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Sun Dec 22, 2013, 01:36 AM

Report: CIA has helped Colombia kill dozens of rebel leaders

Source: Associated Press

Report: CIA has helped Colombia kill dozens of rebel leaders
By The Associated Press December 22, 2013 12:01 AM

WASHINGTON - The Washington Post is reporting that a covert CIA program has helped Colombia's government kill at least two dozen leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the rebel insurgency also known as FARC.

The Post says the National Security Agency has also provided "substantial eavesdropping help" to the Colombian government.

And the paper says the U.S. provided Colombia with GPS equipment that can be used to transform regular munitions into "smart bombs" that can accurately home in on specific targets, even if they are located in dense jungles.

The Post report is based on interviews with more than 30 former and current U.S. and Colombian officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the program is classified and ongoing.




Read more: http://www.canada.com/technology/Report+helped+Colombia+kill+dozens+rebel+leaders/9315358/story.html



(Short article, no more at link.)

37 replies, 5407 views

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Arrow 37 replies Author Time Post
Reply Report: CIA has helped Colombia kill dozens of rebel leaders (Original post)
Judi Lynn Dec 2013 OP
Judi Lynn Dec 2013 #1
delrem Dec 2013 #2
QuestForSense Dec 2013 #6
Jesus Malverde Dec 2013 #3
imthevicar Dec 2013 #4
Scuba Dec 2013 #5
Alamuti Lotus Dec 2013 #7
cantbeserious Dec 2013 #8
Dustlawyer Dec 2013 #9
Coyotl Dec 2013 #10
MyNameGoesHere Dec 2013 #11
BelgianMadCow Dec 2013 #15
Enthusiast Dec 2013 #12
geek tragedy Dec 2013 #13
JackRiddler Dec 2013 #21
Octafish Dec 2013 #35
7962 Dec 2013 #14
Kingofalldems Dec 2013 #16
7962 Dec 2013 #17
JackRiddler Dec 2013 #22
7962 Dec 2013 #24
DeSwiss Dec 2013 #18
Judi Lynn Dec 2013 #19
Judi Lynn Dec 2013 #20
Freddie Stubbs Dec 2013 #23
Comrade Grumpy Dec 2013 #25
EX500rider Dec 2013 #26
Comrade Grumpy Dec 2013 #28
hack89 Dec 2013 #27
Comrade Grumpy Dec 2013 #29
hack89 Dec 2013 #30
Judi Lynn Dec 2013 #31
hack89 Dec 2013 #33
Judi Lynn Dec 2013 #32
Judi Lynn Dec 2013 #34
Judi Lynn Dec 2013 #36
wildbilln864 Dec 2013 #37

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Dec 22, 2013, 01:44 AM

1. Washington Post: Covert action in Colombia

Covert action in Colombia

U.S. intelligence, GPS bomb kits help Latin American nation cripple rebel forces

By Dana Priest
Published on December 21, 2013

The 50-year-old Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), once considered the best-funded insurgency in the world, is at its smallest and most vulnerable state in decades, due in part to a CIA covert action program that has helped Colombian forces kill at least two dozen rebel leaders, according to interviews with more than 30 former and current U.S. and Colombian officials.

The secret assistance, which also includes substantial eavesdropping help from the National Security Agency, is funded through a multibillion-dollar black budget. It is not a part of the public $9 billion package of mostly U.S. military aid called Plan Colombia, which began in 2000.

The previously undisclosed CIA program was authorized by President George W. Bush in the early 2000s and has continued under President Obama, according to U.S. military, intelligence and diplomatic officials. Most of those interviewed spoke on the condition of anonymity because the program is classified and ongoing.


The covert program in Colombia provides two essential services to the nation’s battle against the FARC and a smaller insurgent group, the National Liberation Army (ELN): Real-time intelligence that allows Colombian forces to hunt down individual FARC leaders and, beginning in 2006, one particularly effective tool with which to kill them.

More:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2013/12/21/covert-action-in-colombia/

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #1)


Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 22, 2013, 06:29 AM

6. A good example why there's so much resistance to NSA changes.

It's woven into 'business as usual' warp and weft.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Dec 22, 2013, 04:08 AM

3. Operation Phoenix never ended...

Just got renamed, reimplemented and retrained....

