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Colombia: Who mourns the CTI agent in Cali?

Gearóid Ó Loingsigh

28 May 2021

Protestor holds aloft a photo of a disappeared person (G.O.L.)

Today, when the strike in Colombia reaches its first month, an agent from the Technical Investigation Bureau of the Prosecutor's Office (CTI) died in Cali, in the midst of the protests.  It is turn of phrase, he didn't just die.  The man pulled out his gun and killed two people and enraged the people in turn killed him, i.e. two demonstrators were murdered by a state functionary and that functionary and he died as he lived.

The video of the first of his victims is circulating around social networks, but as soon as it was known that he was also dead, the "opposition" politicians came out to lament his death.  María Antonia Pardo, a recent addition to Petro's communications team said on Twitter that "Neither murders by state functionaries nor lynchings by citizens.  Where will this get us?  Life above all."  Not content with that sentence, she put another one "All life is sacred: the police officer, the soldier, the mother on the Front Line, the young demonstrator, the vandal (who should be captured, not executed).  Lets agree on this: lets all condemn all acts of violence wherever they come from."

Inti Asprilla of The Greens (who paradoxically are not ecologists) said that "A functionary from the Prosecutor's Office in Cali followed the expression lead is what we should give those vandals, killing two demonstrators, lynching and murdering him afterwards was as criminal as his own acts.  Such pain."

At the same time Asprilla and Petro's office circulated videos where people out of uniform can be seen firing on civilians.  The CTI agent was off duty, he was in plain clothes but armed and he murdered two people.  I would ask Petro and Asprilla, what did you want the people to do?  Maybe they should have waited for another failed no confidence motion in Congress.  The CTI agent acted just barely a day after the Senate, in the words of the same Congressmen from the Polo and Colombia Humana, had endorsed murder, rape and torture.  Or maybe you wanted them to appeal to the unformed police, the same ones who can be seen in the same videos you circulate, calmly looking on whilst other officers or non uniformed paramilitaries shoot at demonstrators.  No sir, what was done in Cali may be a crime in Colombian law, but it is not morally reprehensible.  As you, yourselves, have denounced the Prosecutor's Office is not investigating the 60 murders, so far, the torture, nor the rapes and less still the disappeared and Congress couldn't care less if demonstrators are killed and there is a greater chance of the police killing anyone who reports it than arresting that CTI agent.

First Line Mother's Defence Squad in Bogotá (G.O.L)

Why was he armed?  What was he going to do with his weapon?  If he hadn't been killed, would we have seen him shooting civilians in another video that you would circulate on social networks.  That is why I don't mourn him.  Also because the violence of the oppressed may be the same in a technical sense as state violence in a technical sense, bullet for bullet, but they can never be placed on the same moral plane.  It is a false equivalence.  That is also why I don't mourn him.

And lastly, I don't mourn him because I have had no time to dry my tears for those who fell under the fire of undercover state agents like him, uniformed agents and paramilitaries.  I have cried a river of tears for OUR dead, and I haven't a drop left to fill a stream for another state murderer.  I don't mourn him and I never will mourn people like him.

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