On The Bright Side Neither Brown, Cameron & Clegg Presided Over The Murder Of 2,000 Citizens

The comparison doesn’t mean much, as is their wont, each country has its own specific conditions, for example the UK prefers to kill defenceless civilians on foreign fields, that way you get to travel to somewhere warmer and serve the establishment’s blood lust. Although must be said New Labour have been big fans of the death squads. But spare a thought for Colombians, the front runner in their presidential election Juan Manuel Santos a ‘centrist‘ conservative and Uribe & US approved former defence minister presided over a military that killed a couple of thousand civilians, made it look like they were guerrillas and the US Plan Colombia dollars kept rolling in. Although in better news, the Green candidate Antanas Mockus (ht2 Otto), is in second place!

(IPS) – The front-runner in the polls for Colombia’s presidential elections, Juan Manuel Santos, has come under fire from his rivals for his role in the scandal over young civilians killed by the army and passed off as guerrilla casualties, which broke out while he was defence minister.

“All you have to do is look at the statistics: the period when the highest number of non-combat killings was…when Santos was minister,” the opposition Liberal Party’s presidential candidate Rafael Pardo said in early March.

Santos, who was defence minister from July 2006 to May 2009, is the candidate backed by right-wing President Álvaro Uribe, in office since 2002.

The scandal, which broke out in September 2008, led to the removal of three generals and 24 other officers and noncommissioned officers, as well as the November 2008 resignation of then army chief Gen. Mario Montoya, regarded as one of the promoters of the so-called “body count” system, which used incentives like weekend passes, cash bonuses, promotions and trips abroad to reward soldiers and officers for “results” in the counterinsurgency effort.

The magnitude of the phenomenon was such that more than 60 prosecutors have been assigned to the nearly 1,300 cases involving the murders of over 2,000 civilians – including 59 minors and 122 women – who were presented as battlefield casualties.


PS. Though as Commenter Mike points out

No, not 2,000:

This research coincides with the Office for National Statistics announcement today that there were 22‚400 excess winter deaths of older people last year.

Old figures admittedly, but politicians still kill thousands each year in this country with their genocide by omission policies.

Death Threat against Martha Giraldo

SOAW:- Martha Giraldo, a Colombian human rights activist and a featured speaker at the 2009 November vigil to close the SOA (video), was subjected to a chilling death threat earlier this week in Cali, Colombia. Two SUVs with tinted windows — the vehicle of choice of Colombian assassins — tried to run her car off of the road. As they pulled up beside her, they pulled out guns and pointed them at her. They never fired a shot, but the message was clear: we can kill you, and if you don’t keep quiet, we will.

Martha Giraldo and her family continue to tell the truth about how the Colombian army killed her father, a campesino, and dressed him up in guerrilla clothing to make the murder look like a “combat kill.” Colombian human rights organizations
report that extrajudicial executions of civilians by the Colombian Armed Forces is on the rise. Please take two minutes out of your day today to call one of the Colombia specialists at the State Department, Terry Steers-Gonzalez (202-647-4173) or Susan Sanford (202-647-3142). Click here for the message Martha would like you to communicate.

Another Colombian Death Squad Gets Away With It

Via IKN, Colombia is the nation the US and UK ally with in Latin America, now some may put that all down to geopolitics of capital, sphere of influence or whatever but just as with Pinochet I think in some measure it is because they are doing what some of our elite wish they could do, exterminate leftist opposition, the unemployed and the poor. It’s because a large part of our establishment are also crypto fascist militarists, they love a ‘strong man’ in power to partner with, democracy is a word they use in order to get votes and the concept travels no further than that. Don’t think of this horror being an unconnected manifestation of something uniquely Colombian in a fuzzy nationalist/racist manner, it’s a matter of degrees and we can certainly see this from where we currently stand. See here for Justice for Colombia and campaigns to cease UK aiding and abetting this regime.

It is with revulsion that we learn of a Colombian court’s decision yesterday to release 17 Colombian Army personnel for the 2008 Soacha murder case.