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Dec 22, 2013, 04:11 AM

4. This among

 

other actions by CIA funded operations prove beyond any doubt that the 1% control the US government.

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Response to imthevicar (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 22, 2013, 04:48 AM

5. What doubt?

 

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Dec 22, 2013, 06:30 AM

7. That's all well and good, but Maduro picked his nose with his left index-finger

 

Proving beyond a shadow of doubt that he is an evil traitor to America. We should probably talk about that instead.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Dec 22, 2013, 10:00 AM

8. The Ugly Side Of American Empire - So Much For All That Promised Obama Transparency

eom

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Dec 22, 2013, 10:01 AM

9. We can afford this crap but we need to cut food stamps?

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Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 22, 2013, 10:23 AM

10. Hey, the rebels might disrupt the cocaine supply to the rich Americans.

 

Let's keep our priorities straight (pun intended)

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Dec 22, 2013, 10:46 AM

11. " the program is classified and ongoing. "

And there are most likely many more "programs" in other countries as well. And yet the cheerleaders shall arrive shortly to defend.

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Response to MyNameGoesHere (Reply #11)

Sun Dec 22, 2013, 03:06 PM

15. That's the bit that got to me as well

I mean, practices like this read like par for the course in the ugly history of the seventies in Latin America, but NOW?

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Dec 22, 2013, 11:04 AM

12. Foreign entanglements, it's what we do.

Besides, those rebel leaders might have wanted the people of Columbia to share in the bounty of the natural resources or something equally radical.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Dec 22, 2013, 12:27 PM

13. Did anyone think this wasn't going on? nt

 

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 26, 2013, 09:51 AM

21. Oh, then, it's cool.

 

Atrocities can be denied as probable but not quite proven until the proof is exposed, and after that they're old news. As long as the murder machine keeps killing foreigners who pose no threat to Americans and eating the U.S. taxpayers' money, it's all good!

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #21)

Thu Dec 26, 2013, 06:49 PM

35. Like the Dulles Brothers never left.

Gotta kill to protect us from the godless commies. Anyway, when it comes to making money, Columbia is wicked awesome!

Ask Richard Grasso (left, photo below), then-head of the New York Stock Exchange, as he gives a nice warm hug to Raul Reyes, (photo, right) then-living FARC #2.



The Real Deal: The Ultimate New Business Cold Call

NYSE's Richard Grasso and the Ultimate New Business "Cold Call"

Monday, 18 February 2002, 10:13 am
Column: Catherine Austin Fitts

Lest you think that my comment about the New York Stock Exchange is too strong, let's look at one event that occurred before our "war on drugs" went into high gear through Plan Colombia, banging heads over narco dollar market share in Latin America.

In late June 1999, numerous news services, including Associated Press, reported that Richard Grasso, Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange flew to Colombia to meet with a spokesperson for Raul Reyes of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), the supposed "narco terrorists" with whom we are now at war.

The purpose of the trip was "to bring a message of cooperation from U.S. financial services" and to discuss foreign investment and the future role of U.S. businesses in Colombia.

Some reading in between the lines said to me that Grasso's mission related to the continued circulation of cocaine capital through the US financial system. FARC, the Colombian rebels, were circulating their profits back into local development without the assistance of the American banking and investment system. Worse yet for the outlook for the US stock market's strength from $500 billion - $1 trillion in annual money laundering - FARC was calling for the decriminalization of cocaine.

To understand the threat of decriminalization of the drug trade, just go back to your Sam and Dave estimate and recalculate the numbers given what decriminalization does to drive BIG PERCENT back to SLIM PERCENT and what that means to Wall Street and Washington's cash flows. No narco dollars, no reinvestment into the stock markets, no campaign contributions.

It was only a few days after Grasso's trip that BBC News reported a General Accounting Office (GAO) report to Congress as saying: "Colombia's cocaine and heroin production is set to rise by as much as 50 percent as the U.S. backed drug war flounders, due largely to the growing strength of Marxist rebels"

CONTINUED...

