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Colombia: More Bad News, More Interference by the United States

August 9, 2001

The government of Colombia has just broken off peace talks with the second largest rebel group in that country.  According to the newspaper account, the U.S. State Department supported this move.  A better wording would likely be "ordered" this move. The U.S. has pumped over a billion dollars into Colombia, including a huge amount of military aid.  As in the past, the infinitely powerful Northern uncle calls the shots.

Equally alarming is the report yesterday that an ultra-violent right-wing paramilitary force, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia:

  • numbers 8,000 men
  • is extremely well-financed to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, by donations from large landowners, ranchers, industrialists and financiers
  • enjoys the collaboration of certain military units
  • has killed nearly 1,300 people this year, including trade unionists, peasant leaders and human rights workers. 

According to the Attorney General of Colombia, the Self-Defense Forces are waging "a war without quarter against the Colombian left."

Colombia: Parallels to 1980's Nicaragua

Supposedly, "alarmed officials in Washington" are pressuring Colombia president Andrés Pastrana to dismantle the organization.  Sure.  How much would anyone like to wager that the U.S. military/CIA/NSA  is deeply involved in the activities of these paramilitary killers?

Indeed, we have here in Colombia a Contras-type terrorist organization.  Just like the Contras, the Self-Defense Forces earns huge sums from the cocaine trade.  And, of course, just like the Contras were fighting to restore the Somocista oligarchy in Nicaragua, the Self-Defense Forces are fighting to maintain the privilege and extreme wealth enjoyed by the Colombia elite at the expense of the impoverished citizens of that country. 

I earlier wrote about how Coca-Cola and some of its bottlers in Colombia have been accused of utilizing right-wing  paramilitary groups to intimidate and assassinate labor organizers.  I discussed elsewhere how the Bush administration has "re-hired" hard-line Reagan-era diplomats like Elliott Abrams, John Negroponte and Otto Reich, and has set up a well-funded effort to interfere in Nicaragua's upcoming presidential elections.

Doesn't this all sound nauseatingly familiar? 

Despite the end of the Cold War, the United States is continuing its murderous ways in Central and South America.  Our southern neighbors have a saying, "so far from God, so close to the United States."  All I can say is, God help the suffering poor in Central and South America.

This was a selection from The Daily Diatribe

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