Uruguay: for a country without fear, without armed forces

In the October elections, there will be a constitutional reform bill that, with the pretext of “living without fear”, tries to strengthen the repressive mechanisms of the state and, among other issues, directly give that role to the armed forces.
The student movement has manifested against it, in an attitude that honors the greatest democratic tradition. Censoring them with the excuse of “secularity” is denying their freedom of expression and, in fact, being on the side of the most reactionary forces.
We agree with the criticism and rejection of that project of the social organizations organised in the “No to the reform” platform, who hold that:
• By strengthening a criminalizing and repressive system, the current situation will worsen, continuing on a path that has already failed.
• It is dangerous to involve the armed forces in a terrain that they are not prepared for.
• Increasing prison overcrowding will make rehabilitation and avoiding the relapse even harder.
• Security is promoted by tending towards a more fair and egalitarian society, with jobs and education, and without exclusion.
To these issues, we add that:
• It is naïve to assume that this project or similar ones aim to “fight crime”. Their real objective, using security as a screen, is to strengthen the mechanisms of social control and domination.
• It is not true that the armed forces have the purpose of “defending national sovereignty” (like those organizations´ document affirms); because it is more than proven that they are totally useless for that, and that their true enemy is the Uruguayan people against whom they imposed the dictatorship, which today continues unpunished for its crimes, illegal espionage on civil organizations and the scam against the national budget, whether in the form of corporate theft that they consider justified, the individual robberies they usually commit and the apology of the crimes committed by the leadership.
This extension of the repressive militarization is the training ground for an eventual new dictatorship, as always at the service of the ruling class. Is it even possible to ignore that the “Barneix Commando”, the only terrorist organization that emerged in the country in these times, is a paramilitary group?
• It is true that in order to at least begin lowering crime rates we must aim at a more fair and egalitarian society. And for that, for better education, to create jobs, for a humanitarian policy of rehabilitation of those who commit crimes, we need resources.
Where to get them? To begin with, from the embezzlement of these expensive armed forces, that are parasitic and useless in any hypothetical war and that will hardly fight against crime when as an institution they shelter criminals (and their methods promotes them, like the child rapists we learned about days ago in Durazno and a few years ago in Soriano).
Instead of armed forces, the state should invest in genuine jobs. And give the soldiers the chance to turn, not into repressors, but into productive workers, which is what we need to truly prevent crime.


Rumbo Socialista