(Translated by Chuck Summers, a CSN volunteer translator)
The Youth of Bosa Do Not Accept Social Cleansing or Curfews
22.214.171.124.1… Such is the painful countdown of he who that leaves the house at 4 a.m., he who packs his books and cleans his shoes the night before, she who packs hot drinks, she who quickly primps in an effort to look her best in front of her classmates, she who picks up a child in the garden, he who takes care of his grandchildren, he who opens the bakery, he who listens to loud music submersed in the effervescence of youth, he who practices a sport or uses his able hands to jam on the guitar along with his friends, he who speaks differently, he who dresses differently, your father, my mother, your brother, my sister, your children, my children; today they count their last seconds of life, their last steps through the neighborhood, the store, the park, the school, threatened with death with the anxiety of their studies and dreams.
A message has arrived in some neighborhoods of Bosa; a statement from the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia announcing a (poorly named) “social cleansing” campaign targeting prostitutes, drug dealers, street thieves and burglars, drug users, car hijackers, and kidnappers. It also imposes a curfew for all those living in the area, threatening the lives of those seen out in the street after 10:00 p.m.
Today and always, we, the youth of the area, oppose every action that threatens the life and dignity of our friends, neighbors, fathers, sons, teachers, grandparents, uncles, etc. Therefore, we must pay attention to these acts of barbarism and terrorism; we must inform people about this message so it can be discussed in homes and schools; and we must be vigilant. All so that the joy of life and the hope to live in peace, with social justice, may be the daily reality lived in our neighborhood, rather than that which the paramilitaries try to impose on us.
Youth of the Bosa Neighborhood. March 18, 2009