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0202/S00069.htm

Reyes today is six-feet under. But his money's still good.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Dec 22, 2013, 02:19 PM

14. Doesnt surprise me. But doesnt really bother me either. They'd just turn Columbia into Venezuela.

 

And we end up with another failed state that has to be bailed out. But I know i'm probably in the minority on this here

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Response to 7962 (Reply #14)

Sun Dec 22, 2013, 03:15 PM

16. Reads like republican policy.

So anyone you disagree with should be dead.

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Response to Kingofalldems (Reply #16)

Sun Dec 22, 2013, 06:04 PM

17. Well, in Columbia, considering the fact that they carry out attacks and kill a lot of people, sure.

 

They're not just marching down the street carrying signs.

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Response to 7962 (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 26, 2013, 09:53 AM

22. Sick answer.

 

You mean they might turn Colombia into a country that has no death squads but has a democratically elected government?

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #22)

Thu Dec 26, 2013, 11:23 AM

24. Santos was elected too.

 

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Dec 22, 2013, 07:06 PM

18. K&R

 






''To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.'' ~George Orwell

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2013, 04:19 PM

19. Colombia Downplays Report of CIA Covert Program

Colombia Downplays Report of CIA Covert Program
BOGOTA, Colombia December 23, 2013 (AP)
By Associated Press

Colombia's government is downplaying a newspaper report that a covert CIA program helped it kill two dozen rebel leaders.

Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said on Monday that cooperation with the US intelligence and special forces has been going on for some time and is widely recognized as having been instrumental in helping break the backs of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

The Washington Post on Sunday detailed features of a CIA program that boosted Colombia's ability to eavesdrop on FARC communications and transform regular munitions into GPS-guided "smart bombs" that were used against high-priority FARC targets.

The multibillion-dollar CIA program was funded secretly and separately from $9 billion in mostly military aid that the U.S. has provided to Colombia over the past decade.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/colombia-downplays-report-cia-covert-program-21314783

(Short article, no more at link.)

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Dec 26, 2013, 04:42 AM

20. Did Covert U.S. Program Targeting Rebel Leaders Help Undermine Colombia’s Peace Process?

Did Covert U.S. Program Targeting Rebel Leaders Help Undermine Colombia’s Peace Process?
Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we continue our coverage of the startling new report that exposes how a secret CIA program in Colombia is responsible for killing at least two dozen rebel leaders there. The Washington Post article by Dana Priest is called "Covert Action in Colombia: U.S. Intelligence, GPS Bomb Kits Help Latin American Nation Cripple Rebel Forces."

In a moment, we’ll go to Colombia, where we’ll be joined on the phone by Charlie Roberts, a member of the Colombia Human Rights Committee and board chair of the U.S. Office on Colombia. But first we’re going to turn to the words of a man who Charlie Roberts has been closely covering, Gustavo Petro, the mayor of Bogotá. Earlier this month, Colombia’s inspector general, Alejandro Ordóñez, announced Petro would have to leave office over the alleged mismanagement of the capital’s rubbish collection service. However, supporters say the former left-wing rebel has been the victim of a "right-wing coup." Tens of thousands of people in Colombia have taken to the streets to support Petro.

In March 2007, Democracy Now! spoke to Gustavo Petro and asked him about his past as a former guerrilla and member of M-19 who later joined the peaceful opposition.

GUSTAVO PETRO: [translated] The M-19 was a belligerent force in Colombia against the state of siege, against the dictatorial forms that Colombia had two decades ago. And it stopped, it ceased being a belligerent force, in terms of an armed movement, when it negotiated agreements that made it possible to hold a national constitutional assembly, which was held in 1991, and in which we won the elections by popular vote, and it transformed, at least in terms of the constitution—it transformed the country from a civilian dictatorship into a democracy with problems.

Unfortunately, as of 1991, the constitution of Colombia, which calls for rule of law with significant social policies with a view towards reducing inequality, while we must keep in mind that Colombia is, socially speaking, one of the most unequal countries in the world, it hasn’t been implemented. Instead, at the local level and in an increasingly widespread fashion, we have seen the rise of what I call the Mafioso dictatorships. These are coercive paramilitary apparatuses that assassinate the population with a single objective, which is to accumulate and concentrate wealth in the most savage form possible, one of which is exporting cocaine to the United States.

