There is a myth about Colombia the U.S. government sells to the citizens of the world’s most militarized nation: the Colombian government is fighting the drug war for us and the narco-guerrillas in their nation. First, the Colombian government is complicit in the drug profiteering. While it is true that Latin America’s largest guerrilla force, the FARC, protects many of the drug lords in Colombia with their army, they are not the producers or drug lords themselves. The nation’s elites either look the other way, or participate, in the sale and distribution of drugs to the United States, Europe and elsewhere.
Then why are we sending billions of dollars to Colombia for the drug war? The truth is that we want military bases in Colombia, our strongest and possibly only ally left in South America.
Now while we are looking the other way at Afghanistan, the United States is militarizing South American inside Colombia with three air bases, two naval bases and two army bases. Why would we be worried about South America? We are concerned about South America for the same reason we are concerned about the Middle East and Asia minor: the natives are restless and there’s oil in South America.
Outside of North Korea and Afghanistan, South America is home to the biggest challenges to U.S. global dominance and power. Sure, China may soon surpass us financially and militarily, but we are on the same team as China. By the same team I mean global economic powers that promote the free market over the people. Besides, China has the bomb and less oil than South America, so it’s not cost effective to go after China. But in South America, several nations (Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia) are challenging our dominance and our economic/military paradigm.
To get the support of Colombia, we send them billions each year and share our technology with them. They return the favor by pacifying the country through murder and arrests of peasants, labor leaders and intellectuals.
I have written about Colombia before, about the abuses there, and about how the U.S. government is funding a military dictatorship that acts with impunity against its campesinos, indigenous, and the people as a whole. I have even talked about the day when Colombia would have to face its own demons and violent government and the atrocities it has committed since the time of La Violencia, a decade of bloody violence between the Conservative and Liberal parties (1948-1958). That day is today.
Extrajudicial killings, impunity has been made legal in Colombia through false positives (falsely identifying people killed by the military as guerrillas) and terror.
On January 26th, Spanish newspaper Publico reported the discovery of the grave of up to 2000 bodies which date back to 2005. The newspaper says that the bodies were buried there by the Colombian army, who have a heavy presence in the area around the site in the town of La Macarena, in Meta department, about 200km south of Bogota. It is one of the biggest mass graves discovered in the history of conflicts in South American. Jairo Ramirez, from the Committee for the Permanent Defence of Human Rights, said, “The army commandant told us that they (the bodies) were guerrillas fallen in combat, but people in the region have told us about the large number of social leaders, campesinos and community defenders who disappeared without a trace”
Human rights experts say there could be hundreds of mass graves.
Students and other who challenge the government stories and lies are threatened and killed.
Lucha! (Great video that won’t embed)
Mass Graves of Uribe the killer
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More news on graves in Colombia
And, given the current “false positive” scandal which has enveloped the government of President Alvaro Uribe and his Defense Minister, Juan Manuel Santos, who is now running to succeed Uribe as President, the Colombian Army’s claim about the mass grave is especially suspect. This scandal revolves around the Colombian military, recently under the direction of Juan Manuel Santos, knowingly murdering civilians in cold blood and then dressing them up to look like armed guerillas in order to justify more aid from the United States. According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pilay, this practice has been so “systematic and widespread” as to amount to a “crime against humanity.”
Fight against the bases and the funding of Colombian atrocities. Don’t allow the U.S. to remain the acomplice to murder.
|Colombia Solidarity Campaign
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News about the Army Killer Santos and protests against his presidency
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News about President Santos
Miguel Puerto, representative of the Polo Democratico Alternativo said:
“Santos has emphasised that he will continue the policies of Uribe, in whose government he was Minister of Defence. He is entirely compromised in human rights violations, such as the scandalous policy of ‘false positives’, thousands of Colombians have been executed by the armed forces and then dressed up in guerrilla fatigues to pretend they had fallen in combat.
Like Uribe, Santos surrenders our country’s economic and military sovereignty. He will continue the neoliberal policies that have increased poverty, unemployment and social inequality. He is in favour of Free Trade Agreements with the US and EU that will hand over even more control to the multinationals. He welcomes US bases in Colombia that threaten progressive governments in neighbouring countries, especially Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia.”
Andy Higginbottom, Secretary of the Colombia Solidarity Campaign said:
“Thirty one trade unionists have been assassinated in Colombia this year alone. Hundreds more in the indigenous, afro-colombian and other social movements are similarly targeted. Colombia is not a democrcay, it is a killing ground.
News on Military Bases in Colombia
US aid funds paramilitaries, this time in Colombia
As for the Colombian state’s support for the paramilitaries, also known as “death squads,” that is well-known. Thus, as the U.S. State Department has concluded in its annual human rights reports, the paramilitaries have received active support from the Colombian government and from the Colombian military which has provided the paramilitaries with weapons, ammunition, logistical support and even with soldiers. Given that the U.S. has aided the Colombian military with over $7 billion in military assistance since 2000, all the while knowing the military’s close collaboration with the murderous paramilitaries, the U.S. itself is complicit in the paramilitaries’ crimes.
We need to cut off aid to Colombia.
Witness for Peace, Take Action in Colombia against extra judicial killings (up to 150,000)
Action petition to support Colombian refugee families
Plan Patriot and Plan Colombia (from 2004)
Though the Colombian government is quiet on the plan’s details and cost, US assistance comes from the same resources used for the $3.2 billion antidrug effort called Plan Colombia, which began in 2000. With this new initiative, US officials are pushing for an increase in the four-year-old cap on troops and contractors that currently limits to 400 each the number of military and civilian personnel permitted in Colombia at any one time. The Bush administration wants to double the troop cap to 800 and raise the ceiling on civilian contractors to 600.
Stop Killer Coke who has promoted the killings of union leaders in their Colombian plants! Boycott Coke!
Call Congress to end the Funding of Colombia
Congressional switchboard 800-828-0498
Just ask for the office of your Senator or Representative
House of Representatives: http://www.house.gov/house/house_comments.shtml