Repair victims with motorcycles

Almost
every day there are announcements on the Colombian radio about goods
which are returned by the paramilitaries to their victims. The
paramilitaries have killed thousands of people and robbed several
millions of hectares of the best lands of the country.

Now they supposedly
have demobilized and are going to tell the truth about their crimes
in order to get less severe punishments. They are also supposed to
give back everything they robbed.

And
what are these butchers offering? Motorcycles. Almost always
motorcycles. Now and then they offer a farm with about 40 hectares of
land. That is the most generous offer I heard. And the motorcycles? I
don’t know if I could stand the sight of them. Imagine what
they look like. I wonder if the owners go to the authorities to claim
them. Must be a sad sight to see your motorcycle back after 5, 6, 7,
…10 years and know that your brother, sister uncle or father
who were butchered never will come back.

At
the same time the Colombian press publishes more and more reports
about the massacres which were committed by the paramilitaries. I
remember one in the weekly Semana, which was published a few weeks
ago, about the killings in El Salado, in the Caribbean part of
Colombia. More than 60 people were killed, mainly because they just
had the back luck to walk into the paramilitaries by accident, who
had arrived there to do their filthy work.

One
girl, Nayibis (16), was taken out of her house because the
paramilitaries thought she was the girlfriend of a guerrillero. A
paramilitary called The Cock took her by her long hair and pulled her
through the village. She was tied to a tree on the village square and
while the villagers had to look, a paramilitary cut her throat. I
don’t know if her parents and brothers and sisters are still
alive, but would they be interested in a motorcycle?

Until now the
paramilitaries have confessed very few crimes and their victims are
very afraid to come out and accuse them. Quite a lot of people have
been killed already because of that.

The highest
commanders have been extradited to the United States because of the
trafficking of cocaine to that country. It is expected that they will
have to be in jail for a couple of years. After that they are given
another identity and their families will get protection from the
American government. And their crimes in Colombia and everything they
robbed? Who cares?

Author Wies Ubags is a
Dutch freelance journalist in Bogotá and works for media in
her country.

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