Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Dark Side of Plan Colombia

Hi folks,

It's been a while since I last posted materials on this space, the result of lots of distractions and busy work. But there's so much to catch up on. Here I send you a link to an important article that will be published in the June 15th edition of the Nation Magazine, which is written by friend and colleague Teo Ballvé, an independent journalist and former editor of NACLA, based in Bogotá.

As he wrote in a mass email, his "
findings, based on new evidence, show that grant money from the US Agency for International Development (USAID)—paid for through Plan Colombia, the multibillion-dollar US aid package aimed at fighting the drug trade—appears to have put drug-war dollars in the hands of a confessed narco-paramilitary and of two accused paramilitary-linked drug traffickers. A third USAID grant applicant, a company accused of ties with paramilitaries, nearly won approval for a grant before its application stalled because of missing paperwork. Colombia’s paramilitaries are on the US list of foreign terrorist organizations. Critics say such grants defeat the antidrug mission of Plan Colombia and may put USAID in violation of federal law.

Read the entire article here: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090615/ballve/single

Congress will be debating the next round of funding (2010) for Plan Colombia in July. This information should be part of that debate, there and here in Colombia.

Please help spread the word by sending the article out to relevant email lists, reposting on your websites, and/or highlighting in your blogs, media organizations, etc.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great interview with him today, he is awesome.

Two things, one is that way even you still do not use the correct language in all of this. It is continually indicated as an incidental aspect of policy due to lack of oversight when paramilitaries and death squads are funded and people are displaced, but this is the essential policy!!!

2, that usaid funded corporation is based in Vermont, which could explain Sen Leahy's lack of vigor on human rights and stopping the funding f Plan Colombia and Plan Mexico for that matter.