Monday, January 15, 2007

Democracy and Plan Colombia

Democracy and Plan Colombia by Hector Mondragon

President George W. Bush has asked the American people to "be patient" so that Iraq can become like Colombia—so that the Iraqis can defeat terrorism and establish a stable democracy like the one Washington has nurtured in Colombia. I would like to comment on this nightmare.

Plan Colombia, a "pro-democracy" aid package provided by the United States to Colombia, was established in 1999. Its primary stated objective was to end drug trafficking in Colombia. Later on, it was discovered that the plan had the further objective of defeating the guerrilla movement, though that component of the plan was never acknowledged by Washington while Bill Clinton was in office. It was, however, made explicit in subsequent versions of the plan devised by George W. Bush's administration, which identified its principal objective as combating "narco-terrorism," thus conflating the drug war with the anti-guerrilla struggle. Furthermore, the Bush government has proposed that the plan combat any other threat to the security of the Colombian state, a proposal that has since been repeated in a State Department document.

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