Message to the political prisoners.

Camilo Torres

The Colombian people must understand that the minority that today has the power, is not going to deliver it without defending it. It is necessary to remember how painful was the struggle against past century Spaniards and how many penalties had suffered revolutionaries of that era. It can be said that a good thermometer to know if a person or an organization is revolutionary, consists of realize account whether if the oligarchy persecutes it or not. The more revolutionary, more persecution against it. As foreigners as well as the oligarchy know to distinguish very well who wants indeed to snatch them power for give it to the people, and who only seeks personal or other type advantages .

The oligarchy knows thus which are its real enemies, and those are the ones who persecutes with more rage. Therefore Nariņo, for instance, who fought with weapons in the hand and who was not seeking only advantages for the rich natives but for the largest part of the people, had to pass so many years in jail, not only combatted by Spaniards, but also by lots of "illustrious" who belonged then to the oligarchy, from which descend nowadays "illustrious".

Therefore the oligarchy is going to persecute us each day with more ferocity. When it realizes that we are really decided to arrive to the same consequences in the power's for the people takeover struggle, that minority that has not vacillated in launching the country to the violence, in selling the sovereignty abroad, into converting our soldiers in an occupant army of their own fatherland, that minority to which has not quivered the hand to order the murder of popular leaders, is going to launch against the People's United Front and against all popular organizations the weight of its repressive machinery.

That should not surprise us, neither should frighten us. The oligarchy has a double moral, that uses, for example, to condemn the revolutionary violence while it murderess and incarcerates the advocates and representative of the popular class. It's the same double moral that they United States have, that while they speak about peace, they're bombing Vietnam and disembarking in Santo Domingo. Therefore they are understood so well. But with us we know that they aren't going to jail all the people, neither the armed and organized peasants are not going to let be thrown to the sea, don't frighten ourselves by the repression that they accomplish against us.

I have already said that it's a duty of the revolutionaries not permit to be murdered. If they persecute them in the cities, we'll go to the fields, in which we'll be in equality conditions with those sent by the oligarchy. Unfortunately, not all the revolutionaries can neither they should take that extreme measure, and most of them will be captured by the oligarchy's government and maybe, as every tyrannical government does, torture them. But the jailed revolutionary, doesn't stop being by that reason a valuable element in the revolutionary struggle.

From jail, the revolutionary shall give example of value and decision to the people, of sacrifice spirit and loyalty to the revolution. His time there should be used in study, in a better training in order to understand the revolutionary ideals justice, warming even more for the day in which he recovers freedom. Furthermore, the political prisoner must demonstrate to the custodians and to the others prisoners that there is a deep difference between him and a common criminal. The revolutionary must demand with his conduct that his jailers shall give him a deal according with his fighter for the people condition. There is anything else more demoralizer for the enemy than our own value, than our own entirety. Before feeling shame for being prisoner, the revolutionary must feel proud about the dread with which the oligarchy sees it, it must feel proud "to suffer persecutions by the justice".

On the other hand, the popular class must see in the revolutionary prisoner another stimulus to fight against the oligarchy. It must see in him a forefront soldier who deserves all the appreciation and all the support. It must give him, consequently, all its solidarity, through requirements so that he will be returned the freedom and with concrete acts such as to deliver them information, food, money, beclothes, books, etc. However, the greater help that the popular organizations and the revolutionaries in particular, can give to a prisoner, the most his struggle increases. It is necessary that our companion private deprived of his freedom knows that while he is behind the bars, thousands and thousands of men and women fight to accomplishe the revolution, fight for returning him his freedom. The best way to avoid that there are peopole prisoners, is that the people take the power.

No matter, then, that the oligarchy wants to frighten the revolutionaries and delivers the judicial power to the soldiers to wash its hands and to compel the army to sin again before the eyes of the people, condemning the revolutionaries in verbal war advices. Perhaps the own military realize someday about the hypocrisy and the pharisaical conduct of our 24 millionaire families and the unscrupulous politicians that serve them as spokesmen. For our part, nothing will make us to waive of our struggle organizing the people and going close to it until the taking of power, whatever the cost. And we say it because we know that it is a decision of the majorities, without whose support and active participation, neither jail, nor the struggle penalties would have sense neither hope.

Published in the weekly "Frente Unido", November 18, 1965.


Most recent revision: March 27, 2002