In a televised speech, Duque’s response to the allegedly orchestrated security crisis was by far his most Orwellian to date.
Surfing the wave of panic caused by the sudden outburst of terror, Duque said he would boost military and intelligence powers “to guarantee security.”
In order to guarantee security in places where tranquility is being disturbed, I have decided to strengthen the presence of the security forces and increase intelligence capabilities.
President Ivan Duque
To deal with the ongoing anti-government protests that are the biggest in more than 40 years, the president said he would begin a “National Conversation” next week.
Four hours later, Bogota Mayor Peñalosa said that the violence in the capital was part of an “orchestrated campaign to create terror” while residents of the capital were uploading videos of collusion with the police.
The president vs the people
The protests preceding the allegedly orchestrated terror campaign were historic despite the government’s stigmatization and intimidation attempts.
More than 200,000 people took to the streets on Thursday to reiterate what they had already indicated in local elections in October when the president’s far-right Democratic Center party suffered a devastating defeat.
The vast majority of Colombians are fed up with Duque, “paramilitary” former President Alvaro Uribe and the ongoing violence, corruption and mismanagement in their country.
Public opinion about Duque and the national strike
Source: Noticias Caracol / Gallup
A day after the historic protests and out of nowhere, looters, fight squads and police began sowing terror in the periphery of Bogota on Friday.
This gave Duque the perfect excuse to violently strike down peaceful protests downtown, order a curfew in the capital and further stigmatize opposition to his increasingly authoritarian government.
Those who incite hatred and destruction do not represent the Colombians who have expressed their voice, much less the silent majority of our nation.
President Ivan Duque
The president’s clothes
Duque’s tragedy has been that he believes he has a lot more power than he does and is often caught with his pants down.
Previous attempts to limit the powers of the war crimes tribunal and resume the aerial fumigation of coca have gone nowhere.
The decree granting extraordinary powers to local authorities was already challenged before the Constitutional Court and is likely to be sunk after evidence emerged on Saturday that the decree was used to execute an “orchestrated terror campaign” in both Bogota and Cali.