The true story of Comuna 13
In this article for those who understand Spanish I leave complementary videos.
In case you don't understand Spanish, with the video you can identify who I'm talking about simply as a reference.
Its not necessary to see them.
After Pablo Escobar's death, the Colombian guerrillas were strengthened by taking control of drug trafficking.
The guerrillas (Frac and ElN) were groups of narcoterrorist that initially were formed with a "political vision" of creating a fairer country with a better distribution of land (In Colombia, 5% of the population has 95% of the land) and against the prevailing power of the oligarchy. It was a vision highly influenced by the socialism.
But this group ended up using that vision of "a better country" as mask and became a narco-terrorist group. Using a mask at the service of terror, tyranny and drug trafficking, putting the Colombian state in check in order to get the power.
Those were very difficult times when fear reigned and the businesses of these bandits encrusted the reality of Colombians, making kidnappings and extortion almost normal.
The theft of livestock, theft of land, illegal gold and emerald mining, and the narco traffic, as well as the micro-trafficking of drugs allowed them to generate millionaire income.
This money only made the situation worse by strengthening their illegal structures to such an extent that the army itself was concerned about confronting them.
And the tentacles of drug trafficking began to touch the Colombian justice with corruption.
Colombians they started to lose hope and no longer wanted to leave the cities. And the consequences were dire.
The loss of employment in rural areas was very large, since the Company owners did not want to go to their farms due to insecurity and thus stop paying for jobs, they stopped investing in livestock and productive plantations. Construction was stopped and faced with such a reality many people moved to the cities and many settled informally on the outskirts of the cities.
And in the face of an army incapable of protecting the people from terrorist groups, it was the creation of self-defense groups made up of businessmen, farmers, and people tired of seeing these injustices.
These groups were known as paramilitary groups that were unified forming a great front called AUC with its undisputed leader Carlos Castaño.
The paramilitaries coexisted with the army.
And although it seemed like a solution, later problems began to be seen with these groups who tried to do justice on their own.
It is said that villages where there were communities where guerrillas lived with a single order. Kill them all.
And when he found a thief, rapist, drug dealer or guerrilla, his rifle tried to do justice in a country without hope and clearly also without justice.
The country was in chaos ...
And Comuna 13 was a strategic place, since it was very well located for the export of cocaine and it was also the perfect place to control micro-drug trafficking in the city of Medellín.
The return of hope (Year 2002)
By 2002, in the midst of many failed attempts by the government to try to reach a peace agreement, attempts that were simply used by these narco-terrorist groups to strengthen themselves, hope was born.
Alvaro Uribe Vélez, a leader who became president and like many other Colombians had been a victim of violence. His father had been assassinated by the Frac narco-terrorist group for not paying extortion; terrorist group whom he would later defeat militarily.
Alvaro Uribe was the turning point in the history of Colombia
After his arrival in power, the results began to be seen. Not only did he end the AUC (paramilitaries) but he also regained security.
Citizens returned to leave the cities, "It seemed the release of a collective kidnapping."
Among his strategies that led to an incredible rebirth, he always spoke of the "3 little eggs", metaphor that he used to use with which he referred to taking care of 3 pillars of his government.
- Security, which went beyond protecting citizens from narco-terrorist groups (such as the FARC and the ELN).
But especially in another even more important security, democratic security.
- Investor confidence
"We see trust as a means of investment. In investment a tool for growth. And in growth the possibility of overcoming poverty and building equity"
"Let the investment come, but with labor fraternity. With solidarity with the communities. And with transparency in relations with the state"
- And social policy.
Colombia went from being a failed state to becoming a free and safe country, with democratic guarantees thanks to its restored rule of law.
At the beginning of his period as president, important military operations were carried out in Commune 13 (A topic that we dealt with in more depth in the tour)
Mariscal militar operation
Despite the victory against these armed groups, not everything was rosy.
Much criticism has been made for the way these military operations were carried out in the midst of so many civilians.
Many innocent people died and I could not stay here without mentioning the sad case of the false positives.
What were the false positives?
In some cases it is said that when some members of the army knew of someone who had committed a crime, due to the lack of evidence to prosecute them, they were killed. They try this way to show results and on the other, to receive economic benefits from the army.
And in other cases (and many by the way) these murders were against innocent people, criminal activities committed by some members of the army.
Despite these problems, the government and the military did an incredible job.
Many were the bombings they carried out, killing countless criminals. And so well was their task done that these criminals were forced to leave the country in order to survive. And go into hiding on the borders within other countries.
Fenix operation being the final thrust, military operation where the maximum leader of the Farc (Raul Reyes) was killed.
Despite all these achievements, we are still far from perfect as a country.
I firmly believe that if we are on the right track and that we cannot stop taking care of those 3 little eggs, that perhaps they will bring us again that GREAT Colombia that colombians deserve.
And on this path we have learned several things:
"Dialogues with terrorism are useless and it is utopian to think that there is the possibility of a total military victory"
Alvaro Uribe Velez