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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


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.


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