Saturday, November 22, 2008

Explosion Targets Our Home


Dear friends,

Last night at 8:35 P.M., an explosive was set-off in the entrance of the social organizations building where I live in Saravena. No one was hurt but windows were shattered on the first and second floors of the building (see attached photos). I was in Arauquita at the time and I returned here early this morning.

The explosive didn't contain any shrapnel and it appears that the intention was to scare and intimidate us, rather than hurt anyone. Leaders of the social organizations that operate in the building believe that the explosive was set-off either by a FARC guerrilla or a government agent.

The guerrillas of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the ELN (National Army of Liberation) have been fighting against each other for the past three years here in the state of Arauca. Both groups profess to be fighting against the Colombian government to achieve social justice, but their conflict in Arauca is solely about the control of territory and economic resources.

In addition to killing each other, the FARC and ELN have also been operating like death squads in Arauca; displacing and killing civilians that they view as supporting the other side. They've also created a situation in which anyone could take action (set-off an explosive or kill someone) and make it look like it was part of the fight between the two groups.

The social organizations building is located in the center of Saravena, one-and-a-half blocks from a police guard post, two-and-a-half blocks from another guard post, and just four blocks from the police station.

The various social organizations have written public denunciations about the explosion and are determined to continue forward with their non-violent struggle for social justice.

I'll be moving to a room on the third floor later today, further away from the street and with bulletproof glass.

In love and solidarity,

Scott

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Scott...I am glad you will be behind bulletproof glass, but sorry so many of us, including you and those of us in California dealing with drug funded gang violence, have to deal with so much trauma related to these turf wars which our governments seem to be at a loss to effectively confront and often exploit. I worry about anyone of us getting attached to the pathological excitement ourselves. Your cousin, Alexis

Anonymous said...

I completed my presentation about Rafael Correa, current president of Ecuador...married with a wife from Belgium, a doctorate in Economics from the University of Illinois...very, very visible and being called everything under the sun in defense of his version of socialist revolution. I am also experiencing that when I go online, I am being given higher and higher levels of security and surveillance...so have at it, Scott, express yourself, and remember all of those you have left behind...like so many North Americans do...it is amazing how many of us don't commit ourselves, and when we do we remain tentative.
As I am told in the ghetto "check yourself"...look at who you really are...I would wager that the darkness and the light is within all of us...Alvaro Uribe has a sweet face and now we North Americans have a chance to accomplish even more for human rights..."derechas humanas" with the recent of election of Barack Obama...and I would suggest that we pay attention to those confusing Spanish subtitles that pop up unbidden on our televisions...in Chile, they called us "rotos"...but that was before you and I met, Scott. Your Cousin, Alexis de los Estados Unidos.

Frank Partisan said...

Hugo Chavez gave FARC an opportunity, to free prisoners with honor, and they blew him off. FARC has no strategy beyond being a nuisance.

They can be in a guerilla war for 100 more years, and they'll make no impact. You need to be connected to the leadership of the urban working class to get anywhere.

Luckily Colombia has real revolutionaries, based in the trade unions.

Ché Bob said...

Ren,

I know you know this, but to say that the FARC will "make no impact" is far from the mark. The FARC will continue to have a very awful impact on the people of Colombia! As they viciously kill innocent Colombians the impact will be beyond description!

I completely understand what you mean to say about the urban working class, but Scott has spent the past 7 years struggling with very revolutionary and organized people from a rural area of Colombia. Unfortunately, they are caught in the cross-hairs of para-military and guerrilla terror. That is the point of our work (through Scott) in Colombia. We (CAJA) stand in solidarity with the people of Arauca who indeed have a coherent plan and goals for a more just future, but are targets of the FARC, ELN and Paramilitaries.

Our work also reveals that they do not necessarily need to be connected to the leadership of the urban working class because they lack leadership. The people of Arauca have solid leadership with coherent plans, but they are being killed for their work organizing. In fact, things are more complicated than you suggest.

However, to begin with, it would be essential for the U.S. to stop dumping gasoline on a raging fire by sending billions of dollars in military aid to Colombia.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for articulate commentary on this website...I hope my cousin, Scott has some idea of the level of concern for him, for his life, and for the lives of all of us who sincerely struggle between the darkness and the light. Words fail, poems enlighten, my life speaks...and leadership comes from unusual places...often, as Scott conveys, leadership comes from the lives of children.

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