Because of denouncing these facts; because of having spent five years of my work as a legislator to showing, with pointing out the first names and last names, how certain Colombian legislators in certain regions of the country would draft laws in the morning and at night they would order massacres; because I have been helping to reveal this intricate network of relationships between persons carrying out genocide, drug traffickers, politicians and public officials, I have received this insult from the president of Colombia, who said that I was a terrorist in civilian clothes. I was accused of being a terrorist, because I was telling the truth, because I was helping to unveil one of the darkest stories in Colombian history, the relationship between the country’s rulers and drug trafficking.

More:
http://www.democracynow.org/2013/12/24/did_covert_us_program_targeting_rebel

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Dec 26, 2013, 11:05 AM

23. Good. FARC is a terrorist organization

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Reply #23)

Thu Dec 26, 2013, 02:12 PM

25. FARC is a decades old, rural based, popular guerrilla army.

 

Are all guerrilla armies "terrorists" now? Or just the ones we don't like?

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #25)

Thu Dec 26, 2013, 03:24 PM

26. No just ones who keep in business by kidnapping and guarding cocaine production. nt

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Response to EX500rider (Reply #26)

Thu Dec 26, 2013, 03:33 PM

28. Guerrilla armies take their funds where they can obtain them.

 

Not saying it's a good thing, just a fact of life. Ask the Contras. Ask the factions in the Lebanese civil war. Ask the Viet Cong (and for that matter ask the French in Vietnam and later the CIA). Or for that matter, ask the rightist Colombian paramilitaries.

The FARC refers to the kidnappings as the taking of political prisoners to pay war taxes. Kinda harsh, I suppose, but must be seen in the context of a decades-long civil war where non-upper middle class people have been killed, imprisoned, and turned into refugees by the hundreds of thousands.

Interestingly, the rightist Colombian government is at this very moment engaged in serious peace negotiations with these "terrorists."

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #25)

Thu Dec 26, 2013, 03:31 PM

27. Now they are nothing more than a criminal gang living off of drugs and kidnapping

They have drifted a long way from their roots - now they are a decimated, isolated group doing anything to survive.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #27)

Thu Dec 26, 2013, 03:34 PM

29. That's wishful thinking.

 

I suppose the rightist government is engaged in serious peace negotiations with them because they are so weak.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #29)

Thu Dec 26, 2013, 03:42 PM

30. Drugs, kidnapping and child soldiers - that is the FARC today

We will see just how willing they are to give up the lucrative drug trade.

The FARC used drug financed violence, killing thousands of innocents, to further their cause. You may think it was justified and moral - I do not.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #30)

Thu Dec 26, 2013, 03:57 PM

31. Wildly off track, either through ignorance, or because of intentional misrepresentation.

The readers and researchers, and ordinary halfway bright people among us, and those of us who have learned the truth from former residents of Colombia, realize what the human rights organizations have been saying for years, and that is the AUC, which has conducted innumerable operations WITH the Colombian army, in massacres over many years, has been responsible for the "LION'S SHARE" of the massacres, murders, and narcotrafficking, going back for ages.

It's been popular knowledge all this time.

It has also been popular knowledge all this time, even discussed in print very recently, that the US has, although designating the AUC as a "terrorist group" nearly always turned a blind eye to their fiendish atrocities as they were the ones who often handled ALL the filthy violence and terrorism which assisted the Colombian government in keeping the Colombian population paralyzed with fear, but with which they couldn't afford to have the Colombian military too closely associated. They have done the wildly filthy work for them, acts you would pray would never bleed through into your own nightmares.

To pretend this has not happen indicates someone who is too lazy to research, or too duplicitous to ever be trusted on any subject.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #31)

Thu Dec 26, 2013, 04:14 PM

33. You are truly amazing, Judi Lynn

I'll just leave it at that. Hope you had a Merry Christmas.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Dec 26, 2013, 03:57 PM

32. Ex-Senate President in ‘parapolitics’ scandal dies (Right-winger)

Ex-Senate President in ‘parapolitics’ scandal dies
posted by Mimi Yagoub
Dec 26, 2013



Luis Humberto Gomez, a former Colombian senate president condemned for paramilitary ties, died on Wednesday. The politician was 52.

