Camilo Torres: A 50 años de la muerte del cura guerrillero

Esta es la breve historia del  sacerdote sin aureola, sin rosario, sin santuario,  del  cura proletario.

La cruz, la guerrilla y la palabra

Camilo Torres Restrepo nació en Bogotá el 3 de febrero de 1929. Proveniente de una familia acomodada, desarrolló estudios en derecho en Colombia, pero fue su viaje a Bélgica, el que marcó un acercamiento trascendental con el movimiento sindical cristiano y los grupos de resistencia argelina en París.

Tras terminar sus estudios doctorales publicó su tesis Una aproximación estadística a la realidad socioeconómica de Bogotá, obra pionera en sociología urbana de América Latina, que más tarde fue titulada como La proletarización de Bogotá.

Al regresar a Colombia en 1959, su camino espiritual corrió de la mano con el quehacer político. Fundó la Facultad de Sociología de la Universidad Nacional, donde inició una creciente vinculación política a jóvenes universitarios. Funda además el Equipo Colombiano de Investigación Socioeconómica (ECISE) y desarrolló un intenso trabajo en los territorios de Bogotá, a través  del Movimiento Universitario de Promoción Comunal (MUNIPROC).

Posteriormente integró el comité técnico del Instituto Colombiano de la Reforma Agraria (INCORA), y presidió el primer Congreso Nacional de Sociología que se celebró en Bogotá, donde presentó el estudio La violencia y los cambios socio-culturales en las áreas rurales colombianas.

La tensa relación entre el marxismo y la iglesia

Los convulsionados años sesenta también influyeron en la iglesia católica, particularmente cuando comenzó a desarrollarse la Teología de la Liberación en América Latina, corriente que relaciona la salvación humana y el proceso histórico de liberación del hombre. Si bien la iglesia intentó desvincularse del marxismo, numerosos religiosos desarrollaron un estrecho trabajo de colaboración con organizaciones de izquierda en distintos países del continente.

Hasta el día de hoy existen sectores que miran con rechazo la vinculación de la iglesia en los procesos políticos sociales, ante los componentes materialistas y ateos de la izquierda revolucionaria, y su tensión con la presencia cristiana y católica en las democracias capitalistas hispanoamericanas.

Camilo Torres no estuvo ajeno a esta polémica, y utilizó la tribuna del semanario Frente Unido para explicar  su posición “«El que ama a su prójimo cumple con su ley» (San Pablo, Romanos XIII, 8). Este amor, para que sea verdadero, tiene que buscar eficacia. Si la beneficencia, la limosna, las pocas escuelas gratuitas, los pocos planes de vivienda, lo que se ha llamado «la caridad», no alcanza a dar de comer a la mayoría de los hambrientos, ni a vestir a la mayoría de los desnudos, ni a enseñar a la mayoría de los que no saben, tenemos que buscar medios eficaces para el bienestar de las mayorías.”

Camilo Torres también se posicionó en relación a la lucha armada: “Es necesario entonces quitarles el poder a las minorías privilegiadas para dárselo a las mayorías pobres. Esto, si se hace rápidamente, es lo esencial de una revolución. La Revolución puede ser pacífica si las minorías no hacen resistencia violenta. Por eso la Revolución no solamente es permitida sino obligatoria para los cristianos que vean en ella la única manera eficaz y amplia de realizar el amor para todos. Es cierto que «no haya autoridad sino de parte de Dios» (San Pablo, Romanos XXI, 1). Pero Santo Tomás dice que la atribución concreta de la autoridad la hace el pueblo.”

En cuanto a su relación con el Partido Comunista de Colombia, Torres sostuvo: “Yo he dicho que soy revolucionario como colombiano, como sociólogo, como cristiano, como sacerdote. Considero que el Partido Comunista tiene elementos auténticamente revolucionarios y, por lo tanto, no puedo ser anticomunista ni como colombiano, ni como sociólogo, ni como cristiano, ni como sacerdote. No soy anticomunista como colombiano, porque el anticomunismo se orienta para perseguir a compatriotas inconformes, comunistas o no, de los cuales la mayoría es gente pobre. No soy anticomunista como sociólogo, porque en los planteamientos comunistas para combatir la pobreza, el hambre, el analfabetismo, la falta de vivienda, la falta de servicios para el pueblo, se encuentran soluciones eficaces y científicas.”

 “Cuentan que tras la bala se oyó una voz. Era Dios que gritaba: ¡Revolución!”

camilo 2A mediados de la década de los sesenta y en respuesta a la hegemonía irrestricta del Frente Nacional, coalición de partidos liberales y conservadores de Colombia, Camilo Torres impulsó la creación del Frente Unido del Pueblo; plataforma para la unidad del movimiento popular.

Para el Frente, era urgente un cambio en la estructura social de Colombia, ante la existencia de una minoría que poseía el control político y económico del país, en desmedro de la clase trabajadora, y tendiente a favorecer a la burguesía extranjera.

Era un llamado a las organizaciones comunales, sindicatos, ligas campesinas y comunidades indígenas a desarrollar un trabajo por fuera de la política institucional de los partidos. Entre sus principales medidas promovían la reforma agraria, nacionalización de los principales recursos naturales, una nueva política tributaria, disminución en el presupuesto a las fuerzas armadas, y un  llamado al pueblo a responsabilizarse por la soberanía nacional.

En julio de 1965 Camilo Torres viajó clandestinamente a Santander y tomó contacto con Fabio Vázquez Castaño, dirigente del Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN), que inspirado en el M-26 cubano se había levantado en armas en 1964. Desde entonces, Camilo Torres comienzó a desempeñarse como brazo político del Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN).

Al enrolarse a la guerrilla, participó en ella como un miembro de bajo rango. Durante una emboscada del ELN a una patrulla militar, Camilo Torres cayó en combate el 15 de febrero de 1966. El ejército ocultó el cadáver en un estratégico lugar separado de las demás fosas comunes y el lugar no fue revelado públicamente.

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