage on “nonwhites” approaches 5%-10%. Its called “White Flight” and has no basis in any other factor than white psychological discomfort at the idea of being overwhelmed by other ( and that their women will be taken by other).

    2. Latin gangs menace whites in the USA but not whites in Latin America. Why not?

    Ans: Latin gangs are a menace only to other Latins – the neighborhoods which they prey on. This is typical of “ethnic” gangs. Latin gangs DO NOT menace whites anywhere.

    3. What is the genetic background of Colombians. In the film SCARFACE they were referred to as Indians. Is that what they essentially are?

    Ans: Colombians are and can be: white, or black, or mestizo, or mulatto, or zambo, or indigenous, or a mix of the all or neither.

    4. Spain is a relatively safe country & so is Portugal. Why are former Spanish colonies so out of control & even white descendants of Portuguese in Brazil our of control like PIXOTE. Why do Spanish & Portuguese behave differently in Latin America?

    Ans: Latin American was established by conquistadores: largely illiterate and violent riff raff who could find no social space for advancement in Spain and Portugal. The came to plunders, pillage, rape, evangelize, and then to go back home with the stolen riches. They did not come to colonize and settle as the English and French did. The Spanish crown was interested only in loot. not colonizaation. Therefore, Rule of Law was never established. The only law was the sword, the gun, and sovereign authority. No individual rights. Furthermore, the exploitation demanded that violence be the norm in order to intimidate the indigenous, rape the women, and enforce Negro slavery. So the cultural norms never became “civilized”.

    5. If Mestizos are mostly Indian, why do they too seem to victimize the Indians?

    Ans: Mestizo means “mixed” : half white half indigenous. They are typically and genetically the result of Spanish males raping and kidnapping Indigenous women. Therefore, they carry Spanish surnames and psychologically identify with the “winner” – hence why they are devout Catholics as opposed to inidigenous beliefs. As such they are and can be generally anti Indian – they carry the cultural racism and disdain of their genetic fathers.

    6. Why are Native Americans in North America less of a menace? Cherokee are not creating crime waves & nor are the Navajo of Arizona. Why does Indian blood in Latin Americans cause such barbaric behavior?

    Ans: Native Americnas were largely genocided. Furthermore, those that remained were relegated to ghettos i.e. “reservations” and stupified with alcohol and drugs. It is not the Indian blood in Latins that causes the barbaric behavior. It is the Spanish/Portuguese blood as fault. All the genocides of the indigenous and enslavement of them and the Negros was perpetrated by the white Spanish and Portuguese. With rare exception the Spanish and Portuguese were always welcomed peaceable by the indigenous and the level of violence unleashed against them by the whites never existed amongst themselves prior to contact.

    7. Why are former Spanish colonies worse than British ones? Why did Australia end up better than Colombia or Venezuela?

    See above: English Commonwealth nations were established as COLONIES. i.e.established settlements based on law, long term settlement, property rights, by people of all strata – in particular merchants, farmers, husbandmen, traders, politicians. LAtin American was established by Spanish and Protuguese riff raff; soldiers of fortune, mercenaries, religous zealots, perverts, sociopaths, rapists. Very few educated people and almost none of them interested in long term settlement. Only short term plunder and return to Europe.

    8. There was Independence from Spain so why are these countries still run by a white upper class of elites? Why weren’t all the Europeans killed by the Mestizos or Indians or Mulattos upon Independence?

    Ans: The white upper classes engaged in a brilliant propaganda and psychological war against the “ethnic” populations in order to cower them: CATHOLICISM/Christianity. The flooded the country and churches with images of blonde, blue eye white Jesus and Saints. In Brazil they even built a giant statute of white Jesus to literally lord over everyone. Historically, Jesus could not have been “white” i.e. pale skin, blonde hair, blue eyes: So this lie is actively perpetrated in Latin America to psychologically neuter the “ethnic” populations into thinking that the “whites” are their natural superiors and as such “deserve” to be on top and monopolize power, wealth, status, resources, and the “good life”. Until recently, it was actively inculcated that the key to life was to “become white/whiter” by marrying or procreating with whites/whiter mates: they call it “mejorando la raza” or blanquimento – whitening.

