More than a thousand people on Friday converged at the Mendiola Peace Arch in Manila following on from the tragic events at Kidapawan in the island of Mindanao on 1st of April, when two people were killed during a peaceful protest by farmers requesting government support following severe drought in the region.
Suffering the brunt of the ongoing El Niño, just over a week ago, some 6 thousand farmers assembled along a national highway in Kidapawan to demand 15,000 sacks of rice and financial subsidies promised to them six months earlier by the provincial government. In response, government officials offered a meager 3 kilos of rice for each farmer to last them for 3 months.
The protesters held their ground despite the threat of forcible dispersal from security forces. The three-day stand-off was broken on April 1 when forces of the Philippine National Police fired at the farmers leaving two farmers dead, hundreds injured and at least 70 arrested and detained.
American rule was not uncontested. The Philippine Revolution had begun in August 1896 against Spain, and after the defeat of Spain in the Battle of Manila Bay began again in earnest, culminating in the Philippine Declaration of Independence and the establishment of the First Philippine Republic. The Philippine–American War ensued, with extensive damage and death, and ultimately resulting in the defeat of the Philippine Republic.
Guatemala’s four decades of civil war, which crested in the 1980s with the wholesale massacre of highland Mayas, began with the CIA’s overthrow in 1954 of Jacobo Árbenz, a democratically elected socialist. Though his relatively modest goals for Guatemala included land reform and wider education, U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower deemed Árbenz too communist for comfort, and the Dulles brothers of United Fruit easily dispatched the CIA to overthrow Árbenz.
You might have expected this kind of militarized approach to the ‘drug war’ a generation ago — if it’s a scandal that U.S. policymakers are only now reconsidering the harsh incarceration regime of non-violent drug users, it’s a national shame that U.S. military assets are still being deployed to perpetuate a cycle of violence throughout Latin America that clearly hasn’t eradicated the illegal drug trade. The target of U.S. helicopters has moved from Bolivia and Perú to Colombia to México and, now, to Central America with cruel and brutal results.
Despite this the government has shown no urgency to respond to the imminent concern of the farmers. The farmers are now suffering from intense hunger and an immediate solution is necessary in the form of food aid. Unfortunately as a consequence of the local government’s ineptitude, these farmers were instead dealt violence rather than the support they so desperately need.
State terror and violence, as a response to disasters, is a reflection of the government’s criminal negligence towards the farmers. Violence is used to silence protest.
Study the history of the United States itself and one sees a consistency... and that's the truth !!!