The liberations of six FARC hostages in Colombia these days have aroused a lot of discussion. Some people are glad with these liberations and are eager to have a humanitarian agreement in which hostages are exchanged with FARC-fighters who are in prison.
Others say that the FARC abuse of the situation and that the only way to solve the problem is fighting them and rescue the hostages, as happened in the famous Operation Jaque. Now Colombia’s president says that the FARC have an intellectual block, probably referring to the intellectuals who wrote a letter to the guerrilla in order to make negotations about the liberation of hostages AND hopefully peace possible. Mr. Uribe didn’t specify who are the members of the intellectual block.
It appears he feels threatened by the possible success of Piedad Córdoba and her ‘intellectuals’. Of course Piedad also hopes to win political space, but that’s why she is a politician. I insist that as far as this is concerned mr. Uribe and Córdoba are much alike.
But these words of mr. Uribe accusing Piedad and her friends of being FARC-members just go too far. The president should stop it. He complains that the political left accuses him of being a paramilitary. and there he has got a point. it would be a good idea to stop those accusations as well.
Mr. Uribe proves to be a mediocre statesman if he uses the behaviour of his political enemies as a pretext to do the same. He should put himself above it.
Moreover, it is dangerous to express such accusations. There are a lot of armed madmen who wouldn’t mind to kill the so called guerrilleros. (Read also my post about Patricia Ariza).
Mr. Uribe uses this tactic to stigmatize his enemies every time he thinks it convenient. What is at stake simply is power. The more Piedad Córdoba and her intellectuals advance in liberations of hostages and perhaps a peace process, the more mr. Uribe’s approval rate will be threatened. And next year there are presidential elections.
The president should realize there is a big part of civil society that doesn’t agree with his politics of democratic safety (seguridad democrática). These people are looking for other ways to solve the conflict with the guerrilla, that keeps raging on. Instead of demonizing this sector, he would better talk with them.