Carlos Gomez calls for war tax resistance in Colombia (excerpt, in my translation):
I declare tax civil disobedience. I refuse to give a single peso from my wallet to fund the war, with which they pay rewards for “false positives” [the euphemism used by the Colombian military when they inflate their body counts by killing civilian non-combatants]. In my case, the Democratic Security Policy has not benefited me one bit: they say that now we can travel peacefully on the highways to our estates and summering spots: I don’t have an estate, nor a vehicle, much less money to pay for a hotel in La Heroica; they say that peace returned to the country and that foreign investment increased in Colombia, but if this is true, why is unemployment still rising?; if the country is cruising along so well, then why are we in second place behind Sudan with the largest number of displaced refugees? When will we question the supposed benefits of a policy that hasn’t done anything other than to urbanize the violence in Colombia?
Only three years in, the country told him no about Caguán because at that time the guerrillas had no intentions of negotiating (as their acts proved)… and we took seven years and went for twelve with the same governmental conclusions without which nothing will change. Is it not perhaps also time to question said militarist proposal?
Recently the U.S. cut $33 million of aid from Plan Colombia, England has made its contributions conditional on human rights issues, the European Greens urge their countries to reconsider economic aid… the entire world begins to be skeptical about the merits of a war policy that only benefits the ruling class of this impoverished nation… that must be the reason for the tax proposal justly from the mouth of Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo that has stopped adding on more zeroes with the pyramid scheme called Grupo Aval. It goes to show that the presidents of this corner of South America chose corporations instead of the people — what to say of the enormous contributions that the sugar plantations (now in the market for ethanol fuel) made in the reelection referendum?
I propose, in view of the thousands and millions of unconditional Uribe-ists who are sure they have benefited from this security policy, that they can pay the tax. Or that the children of Uribe cede part of their earnings from the shadowy market in the Free Economic Zone in Bogota in order to finance the war that stirs the immeasurable malevolence of their father. Or what of the business tax exemptions which are intended to stimulate investment, and that represent 5.7 billion pesos of our national treasury, equivalent to 1.2% of the GDP… invest them in the expenses of the war from which they enrich themselves. It is said that this tax will be temporary, however “analysts note that in the country all temporary taxes become permanent, those that cost to rescind, and if it makes itself more extensive this tax without an expiration date will remain for life, with the four-per-thousand happening now ultimately becoming a necessity for the Executive that cannot find another way to substitute for those resources.”
I declare tax resistance, if necessary right away tomorrow I will cancel my bank account that bleeds me… tomorrow is now. To me, the Democratic Security Policy has been of no benefit… how has it been to you? Are you willing to put up with more deprivation at home in order to finance an endless war? Maybe you are, but not me.