Gomez passed away after a heart attack he suffered while playing squash in the Club Campestre in his hometown of Ibague, only months after an early release from a jail sentence in Colombia’s “parapolitics” scandal during which numerous local and high-level politicians were tried for associating with the country’s drug-trafficking paramilitary organizations.

~snip~
At the time, this was the highest sentence given to any of the dozens of politicians who had been imprisoned in for “parapolitics” practices. Gomez is amongst the 12 out of the 13 past Presidents of the Senate to have been shamed for involvement with criminal organizations.

Accusations against Gomez also included allegedly ordering the death of colleague and member of the House of Representatives Pompilio de Jesus Avendaño, and shifting public money to fund terrorist groups.

Despite these heavy claims against his name, Gomez passed away a free man, as he was prematurely released from prison on April 10 this year. He reportedly earned the reduction of his nine-year sentence by giving classes in industrial engineering and breeding quails.

http://colombiareports.co/ex-senate-president-parapolitics-scandal-dies/


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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Dec 26, 2013, 04:27 PM

34. For anyone who's in the dark concerning the Colombian paramilitary death squads:

(From previous posts here)

Paramilitaries said 1997 massacre was 'well coordinated' with army: US cable .
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 09:31 Adriaan Alsema

Members of paramilitary organization AUC told the U.S. embassy that the 1997 Mapiripan massacre in central Colombia was "well coordinated in advance" with (elements of) the army, according to a released diplomatic cable.

The State Department document was declassified and published Tuesday by the National Security Archive, a non-profit organization dedicated to declassifying U.S. government documents.

According to the embassy's anonymous sources, the army provided "travel, logistics, intelligence and security" to the paramilitary who killed dozens of civilians in the five days after their July 15 incursion of the town.

~snip~
The identification of the victims has been complicated as the paramilitaries cut up the majority of their remains and threw them in a nearby river.

Read more: http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/25133-paramilitaries-said-1997-massacre-was-well-coordinated-with-army-us-cable.html

[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
The Massacre at Mapiripán
By Jo-Marie Burt · April 3, 2000

In July 1997, the paramilitary group known as the United Self-Defense Units of Colombia (AUC) went on a grisly killing spree in Mapiripán, a small coca-growing town in southeastern Colombia. According to eyewitness accounts, the paramilitaries hacked their victims to death with machetes, decapitated many with chainsaws and dumped the bodies–some still alive–into the Guaviare River. At least 30 people were killed, though the true number of dead may never be known. Carlos Castaño, the self-anointed leader of the AUC, immediately and unabashedly took credit for the massacre.

But Castaño did not act alone. Human rights observers immediately noted the complicity of the Colombian armed forces in the Mapiripán massacre. The paramilitaries used an army-guarded airstrip to land from their stronghold in northern Colombia and from which to launch their attack. Nor did the authorities respond to repeated calls by a local judge to stop the attack, which lasted six consecutive days.

Evidence later emerged suggesting that the role of the Colombian military in the massacre was in fact much deeper, and in March 1999 Colombian prosecutors indicted Colonel Lino Sánchez, operations chief of the Colombian Army’s 12th Brigade, for planning, with Castaño, the Mapiripán massacre. This is not surprising, given that the links between paramilitaries and the Colombian army have been well established. According to a February Human Rights Watch report, half of the Colombian Army’s 18 brigades have clear links to paramilitary groups.

In recent weeks, new evidence obtained by Ignacio Gómez of the Bogotá daily El Espectador, suggests that weeks, if not days, before the Mapiripán massacre, Colonel Sánchez received “special training” by U.S. Army Green Berets on Barrancón Island, on the Guaviare River. While it cannot be said that U.S. forces were directly involved in the massacre, or even knew that it was being planned, the events offer compelling evidence that U.S. equipment, training and money can be easily turned to vile purposes in what Human Rights Watch has called a “war without quarter.”

