During the last congressional and presidential elections in Colombia, mainstream media and international witnesses reported a smoothly running democratic contest, some kind of genuine "carnival of democracy". For a foreign spectator, this fact would prove the existence of a real democratic regime in this South American country. But below the surface, a grim reality emerges.
The Agrarian and Popular National Strike in Colombia counted on an unexpected ally. In the main cities of the country, groups of young football supporters, the barristas, displayed enormous flags of solidarity with the strike, and joined on a massive scale the marches and cacerolazos, accompanied by members of trade unions, students and social movements, always singing canticles and yelling slogans of rebellion.
On the 19th of August started the Agrarian and Popular National Strike in Colombia and now, almost two weeks afterwards, it continues growing every day, bringing together the multiple struggles of people.
What is a Peasant Reserve Zone?
For 54 days an enormous mobilization of peasants of the North Western Colombia kept blocked the highways of the important region of Catatumbo, near to the Venezuelan border. Catatumbo, which means "land of the lightning" in the barú native language, is a key territory for geostrategic natural resources like oil, coltan and coal, a coveted land by transnational capital and the scenario for a new chapter of the history of class struggle in Colombia.
The validity of the social struggles in Colombia
Paraphrasing Karl Marx, a spectre is haunting Colombia - the spectre of the FARC-EP. Every civic manifestation, every people's march, every little strike is -according to the government- "infiltrated by the FARC-EP".