Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Brazil: Arrest of Oliverio Medina

Brazil has two ways open: to defend what is right and just or to bend before fascist pressure exerted by the government of Columbia and the Bush regime

Father Oliverio was arrested on Thursday 25th August in Brazil under an order issued by minister Gilmar Mendes of the Supreme Federal Court, waiting now for extradition to Columbia, where he is accused of homicide, terrorism and connections to FARC, Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia. Alberto Lasserre, the coordinator of Interpol in Brazil, declared yesterday to the press that Oliverio Medina is the press attache for FARC and is also known as Francisco Cadena, Camilo Lopes and El Cura, and that he is being transferred from Sao Paulo to Brasilia to await extradition to Columbia.

Alvaro Uribe, the reactionary president of Columbia, took advantage of the news to make an absurd claim (par for the course with him), stating that terrorism will be eased a little in his country with the arrest. However, we are faced here with the greatest breach and disrespect for human rights in the recent history of Latin America and it is the responsibility of President Lula’s Brazil to affirm itself as a state of law, or else bend and break before fascist pressures from abroad and once and for all make it clear that the story about being a leftist government was a load of nonsense from the start, that Brazil is spineless and that the one who calls the shots in Brazil is Uncle Sam and his lackeys.

First, how can it be that Oliverio Medina is arrested in Brazil without having committed any crime in this country, being married to a Brazilian and having a Brazilian child? If Ronald Biggs spent so many years there without being extradited after having committed a robbery in which a murder was committed, barbecuing while sticking the third finger up at England from sunny Rio, how can it be that Oliverio Medina is arrested for sympathizing with a the social causes defended by FARC?

It is one thing to go around armed, committing acts of violence and another to represent the political wing of a just and fair social cause, which is the case of FARC, which has fought an armed struggle for its own survival against fascist and reactionary forces of the government of Columbia, backed up by the USA, forces which have historic links to narco-trafficking despite claims to the contrary.

FARC fights back because it is attacked. In the areas controlled by FARC there is social justice in Columbia, there is preoccupation for social mobility, for education for the poor and for the rendering of healthcare services. These are the questions that Oliverio Medina always defended, this was the side of FARC that he communicated to our newspaper for two years. Now he is in prison in Brazil because of his political ideals. When he was arrested by the Brazilian authorities, Oliverio and I were planning a second interview with FARC to approach precisely this social side of events, the humanitarian programmes and the political plans, not military ones, defended by FARC. I can state, using this article as a vinculatory document, that Oliverio Medina never once during his communication with Pravda.Ru spoke about or praised the use of violence but rather, political, social and humanitarian programmes and FARC's quest for peace.

If being a supporter of FARC's social programmes and its plans to create a fairer society in Columbia is a crime in Brazil, then the authorities had better arrest me, too, the next time I go there because I too sympathise with the non-violent struggle against fascist and oligarchic forces who keep the people down while they become richer and fatter by the day. A friend stands by his friends.

Today, it is easy to speak about terrorism but the ones who have committed the greatest act of international terrorism in recent history – Bush and his regime – remain free. It is easy to beat the smaller and defenceless man but it is not fair. It remains to be seen whether the Brazilian authorities opt for justice or whether they bend before the first step taken by foreign powers to dominate Brazil and its resources.

Being the father of a Brazilian child, Oliverio Medina belongs with his family at home, in Brazil, where he resides legally, never having committed any act against the Brazilian state or any of its citizens.Today the Brazilian authorities are under the microscope.

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