Documents Describe History of Abuses by Colombian Army
Washington, D.C., January 7, 2009 - The CIA and senior U.S. diplomats were aware as early as 1994 that U.S.-backed Colombian security forces engaged in "death squad tactics," cooperated with drug-running paramilitary groups, and encouraged a "body count syndrome," according to declassified documents published on the Web today by the National Security Archive. These records shed light on a policy—recently examined in a still-undisclosed Colombian Army report—that influenced the behavior of Colombian military officers for years, leading to extrajudicial executions and collaboration with paramilitary drug traffickers. The secret report has led to the dismissal of 30 Army officers and the resignation of Gen. Mario Montoya Uribe, the Colombian Army Commander who had long promoted the idea of using body counts to measure progress against guerrillas.
Archive Colombia analyst, Michael Evans, whose article on the matter was published today in Spanish on the Web site of Colombia’s Semana magazine, said that, “These documents and the recent scandal over the still-secret Colombian Army report raise important questions about the historical and legal responsibilities the Army has to come clean about what appears to be a longstanding, institutional incentive to commit murder.”
For more details, go to: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB266/index.htm