More:
http://colombiajournal.org/colombia6.htm

[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
Document Friday: The Mapiripán Massacre “Cover-up”
July 13, 2012
by Michael Evans

The Colombian military falsely blamed a junior officer for complicity in a 1997 paramilitary massacre “as part an effort to confuse and cover up the responsibility of others,” according to a 2003 State Department letter, which we’re featuring here today as our Document Friday selection.

This posting kicks off the Archive’s commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the Mapiripán massacre, one of the most infamous and emblematic acts of violence of Colombia’s decades-old conflict. A forthcoming Electronic Briefing Book now being prepared for the Archive’s Web site will highlight new revelations from a highly anticipated set of declassified diplomatic cables on Mapiripán released earlier today by the State Department’s Appeals Review Panel.

The State Department wrote the letter on behalf of Hernán Orozco, a former Colombian army colonel who cooperated with prosecutors during the investigation of his commanding officer, Gen. Jaime Uscategui, the first Colombian general to be sentenced in a major human rights case. The letter and other declassified documents published here today show that the State Department harbored serious concerns that the “whistle-blower” junior officer Orozco was being unfairly persecuted in Colombia for testifying against a senior military commander.

Two of Colombia’s top paramilitary figures, Carlos Castaño and Salvatore Mancuso, masterminded the Mapiripán massacre, flying more than 100 of their men into the region from Urabá, a longtime paramilitary stronghold. Arriving at a joint military/police airfield, the paras traveled by truck and by river to Mapiripán, passing several military checkpoints along the way. Dozens of suspected guerrilla collaborators were killed in the days that followed. A local magistrate—who each night “heard the screams of people who were being tortured and murdered” by Castaño’s men, made urgent pleas to Orozco, commander of the local army brigade, to step in and end the slaughter.

More:
http://nsarchive.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/document-friday-the-mapiripan-massacre-cover-up/
[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
Murder Training: Colombian Death Squad Used Live Hostages
April 29, 2007 By El Tiempo

El Tiempo, Bogota -- "Proof of courage": that is how the how the paramilitaries would term the training they imparted to their recruits so that they learnt how to carve up people while they were still alive.

Initially, the authorities rejected this version of the farmers who reported the practice... but when the combatants themselves started to admit to it in their testimonies before the prosecutors, the myth became a harsh crime against humanity.

Francisco Enrique Villalba Hernández (alias Cristian Barreto), one of the perpetrators of the massacre at El Aro in Ituango, Antioquia, received this type of training in the same place where he learnt to handle arms and manufacture home-made bombs. Today, a prisoner at La Picota in Bogota, Villalba has described in details during lengthy testimonies how he applied the learning.

"Towards the middle of 1994, I was ordered to a course... in El Tomate, Antioquia, where the training camp was located," he says in his testimony. There, his working day started at 5 in the morning and the instructions were received directly from the top commanders such as 'Double Zero' (Carlos Garcia, since assassinated by another paramilitary group).

Villalba claims that in order to learn how to dismember people they would use farmers they gathered together in the course of taking neighbouring settlements. As he describes it, "they were aged people whom we brought in trucks, alive and bound up". The victims arrived at the ranch in covered trucks. They were lowered from the vehicle with their hands tied and taken to a room. There they were locked up for days in the hope that the training would start.

More:
http://www.zcommunications.org/murder-training-colombian-death-squad-used-live-hostages-by-el-tiempo

or:
http://www.africanamerica.org/topic/murder-training-colombian-death-squad-used-live-hostages

This is a translation of an article printed in Colombia's largest newspaper, "El Tiempo."

[center]

Former AUC, Francisco Enrique Villalba.[/center]

Material from a testimony by this man, Francisco Villaba, former death squad member. He was murdered not too long ago, after he had testified in court regarding his participation in AUC (right-wing paramillitary) activities:

Details of testimony that involves Uribe in a massacre
Posted on June 20, 2008 by csn

http://colombiasupport.net/2008/06/details-of-testimony-that-involves-uribe-in-a-massacre

(Very, very graphic. Horrendous.)
[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
Colombia Searches for its Dead
Apr 29 2007
Luz María Sierra

They Gave Quartering Classes

~snip~
When we decided at El Tiempo to do a special report on the phenomenon of common graves a scene began to repeat itself in our newsroom: one by one, reporters coming back from the field, returned mortified.

