22nd December 2012.
By the International Network in Solidarity with the Colombian Political Prisoners (INSPP)
Please visit the INSPP website for downloadable copies in English and Spanish.
The International network in Solidarity with Colombia’s Political Prisoners (INSPP) joins the outcry of
the majority of the people for peace and, as part of the social movement that has been key to this
process, salutes the dialogue between the FARC-EP and the Colombian government to establish the
bases upon which to put an end to 60 years of political, social and armed conflict that continues in the
The INSPP is comprised of national and international organizations that work for the immediate
release of all the political prisoners of war and of conscience held in the nation’s prisons or abroad,
realizing that they are the result of the internal armed conflict, of the application of state terrorism, the
persecution and criminalization of social protest.
The interference of the US in the national prison system, the illegal nature of the extradition of
Colombian citizens and the gifting of national territory to multinational companies violate national
sovereignty and put at risk the sustainability of a lasting, democratic peace.
More than 11,000 political prisoners in Colombia, subjected to every type of physical and procedural
torture, are crammed into the jails of the so-called System of High and Medium Penitentiaries and
Prisons (EPCAMS), which is inspired in its concept of high security by the US. Additionally, insurgent
combatants have been sent to the US, ignoring their status as political prisoners of war, given absurd
sentences and imprisoned in undignified conditions violating their basic rights as in the cases of Simon
Trinidad, Sonia and Ivan Vargas of the FARC-EP.
The INSPP struggles for the immediate release of all the political prisoners. In the specific case of
Simon Trinidad, we join the call to President Obama and the government of Colombia for their
intercession aimed at making possible his participation in the discussions in Havana.
A peace process without a truce, an insurgent negotiating commission with restricted mobilization and
the escalation of military operations on the part of the government exacerbates the social conflict and
crisis. For this reason we consider that the unilateral truce decreed by the FARC-EP during the
Christmas period must be welcomed by the government and guaranteed during the whole process of
negotiation. Dialogue accompanied by a durable ceasefire and humanitarian accords such as the
freeing of all the political prisoners may open the doors to a negotiated political solution and the
structural transformations that allow the elimination of the objective causes of the conflict.
The recent condemnation of the insurgency on the part of the International Criminal Court (ICC),
which passed over the criminal atrocities of paramilitaries acting as part of the establishment, the
demonization of the insurgency by the official press, the bellicose displays of the Minister for Defense,
the Fascist positions of Uribe, the condemnation in every sphere of what are said to be the crimes against humanity carried out by the FARC-EP with complicit silence regarding the crimes of state
terrorism and the manipulation of the position of the Indigenous peoples are not at all by chance. On
the contrary, they are the conscious contradiction that seeks nationalist support for the war and a
smoke screen in the plan approved by the military to legitimize impunity and once again protect the
perpetrators. We firmly believe that mass participation by the people through their grass-roots
organizations can impose upon the short-sightedness of the warmongers and the opportunistic
pragmatism of the government.
We support and join the deeper analysis of the agrarian question. Without resolving the problem of
land, there will be neither peace nor social justice. On the contrary, the food crisis will become more
acute, as will displacement, inequality and dependency and once again, as happened during the last
century, dispossession will become legitimized. Colombia is the country with the second highest rate
of internal displacement in the world, after Sudan. Ten per cent of the population has abandoned their
land for lack of possibilities. In spite of the confessions of some of the paramilitaries and General
Santoyo, Uribe’s head of security for four years, who admitted to working with the ‘Oficina de
Envigado’, from where thousands of Colombians were assassinated or burned in crematory fires, the
Colombia state remains immune to its political responsibility for such grave crimes.
A comprehensive agrarian reform, in spite of the opposition of landowners and the Federation of Cattle
Owners (FEDEGAN), justice, truth and economic and moral reparations to the victims are key
elements for peace in Colombia and we don’t believe that gifting territory and its natural resources to
mining or bio-fuel transnational corporations will generate peace or social justice.
Seeking to exclude matters such as mining and energy policy or military doctrine from the negotiations
is an outrage. The growing allocation of national territory (40% in 2008) by means of concessions to
the mining and energy transnationals of which 52% are Canadian, creates irreparable environmental
damage and exacerbates the grave humanitarian crisis and the crisis of human rights that have already
reached intolerable levels.
The counter-insurgent war, financed and aided by the US and the free trade agreements signed by
Colombia with Canada, the USA and the European Union that provides strong protection of foreign
investment is nothing more than a declaration of war against the people. The growth in activity of the
mining and energy sectors corresponds to an increase in violations of human rights according to
various studies. Examples of this are the popular struggles, the demands of workers and the cases of
repression and displacement of projects like the “Pacific Rubiales” and the “Gran Colombia
Gold/Medoro Resources” at Marmato.
The INSPP calls on the international community to mobilize for a political solution to the conflict, for
the structural changes and the democratization of political spaces for peace with social justice.
Finally, we take this opportunity to wish all our friends and supporters a successful and militant New
Year in 2013 towards peace and social justice.
International Network in Solidarity with Colombia’s Political Prisoners, INSPP
Website: www.inspp.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org