The Profits of Extermination
Reliant as most people are on the mainstream media for their views, Colombia seems a place beset by a maelstrom of inexplicable and barbaric violence with the criminality and corruption of the cocaine trade as a backdrop. The propaganda around so called “war on drugs” encourages a racist caricature of Colombians as a people as addicted to violence and atrocity as western consumers are to their most notorious export.
Francisco Ramirez Cuellar’s book, ‘The Profits Of Extermination’ cuts through the fog of disinformation and places the blame for Colombia’s agony firmly at the door of U S (and also European) multi – national corporations who, in a corrupt alliance with Columbia’s oligarchy and state forces, have imposed an economic model which has allowed them to literally steal Columbia’s immense natural wealth. They have also participated openly in the Colombian state’s military response to the widespread popular struggle that has arisen against the intrusion of these corporations into their communities and lives.
As Francisco points out …….A key statement
by Bill Richardson (Secretary of Energy under Bill Clinton) in Cartagena
1999, sealed the fate of millions of Colombians: “The United States
and its allies will invest millions of dollars in two areas of the Colombians
economy, in the areas of mining and energy and to secure these investments
we are tripling military aid to Colombia.”
Every conceivable atrocity and violation of human rights has occurred where U S corporations have interests, and in his book Francisco has amassed damning evidence of the symbiotic relationship between the corporations and the Colombian state forces, which, with their Para military death squad auxiliaries wage a reign of terror on the country’s social organisations.
As president of Sintraminercol the Colombian mining union Francisco like other Colombian trade union leaders, social leaders and human rights defenders faces extreme dangers in his daily work. There have been eight attempts on his life to date, and as if to confirm the validity of the accusations in his book, its publication was greeted by a car bomb outside the union headquarters in Bogotá.
You are invited to the Irish launch of
the English translation of this important book.
Francisco Ramirez Cuellar is a Colombian lawyer, unionist, and human right activist. He is a president of Sintraminercol, the Colombian mining workers union and Human Rights Secretary of Funtraenergetica, the Colombian federation of energy sector unions. The Spanish version of his book, "La gran mineriaen Colombia: la ganancias del exterminio", was published in colombia in 2004.
Aviva Chomsky is professor of Latin American History and coordinator of Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies at Salem State College in Massachusetts.
Copies of the book will be for sale at a discount on the night.
This event is organised and supported by the Latin America Solidarity Centre, Colombia Solidarity Network and Common Courage Press.