Few discoveries have shaken us so deeply and few are as difficult to write about: from the scale of the horror, to the way they died, and by the insatiable pain of the families, as well as—perhaps most unsettling—realizing the magnitude of the work that remains to be done throughout the country. Will a significant number of the dead be unearthed and identified to alleviate their families? Will we be able to mourn, as we should, to prevent a third chapter of extreme violence from enrapturing Colombia?

Paramilitary testimonies and the results of forensic teams lead us to conclude that the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), a paramilitary umbrella group, not only designed a method to quarter human beings, they also took the extra step of actually giving classes on the subject, using live people taken to their training camps.

~snip~
Paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso confessed that to prevent authorities from finding the body of indigenous leader Kimi Pernía, they dug up his grave and threw his remains into the Sinú River. Informed sources allege that before beginning his demobilization negotiations with the government, Mancuso ordered land that was seeded with the dead on the Ralito estate to be dug up to hide his crimes. Now, investigators say the “Black Eagles,” which are a successor group of the paras, are going around the country digging up graves and throwing the remains into the rivers.

And the guerrillas? Their common graves have been found as well, especially in the department of Cundinamarca, but 98% of the denunciations and claims of graves being investigated by the Fiscalía are connected to the paras.

More:
https://nacla.org/node/1467

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Here's one reason it's hard to get a lot of formal information on the Colombia massacres:

Mounting Evidence of President’s Involvement in Massacre

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 27 April 2008

~snip~

• In the months and years that followed, government agencies as well as human rights organisations opened investigations into the massacre at El Aro. However, in 1999 the government investigators that were involved in this work were themselves all murdered. The highest profile human rights defender in Antioquia at that time, Jesus Maria Valle Jaramillo, publicly stated that the Army and paramilitaries had collaborated on the massacre and questioned why Governor Uribe had ignored the plea for help from residents in the period immediately preceding the attack. Uribe responded by accusing Mr Valle Jaramillo of being an "enemy of the armed forces". Then in February 1999, he too was assassinated.

• Some time afterwards Jose Ardila, the CONVIVIR representative who had attended the first meeting at the ranch with the Uribe brothers, had a falling out with Uribe. He was subsequently sentenced to a 60-year prison term but shortly afterwards was taken out of jail. He has never been seen since.

• Since going public with his testimony, Mr Villalba, who himself is in jail, has been the victim of three assassination attempts.

More:
http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/news/article/296/mounting-evidence-of-presidents-involvement-in-massacre

[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
COLOMBIA: Half Century of US Military Presence
Analysis by Javier Darío Restrepo

BOGOTA, Aug 11 2009 (IPS) - In the 1960s, it went by the name of Latin American Security Operation, or Plan LASO; today it is known as Plan Colombia. Back then, the aim was to weed out communism; now it is to combat drug trafficking, while at the same time dealing a blow to the guerrillas. But at that time or today, the interests of the United States are at stake, although the killing takes place in Colombia – whether in the fight against communists, guerrillas, drug traffickers, or all of them together.

In May 1964, the teletype machines were clicking as a United Press International (UPI) cable arrived from Washington about “a group of special forces technicians of the United States Army…sent to Colombia with (the) purpose of instructing soldiers and police in counter-guerrilla tactics.”

The advisers formed part of a campaign started by President Alberto Lleras (1945-1946 and 1958-1962) and continued by his successor Guillermo León Valencia (1962-1966).

The UPI cable goes on to say that “one of the principal tactics employed in the counter-guerrilla operations was the implementation of psycho-warfare which brought about the cooperation and trust of the indigenous population.”

More:
http://www.ipsnews.net/2009/08/colombia-half-century-of-us-military-presence/

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 07:42 AM

36. Mythmaking in the Washington Post: Washington’s Real Aims in Colombia

Weekend Edition December 27-29, 2013

Mythmaking in the Washington Post

Washington’s Real Aims in Colombia

by NICK ALEXANDROV


Last Sunday’s Washington Post carried a front-page article by Dana Priest, in which she revealed “a CIA covert action program that has helped Colombian forces kill at least two dozen rebel leaders.” Thanks to “a multibillion-dollar black budget”—“not a part of the public $9 billion package of mostly U.S. military aid called Plan Colombia”—as well as “substantial eavesdropping help from the National Security Agency,” the initiative has been successful, in Priest’s assessment, decimating the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas, as the country’s “vibrant economy” and “swanky Bogota social scene” flourish.