The officers and soldiers were awaiting trial for conspiring to kidnap and kill unemployed young men in a slum on Bogotá’s outskirts, only to present their bodies hundreds of miles away as those of armed-group members killed in combat. By raising their “body count” through this unconscionable scheme, the soldiers qualified for a schedule of rewards, as established by Defense Ministry orders. This so-called “False Positives” scandal now involves hundreds of cases since 2002 under official investigation all over Colombia, with over 1,000 potential victims.

Because of its high-profile nature — it forced the resignation of Army chief Gen. Mario Montoya — the Soacha case is a key test of whether Colombia would be able to investigate and punish these crimes.

Colombia is failing that test. Yesterday, 17 alleged perpetrators were released because a judge decided that prosecutors’ time had run out. This issue had come up before, in October. At the time, a judge avoided letting the soldiers go free, giving prosecutors a 90-day extension. He agreed that most of the delay was the fault of the soldiers’ defense lawyers, who were clearly trying to “run out the clock” by throwing up a series of procedural roadblocks, including demands that the murders be tried in Colombia’s military justice system instead of the civilian courts.

It appears that the delaying tactics have worked. The message this sends about impunity for human rights abuse — even in the most egregious cases, like Soacha — could hardly be more poisonous. It is also a huge slap in the face to the Soacha victims’ grieving relatives, who had already been receiving threats..


Colombia Orders 140 Tasers

Woohoo, that bastion of human rights best practice and US ally/deluxe military base has tested the ethical standards of Taser Inc. and found yes indeed they will sell them to such wonderful not at all death squady torture happy Colombian cops, also gotta love the ‘electronic control devices‘ euphemism Taser employ…

(FinancialWire) Taser International, Inc. (NASDAQ: TASR), a market leader in digital evidence solutions and electronic control devices, announced an order from the Colombian National Police for 140 Taser(R) X26 ECDs and related accessories. The contract was placed with Tasers exclusive distributor, Eagle Commercial, S.A. in Colombia.

Students In Colombia Live Under The Gun

Machetera says-

Welcome to Colombian public university, where for at least the last ten years, the Colombian armed forces and paramilitaries associated with the (U.S. puppet) government of Álvaro Uribe and that of Pastrana before him, have been rolling tanks, harassing, threatening and even killing students who dare to express their opposition to the regime. Meanwhile Colombian corporate media and politicians mock dissenting students who as a result, wish to conceal their identity and the universities quietly hand the government the databases it desires.

The link which follows will take you to a video documentary (in 3 consecutive parts) which includes eyewitness accounts from the besieged Colombian university students. The contrast between the story these students tell and that which is presented by the media subservient to Uribe couldn’t be clearer. The documentary was translated and subtitled by, naturally, the Tlaxcala global network of translators for linguistic diversity.

As Otto notes you don’t hear about this but you do hear about protests in Venezuela because Venezuela allows it, it’s a democracy. I would also add Uribe is our elite’s favoured narco/death squad connected man, the US muppet, so English media are not so forthcoming with giving us the full picture while rejoicing in turmoil in Latin Left countries. So here is the blogworld doing the job corporate media have abdicated. View the translated documentary Here.

It’s Obama’s Back Yard Now

(IPS) – The head of Colombia’s biggest association of indigenous people is concerned that allowing U.S. troops to use military bases in his country will signal a regression to former times when the United States exercised control over Latin America, while a native activist warned of an increase in the number of cases of sexual abuse of young indigenous women by foreign soldiers.

A recent agreement between Bogotá and Washington for the U.S. to use seven military bases in Colombia, which has caused concern across Latin America, was ignored in discussions about Colombia’s record on racial discrimination, held this week in Geneva.

At sessions of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the effects of militarisation in Colombia, which has been torn by civil war by nearly half a century, were examined, but the controversial issue of the bases was not raised, said Karmen Ramírez Boscán, a leader of the National Indigenous Organisation of Colombia (ONIC).

