The map of contempt for life in Colombia is extensive. The National Police figures show 3,090 intentional homicides in the first three months of 2023, mostly perpetrated by the more than 90 criminal groups that operate in the country, dedicated to different illegal activities, but all linked by drug trafficking.
Some examples of this macabre distribution: In Segovia and Yarumal, Antioquia; in San Pablo, Bolívar and in Chinú, Córdoba, 9 murders per municipality were committed, the same as in Codazzi, Cesar.
In Andes, Antioquia there were 10; 12 in Ciénaga, Magdalena and in Ciudad Bolívar, Antioquia; 13 in Corinto, Cauca; 14 in Montenegro, Quindío and in Tumaco, Nariño; 15 in the Banana Zone, Magdalena; 17 in Patía, Cauca; 22 in Jamundí, Valle, and 23 in Santander de Quilichao, Cauca. Arauca, with an area somewhat larger than that of Cesar, but with only 7 municipalities, against 25 for Cesar, had 52 homicides in the quarter, 16 of them in Saravena.
Why this count? Because I feel the duty to respond to the biases in the recent column by Alfredo Molano Jimeno in The viewer“The paramilitaries returned to Codazzi”, making the caveat that I have a cattle farm in that municipality, which, by the way, with effort I have turned into an example of what cattle farming can do for the restoration of nature, without ceasing to exist or be productive.
In principle, why Codazzi?, if there are municipalities with more homicides and greater violence. I do not intend to deny reality, although, in a review of the media, I could not find the 13 murders referred to in the column, nor the 15 in a local newspaper. I’ll stick with the official figures from the authorities.
Now, why the hasty conclusion about the perpetrators? A pamphlet next to a corpse, anyone puts it up and, therefore, what is “presumed” cannot be assumed to be true, when the authorities state that they have nothing clear. There are indications of the expansion of the Clan del Golfo, which does not have major interests in Codazzi, since there is no coca there, although there may already be micro-trafficking violence, since its population (59,000 inhabitants in 2018), contrary to what Molano affirms, no longer fits in the Plaza de Bolívar. In fact, most of the murders occurred in squatter neighborhoods.
The great bias, however, is in the concept of paramilitarism, central to the hate narratives that have cost the country so many lives. The “para-militarism”, which actually existed, as forms of illegitimate association between self-defense groups and the military to combat the communist guerrillas, demobilized during the Uribe government, as Molano affirms, although, straight away, he comes out with that ” it’s never over It just transformed.”
To transform is to become something else; What did paramilitarism become? In drug trafficking mafias, even if the Clan del Golfo tries to wash its face with the absurd self-description of “Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia”, and some “opinion makers” insist on “distorting” it, resurrecting demons where only one remains: drug trafficking.
Molano’s writing lives up to the name of his column: “Loose Sheets” stuck with an obsolete bias and a lot of intentionality. It is no secret that, thanks to the narratives of hate, a disastrous association remained in the collective subconscious: paramilitarism – ranchers, an unfair stigma against the reality of more than 600,000 Colombians dedicated to the noble work of feeding the country.
Anyone who claims to defend it does peace a disservice, while stubbornly feeding hate narratives that have confronted Colombians for decades.