Saturday, 25 June 2011

Impunity: Colombia's Elusive Justice

Colombia has long been at war with itself. It has a stinking human rights record but no more than a whiff of it reaches European and U.S. shores. It also has the biggest mass graves in Latin America, and recent ones among them. It has the world’s oldest guerrilla army, the FARC, which controls vast swathes of territory even after it has been severely weakened. It has many more paramilitary groups linked to the narcotics trade, some of whom staged a charade of a demobilisation a couple of years ago. The country’s institutions have long-held links with the drug cartels.

But it is strategically placed next to Brazil, Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador. Its ruling classes are the USA’s most enthusiastic lickspittles. The International Criminal Court is not at its proactive best when dealing with Colombia. All this allows many paramilitary bosses to escape justice. The recent documentary, Impunity, examines precisely this. The documentary-makers, Hollman Morris and Juan Jose lLozano ask: “Where are the decision makers in this war? Where did the orders come from? What purpose were they serving? What does it have to say, multinationals such as Chiquita Brands... military, businessmen, politicians and drug traffickers of this wonderful country?”

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