Colombia is already one month into the chaos and violence of what some call a “social explosion”, but which in reality is a revolution. The left is trying to win with violence what they lost at the polls. In this article, I make a summary of fundamental issues that you should know to understand what is happening and that are not much mentioned in the media.
Tax reform is only an excuse
In these revolutionary processes, which taking place throughout Latin America, any issue can be the spark that sets off the revolt. In Chile, it was an increase of 4 cents on the dollar in public transportation. The protests, supposedly over the increase in the price of transportation, ended in the destruction of the Chilean Constitution. In Colombia, they have used a stillborn tax reform as a trigger.
The tax reform proposed by President Ivan Duque was rejected by all parts of society. Even the President’s own party, the Democratic Center, opposed the project from the beginning. There was no possibility that this reform would be approved in Congress.
It is also striking that the left was so fiercely opposed to this attempt of the president because to a great extent this reform had points praised and requested by the socialists, such as a basic income and higher taxes to the upper classes.
None of this matters. They just needed a starting point, so it doesn’t matter if the reform was never going to pass or if it had socialist-like policies. Nor does it matter that the president has announced he is withdrawing his proposal.
Even though there is no more reform, urban terrorism continues, because that was not the cause, that was the excuse to start the revolution.
This is not protest, it is urban terrorism
As of May 20, Colombian authorities report more than 1,021 uniformed personnel injured and one killed, 15 civilians killed in protest-related incidents, 1,025 civilians injured, 2,152 blockades.
357 commercial establishments have been vandalized, 433 bank offices, 416 ATMs, 205 public transportation stations. 1,129 public transportation vehicles, 463 police vehicles and 91 gas stations have been destroyed or burned.
The Colombian productive sector reports that the losses to the economy, in 30 days of protests, are estimated at close to $10 billion.
On the night of April 28, Captain Jesús Alberto Solano Beltrán, head of the Soacha Investigative Unit, who was only 34 years old, was stabbed by demonstrators when he tried to stop the robbery of an ATM. Solano leaves his wife a widow and a 5-year-old orphan. Although the captain had his sidearm, he never used it, probably for fear of being judged if he used it.
The images of looted and burned businesses are shocking. In cities like Cali there is a shortage of basic products and gasoline; vandals have blocked access roads. Buildings have been set on fire with people inside. In Usme, Bogotá, they set fire to a police station with 10 uniformed officers inside. Fortunately they managed to save themselves, although when they fled from the flames they were attacked by a mob that wanted to kill them.
What’s happening in Colombia is not simple protests, it is urban terrorism, it is a molecular revolution.
On May 3, House representative for the Farc party, Sergio Marin, tweeted “Homeland or Death! Socialism! Dissipated molecular revolution or concentrated entropic death. We shall overcome!”
That the strategy is about a molecular revolution was obvious, but it is not superfluous for a FARC guerrilla to say it openly.
It is important that the defenders of freedom and legitimate governments know what a molecular revolution means. It is necessary to understand and clearly identify the threat in order to combat it. This term comes from the school of deconstruction and is a revolutionary model that arises from rethinking the strategy to achieve communism.
The psychoanalyst Félix Guattari wrote a book entitled The Molecular Revolution, where he proposes a different strategy to the revolutions that were known so far. The idea is to change the usual vertical structure for a horizontal one. There’s no identifiable leader, there’s no root that can be cut and therefore end the revolution: they are molecules.
These molecules make simultaneous attacks and then disperse, to later attack again unexpectedly. The objective is to generate chaos and frighten the population, so that they feel abandoned and hopeless and the left emerges as a savior.
In Colombia there are no visible leaders of these demonstrations, they are presented —with the complicity of the media— as a social explosion, but in reality it is a revolution to change the government.
The cunning strategy of #TheyAreKillingUs
As always, skilled in language and communications, the left has adopted the phrase “they are killing us” (or “nos están matando” in Spanish) as their slogan. They try to make the Colombian population see the police and the forces of authority as the enemy, they call for the disarmament of the squads that attend the protests in Colombia, they present the police as the bad guy and the culprit of the violence.
They need to demoralize the police and take away their authority to take over the country with violence.
The particularities of Colombia
Colombia is a country with a very strong right-wing base, which understands that the individual has the right to defend his life and private property. In addition, it is a country where weapons are very common, although it is difficult to get a legal permit to have them. These particular characteristics have caused Colombia, at different times in its history, to experience confrontations that were extremely painful, but which, in some cases, halted the advance of the left. History has shown that Colombians are not willing to lose their freedom and be slaves of a communist regime, without first putting up a fight.
What we have seen in the last few days indicates that the majority of Colombians continue with that character and with the firm disposition to oppose the loss of their liberties. In many cases it is civilians who have prevented the attack and death of police officers. In social networks, there are videos circulating of people making “rondas,” neighbor-lead organizations to protect their homes. On Twitter, phrases such as #MilitarizarLasCallesYa and #YoApoyoAMiPolicia have been trending.
While in Chile the “right” went out to march with the left, in Colombia the right calls for militarizing streets and demands the president maintain an iron fist.