A LOCAL CAMERA CAUGHT A SOLDIER FIRING AT CIVILIANS AT CLOSE RANGE--PART OF THIS CNN REPORT
This is a report from Mario Murillo:
As the mass popular mobilization in Cauca and the rest of Colombia continues, the government of Alvaro Uribe finally addressed the five point agenda of the Popular and Indigenous Minga, a small step forward after over a week of intense military confrontations with the protesters. Yesterday, just before indigenous and peasant communities were about to begin their long march towards the city of Cali, the Minister of Agriculture, Andrés Felipe Arias, finally recognized the points in the name of the national government, albeit in a superficial and roundabout way.
This initial recognition of the five points has been superceded today, Wednesday, as the Minister of Defense, Juan Manuel Santos, continued to point out that the indigenous protesters were the violent ones who were “firing on Colombian special police forces” during last week's confrontations on the Pan American highway.
While on the one hand, the government claims it is willing to resolve this problem, arguing that it will "buy some lands" in order to keep the people quiet, they continue with their harsh accusations and unconciliatory tone, consistent with the last six years of the Uribe Administration.
So as the popular march moves forward – with people from all over the south converging on Santander de Quilichao today - bringing together indigenous and peasants with sugar cane workers and Afro-Colombian communities who will march for the next several days towards Cali, it is important to keep in mind the very important message the Popular Minga is putting forward to the entire nation.
In a sense, it’s a very detailed response to the many distortions that continue to make their way through the corporate media filters about what it actually is that the communities are calling for.