We are documenting her a statement issued by the National Liberation Army (ELN) of Colombia:

The anti-drugs policies of the United States and Colombian government are failing because they have been unable to present anything new to the world other than fumigation with glyphosate and forced eradication.   

Such solutions are lacking in common sense because an economic, social, environmental and cultural phenomenon can be overcome only through policy initiatives of the same kind: economic, social and cultural, not through police measures and zero attention to the real situation of farmers and their communities or the millions of addicts. 

The US State Department and Attorney-General’s Office are again mistaken in trying to tell the world that they have captured 3 people accused of drug-trafficking who are allegedly members of the Colombian Ejército de Liberación Nacional [National Liberation Army] (ELN); they will have to come to terms with their own deceit and then admit that none of them have any links with the ELN, because that is the truth.

The ones who have to explain to the world the nature of their links with drug trafficking are the US authorities themselves and their servile Colombian bourgeoisie; throughout their history, the US authorities have financed wars against peoples, making use of that unholy business, as is demonstrated by the Iran-Contra scandal in the 80s of the last century, when they authorised intelligence officers (CIA) to carry out military operations with the Nicaraguan Contras, financing them with money from drug-trafficking; they also gave the Colombian paramilitaries of the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia [United Self-Defences of Colombia] (AUC) licence to do whatever they pleased in the 90s of the last century in order to finance themselves from drug-trafficking and combat the guerrilla forces.

Aren’t maybe the biggest drug-traffickers the DEA with their famous “controlled shipments”, where covert agents instigate deals in order then to be present at the drug shipments, imprisoning or negotiating with those involved in the deal. Since when is it legal for a police institution to incite crime and then judge and sentence the offenders while the inciter benefits doubly?

In Colombia, because of the policy direction taken by the State, drug trafficking has become the main economic activity, as Colombia is the world’s leading exporter of cocaine, merging the main national economic groups with transnational capital, and has financed the irregular armies of paramilitarism in order to promote “the anti-subversive war” and State terrorism, perpetuating the genocide of the last four decades, producing a symbiosis of oligarchic interests where drug trafficking has been legalised in all the State’s institutions and creating a narco-republic

It must also be clarified how the campaign resulting in the election of President Iván Duque was financed, because the question is still open and those who supplied that narco-capital have been providing evidence of this.

National and international opinion needs to ask who is allowing the cocaine to leave Colombia through airports, roads, rivers and seas; a number of investigations have shown that , first of all, someone has to write a cheque for hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars so that the shipments can leave the country, and that cheque is not signed by private individuals but by the police, the security forces and the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The ELN has nothing to do with drug-trafficking nor with any part of the supply chain: we do not have crops, laboratories, kitchens, runways or routes and do not export cocaine; nor do we have any involvement in chemical precursor businesses.

This is the policy as democratically defined at all the ELN National Congresses throughout its history; there is nothing to compromise us, because we do not or will not do any of the things of which we are accused.

The only thing that is authorised is the collection of tax from purchasers, because they are the ones who benefit from the transactions in a commercial activity which they pursue in the territories where our guerrilla forces exercise territorial control; we also collect taxes from the various economic activities, as States do to finance themselves.  

Fumigation with glyphosate and the forced eradication of illicit crops only cause environmental and social disasters, which have blighted people’s lives for decades.

In view of the responsibility placed on us, we propose:

1. To bring about a national and international debate to examine whether what the ELN is doing is different from what we have stated here.

2. The formation of an International Commission to verify on the ground whether the ELN has any crops, laboratories, infrastructure or routes used for drug trafficking or whether it has any businesses involving chemical precursors used in the production of cocaine.

3. To invite the UN Security Council and an emissary of the Secretary-General to participate in that debate and in the Verification Commission.

4. To agree a temporary bilateral ceasefire with the national government as urged by the UN Secretary-General, Pope Francis and the UN Security Council,  in order to best realise the humanitarian work required to combat Covid-19; the ceasefire would also enable the conditions to be created in order to conduct the said debate, as well as the conditions for the work of and the guarantees required by the International Commission that we are proposing.

5. To readopt the proposals put forward on various occasions by the ELN in order to arrive at an Agreement which overcomes the phenomenon of drug trafficking and to which the international community, the regional communities suffering from that scourge and the various sectors of Colombian society are party.

The ELN has been clear in proposing that:

* Only the legalisation of psychoactive substances will put an end to the extraordinary profits from drug trafficking and its raison d’être.

* A  shared responsibility pact is needed between drug-producing and drug-consuming countries.

* Drug addicts are sick people who ought to be cared for by States and not prosecuted as criminals.  

* Farmers working in illicit crop cultivation must have alternative plans for food production or production of industrial raw materials financed by States, so that they can make a living without resorting to illicit crop cultivation.

* In addition to prosecuting the cartels in the drug-producing countries, the distribution cartels in the consuming industrialised countries must also be prosecuted, as well as the chemical precursor cartels and cartels laundering drug money within the international financial system and in tax havens.

Our hearts have never been nor will be on the side of drug traffickers, because we operate on an ethical basis and on the basis of respect for humanity.

[Cordial salutation]

Central Command

Ejército de Liberación Nacional [National Liberation Army]

Colombia… for the workers!

Not one step back… Liberation or Death!

9 October 2020


ELN Voces