THREAD: I've been covering big protests movements in Latin America a little over three years, and there are a few things that ALWAYS happen in regards to State claims about what's going on. I'd like to break down a few because it's timely to current Colombian protests:
1) THIS IS FUNDED BY [insert external enemy]!!!

States do not like the idea that movements against them can arise organically or ppl have agency. Even more than just PR (though it's that too) those in power prefer to blame their failings on invisible nefarious outsiders
I saw this in Venezuela (CIA)
Ecuador in 2019 (People couldn't believe indigenous were capable enough to shut down the country, so...Maduro and Correa)
Colombia in 2019 (Also Maduro)

Somehow in each of these events a faraway power convinced 100s of 1000s to take to the streets?
No, but ppl love a good scapegoat for being bad at governance, and the ppl who feel allegiance to that bad gov prefer not to admit things aren't great for everyone else

Were bad actors taking advantage of chaos in these situations? Yes. Where they the cause? Not even close
Moving on

SHITTY INFORMATION FLIES!!! There are few arenas outside of open warfare that are more confusing that mass protest movements. Furthermore, the majority of people already have their minds made up about who's right in the situation. (spoiler: no one is 100% right)
Often this is people with good intentions who are spreading bad rumors: we call that MISinformation

But sometimes it is people intentionally clouding the waters, or dishonestly pushing a narrative to influence a situation. DISinformation

2 examples from my personal experience:
In Quito in 2019, protesters were literally brawling with police in the streets for days. So much so that the police literally ran out of tear gas. They had to request more from Guayaquil. During the lull, some idiot cop started throwing flashbangs off the roof of a building
Someone in the crowd yelled "SNIPER!", which started a massive stampede and got people physically hurt. It also started an entire night of horrific rumormonger online that made protesters extremely paranoid the next day. That is an example of MISinformation that hurt ppl
In Colombia in 2019, the government announced that it had captured "Venezuelan infiltrators" during the second week of the biggest protests the country had seen in 50 years.

Many hands were shaken of proud politicians on camera and yay! The bad guys were expelled! Yay right?
Well, would have been a nice story. But pesky journalists and NGO's followed up on the people who were deported. Turns out they were a combination of homeless Venezuelans and street musicians

Finally, every protest I have ever witnessed was dehumanized by the State they were protesting against. In order to get your base on your side when you murder people in the streets, you need to paint them as sub-human

We see this happening currently in Colombia as well. For some
People in the streets aren't protesters, they're "terrorists". Or they're "narco communists". Or they're "scary indios funded by rebel armed groups". All of these things are untrue. And that last one is not only factually incorrect, it borderline racist

That's what people who cheer for things like death squads, martial law or extreme crackdowns need to believe in order to empower police states

They need to believe protesters are sub-human

But they never are. And even if you dont like their goals, you should remember that /END
People trying to argue w me on this thread: you're just reinforcing my point 🤭

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