Roger Waters pens letter in support of the Colombian people

Ahead of the second round of presidential elections in Colombia, Roger Waters wrote a letter in support of the struggle of the Colombian people

June 19, 2022 by Peoples Dispatch
Photo: Kate Izor

Ahead of the second round of presidential elections in Colombia, renowned musician and activist Roger Waters wrote a letter expressing his support of the Colombian people and their struggle for justice.

To all my Comrades in Colombia.

Today is the second round of your Presidential Election. I have been following the election from afar, I was very excited after the first round when the center left candidate was leading, I even expressed my joy to sympathetic politicians in other South American countries. “Don’t get too excited” They warned, “The right wing will go to any lengths to subvert the will of the people, they will do anything to get their candidates into office, they will arrest, detain, disappear and murder to get their way” In the last weeks I have watched their dire prophecies coming true.  I must speak out.

Twelve years ago in 2010, I performed The Wall in Bogota, I remember local students were protesting a visit by the then President of The USA George W. Bush. Nothing has changed. Bush and Biden are the same beast. Biden will be supporting the extreme right in your election in using all the above undemocratic means to steal this election from the people.

Basta. All people, everywhere, should have a right to a genuine democracy with the freedom to express their desires, demands, and their dreams without fear of reprisal, or detention, or even death at the hands of a police force or military that is allied to the ruling elite. The people of Colombia are sick of not having these basic freedoms. They are sick of being locked up for speaking out! They are sick and tired of seeing their friends’ and families’ lives taken by those who think nothing of spilling the people’s blood on the altar of profit.  For years now, Colombians have raised their voices crying out for a just peace. They have been answered with riot police committing massacres and paramilitary death squads killing social leaders and human rights defenders in the dark of night. They have seen their young activists hunted down and thrown in jail.

Young activists who supported last year’s National Strike are being rounded up in a series of Police sweeps cynically called “Plan Democracy”. As of yesterday, at least 26 young people have been arrested. In the city of Cali, nine protesters are on a hunger strike demanding freedom. There is graphic evidence, photos and videos, showing gun toting thugs alongside police, attacking unarmed protesters, and even though Colombia is seeing the worst electoral violence in 12 years, none of these thugs are being arrested. Free and fair elections must not be, bathed in voters’ blood. Stories are already rife of the irregularities and fraud that plagued congressional elections earlier and the first round of the presidential vote. I fear that my friends in South America may be right and we are seeing a pre-emptive coup being carried out in plain sight against the peoples’ candidates GUSTAVO PETRO and FRANCIA MARQUEZ.

I join the Colombian people and international solidarity movements and democracy and human rights activists to demand in the name of truth and decency:

1) The immediate release of young activists detained as part of the so-called “Plan Democracy”, and an end to the ongoing raids.

2) An end to the political violence that is taking lives every day and making a mockery of these elections.

3) That the voice of the Colombian people be heard, and respected in this election, and that that voice, the Voice of the People, be allowed to usher in a new dawn that reflects the needs and wishes of all the people of Colombia not just the needs and wishes of a corrupt ruling elite.

With Love

Your Brother

Roger Waters

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