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Dan Shay



Joined: 30 Aug 2003
Posts: 11245
Location: MN
Plan Colombia  Reply with quote  

Still illiterate, I'd beg to differ.

I'd say that in Colombia, as here in the states, that money rules politics.

There is a prevailing arguement that the paramilitaries and the people they work for got the gov't elected in the form of campaign contributions.

Taken from a letter to the NYTimes from the late Senator Wellstone (RIP)

"Many members of the security forces continue to collaborate with the right-wing paramilitaries, who commit about three-quarters of the politically motivated murders in Colombia," Wellstone wrote.
Agence France Presse December 26, 2000, Tuesday is where I got that quote from.

The gov't would like it to appear that they are at odds with the paramilitaries, but in reality, if they went for them with the same vigor that they do FARC or ELN (both of whom I do not advocate for in anyway) they'd get overthrown.
Post Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:22 pm
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Dan Shay



Joined: 30 Aug 2003
Posts: 11245
Location: MN
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The Guardian (London)
August 30, 2000
SECTION: Guardian Home Pages, Pg. 3
LENGTH: 251 words
HEADLINE: US wades into Colombia's dirty war: 50 years of conflict
BODY:
948 Assassination of popular liberal politician leads to rural unrest which claims 300,000 lives over next decade

1953-57 Military seize power, before returning it to coalition rule by liberal and conservative parties

1964 Colombian military launch US-backed Operation Laso, to destroy leftist guerrillas. It fails and marks foundation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), a communist guerrilla movement

1966 Creation of rival, smaller guerrilla group, Army of National Liberation (ELN)

1980s Emergence of right-wing narco-paramilitaries who target guerrilla groups and their supporters. Farc's political wing loses 4,000 people killed by drug-traffickers

1990 US president George Bush announces war on drugs

1992 US says it will stop aid to Colombian army amid claims that the army used the cash to fight Marxist rebels

1993 Medellin drug baron Pablo Escobar is shot dead by Colombian police after a US-backed search

1994 Allegations that Colombian president-elect Ernesto Samper's election campaign was funded by Dollars 6m from a Cali drug cartel lead to him losing his US travel visa.

1997 First US civilian pilot, working under a state department contract, is killed on a drug crop fumigation flight in south-east Colombia

1998 Farc is granted a 15,000 square mile demilitarised zone to encourage peace talks

June 2000 US Senate gives final approval to record Dollars 1.3bn package of military aid to help fight drugs and Marxist guerrillas
Post Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:34 pm
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still illiterate



Joined: 09 Aug 2002
Posts: 1941
Location: Iowa
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Ok well there's no denying that money talks in the world of politics, but I think it's not necessarily accurate to say that the paramilitary groups of Colombia are the ones responsible for the elections. The local drug lords are. they are unquestionably active in Colombian gov't. But I think that is dying down now more then ever, with Uribe in office, it's cleaned up a lot of gov't corruption, but undoubtably a lot still remains. And I don't think you understand exactly how out of control the country has been, and to a point still is. There are entire cities where the entire infrastructure is the para/guerrilla, I mean someone has a legal dispute and they take it to the 'soldiers'. People pay taxes to the para/guerrilla, people respect the power these groups have way more then the the gov't. I just find it extremely hard to belive that any gov't officials would ever essentially just give away their own power, cause thats what they would be doing if para's had their way. I think the problem with fighting the para's, is that they're not organized in the same way as the farc. There is easily recognized central organization. It's harder to attack small groups then it is an easily identifiable army.

On an unreleated note, I'm glad that Uribe is in there now. He really seems to be bringing the country up, slowly but surely. I was really surprised at how safe the streets were last year, compared to the late 90's. For a while I thought that maybe the best thing for the country would be some sort extremely hardnosed, no bullshit leader, Castro for instance. Not that I approve of what he has done or anything like that, but it just seemed like the gov't was so out of control, something extremely drastic needed to be done. I'm glad it didn't come to that. I would say that Plan Colombia also had a major part to do with the upliftment of the country. I mean you can't say that the country is worse off then it was a few years ago. I've experianced it with my own eyes. It really sucks to think that I can't even go back to my home country, but now it looks like it's on the right track.
Post Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:32 pm
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Dan Shay



Joined: 30 Aug 2003
Posts: 11245
Location: MN
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thank you for the respectful discourse.