    9. Why aren’t the European elite targets of violence in these countries like whites are by Mestizos or Mulattos in the USA?

    Ans: Whites in the USA are not the targets of any violence by Mestozos or Mulattos…not in any significant way. The Euro elites are potentially targets in their countries hence the paramilitary culture, and why the live in secured enclaves not easily accessible by those of lower classes.

    10. Politically, why do Mestizos & Mulattos despise white Americans but don’t seem to hate white Cubans even though Andy Garcia is whiter than Al Pacino or other Italian-Americans in the films where he plays an Italian?

    Its not clear that Mestizos and Mulatttos despise white Americans. To the extent that they do they probably view white Americans as hypocrites: all talk about “equality, opportunity”, etc. but see them engaging in an supporting policy that is exclusionary and racist. Whereas the white Latin elites never have made any such representations in particular as race and color are concerned: they are openly classist, colorist, and racist. that is not seen as a negative cultural attribute.

    • Disagree: Rich
  46. @Anon

    Thank you!

    I am from Canada, and while the government tries to scapegoat the Catholic Church as being the prime player in the genocide of Indigenous children, they grovel their support for terrorists of Israel!

    Tell fellow Canadians that their government(s) support genocide, they’ll resort to ‘what- aboutisms’ and immediately virtue signal… something.

    It’s like living around about 20% of our town stuck in a “dead man walking” headspace.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
  47. @RoatanBill

    That’s all they demand?

    How about reparations for DECADES of abuse by the U$ government and it’s Alphabet agencies.

    I get that it seems highly unfair to you but those sovereign citizens of Guatemala owe NOTHING to any American that contrives any unfairness!

    Overall, it sounds like you should just get out instead of whining.

  48. @bike-anarkist

    With rare exception the Spanish and Portuguese were always welcomed peaceable by the indigenous and the level of violence unleashed against them by the whites never existed amongst themselves prior to contact.

    You really believe this? Where did you learn it?

    Source: your crack pipe

    statute of white Jesus to literally lord over everyone. Historically, Jesus could not have been “white” i.e. pale skin, blonde hair, blue eyes

    Why not? I have seen plenty of people from that area who fit that description.

    • Replies: @joe007
  49. @Triteleia Laxa

    Just assumed it. Guess I was wrong. But why spend all that money on the navy if your not going to use it to enforce your sanctions? Weird.

    Doesn’t change that they have to sell it for less, and aren’t able to sell nearly as much. 700K bpd is pretty low, but higher than I assumed.

  50. Colombia is a perfect example of ‘Western Moral Values’ at work, and the influence of the Zionazi butchers, such religiously inspired experts in mass and targeted murder, adds another diabolical influence. All, of course, of NO interest to the filthy vermin of the Western ‘Free Press’.

  51. joe007 says:
    @Triteleia Laxa

    1. The indigenous population of the Americas collapsed by 100 million ( yes u read that correctly)
    within 2 decades of Spanish/Portuguese discovery. Read this report by an eye witness.
    “History of the Indies” by Bartolomé de las Casas – he describes the details: rape, plunder, pillage, intentional genocide. Europeans had Steel and Gunpowder, and a Race based genocidal mentality honed by centuries of conflict with the Moors (and Jews). The natives had: wood, stone, some obsidian, and no concept of genocidal “total” warfare.
    (Also check out “Guns, Germs, and Steel” by Jared Diamond – he is a bit dishonest in areas, but to get an idea of the numbers involved and nature of the conflict he ok for a beginner read.)

