Now that we are all looking at Afghanistan and evaluating the actions of the Western powers in the “restitution” of democracy in the countries they first dynamite, it is good to get rid of the double standard game played by these nations.

On 15 July in the British parliament, the role of the UK and its involvement in the repression of the national strike that had been taking place in Colombia a few weeks earlier was being debated. But also, on how it was participating in the pacification process that the South American country entered into after the signing of the peace agreement between the government of Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC-EP.

Several parliamentarians called for the suspension of the country’s aid to the National Police. This aid consists of training, the sale of weapons and the financing of the Colombian repressive apparatus.

As if the reasons for the systematic violation of the human rights of social leaders, the massacres and the militarisation sustained for decades were not enough, what we saw during the repression in May and June leaves no doubt as to the intense criminality of the Colombian repressive forces, outside any international legality and with a total lack of proportionality.

Murders, rapes, kidnappings and unconscionable assaults during May were committed under the “supervision” of at least nine members of the British army. Wendy Morton, the foreign minister responsible for the Americas, had informed Parliament of this deployment in March, although for security reasons she refused to explain the exact duties of the agents.

The UK’s National Crime Agency has been training hundreds of Colombian police officers for five years in a multi-million-pound partnership program, the details of which are unclear as the agency operates in secrecy, exempt from Britain’s transparency laws.

The support extends not only to the police, but also to the Colombian Ministry of Defence and the Colombian army. Remember, we are talking about an army accused of committing thousands of clandestine executions, torture and engaged in a murderous war.

“Last year, Colombian personnel attended five military courses in the UK, including “integrity building for senior leaders”, a course for one and two-star military officers.

In the previous year, six courses were given to Colombian military personnel, including an “advanced command and staff course”, which includes “operations planning”.

At least two Colombian army officers have trained at British military academies. In 2018, a second lieutenant completed a year of training at Sandhurst military college, and in 2019, a naval officer completed 11 months of training at Dartmouth naval college,” the Declassified UK research group listed.

“All defence engagement and training provided to Colombia is designed to educate, where necessary, on best practice and compliance with international humanitarian law,” an MoD spokesperson told the same source. In addition to admitting that MI6, the British intelligence agency, has been operating in the South American country for years.

According to a BBC article, MI6 helped set up electronic eavesdropping centres to record incriminating conversations. A sustained policy of illegal espionage, which was denounced numerous times for spying on politicians, NGOs, trade unionists and international journalists.

UK arms sales, spying equipment and training are banned where there is a risk of contributing to internal tensions or conflicts in the recipient country. Clearly, despite complaints from some British parliamentarians, what is happening in Colombia is not part of the internal tensions or conflicts that could upset the UK’s moral principles.

Hasan Dodwell, director of the London-based NGO Justice for Colombia, told Declassified: ‘Throughout Colombia’s long and bloody history of human rights abuses, Britain has been a close military ally. As the Colombian police continue to kill protesters in the cities and the army kills protesters in the countryside, this partnership continues”.

The broad outlines of UK foreign policy, like those of the United States and NATO, are not set by political parties (although they do have their own stamp on it), but by the corporations of the military-industrial complex, the financial system and the technologically advanced. The decline of the powers that be does not make them weaker, but more fallible and dangerous, like those desperate hands of the groggy pugilist.

The contributions of those in these nations who denounce their bravado, abuses, excesses and contradictions are valuable, but we must never forget that those who prove these actions are punished and persecuted. An example of this is the punishment of Julian Assange, who has exposed the atrocities committed by the powers that be in Iraq and Afghanistan, among many other places.