FARC Women guerrillas write to PAJK women in prison
On December 31nd the women of Colombia guerrilla movement FARC-EP in Cuba for the peace negotiations with the Colombian government have replied to a letter sent to them by the women of PAJK in prisons in Turkey.
We publish the letter by FARC guerrillas and below it the original letter sent by the PAJK women in prison.
Dear comrades of the PAJK,
We, the guerrilla women of the FARC-EP who are here at La Habana, Cuba, to carry out the peace dialogues with the Colombian government, received your letter. You can´t imagine our emotion and joy to receive a letter from the other side of the ocean, from women who, just like us, fight for a just, free world.
We have received some very interesting talks about the general situation, about your struggle and also about the many prisoners and about your heroic hunger strike some months ago.
Colombia´s prisons are also full of political prisoners, a lot of them women. They live in unbearable conditions, without medical care, overcrowding, with sentences up to sixty years, and with a constant pressure of the Colombian government to give up the armed struggle for a new Colombia. But most of our prisoners are aware of the fact that prisons are just “another trench” of our struggle, they keep on fighting from their trenches, just like you do.
From the prisons, the guerrilla fighters continue their struggle: they have fought for the right to see their families, for the right to work and study, they fight for being recognized as political prisoners and for the right to organize themselves. Therefore, they have also done hunger strikes, they have tied themselves up against the grills and made a lot of public complaints about the mistreatment in Colombian jails. They are in constant political and ideological activity.
Right now, we are having a dialogue with the Colombian government, but we are very clear about the fact that “peace” is not disarmament. We have been fighting for over 48 years against state terrorism, supported by the US empire, and we need a peace with social justice, without neoliberalism, without state violence, without hunger and misery. We fight against a criminal elite, who just wants to give us the breadcrumbs of their banquet. We don´t need breadcrumbs; we don´t need personal benefits or privileges. We need Colombian people to have a dignified life, with education, health care, land reforms, etc. The peace talks are a glimmer of hope for Colombian people; we hope that at last the government shows his willpower to stop state terrorism and let us participate in politics without being killed or imprisoned.
The situation of the Colombian women is difficult; in latin-american society there exists a lot of oppression of women and we, as revolutionary guerrilla fighters, try to be an example for those women and for ourselves. Every day, we have to fight against a lot of prejudices and difficulties. Within the FARC, we have the same tasks and the same status as men, and there are every time more women commanders and in charge of different jobs within the movement. Lenin said:” the level of conscience of a revolutionary struggle of a nation, is to be measured in the participation of women in that struggle”. That is an important lesson.
It´s very common these days to call terrorists to any popular movement, who don´t resign themselves to the big capital. Sometimes the big media campaigns try to satanize our struggle and it is difficult to fight against. But it gives us real strength to know that there are a lot of women on this earth fighting for the same thing: for another world, without oppression, without misery. We embrace your cause, from now on you are in our hearts and in our heads, because you are our sisters of struggle for we are all willing to sacrifice our lives for humanity.
With revolutionary and Bolivarian affection,
Women of the Peace Delegation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, People´s Army.
The letter from PAJK women in prison in Turkey.
The revolutionary breeze is leading our people to freedom. Freedom is fundamental for a person or a people but will be half-true when achieved for oneself in this huge world because any people, community, class and nation standing against “civilisation” faces the same historical fate. That is why poverty, hunger, death, resistance and joy look like each other, when seen in the context of historical brotherhood and comradeship. Despite the fact that we have never seen nor touched you who live across the ocean, we know and embrace your heart, courage, resistance and struggle.
Despite five thousand year-old history of colonization, women’s struggle and universal solidarity are now much more meaningful and valuable than ever. The colonization monster feeding on the spirit of capitalism has been trying to deny and destroy all human and social values with any possible mean. We, an ancient people of Mesopotamia, have been refugees in our own territory for thousands of years. The tragedy is that the territory of Mesopotamia, which witnessed the growth and development of humanity as well as the emergence of all cultural, scientific and orthographical values, has today become a place of death instead of life. The territory of Kurdistan has not only been destroyed but also denied its language, culture and existence. The political and ideological stance of the Kurdish Liberation Movement (PKK) is not only annoying Turkey but also spoiling the political games of all ‘defenders’ of “civilisation”, the USA in particular, in the Middle East. The PKK, together with many civil society organisations, is leading the peace of Middle East people and practicing the mentality of democratic modernity against the mentality of capitalist modernity, just like you, the Latin Americans and all other societies fighting for their language, culture and class!
Apart from the victories by Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom, the most substantial revolution of the Kurdish women has been the practice of a women-oriented ideology by the Kurdish Liberation Movement. Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan is the architect of this ideology which brings Kurdish women reunited to their own existence, will and values. As it is known, our leader has been jailed on an island for the last 13 years and denied meeting with his family and lawyers for the last one and a half year. He is kept under solitary confinement. In line with the isolation imposed on our leader, the Turkish state has been intensifying its war in Kurdistan. People are trying to answer to all attacks with a guerrilla struggle on one side and with legal and democratic politic on the other side. Thousands of Kurdish politicians have been arrested in the last four years as the Turkish state has been waging a war in response to Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan’s calls for peace and proposals for a solution.
We, Kurdish women, have been jailed for fighting against the policies of denial and destruction imposed on Kurds. However, our resistance and struggle has never been defeated by the walls of prisons. Around us ten thousand prisoners have been on an indefinite-irreversible hunger strike to protest against the ban on our leader and on our language. The Oslo negotiations [between PKK representatives and Turkish secret service representatives] managed to offer a glimmer of hope for Kurds until the process was sabotaged by the supporters of war. We hope these negotiations you started in Oslo with representatives of the Colombian government would also pave the way for the peace of Colombian peoples.
Revolutionary women from FARC-EP, ELN, PAJK, PKK, EZLN, ETA, IRA, India, Egypt, Africa have carried the hopes of old goddesses and wise women in history to the present. It is giving us moral support and it’s strengthening our struggle knowing that you are standing by our side in our prison struggle. This universal solidarity will make another world possible, a free world with the colour of women.