I don't think things are better off. Death tolls are still mounting, the paras have taken to "dissappearing" people because they know the world is watching, instead of killing them in the public square to make an example of them like they used to do.

Union members are getting killed. Unions for Oil companies and CocaCola bottling plants.

None of the anti Coca spraying is going on in the north, only in the Farc held south, and coca production is up since the implementation of Plan Colombia.

My hypothesis is that the war is all about the minerals and oil, and not actually about coca. It's a pretext to get refugees off of valuable land. Just like it was to get the Indians on the reservations here.

And then there is the evidence of the Paramilitary and the Governmental armies giving logistical support to each other. Remember, this was found by the Colombian courts themselves. I can cite sources if you'd like. National Public Radio here in the states ran a story back in 2000.

Im not picking sides, Farc, Govt, Paras. Id just like it if the indiginous innocent population would stop getting killed in the crossfire, and I don't think fanning the flames with 1.3 billion dollars from US govt in arms is going to help.
Post Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:46 pm
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prometheus_bound



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 158
Location: arizona
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should have called this plan south america, it's not just columbia. america has been fucking with south america for the longest time all because of a fear of socialism/communism and it's natural resources. isnt this why there are still embargoes imposed on cuba? is hugo cavez still in power in venezula?
Post Wed Apr 14, 2004 11:05 pm
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still illiterate



Joined: 09 Aug 2002
Posts: 1941
Location: Iowa
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The thing is, we see things differently. You see the death tolls rising as indicitive that plan Colombia isn't working, I see them as an even greater reason why we need them.

Also i recently read that coca production has been down 15% in recent years(http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/co.html). I'm not sure if guerrilla or para mililtary groups were hit the worse with the coca eradication techniques. I've seen the choppers first hand from Cali, and i know that the surrounding areas are primarily Guerrilla held so you may be right about that.

And you maybe right about the oil production thing, Venezuala is a huge producer of oil, and I always wondered why Colombia was so relatively far behind when it came to oil production.

But the fact still remains that there is more then one threat to the indigenous people. Guerrilla groups and paramilitary groups are not civilian friendly. They must be driven out of power and I do see gov't intervention as a way to do it. I would like to see some sources on your info about gov't and para being hand in hand, I'm not saying that I don't believe you, but I might not trust your sources.
Post Thu Apr 15, 2004 2:53 pm
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still illiterate



Joined: 09 Aug 2002
Posts: 1941
Location: Iowa
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prometheus_bound wrote:
should have called this plan south america, it's not just columbia. america has been fucking with south america for the longest time all because of a fear of socialism/communism and it's natural resources. isnt this why there are still embargoes imposed on cuba? is hugo cavez still in power in venezula?


Yeah America has been involved in a ton of South and Central American politics for years. Don't ever think that the US is going to stand idly by while a country democratically elects someone that the US doesn't like.
Post Thu Apr 15, 2004 2:55 pm
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MessiahCarey



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 10924
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Has anyone given any consideration to whether or not we should be dictating what crops farmers grow?

In another country?

Just curious.
Post Thu Apr 15, 2004 2:55 pm
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Doctrine



Joined: 05 Apr 2003
Posts: 4626
Location: ATL, Livin' Swell
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^^^

- Shane

(You forgot it)
Post Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:05 pm
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still illiterate



Joined: 09 Aug 2002
Posts: 1941
Location: Iowa
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it is illegal to grow coca for harvest in Colombia, it's a colombia law, not American. It's weird though, cause the plant literally grows wild out there. I mean you can be walking down the street and see one just growing on the side of the road. The thing is, drug use isn't as big a problem down there as it is here, go figure.
Post Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:05 pm
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MessiahCarey



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 10924
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still illiterate wrote:
The thing is, drug use isn't as big a problem down there as it is here, go figure.