    2. Anybody you see today with pale skin, blonde hair, and blue eye in the “Middle East” – i.e. Levant is a recent immigrant or decendant of recent immigrants. Ashkenazi Jews in Israel are European migrants descended from Khazar converts during the middle ages ( documented by DNA tests). As is, Israel has on of the highest skin cancer rates in the world. Why ? the people there are not indigenous to desert like temps and UV indexes. As for the “Arabs/Palestinians”, they are largely admixed with Turks who invaded the area circa 1000 AD and culminated in take over at around 1400….the conquest of Constantinople. At the time of Jesus there where no “whites” per se in the region save the Romans and Greeks: and they by no means “white white” – being Mediiterranean they were swarthy and dark featured.

    the Latin American image of Jesus is an intentional fake and psychological warfare tool used to confuse and demoralize the “ethnic” populations which number the majority if taken in whole. It is a tool for the white elite to maintain power .

    • Disagree: Rich, RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
  52. @joe007

    Diseases rode far ahead of the European conquerors. This is why they found it so easy.

    The locally enslaved tribes also ganged up with the Europeans, against their former oppressors. This helped.

    The blond haired and blue eyed Middle Easterners include Syrians and Lebanese, as well as Israelis and Palestinian Arabs. I guess you have no idea about the region.

    Alexander the Great was famously blond, as was Augustus. Plenty of Romans and Greeks were as white as plenty are today.

    Almost everything you write is wrong. I am bored by you.

    • Thanks: RadicalCenter
  53. TLAP says:
    @Anon

    Can someone explain why the liberal Marxist Communist Justin Trudeau, supports right-wing death squads killing Marxist-Communists?

  54. @Curmudgeon

    “Personally, I could care less what type of government…”

    So why don’t you(care less)? It makes ZERO sense to write(or say) “could care less” when one means ‘couldn’t care less ‘. “Look I’m stupid” doesn’t get you any Brownie Points here on UNZ

    There is only one word in the English language that also means its direct negation and “could” is not it.

    But maybe you’re a crypto agent of them.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  55. @Tom Marvolo Riddle

    It does bug me that people call the US “The Anglos” though. That shit ain’t true.

    It’s about language. Spanish speakers refer to English speakers as anglos. The US is a predominately English speaking country.

  56. @Jeff Stryker

    Spanish, particularly the Andalusians, are Semitic-Europeans, not a pure Caucasian. Some are nearly indistinguishable in appearance from lighter skinned Mestizos. These were the people who sailed from Sevilla. They are also similar to Sicilians who also share a strong admixture of Arabic bloodlines. Look at the bloody crucifixion art of these cultures. El Cid played both sides. The Reconquista didn’t return Spain to the Goths but synthesized Arab and European tendencies. So Latin America is the offspring of that hybridized people that became further hybridized by the infusion of Indian tribes and nations that also placed heavy emphasis on human sacrifice and sacred blood rituals.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  57. @Curmudgeon

    E. Perez is a reactionary. Probably a fascist too. All the Latin American Right are fascists, 100% of them. I’ll make alliance with anyone, but I won’t ally with fascists. You don’t ally with fascists. There’s only one thing to do with fascists.

  58. Wow! Nothing but fascists (I mean anti-Communist fanatics) in the comments section. Way to go, Unz! You’re site has become a haven for reactionaries, rightwing radicals, and fascists! Real “progressive,” bro.

  59. Like I said, you don’t ally with fascists. You KILL fascists. Nothing but walking bullseyes in this comments section, I see.

  60. Wow, not one single commenter who’s not a worthless reactionary DOG. What a horrible webshite!

  61. AKAHorace says:
    @Treg

    The answer is always stronger Conservative Government, leaving no grey areas and defining and defending private property of all Colombians or Americans

    .

    Colombian conservatives and liberals were both pretty rough in the past (la violencia). There has not been a lot of respect for the property rights of the poor there. A lot of ex guerillas who tried to get into democratic politics have been killed. A lot of members of the establishment (Patrana) who tried to negociate with the guerillas were taken advantage of.

    The situation is complicated, don’t impose American classifications on it.

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