Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 11 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/14/21

Chile and Colombia to Move Money Out of Militaries

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
Author 9
Follow Me on Twitter     Message David Swanson
Become a Fan
  (140 fans)

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, Jose' 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.

 

Rate It | View Ratings

David Swanson Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Obama's Open Forum Opens Possibilities

Public Forum Planned on Vermont Proposal to Arrest Bush and Cheney

Feith Dares Obama to Enforce the Law

Did Bush Sr. Kill Kennedy and Frame Nixon?

Eleven Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military

Holder Asked to Prosecute Blankenship

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: