Message to the oligarchies.

Camilo Torres

Directing a message for those who don't want nor they can't hear, is a distressing duty. However, it's a historical duty, at the moment in which the Colombian oligarchy wants to peak its iniquity against the motherland and against the Colombians.

During more than 150 years, the economic caste, the few families that have nearly all the Colombian wealth, have yielded the political power in their own profit. They have used all the tricks and traps to preserve that power cheating the people.

They invented the division between liberals and conservatives. This division that people was not understanding, they served to sow the hatred between the same elements of the popular class. Those old hatreds transmited from parents to children have served solely to the oligarchy. While the poors fight, the rich govern in their own profit. The people was not understanding the policy of the rich, but all the anger it was feeling by not to be able to eat neither study, by feeling sick, without house, without land, and without work, all that rancor was unloaded by liberal poors against the conservator poors and the conservative poors against the liberal poors. The oligarchs, guilties of the wrong situation of the poors, were watching happy "the bulls from the barrier", earning money and ruling the country. The only thing that divided liberal oligarchs from conservative oligarchs was the problem of the budget and public posts distribution. The national budget, the public revenues, didn't satisfy the gathered liberal and conservative oligarchs. That's why they were fighting, to arrive to power; to settle the electoral accounts giving public positions to the addicted bosses and to distribute themselves the budget excluding totally those of other political partie.

The liberals have no positions during forty years and later a similar event happened to the conservatives during sixteen years. The religious and political differences had already ceased. There were no longer fights between oligarchs but by the silver of the government and by the public positions. Meanwhile, people realized that the struggle by the liberal party or by the conservative party was sinking them increasingly in the misery. The rich didn't realize that people became fed up towards them. When Jorge Eliécer Gaitán appeared waving the flag of the moral restoration of the Republic, he made it so much against the liberal oligarchy as aganist the conservative. Therefore, the two oligarchies were anti-gaitanistas. The liberal oligarchy became gaitanista after the conservative oligarchy killed Gaitán in the streets of Bogotá.

Already begun in the violence to preserve power, the oligarchy would not stop in the use of that violence. Put the liberal peasants against the conservative peasants in order to kill between them. When the aggressiveness, the hatred and the rancor of poors were overflowed in a struggle Colombia among all the needy of Colombia, the oligarchy was frightened and sponsored a military coup. The military government didn't serve either sufficiently effective to the interest of the oligarchy. Then, the chief of the liberal oligarchy, doctor Alberto Lleras Camargo, and the chief of the conservative oligarchy, doctor Laureano Gómez, said: "By be fighting by the allotment of the budget and the bureaucratic booty, we almost lose the power for oligarchy. We shall quit of fighting, making a contract, dividing us the country as who divides a property by half, between the oligarchies. The parities and the alteration let us an equitable allotment so we can encourage a new party: the party of the oligarchy". Thus was born the National Front as the first class party, as the party of the Colombian oligarchy.

People is again cheated and attend the elections to vote the plebiscite, to vote for Alberto Lleras, for the National Front. The result, naturally, was worse: now it was the united oligarchy the one which was governing against the people. By this reason, anything Colombians desired became the opposite. The National Front offered peace and the peasants continued being murdered: they were accomplished massacres of the sugar workers in Santa Bárbara. Universities were invaded and war budget was increased.

The National Front said that it would remedy the financial situation, and duplicated the external debt producing three devaluations (up until now) and with them the misery of the Colombian people by several generations. The National Front said that it would make the agrarian reform and it did not made but dictate a law that guarantees the interest of the rich against the rights of the poors.

It imposed to the country an inept candidate for the Presidency of the Republic. The National Front achieved the greater electoral abstention of our history and now, in front of its total failure, what's making the oligarchy?

It returns again to violence. Declares the state of siege. Legislates by decree. Sells the country to United States. It gathers in a luxurious hotel and decides on the next president. Solves from the salons about the entire country. They are thoroughly blind.

As a last alarm yell I want to say you:
Oligarch sirs, the people don't believe you nothing anymore. The people don't want to vote for you. People are completely despaired. People don't want to go to the elections you organize. People don't want to Carlos neither Alberto Lleras nor none of you. People are suffering and ar ready for everything. People know that you are also ready for everything. Therefore I request you to be realistic and if you want to cheat the people with your new political settlements, don't you believe that people are going to trust you. You know that the struggle will go until the last consequences. The experience has been so bitter, that people is already to stake everything. Unfortunately the isolated oligarchs, blind and proud, do not seem to realize that the Colombian popular masses revolution won't stop now but until achieving the conquest of the power for the people"

Published in the weekly "Frente Unido", December 8th, 1965, p1.
"The message to the oligarchies" and those directed to "The political prisoners" and "To the United Front of the People", they were certainly not written by Camilo. It seems that he only gave the ideas. They were drafted by some of his collaboratives. Hence the difference of style is discovered at first sight. At all events, he did not deny them, in spite of the fact that they appeared with his signature.


Most recent revision: March 27th, 2002.