Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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Chile And Colombia To Move Money Out Of Militaries


While
the proposal for a global ceasefire during a disease
pandemic has done the opposite of catching on, there are a
few small signs of sanity and even of successful activism.
While most big military spenders (including the
super-mega-biggest one) have increased or kept their
spending steady, the SIPRI numbers
show a serious reduction from 2019 to 2020 in military
spending by Brazil, and reductions as well by China, Russia,
Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey (the only NATO member
stepping out of line on this), Singapore, Pakistan, Algeria,
Indonesia, Colombia, Kuwait, and Chile.

Chile is reducing
its military spending by 4.9% in order to better address the
health crisis. I did say “small,” but small percentages
tend to be significant amounts of money when you’re
talking about military spending.

I was put onto this
topic by Angelo
Cardona
, a member of World BEYOND War’s Advisory
Board, who told me about Chile and about what he has been
doing to reduce military spending in NATO
partner Colombia
. In 2020, Cardona said, he led the
Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS) in Colombia. As
part of that effort, he proposed along with 28 Colombian
Congress Members to transfer 1 billion Colombian pesos from
militarism to the health sector. The Colombian Ministry of
“Defense” agreed to do 10% of that, moving
100 million pesos (or $25 million). This action, Cardona
reports, inspired Chilean Members of Parliament to do the
same.

On April 26, 2021, Cardona again proposed moving
1 billion pesos from military to health in Colombia, and
specifically proposed that Colombia refrain from purchasing
24 warplanes from Lockheed Martin at a cost of 14 billion
Colombian pesos ($4.5 billion). “This time,” he reports,
“my request was supported by 33 Congressmen of
Colombia.” Here
is the letter they sent to the President of Colombia
(PDF)
. There was a great deal of media coverage (in
Spanish): one,
two,
three,
four.

On
May 4, 2021, amid protests in Colombia, Cardona was
contacted by the President’s office and told that they
would comply with his request not to purchase the 24
warplanes. This excellent news should encourage everyone trying
to prevent Canada
from buying 88 of the monstrosities.
The new Minister of Finance, José Manuel Restrepo, made
the announcement
publicly.

Not only is this news
that should be celebrated and used as a model for elsewhere,
but people are already seeking to honor those involved.
Parliamentarians in Chile and Colombia have nominated Angelo
Cardona for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Activism continues in
Colombia and Chile. Militarized police in Colombia have been
attacking protesters of a plan to shift the tax burden onto
working people. The military and police, until they are
abolished, will remain an obvious place to find necessary
resources.

David Swanson is an author, activist,
journalist, and radio host. He is executive director of
WorldBeyondWar.org
and campaign coordinator for
RootsAction.org.
Swanson’s books include
War
Is A Lie
. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org
and
WarIsACrime.org.
He hosts
Talk
Nation Radio
. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018,
2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. This article was
originally
published
here
.

© Scoop Media

 



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