Jesús Santrich: ‘We are not waiting for them to continue killing us’

Open letter from Jesús Santrich: “We are not in a warlike posture, but neither are we in the posture of resignation”

To those who believed and continue to believe in my innocence; especially to those people who gave me their trust, support and solidarity, go my greetings of eternal gratitude, with the reiteration of my commitment to continue fighting for peace with social justice until my last breath, with the oath to not bow my head to the lies, deception, perfidy and war-mongering of a ruling class that continues to subject the common people to the misery, inequality and political exclusion that derive from their petty spirit and their kneeling to the interests of the U.S. Embassy and the transnational corporations. 

Jesús Santrich

There is no one with a sense of wisdom who can hide or deny that I personally put all possible effort into the construction and drive for implementation of the Havana Accords — except for that strange arrangement on the delivery of weapons that I certainly never shared; or that this peace treaty was evidently betrayed, with non-compliance stained with the blood of innocent people who believed in reconciliation, both of ex-combatants, social leaders and common people, who now lie buried in the ground. And many other compatriots, who continue to believe and fight for a dignified country without more war, suffer judicial persecution, entrapment and the intransigence of a caste of powerful, greedy, spiteful and vindictive rulers, people who were never willing to enact the agreement; all they really wanted was the disarmament of the insurgency, to proceed not only with the political, moral and physical annihilation of the rebellion, but with the destruction of all those who they consider a danger to their privileges.

They never really wanted peace, not even Nobel Peace Laureate Juan Manuel Santos, who ordered the shooting of Alfonso Cano in total helplessness after he was captured in combat. Not to mention the paramilitary in body and soul, Álvaro Uribe Vélez, yes, a gangster and drug trafficker who helped Pablo Escobar export cocaine to the United States by authorizing the operation of airstrips as Director of Aerocivil; yes, responsible for the Aro Massacre among other atrocities; yes, the architect of the “accidental” death of his brother-in-law Pedro Juan Moreno. Or his student Iván Duque, puppet fighter, who the more inept is the more dangerous because of bungling and being manipulable (by the way, what commitments did you make with Ñeñe Hernández and with Odebrecht?). Bandits all, they and their cronies, who clothed in false moralism forged betrayal; bandits all, they and their cronies, who shout “fuck the thief!” while they have been linked to the mafias of corruption of all kinds in our country, and while abusing the power that they have within the venal institutions that protect them, or with which their imperial master has invested them, they aggravate, slander and destroy their opponents through obstinacy and deceit, when they are not wiped off the map through their dangerous media defamations or their hair-triggered minions, of whom they have many.

It is surely easy for them to accuse us of being the ones who breach the agreement and break the commitments, because we are not waiting for them to continue to murder us, to continue to abuse our dignity with their alms, to continue mocking the good faith with which we took the step to legality, or with lies to imprison us, extradite us, or keep us on the defensive, humiliated and stigmatized. No, to hell with this charade! In my case, it is true that I returned to the mountains so as not to allow myself to be extradited, as “Juampa” says. I learned that my capture was arranged for the date of my appearance before the Supreme Court on July 9; because that is part of the betrayal that pushes us to rearmament, observing that this dark institution does nothing to defend the Peace Agreement, does not know the presumption of innocence, due process, the principle of legality or any foundation of rights that they invoke so often, starting with the fact that the first thing they trample with their submission to the Yankee Department of Justice is respect for sovereignty.

I have already said this and I repeat it in an expanded version: it is more likely that more cocaine has passed through the noses of the ex-prosecutor Martínez Neira and Mr. “Juampa” Santos than through my hands. And these hypocrites know it perfectly well.

It is not easy to build reconciliation based on social justice, with figures of this kind who are free to ignore the commitments of State, because for them it is an apparatus that they have precisely shaped as an instrument of war to strengthen the prerogatives of their class and those of their masters. However, we must continue fighting, without more naivety, for a true, total peace with guarantees that prevent these gentlemen who impose the confrontation on us from getting away with it, because it is not their children who die.

Free from any kind of narrow-mindedness, our willingness to appreciate is absolute, and for that we thank those who, like Senator Gustavo Petro, Ayda Abella, Iván Cepeda and many others, have expressed themselves, calling on us to persist in dialogue and in the search for a bloodless solution to the challenges of institutional perfidy. And we do so, starting as even some of our opponents have said, from the idea that peace is fundamentally built by communities. We are not the owners of that greater purpose, nor do we pretend to be; but we are part of the social whole and we also have a duty to help achieve it. Consequently, with no intention of claiming to have a monopoly on truth and reason, we invite discussion on our recent manifestos and proposals, without trivializing or demonizing, without ridiculing or disqualifying, as do some paid and informal minions of the establishment, many of whom pose as “independent” and “democratic” when what they are is simple mercenaries of the microphone, the pen and inkwell; because, if we are really going to find judicious solutions to the political, economic and social problems that are undoubtedly worsening in the country, we must begin by generalizing respectful debates, with discussion, even if we are at odds and there is a clash of ideas.

The struggle continues! We swear to win and we will win!

NOTE: On my seat in Congress, ladies and gentlemen of the regime, “Well, there I leave your house painted”; and about the salary of the House of Representatives that the press says I have accumulated, I would be very pleased if those resources were destined for the victims of state terrorism.

Your compatriot, Jesús Santrich

As General Hermogenes Masa would say: “And still alive.”


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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