Death squads in the Philippines
Published Jun 18, 2006 11:57 PM
It seems that the Colombian regime of Alvaro Uribe is not the only
client of U.S. imperialism that uses paramilitary death squads against popular
leaders, trade unionists and people’s organizations.
government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the Philippines, who in 2002 was the
first Asian leader to fully-embrace Bush’s so-called War on Terror, has
unleashed this scourge on the people of her country, at the same time that she
has re-invited U.S. troops onto the islands they were driven from in
All in all over 680 people’s leaders, all active in the
movement against intensified U.S. intervention and imperialist domination of the
Philippines, have been assassinated under the U.S.-backed Arroyo regime,
according to the human rights alliance Karapatan.
Since January over 80
critics of the Arroyo regime have been assassinated by unidentified
motorcycle-riding assai lants. All victims are members of Bagong Alyansang
Makabayan (BAYAN), or BAYAN-allied groups. BAYAN has played an integral role in
the current people’s movement for an Arroyo ouster. This rise in
death-squad attacks hits not only activists and party representatives but
priests, trade unionists, journalists, students and youth as
Washington has broad experience backing regimes that serve U.S.
imperialist interests while using official and unofficial arms of the repressive
state against people’s organizations and their leaders. Death squads aimed
at people’s movements supplemented the open warfare in Vietnam in the
1960s and 1970s, as they do in Iraq now. These same
tactics were used
heavily in Central America in the 1980s.
It is easy to see that Washington
and its clients in Manila are forcing the popular movements in the Philippines
to take defensive measures to protect their militants and organizers from these
government-sanctioned murders, carried out by death squads connected to the army
No popular movement in the world, especially no
anti-imperialist movement in the United States, can remain indifferent to
death-squad killings of popular leaders. The anti-imperialist movement in the
United States has a special responsibility to help expose before the working
class and people here the role of the Arroyo government and its U.S. backers in
these crimes and to support the right of the popular organizations in the
Philippines to defend themselves by whatever means they find necessary.
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