The lengthy piece offers a smorgasbord of propagandistic assertions, pertaining both to Washington’s Colombia policies, and to its foreign conduct in general. For a sampling of the latter, consider one of the core assumptions underlying Priest’s report—namely, that our noble leaders despise drugs. The FARC’s “links with the narcotics trade” and “drug trafficking” motivated U.S. officials to destroy their organization, we’re supposed to believe. True, CIA informants in Burma (1950s), Laos (1970s), and Afghanistan (1980s) exploited their Agency ties “to become major drug lords, expanding local opium production and shipping heroin to international markets, the United States included,” Alfred W. McCoy’s research demonstrates. True, a few decades ago the Office of the United States Trade Representative joined “with the Departments of Commerce and State as well as leaders in Congress” for the purpose of “promoting tobacco use abroad,” the New York Times reported in 1988, quoting health official Judith L. Mackay, who described the resulting “tobacco epidemic” devastating the Philippines, Malaysia, and other countries: “smoking-related illnesses, like cancer and heart disease” had surpassed “communicable diseases as the leading cause of death in parts of Asia.” True, the DEA shut down its Honduran office in June 1983, apparently because agent Thomas Zepeda was too scrupulous, amassing evidence implicating top-level military officials in drug smuggling—an inconvenient finding, given Honduras’ crucial role in Washington’s anti-Sandinista assault, underway at the time.

But these events are not part of History, as the subject has been constructed in U.S. schools. It’s common to read, every year or so, an article in one of the major papers lamenting the fact that “American students are less proficient in their nation’s history than in any other subject,” as Sam Dillon wrote in a 2011 piece for the Times. The charge is no doubt true, as far as it goes: Dillon explained that only a “few high school seniors” tested were “able to identify China as the North Korean ally that fought American troops during the Korean War,” for example. But the accusation is usually leveled to highlight schools’ inadequacies, with little examination of the roles these institutions are meant to serve. And the indictments are hardly novel: in 1915, a Times story on New York City’s public schools complained their graduates “can not spell simple words,” were incapable of finding “cities and States” on a map, and so on. That piece explicitly critiqued graduates’ abilities to function as disciplined wage-earners, and so was more honest than the majority of today’s education coverage. The simple fact is “that the public schools are social institutions dedicated not to meeting the self-perceived needs of their students [e.g., by providing an understanding of how the world works] but to preserving social peace and prosperity within the context of private property and the governmental structures that safeguard it,” David Nasaw concludes in his fascinating history of the subject. Private schools, to be sure, are similar in essential respects. And one result of this schooling is that well-educated journalists can repeat myths about U.S. foreign policy, as their well-educated readers nod in blind assent.

The notion that U.S. officials have a coherent counterdrug policy is, again, one of these myths. In addition to the historical examples of U.S. support for drug traffickers cited above, we can note that the slur “narco-guerrilla,” which Washington uses to imply that the FARC is somehow unique for its involvement in the narcotics trade, ought to be at least supplemented by—if not abandoned in favor of—“narco-paramilitary.” Commentators tend to discuss the paramilitaries and the Colombian state separately, presupposing the former are “rogue” entities—another myth—when it would be better to view them, with Human Rights Watch, as the Colombian Army’s unofficial “Sixth Division,” acting in close conformity with governmental aims. Paramilitary leader Carlos Castaño admitted in March 2000 that some 70% of the armed groups’ funding came from drug trafficking, and U.S. intelligence agencies took no issue with his estimate—and “have consistently reported over a number of years that the paramilitaries are far more heavily involved than the FARC in drug cultivation, refinement and transshipment to the U.S.,” International Security specialist Doug Stokes emphasizes.

More:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/12/27/washingtons-real-aims-in-colombia/

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 01:10 PM

37. k & r! nt

 

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