Free the political prisoners in Colombia!

Political prisoners in Colombia number approximately 7,500. They are mainly prisoners of conscience and social activists – when they are not workers, peasants, and indigenous people or students fighting for a dignified Colombia, one of peace and social justice.

Because of the September 11th, 2001 attacks in New York, the United States conceived and imposed the “Colombia Plan”, officially an integral programme of development destined to solve the internal Colombian conflict – but actually destined to wipe out all the political and social opposition in the country and, ultimately, serve the economic interests of the private sector.

Having reached power in 2002, the authoritarian Àlvaro Uribe Velez rapidly implemented his “democratic security policy”, a true war strategy counting on a network of informants numbering a million persons, private security companies, peasant-soldiers, the result of which being criminalization of critical thinking, strengthening of the penal code, massive raids in cities and the countryside, arrest and imprisonment frequently without order or evidence – or proof that is entirely fabricated – of thousands of leaders and activists who support movements for farmers’ interests as well as those of workers, students and defenders of human rights. Thus doing so, an entire parallel and repressive justice system was built, sustained in the majority of cases by false set-ups devised by the military and police secret services, supported by the judges and without jurisdiction or competence.

The imprisonment policy in Colombia deliberately looks for the destruction, disarticulation, and isolation of any social and political protest that opposes the free market and repressive government. The conditions of detention in Colombian prisons are subhuman.

The prisoners die of starvation or cold – depending on the region. The prisoners who are sick or elderly die due to the lack or insufficiency of care. Children under 3 are imprisoned with their mothers. These subhuman conditions and the regular use of torture incite peasants, native people or students to accept unjustified accusations and verdicts.

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