“This issue is a focus of broad debate at the national level, and of course it should have been dealt with here at this U.N. agency,” said Ramírez Boscán, a Wayuu indigenous woman.

The fact that it was not discussed is because “we all know that a very sensitive situation is developing,” she said.

The agreement between the two countries provides greater access to Colombian territory for the U.S. military, which will operate small stations known as Forward Operating Locations (FOLs) or Cooperative Security Locations (CSLs).

This will create changed circumstances and greater difficulties for Colombian, especially indigenous, women. “I think that, directly or indirectly, this generates violence, and obviously its most immediate effects are on Colombian women,” said Ramírez Boscán.

And of course Obama’s AG Eric Holder made a great deal of money representing Chiquita as they negotiated the derisory penalty for being found guilty of supporting terrorists who killed hundreds of Colombian workers. And the soft approach to the Honduras coup perhaps betrays old imperial ways do not Change.

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous Rights. Tags: , . Comments Off on It’s Obama’s Back Yard Now

Narco Terrorist & Death Squad Leader Changes Constitution To Hold On To Power

Oops, sorry, my mistake. As it’s an ally and right wing neoliberal instead it’s all fine, nothing to see here, Álvaro Uribe Vélez forever!

Google English lang. news count- um, 9.

PS. and his sons are crooks too!

But hey maybe I’m being too harsh, perhaps Colombia’s suddenly become a really ace democracy and Uribe is great and everything-

An official opinion poll carried out by the National Statistics Office of Colombia, known as the DANE by its Spanish initials, has found that only 34 out of every 100 Colombians consider Colombia to be a proper democracy.

Oh, um…

In Caucasia, Antioquia, medics are complaining about the heavier that normal workload of autopsies. In the period Jan 1st to April 25th there were “just” 46 murders in an otherwise sleepy old town, but this year it’s got up to a pesky 102 in the same lapse. “Here we only have one autopsy table and two old storage compartments, and on average we’re doing two autopsies a day”, said the doc.

Yeah, but-

Three men have been massacred in the Colombian department of Arauca just days after the release of a new human rights report focusing on the region that accuses the Colombian Army of carrying out widespread killings of civilians in the area.

  • That around 90% of the murdered civilians were killed by two units – the 5th Mobile Brigade and the 18th Brigade – of the Colombian Army, whilst the remainder were murdered by members of the police;
  • That in several cases Army units operate together with paramilitary death squads in the region as was the case when a joint group of soldiers of the 18th ‘Pizarro’ Battalion and local paramilitaries killed community leader Alirio Sepulveda Jaimes;
  • That it is common for the Army to subsequently dress the bodies of their victims in guerrilla uniforms and claim that they were guerrilla fighters killed in combat;
  • That a high proportion of the victims are trade unionists or community leaders

But if it was so bad, they’d be like outrage, like when Cavez farts or picks his nose, it’s not like the govenrment is remaning in power through tyranny-

Democrat Congressman James McGovern has called for US aid to Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office to be frozen because, he says, the Colombian authorities are pursuing politically-motivated and baseless investigations into government critics. McGovern specifically highlighted the plight of human rights activists who have spoken out about abuses by the Colombian state security forces. Many of them, along with critical journalists and opposition politicians, have had spurious legal proceedings opened against them after accusations by the authorities that they are supporters of the FARC guerrilla insurgency. The accusations, which are made on the flimsiest of pretexts, put those on the receiving end in great danger. “Unfounded charges are often widely publicised, undermining the credibility of defenders and marking them as targets for physical attack, often by paramilitary groups” said McGovern.

But the UK quietly cut off open military aid, although…

The Foreign Office spokesman acknowledged it would continue to work with “some members of the armed forces” on anti-drug programmes. The UK does not reveal the financial value of that assistance due to “security concerns”, he said. The UK will also continue to fund landmine clearance projects through the UN office in Colombia, as well as more than £1m for civilian human rights projects, £900,000 to support UN drugs projects, and £250,000 to fight what has been described as rampant impunity from prosecution enjoyed by some Colombians.

