Teófilo Forero Castro. Dirigente de la entraña popular

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Foto: Archivo histórico VOZ.

Hernando López

El asesinato del dirigente comunista Teófilo Forero Castro, el 27 de febrero de 1989, fue una masacre. Y no es exageración. En los hechos también murieron acribillados: su esposa Leonilde Mora, Antonio Sotelo, miembro del Comité Central de Partido Comunista Colombiano y dirigente regional de Córdoba y Antonio José Toscano, su conductor durante muchos años.

Los hechos ocurrieron en la puerta del Restaurante La Brasa Roja, en el barrio Santa Isabel de Bogotá, en horas de la tarde. Forero y sus acompañantes iban acomodados en un pequeño Suzuki en dirección a su residencia en el sur de la capital. Se detuvieron a comprar pollo asado para la cena y al reiniciar el viaje fueron acribillados por varios hombres que se movilizaban en un vehículo y en motocicleta. Ninguno sobrevivió al cobarde ataque.

Teófilo Forero Castro, de 52 años, a la sazón era el Secretario Nacional de Organización del Partido Comunista Colombiano. Un extraordinario dirigente, de prestigio en las filas partidarias por su dinamismo, capacidad de trabajo y extrema modestia. Era infatigable en su actividad diaria. Todo el día se movía de un lado para otro, promoviendo las tareas y la actividad del Partido Comunista. Cuando estaba en Bogotá, iniciaba la jornada muy temprano en la mañana y terminaba en la noche, atendiendo reuniones de organismos o direcciones locales del partido o comisiones de trabajo. Descansaba apenas 30 minutos, después del almuerzo, cuando en su oficina tomaba una corta siesta.

Con frecuencia recorría el país a bordo del campero Suzuki y siempre acompañado de Antonio José Toscano. Iba de ciudad en ciudad, de pueblo en pueblo, reuniendo al partido e impartiendo las orientaciones políticas y organizativas. Le tenía pánico al avión y decía que de esa manera le rendía más el trabajo y conocía mejor la realidad del país. Un veterano comunista que lo conoció bastante, camarada de muchas lides, dice que “fue el mejor organizador del Partido Comunista en todos los tiempos”.

Sus rasgos físicos demostraban su origen indígena en su natal Natagaima, departamento de Tolima, región de luchas agrarias, indígenas y populares y cuna del movimiento guerrillero y de la resistencia campesina.

Muy joven salió desplazado de su patria chica debido a la violencia de los latifundistas y los pájaros. Se instaló en Bogotá con su familia y fue casi un autodidacta. Con el tiempo se vinculó como obrero en los Talleres Centrales y allí fue formándose como un cuadro sindical en el sector metalúrgico.

Era muy querido por los trabajadores. En los años sesenta ingresó al Partido Comunista Colombiano. Fue presidente de la Federación Sindical de Trabajadores de Cundinamarca y uno de los fundadores de la Confederación Sindical de Trabajadores de Colombia (CSTC). Precisamente por sus cualidades y el prestigio en las masas populares fue elegido concejal de Bogotá y diputado a la Asamblea de Cundinamarca.

Durante el tiempo que ocupó la Secretaría Nacional de Organización del Partido Comunista Colombiano le dio un impulso al crecimiento de sus filas en los sectores claves de la producción y de la actividad social. Orientó el crecimiento dirigido en sectores como el financiero, el energético, educadores, las telecomunicaciones, la salud, las mujeres, la intelectualidad y los jóvenes. A la vez que defendía el “tesoro que significa la presencia del partido en el campo”, lo decía con orgullo.

Fue consciente del peligro de la guerra sucia patrocinada por el terrorismo de Estado; y cuando este comenzaba, dijo una frase lapidaria en la que advertía de la necesidad de protegerse y adoptar medidas de seguridad: “En pelea larga siempre hay desquite”.
Son 28 años de un crimen aún en la impunidad y en que permanece vivo el ejemplo de un gran comunista y consagrado revolucionario de la pura entraña popular.

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