By Nicolás Rodríguez, EL ESPECTADOR, March 26, 2021

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

The Duque administration’s security strategy, mostly understood as an anti-narcotic strategy, leads to an unjustified increase in the militarization of the country.

Security continues to be understood as an area that only the military is able to handle. Any reading of the life experiences of the Colombians that live in the least secure areas, including the frontiers, is translated into military language. The resulting solutions are both violent and myopic.

Security policy is based on political assumptions unsupported by evidence. In the words of the Minister of Defense: “The government’s priority is the reduction of hectares of illegal crops,” and then, “Colombians have to understand that that is the greatest threat.”

The militarization of daily life is the answer then; that’s to say, the militarization of the day-to-day existence of the people who plant coca. The coca-growing families are turned into, and spoken of, as drug traffickers. And for the drug traffickers, as we know, as far as the military is concerned, anything goes. They use the metaphors of hunting and annihilation.

The fallacious argument that drug trafficking is behind everything that goes wrong is fed permanently with suppositions that are equally false. In the reasoning of the Defense Minister (the current Minister and the prior Ministers under Duque) “the more hectares, the more collective homicides.”

So those who are massacred are to blame for the massacres.

There is no interest in going back to Point 4 of the Final Agreement signed in Havana. It’s entitled “Solving the problem of the illegal drugs.” Instead of the language suggested by human rights, the drug trafficking threat comes first.

Because of that, more soldiers are necessary. The insistence on drug trafficking is not just semantic. At the beginning of the year we heard Duque screaming that, “the fight against drug trafficking is a moral necessity.” That same day, his administration introduced the Unified Command against Drug Trafficking and Transnational Threats (Conat).

Another creation, an enormous one that guarantees that the process of militarization will continue its efficient operation.

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