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The Genocidal “Democracy”

bookcover shows heavily armed Colombian soldiers frisking young men who have been made to face a wall and put their hands up against it. Free online book:

Colombia: The Genocidal Democracy
by Javier Giraldo
Common Courage Press, 1996

From the Common Courage Press:

This book, published by Common Courage Press in 1996, is no longer in print. However, in view of continuing violence in Colombia and recent proposals by the US Government to increase military aid, we are making it freely available online.

This proposed military aid — cash, weapons, training, and US troops — continues a history of US support for a system that, according to Father Giraldo’s Inter-congregational Commission of Peace and Justice, produced over 67,000 victims of political violence between 1988 and 1995.

Under the guise of “drug interdiction,” this action will no doubt fuel the existing violence and do little to stop the production of narcotics.

The history exposed in this book will make clear the folly of this approach to narcotics production in Colombia and make you wonder to what end US involvement is really intended. Please read this information, use it, and spread it around.

Victims of Political Violence in Colombia 1988-1995

Political Assassinations: 6,177

Assassinations Presumed to be Political: 10,556

Assassinations Presumed to be “Social Cleansing”: 2,459

Deaths in Combat between Army and Guerrillas: 9,140

People Forcibly Disappeared: 1,451

Obscure Assassinations: 37,595

Total: 67,378

Average per month 701.9

Average per day 23.4

From “Data Bank of the Commission Inter-Congregacional de Justicia y Paz”, as reported in Colombia: The Genocidal Democracy.

America’s Apprentice:
The most violent nation in the world

“From 1984 through 1992, 6,844 Colombian soldiers were trained under the U.S. international Military Education and Training program. Over 2,000 Colombian officers were trained from 1990 to 1992...”

— Noam Chomsky
introduction to
Colombia: The Genocidal Democracy

Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower
by William Blum:

Colombia, 1990s — present

By the end of the decade, Colombia — the most violent nation in the world — had become the third largest recipient of US military aid, with hundreds of American military personnel posted there in a growing number of military and radar bases to aid in counter-insurgency actions against leftist guerrillas.

The US has aided government bombing raids and other military functions by providing helicopters, intelligence information about guerrilla movements, satellite images and communications intercepts. At times, US planes fly overhead during combat operations. The guerrillas claim that Americans are conducting covert counterinsurgency operations and warned that they will be targeted.

Again, the public rationale given for taking sides in a civil war has been “to fight drugs”. To drive home this point, US drug czar Barry McCaffrey routinely refers to the leading guerrilla group, FARC, as “narco-traffickers”. But the DEA’s Acting Administrator testified in 1999 that the DEA had “not yet really come to the conclusion” that “the FARC and ELN are drug trafficking entities per se”, even though the guerrillas do finance themselves in part through protecting and “taxing” drug producers.

However, the main recipient of the American aid, the Colombian military, is involved in drug trafficking, at the same time being intimately linked to paramilitary forces which are also active in drug trafficking and in protecting drug producers.

As Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) pointed out in 1999, in speaking of Colombia:

“What we are really seeing is a ratcheting up of a counterinsurgency policy masquerading as a counter-drug policy.”

The true purpose of U.S. military aid to Colombia:

The destruction of trade unions, left-wing movements and the murder of human rights activists

In a 1994 report, Amnesty International estimated that more than 20,000 people had been killed in Colombia since 1986, mainly by the military and its paramilitary allies — “not in the ‘drug wars’ but for political reasons”.

Many of the victims were “trade unionists, human-rights activists and leaders of legal left-wing movements.” Amnesty charged that “U.S.-supplied military equipment, ostensibly delivered for use against narcotics traffickers, was being used by the Colombian military to commit these abuses in the name of ‘counter-insurgency’.”

As with Mexico, much of this aid is in violation of congressional human-rights laws. The Pentagon has barely masked its scorn of these restrictions.

A March 1997 letter by members of the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee to Secretary of State Albright stated:

“Efforts by the Colombian government to take action to curb the increased abuses committed by paramilitary groups, or to curb extrajudicial executions, disappearances, torture, political killings and other forms of human rights abuses committed by security forces (i.e., the regular military) are not sufficient to warrant the provision of over $100 million in military assistance and the resumption of lethal aid.”

The lethal aid, however, has continued. Washington suspects that the Colombian insurgents, if they ever took power, would just not fit in very well in the ruthless economy of the “New World Order”.

Dying For Growth: Global Inequality and the Health of the Poor:

At just the time when President Bush [The First] announced his campaign in the “War on Drugs,” with aid to Colombia as its centerpiece, the Andean Commission of Jurists reported the military was using antidrug measures as a pretext to arrest and murder union leaders, grassroots organizers, and activists in the Patriotic Union political party.

The aid did not go to the Colombian national police, which is in charge of almost all counter narcotics operations, but to the military.

By the early 1990s Colombia was the leading recipient of U.S. military aid in Latin America, aid which increased under the Clinton Administration and was expected to reach record levels in 1997....

United States officials have repeatedly claimed that the “War on Drugs” abroad is not counterinsurgency. But the recipients openly admit that U.S. aid is used for this purpose, which translates into repression of the perceived supporters of armed insurgents: that is, much of the general population.

For example, Colombian military officials informed U.S. Congressional investigators in 1990 that most of “counternarcotics” military aid for the year was to be used for “counterinsurgency.”

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“With little fanfare, Colombia has become the third largest recipient of U.S. military aid in the world — behind only Israel and Egypt. U.S. Special Forces troops are already on the ground there, involved in combat with popular insurgencies. Yet Colombia is rarely mentioned in any of the major media in the United States. What’s going on?”

The International Action Center Committee to Stop the U.S. War in Colombia

News releases and alerts.

Revolutionary and Popular Movements in Colombia

A huge number of links to news articles and analyses of the situation.

The International News-Agency for a New Colombia

“The International News-Agency for a New Colombia (ANNCOL) is an association of Latin American and Swedish journalists.”

"ANNCOL strives to be an alternative mass media to the transnational companies that today monopolize the means of communication."

FARC-EP logo
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People’s Army, FARC-EP

This is the English-language version of the official FARC-EP website.

The Español version, at http://www.farc-ep.org/, has links to all the other language versions.

Resistencia logo

Resistencia is the interntational edition of the magazine published for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - Peoples’s Army, FARC-EP.

WSWS : News & Analysis : Colombia

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School of the Americas Watch

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Graduates of the U.S. Army School of the Americas have been responsible for some of the worst human rights abuses in Latin America.

Among the SOA’s nearly 60,000 graduates are notorious dictators Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos of Panama, Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of Argentina, Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru, Guillermo Rodriguez of Ecuador, and Hugo Banzer Suarez of Bolivia.

Lower-level SOA graduates have participated in human rights abuses that include the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero, the torture of countless people throughout Central and South America and the El Mozote Massacre of 900 human beings.

The US Army School of Assassins

Exposes the dirty deeds of the U.S. Army School of “the Americas” (Assassins) throughout Latin America. Special sections on Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Grenada, Colombia, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

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bookcover photo shows a middle-aged man, viewed from the side.  He has wavy black hair and is wearing a white shirt, with his arms folded, looking intently at something in front of him. FARC EP Historical Outline
by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — People’s Army
International Commission of the FARC-EP, 2000

From leftbooks.com:

This pamphlet gives a historical account of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Peoples Army (FARC-EP), one of the main insurgencies in Colombia, from the civil war of 1948 to the present. It also includes political and programmatic documents that outline the FARC-EP’s vision of a new Colombia, without exploiters or exploited.

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