Well I suppose they had to do something after UK Members of Parliament after going to Colombia said-

...the Colombian government of Alvaro Uribe, and the security forces, are complicit in human rights crimes.

And now he’s going to use his power and murderous forces to get the law changed so he can stay in power…nah, why would the English speaking press be interested in that, he is after all, our -right wing- bastard.

Posted in Establishment, Neo Liberals. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Narco Terrorist & Death Squad Leader Changes Constitution To Hold On To Power

Some Labour MP’s See The Truth About Uribe

(IPS) – A delegation of seven British Labour members of parliament and 10 trade union leaders from the U.S., Canada and Britain said they were in a “state of shock” over what they heard during a week-long fact-finding mission to Colombia. In a strongly worded statement read out in Spanish at a press conference Wednesday in the Colombian Congress, the parliamentary and labour mission accused the government of right-wing President Álvaro Uribe of being an “accomplice of crimes against humanity.”

As you read the statement below be reminded of the New Labour leadership’s close relationship with the Uribe government (as a good US poodle) and Kim Howell’s smearing of Justice for Colombia that put lives in very real danger (ht2 Borev)-

The Justice for Colombia delegation of parliamentarians and trade unionists has returned home safely after an intense week in Colombia during which they met with a wide range of civil society representatives as well as with senior members of the Colombian Government, including President Alvaro Uribe. On their final day in Colombia the delegation held a press conference in the Colombian Congress which received extensive coverage in Colombia. At the press conference the delegation released the following statement.


We are a delegation of British Parliamentarians and British, American and Canadian trade unionists, and have spent seven days here in Colombia gathering information on human and labour rights abuses. We have met a wide range of individuals and groups across Colombian society, covering civil, political, legal and military interests, including trade unions, students and teachers, indigenous peoples, peasant farmers, trade union lawyers, human rights defenders, and former FARC hostages. We have travelled to Arauca province to hear the testimonials of communities and individuals caught up in the conflict in that part of the country. We visited Buon Pastor prison in Bogota and spoke to the women political prisoners incarcerated there; we also met with Martin Sandoval, imprisoned unjustly in Arauca. We had the opportunity in speaking also with senior members of Alvaro Uribe’s government and the President himself. We are grateful to all those individuals and groups who have generously given us their time.

We are shocked at what we have heard, and have no doubts on the evidence given that the Colombian government of Alvaro Uribe, and the security forces, are complicit in human rights crimes. We are convinced also that the murderous activities of the paramilitary forces are condoned and actively supported by the government and army. These crimes are aggravated by the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators and the failure of the legal system to prosecute the criminals and those who issue the orders.

Instead of imprisoning the real criminals, the Government has locked up trade unionists, members of the political opposition and human rights defenders like Martin Sandoval. We call for his immediate release and that of other political prisoners and trade unionists.

On our return to the United Kingdom and North America we will be calling for:

an immediate end to all military aid and support to the Colombian Government;
no Free Trade Agreements until human and labour rights are respected in an internationally verifiable way;
the public exposure of multinational companies, such as for their complicity in human and labour rights violations in Colombia;
an immediate end to the criminalisation of legitimate and democratic opposition, including Senator Piedad Cordoba, Senator Gloria Ramirez, Congressman Wilson Borja and Dr. Carlos Lozano and others;
support for dialogue, a peace process and a humanitarian exchange;
An end to extrajudicial executions and ‘false positives’ carried out by the Colombian army.
A full account of our findings and recommendations will be published in the near future.

