Urbano Rodrigues: Reyes, the hero that fascism assassinated
Colombian fascism murdered in Ecuadorian territory the commander Raúl Reyes, of FARC (Armed Revolutionary Force of Colombia), in an operation of State terrorism. The Portuguese journalist Miguel Urbano Rodrigues, a scholar of FARC, writes on the attack where fell the one who he considers a revolutionary hero, and whom he knew personally.*
At dawn on Saturday (1), in the territory of Ecuador, the government of Álvaro Uribe murdered the commander Raúl Reyes of FARC in an operation conceived and executed with the support of the USA.
The surrealist announcement of the Minister
The piece of news was initially spread by Uribe’s Minister of Defense in a triumphant notice that rudely corrupts the events, hiding the criminal character of the terrorist action.
According to Juan Manuel Santos, Raúl Reyes would have been established in a camp situated in Ecuador, 1,800 meters from the border, during a bombing carried through by the Air Force of his country from Columbian territory, for "not violating the sovereignty" of the neighboring countries. But soon he explains that, later, army troops crossed the border to collect the body of Raúl Reyes to bring it to Bogota, bury it and prevent the FARC guerrillas doing the same.
The Minister’s note presents an absurdity, a surrealist touch. It is unimaginable that any plane could pour bombs on a camp, being almost two kilometers in distance. And grotesque that this lie is followed by a confession of which, at last, the forces of the Colombian army violated Ecuadorian sovereignty. Things happened otherwise.
The finger of the United States
Through North American satellites, Uribe knew about the presence of the group of FARC guerrillas on the Ecuadorian side of the Colombian Amazonian region of the Putumayo.
Bogota knew through allegations that Raúl Reyes was there. The revolutionary leader had a price on his head, alive or dead, for 2,7 million US$. The condemnation was paid and Super Tucan planes of the Air Force, the mightiest and best equipped of Latin America poured a rain of bombs on the camp.
In a criminal attack of air piracy they died, besides Reyes, the revolutionary singer Julian Conrado (the great artist of the clandestine Radio Voz de la Resistencia - Voice of the Resistance) and 16 guerrillas. They were massacred while they were still sleeping, in conditions inadequately known.
While receiving the piece of news, Uribe congratulated the Air Force and the body of Reyes, crippled and sheared by machine-guns, was taken to Bogota. Soon photographs of the bloody corpse of the hero appeared in televisions and newspapers of ten countries. Almost the same macabre ritual that covered the murder of the Che in 1967.
The wings of the crime
The terrorist attack takes place in a moment in which the campaign for the release of French Colombian, one Ingrid Bettancourt, inspires headlines in the great international press. Never to concern itself much on the Colombian reality as in these days in which, on the pretense of the suffering of the ex-candidate to the presidency, FARC is a target of a mountain of slanders.
One day it will be obvious that in the discussions around the humanitarian exchange, FARC always acted with transparency and revolutionary authenticity, moved by a humanist objective and Uribe with hypocrisy and unconfessable intentions.
Corresponding to the insistent appeals of Hugo Chavéz and of Senator Piedad Córdoba, FARC decided in the first phase to unilaterally free Clara Rojas and ex-deputy Consuelo Perdomo. The operation was postponed as a matter of fact for some days because Uribe intensified the concentration of troops in the area where presumably both should be handed to the International Red Cross and transported to Caracas in Venezuelan helicopters.
FARC was conscious of the enormous risks that the operation involved. Only one who knows the geography of Colombia, a country with 1,14 million square kilometers and 45 million inhabitants, furrowed by three chains of mountains, gigantic rivers and a great part covered by the dense Amazonian forest - can value what it meant to drive two women from the unknown camp in which they were found to the Department of the Guaviare, near the Venezuelan frontier. It is useful, and you connect, to remember that the Colombian army violated the cease-fire pledge and began to bomb the place one hour after the helicopters had taken off.
The proposal of the demilitarized zone
FARC insisted subsequently on the disarmament of the local authorities of Pradera and Florida as an essential condition to a humanitarian exchange demanded by the Colombian people, an operation that foresaw the exchange of 40 prisoners of war in the control of FARC including Ingrid Bettancourt - for 500 guerrillas jailed in government prisons.
Uribe refused to take care of all international proposals received by him with the objective to approach an agreement that would allow the exchange
Nevertheless, this uncompromising attitude of the neofascist President of Colombia, FARC corresponding to a new appeal of Hugo Chavez, took the decision to free, also in a unilateral gesture, four deputies in their power.