President Clinton ignored the human rights certification process demanded by Congress and authorized the release of the remaining aid money to Colombia last week. The administration justified this action by claiming the remaining aid is “emergency funds” and therefore not subject to the certification process. One can only speculate that the Colombian Government’s failure to meet the human rights conditions called for by the U.S. Congress was the reason Clinton decided to sidestep the certification process. Besides, a waiver of the human rights conditions by Clinton, especially in light of the 154 civilians massacred by paramilitaries over the past two weeks, would have resulted in negative publicity that might have marred his farewell love fest with the American people.
Tag Archives: military aid
The proponents of Plan Colombia claim its successful implementation will end Colombia’s civil war, revive the nation’s economy and put the narco-traffickers out of business. In order to implement the $7.5 billion Plan, conceived by the Colombian and U.S. governments, Colombia is asking for $3.5 billion in international aid to supplement $4 billion of its own funding. However, it is still unclear just how the financially-strapped Colombian Government is going to raise $4 billion.
Elite U.S.-trained counter-insurgency units are routinely carried by U.S. helicopters to remote parts of this Latin American country to confront Marxist guerrillas. Supplied with U.S. intelligence and directed by U.S. military advisors, these counter-insurgency troops work hand in hand with right-wing paramilitary death squads as they terrorize the local peasant population. Back in Washington, a battle is being waged in Congress over the increasing U.S. involvement in the conflict and the issuance of U.S. aid to a Latin American military notorious for its human rights abuses. This is a description of El Salvador in the 1980s, right? Wrong! It is the year 2000 and the country is Colombia.