Ha. That figuring has already been done by anyone that wishes for the legalization of drugs. Heh.

- Shane
Post Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:17 pm
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MessiahCarey



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 10924
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Doctrine wrote:
^^^

- Shane

(You forgot it)


Thanks bro...that was close.

- Tim
Post Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:17 pm
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Dan Shay



Joined: 30 Aug 2003
Posts: 11245
Location: MN
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I'll get the resources on Para/Gov't collusion when Im at school, as there I have access to databases and can cite readily, but if you do not trust National Public Radio in the United States, than you do not trust my sources. The actual source for the story is the Colombian court system.

Massiah, you have a good point there. Wouldn't it be interesting if, say China, invaded here and started spraying our tobacco crops with RoundUp Ultra concentrate, like they do in Colombia, in the name of drug war that kills their populace.

The problem is we fund both sides of this war. We consume the drugs here in the US to fund paras/rebels. We fund the Gov't to fight the paras/rebels.

We have a handful of cocaine overdoses a year here. Our drug war prohibition makes cocaine a commodity, a commodity to die for where it is produced.

For a handful of cocaine overdoses we fuel a 40 year plus civil war. Thousands die to our handful. Honestly, I can't help but make a racist conclusion out of our justification. They don't talk about the death toll when they sell here what they call a drug war here (its actually a civil war). All they talk about is stopping the drug flow.

If you think that arms proliferation is going to solve things in that country, that escalation of the civil war will win it, you will be sadly mistaken. When you have jungles, and mountains, you can never stop the rebels/paramilitary.

In the end Colombia will be left a banana republic. All the resources ciphoned off, leaving the local populace desolate while a few have prospered. Honestly, for the most part Colombia is already there. Rich in resouces, poor in sharing. And there lies the real reason for US involvement.
Prop up an "elite", to keep the country from sharing it's natural resources democratically.

We did it in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador.

The Dole family is quite prosperous. So is United Fruit(Chiquita). I get pounds of bananas for dimes. Latin America gets to look down the barrel of a gun. How fun.

There is a trend here. Slowly, our military is creeping down Central and now South America. Building bases to provide logistical support. Guatamala, down to Panama. Now Colombia, soon Venezuela.

Free Trade for the Americas my Ass.
Post Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:53 pm
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Dan Shay



Joined: 30 Aug 2003
Posts: 11245
Location: MN
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When, still illiterate, you say that the law against coca growing is Colombian, not US law, do you realize that if that wasn't Colombian law that the US would impose economic sanctions against that country?
Post Thu Apr 15, 2004 4:02 pm
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still illiterate



Joined: 09 Aug 2002
Posts: 1941
Location: Iowa
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You make some very good points about american policy leading to civil war, I had never thought about it like that. but that doesn't answer the question about what best for the counrty from now on.

You say that a war against the guerilla's will never end, I believe that the gov't has to show that it will be not be taken over by insurgents. Your right, it is very hard to fight a war in the mountains, but you forget that this isn't like the US invading some foreign land, it's that countries citizens protecting their land from national radicals. If there was no funding of the gov't, it would have been taken over by now. The number of guerilla soldiers has gone down in recent years, I think that is a step forward.

Granted civil war is a terrible terrible thing, but there are times when it is unavoidable. Do you think it's best for the country if it were taken over by FARC? I don't, I think that it's imperitive to stop them by any means necessarily, eventually it will lead to the greater good.

And I don't think it's just the elite that are thriving now, it's the whole country. I saw no crime while I was down there. It seemed like the general quality of life, across the board, had been raised.

and although i do agree that the US uses it's might for the benefit of their own economy, Colombia, in the long run, will benefit from gov't intervention.

(I can't believe I'm defending American policy, I think it's the first time in years I've done that.)
Post Thu Apr 15, 2004 4:54 pm
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