Tuesday, November 4, 2008

General Montoya Steps Down and the Whitewash Begins!

General Mario Montoya, commander of the Armed Forces of Colombia, stepped down today amidst the growing scandal involving the use of "false positives" by the Colombian Army, that is, the killing of civilians and passing them off as guerillas of the FARC fallen in combat. This issue - and the broader theme of militarization and its impact on human rights for Colombia's indigenous, peasant and working poor - is among the many points being put forward by the Popular Minga, which will be marching from Cali to Bogota beginning next week.


The major media here in Colombia are already whitewashing his career, with reports in the major websites extolling his successful Operation Jaque, which won the liberation of Ingrid Betancourt and other high profile hostages and prisoners of war from the FARC last July. They are somehow overlooking a long history of his nefarious links to paramilitary terrorists, including the creation of a secret Army unit that was accused of setting off bombs at the Communist Party headquarters in the late 1970s.

So as a public service, I thought I would share with you some links, including to the National Security Archives' report by Michael Evans, who has investigated his role in this terror, and the complicity of the United States in this violence. Please share far and wide!

CNN Report on today's resignation of Army Chief Montoya;


The Truth about Triple-A

U.S. Document Implicates Current, Former Colombian Army Commanders in Terror Operation

Army Commander Montoya Assigned to Intelligence Unit Behind 'American Anticommunist Alliance,' Responsible for Bombings and other Violence

Then-Army Commander Robledo Authorized Covert Plan

First Declassified Record to Tie Colombian Army to Creation of Paramilitary Group

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 223

Edited by Michael Evans

Colombia's rapidly unfolding 'para-politics' scandal has renewed focus on official links to the country's illegal right-wing terror groups, especially among the armed forces. The flood of recent revelations, stemming in part from the government's paramilitary demobilization program, has also gravely impacted relations with Washington, holding up a trade agreement and jeopardizing millions in U.S. assistance.

Now, a 1979 diplomatic report from the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá raises additional questions about the paramilitary ties of embattled Colombian army commander Gen. Mario Montoya Uribe. Montoya came under scrutiny in March after the Los Angeles Times published information from a classified CIA report linking him to a paramilitary group in 2002.


Here is a report in the Colombian weekly magazine Semana about the Triple A:

http://www.semana.com/wf_InfoArticulo.aspx?idArt=104743


Here is a report about Montoya´s paramilitary links in Spanish from IPS:

http://ipsnoticias.net/nota.asp?idnews=88999

More details will follow about this unfolding scandal in President Uribe's Democratic Security Strategy!

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