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War Drive

Stop the bombing in Caguan! No to Plan Colombia!

Declaration of the Fourth International

Monday 15 April 2002

1) At last, and just as the United States had been demanding, the reactionary and neo-liberal government of Andres Pastrana has opted for all-out war. Beginning at dawn on Friday 21 February, it began to attack the demilitarised zone which had been under the control of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People’s Army (FARC-EP).

As a result, it has put a stop to any kind of peace process.

2) This bellicose offensive entitled Operation Tanatos includes the use of OV-10 aircraft, DC-34 stealth planes, Kafir, and Black Hawk helicopter gunships. More than 13 thousand soldiers are on the move on the ground, including the infantry battalion from Granada (in Meta Department) and troops from the Ninth, Twelfth and Thirteenth Brigades.

All these forces of the Colombian Army and Air Force are "advised" by North American military personnel as part of the Plan Colombia counter-insurgency strategy.

3) This new phase of the war aims to destroy not only the FARC-EP but the whole of Colombia’s insurgent and popular movement. The bombing in Caguan is accompanied by an intensification of the dirty war against social activists and militants, and by a campaign of intimidation against the civilian population.

This war against the Colombian people is carried out by the army, the paramilitaries, the US Drug Enforcement Agency and high-ranking US officers.

4) Armed and financed by Washington, this offensive is part of wider strategy in Latin America. It’s a strategy that includes speeding up the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) as a project for domination, direct intervention to destabilise the "radical triangle" (Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela) and the use of a ferocious counter-insurgency campaign against the struggles of the popular movement and the left.

It is also part of the deepening process of economic recolonisation, via payments on the foreign debt and the adjustment programmes imposed by the IMF and the World Bank. This imperialist offensive is intended to provide "armour-plating" against the crisis of political leadership within the local ruling elites.

At the same time it is capital’s brutal attempt at "dissuasion", faced with the growth of social resistance and revolutionary struggles which, like that in Argentina, have both exploded the myth of neo-liberal invulnerability, and opened the way to a process of radical and democratic self-organisation by the working and popular classes.

5) The Fourth International condemns the bombing in Caguan, repeats its opposition to US imperialism’s Plan Colombia, and expresses its solidarity with the struggle of Colombia’s armed insurgents, its workers, peasants, students and slum-dwellers. We join in the international campaign of democratic, progressive, anti-imperialist and revolutionary forces which demand a halt to the war and full respect for human, social and political rights.

February 21, 2002