Saturday, 21 May 2011

Álvaro Uribe Velez in London

Photo: RATB, 21 May 2011 anti-Uribe picket, London, UK.

Source: Polo Democratico Alternativo, 20 May 2011.


On Saturday 21 May, former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Velez, will be in London at the invitation of the London Business School .

The presence of the former Colombian president in cities across the United States and Europe has been strongly denounced by protestors who reject attempts to impose an academic label on a man who does not merit it and who’s name, and that of his family, are so closely linked to criminal activities in Colombia . This is not only an insult to the intelligence; it is an affront to the peoples’ dignity.

The existence of direct links between the former president, and many members of this family, with the Colombian narco-paramilitary organisations is an open secret. His cousin and political mentor Mario Uribe has been sentenced to prison by Colombian justice system for involvement with paramilitary activities. His brother Santiago Uribe is being investigated for the same crimes while hundreds of Congressional representatives from his party are in prison or under investigation for drug-trafficking and for assisting paramilitary organisations. Recently many high ranking members of his government have been sent to prison on charges of corruption. Some media have even declared that no more Uribista politicians will fit in Colombian goals, which are full of his followers.

Uribe was the broker in a perverse political strategy which, during his eight years in government, resulted in thousands of forced disappearances, thousands of torture victims, hundreds of massacres, thousands of political murders (including hundreds of trade unionists), millions forcefully displaced, thousands exiled and disgraceful impunity for all of these crimes.

Uribe was behind huge corruption scandals that have involved his officials and even his own sons. During his terms he imposed open and illegal repression, institutionalising the most abhorrent crime, including the so-called ‘false positives’ (extrajudicial killings of civilians attributed to the Colombian Army); he violated the principles of international law by ordering military incursions, bombings and kidnappings in neighbouring countries. He was the only Latin American president who gave complete support to the US/British invasion of Iraq . During his term as president, and even now that he has stood down, his criticisms of dozens of human rights defenders has led them to receive death threats signed by paramilitary groups called 'Black Eagles'.

In economic terms, Uribe left the country with 68% of the population living in poverty or destitution (indigence). More than 8 million people live in indigence and 20 million live in poverty. Acute malnutrition kills 20,000 children under the age of 5 years old every year. Today Colombia has the 11th highest social inequality in the world, and is more unequal than any other country in the Americas . It has the second highest number of displaced people in the world.

'We reject the attempts to turn Uribe into a respectable academic figure. This will not wipe clean his blood stained record. Join us to tell the London Business School not to give a platform to the perpetrators of state terror'.

Join us to make sure that Uribe knows he is not welcome in London!!

Photo: RATB, 21 May 2011 anti-Uribe picket, London, UK.

The first picket is from 4pm to 7pm on Saturday 21 May at the Latin American Business Forum at the RCOG, 27 Sussex Place, Regent's Park, London NW1, nearest tube: Baker Street.

The second picket is from 5pm to 8pm, Monday 23 May at the LSE Campus, Houghton Street, London WC2. Nearest tubes: Covent Garden, Holborn, Temple

Convened by: Polo Democratico Alternativo.
Supported by: ASLADOPEA, Todas las Voces Todas, Movimiento 22, Rock Around the Blockade (RATB), Movimiento Ecuador en el Reino Unido (MERU).