Indigenous farmers demand justice, bosses offer repression and death
Sunday, June 2, 2019 at 10:00AM
Challenge_DesafĂ­o

COLOMBIA—For 27 days 13,000 organized peasants blocked traffic on the Pan-American highway (the region’s biggest roadway). This struggle persists despite the Colombian bosses’ racist terrorism which has killed more than 600 local workers in the last two years. Progressive Labor Party (PLP) in Colombia is organizing the only solution to this class struggle: communist revolution.
These peasants organized themselves in
indigenous rural collectives and descended from different locales and blocked the road in several points such as Cauca, Nariño, and in other towns. They were protesting and angrily demanding from the racists Ivan Duque and Alvaro Uribe (current and former Colombian presidents) an agrarian reform, resources for hospitals, schools, housing, roads, drinking water, sewerage, not spraying their crops with glyphosate and stopping the murder of social leaders and local peasants.
On March 13, the workers blocked nine miles of the Pan-American Highway and the bosses, instead of discussing their just demands, sent the ESMAD riot squads, the army and the hordes of paramilitaries that attacked the native population using tear gas and excessive force. The workers defended themselves with their only weapons: clubs and stones.
Never stopped fighting
The bosses’ forces left eight peasants dead, more than 80 injured and 30 arrested. Despite the state terrorism characteristic in Colombia in recent decades and despite the paramilitary barbarism, which has resulted in thousands of deaths, disappearances and exiles, the workers of the countryside and the city, and students have not stopped fighting. Practically all the peasants and oppressed people are proletarianized. The vast majority have no land or means of production, so they are forced to fight for higher wages and shorter work hours to save their lives.
The previous 1,300 treaties that were agreed upon during the past 30 years were totally or partially broken by different governments. This has left  3.5 million people in this area living in poverty, misery and unemployment. In addition, armed groups kill, threaten and persecute them. They are displaced from their lands, which are now dominated by companies owned by landlord mafiosos and thieving politicians. These bosses want thelands for mining, cattle raising, and to plant coca, African palm, and sugarcane.
Historical materialism teaches us to recognize the oppressive and lying nature of the Colombian bourgeoisie. We know that they will again fail to comply with what was agreed to. Alvaro Uribe rejected an agreement 10 years ago of a similar struggle, and then massacred the peasants. Thousands of indigenous workers in the public square of Caldono waited in vain to meet Ivan Duque as promised, but that never happened. The corrupt prosecutor Martinez invented the lie that indigenous groups would attack this fascist president.
In PLP, we see racism as a class problem. We understand that the capitalists use it to super- exploit and divide the workers (today the indigenous population tends to be more urban than rural in many parts of the world). Racism is a political weapon used by the bourgeoisie to obtain super profits and divide the proletariat and prevent a struggle by a united working class to defeat capitalism.
PLP’s communist and anti-racist politics offers the true answer to the indigenous question from Colombia to Mexico to Peru to Ecuador. Under communism, proletarian internationalism will create a new society where production will be according to the needs of those who produce all wealth, and where any form of racism, sexism, will be fought using workers’ power and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Article originally appeared on The Revolutionary Communist Progressive Labor Party (http://www.plp.org/).
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