Animals: the silent victims of the country’s armed, social and cultural conflict

We naturalize violence against animals, because violence between humans overwhelms us. Each violent act of today makes us forget yesterday’s due to the seriousness or cruelty with which the next one is perpetrated.

In their testimonies, the displaced victims say that they abandoned their lands, leaving behind their animals —dogs, chickens, calves, pigs—, because they could only wear what they were wearing and flee to save their lives and that of their family. Testimonies that tell how the armed groups entered their farms and fatally wounded the cows as a threat or revenge; how before entering a village to commit a massacre, they poisoned the dogs so they wouldn’t notice their presence. In versions before instances of justice, accused refer how they used animals to torture humans. Press releases report how the public force bombed villages, injuring several animals that were not helped, since the State did not even come to attend to the human injuries.

Testimonies of women victims of various types of violence committed by their partners rest in the Prosecutor’s Office, who describe how all kinds of violence was initially exercised against animals at home, a situation that later increased in shouting at minors and women, until it ended in aggression physical. Stories in which to commit a robbery, strong breed dogs trained by humans are used to rob.

In 2021, more than 10,000 cases of animal abuse were reported in Bogotá alone. News of animals sexually abused or killed to offer them to a god for reasons of omens or insane practices of satanism, based on beliefs or fanaticism.

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Some fun practices, such as hunting, made birds extinct; in bullfighting, bloodletting and animal torture are celebrated; there are sports in which an animal is grabbed by the tail, dragging it to a goal, fracturing parts of its body; cockfights in which the winner gouges out his opponent’s eyes or wounds him to death and thus win or lose bets with life.

Irreparable damage is being committed with deforestation, which not only affects the transfer of ecosystems, oxygen, and water, but also leaves more than 1,000 animal species in danger of extinction, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and mammals. The merchants of death, under the guise of the economic growth of the country, which is none other than that of their coffers, convert an agricultural nation into a breeding ground for animals, in subhuman conditions, for national and international trade, or traffic in their skin, his body or his entrails.

It is impossible to postpone the debate, reflection and recognition of non-humans any longer, not only as sentient beings but as subjects of rights. Recognize ourselves in the difference not necessarily to insert them into society, but to respect and protect their habitat.

Martha P. Castillo D. Candelaria Animal Collective.

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