Signatures Appended, Wednesday, 8 April 2009

List of Delegates

Ian Davidson MP: Member of Parliament for Glasgow;

David Drever: President of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS);

Simon Dubbins: Director of International Relations of Unite the Union and member of the Executive of the European TUC;

Sam Gurney: International Policy Officer for the TUC and member of the ILO Governing Body

Sally Hunt: General Secretary of the University and College Union (UCU), also a member of the Justice for Colombia National Committee and of both the TUC Executive and TUC General Council where she is spokesperson on international relations;

Peter Kilfoyle MP: Member of Parliament for Liverpool, former Government Minister;

Adam Lee: International Officer of the United Steelworkers (USW);

Andy Love MP: Member of Parliament for Edmonton, Parliamentary Private Secretary;

James McGovern MP: Member of Parliament for Dundee;

John O’Neill: Partner at Thompsons Solicitors;

Sandra Osborne MP: Member of Parliament for Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock, Member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee;

Stephanie Peacock: Member of the Labour Party National Executive Committee;

Frederick Redmond: International Vice President of the United Steelworkers (USW) and a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council;

Mark Rowlinson: Legal Officer of the United Steelworkers (USW);

Mick Shaw: President of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU);

James Sheridan MP: Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire North;

Tony Woodhouse: Chair of the National Executive Committee of Unite the Union.

Monterrico Metals Majaz Torture Gets Official Investigation, Also- NYT Still Crap

Otto reports @ Inca Kola News

Last night RPP radio reported that the Majaz torture case would be officially investigated by Peru’s Congress. This is the full-on public enquiry method in Peru and although it might not move very fast it will cover all the ground and dig out all the details as it goes along, including the names and addresses of the National Police and Monterrico Metals security guards and bosses.

Intriguingly, the congresswoman in charge of the case, Marisol Espinoza, also mentioned last night that if necessary the case would eventually be forwarded to the International Commission for Human Rights.

PS. He also notes in a subsequent post how the NYT ignores the kidnapping and torture of  29 people in Peru (Empire’s new friend) involving state police and corporations (gosh, what does that remind you of…can you say Medal for Uribe) but reports (well pastes the AP) on 4 people arrested in Venezuela (Empire’s enemy) for throwing Molotov cocktails as a way to paint Chavez in a repressive light. Meanwhile the NYT’s coverage of Gaza may be somewhat explained by this- Married to Israelis.

Magic Laptops Of Death Aren’t What They Used To Be

Or- Dead men tell no tales, but laptops can sing any tune the authorities want.

So…the Magic Laptop of Death procured via a cross border raid into Ecuador by Colombian ‘special’ forces, CIA ahem, (just to distinguish it for the Magic Laptop of Death the Bush regime procured which according to them show Iran has a super top secret nuclear weapons program that the 16 US intelligence agencies found no evidence of, ahem) hey wait a minute…seeing any common threads here. Anyways, the Magic Laptop of Death that was meant to be full of emails tying deceased (as in they whacked him & 25 others in the raid/ambush, most in their pj’s) FARC leader Raúl Reyes to the Empire’s public enemy Number 1, a Mr Huge Chávez along with various other nemeses of Washington & Uribe. Well, the thing is…um how shall I put this…Captain Ronald Hayden Coy Cortiz an anti-terrorism investigator of the Colombian police said under oath before the prosecution lawyers-

“We haven’t seen any e-mails, I haven’t found them so far. They found a large number of e-mail addresses, but Reyes kept these in a Word document and other Microsoft documents,” the investigator said in his testimony.

Coy Cortiz made the statements in the investigation of an Ecuadorean politician with alleged ties to the guerrillas. Several journalists and politicians are accused of having ties to the guerrillas.

Reyes was killed on March 1st, so there’s been plenty of time to find any emails on a laptop, even the shittiest IT support could manage that. So…that leaves the supporters of the Magic Laptop of Death super incrimination device a bit…fucked?

BoRev- (click for links) Yeah, so…this raises some questions, like–Christ where to begin?–what exactly were the “huge caches of Emails” the Colombians leaked to the Economist last March, that formed the basis for their big hyperventilating profile thingy here? And what was the “leaked Email” that Guardian reporter Rory Carroll intercepted in May, showing that the FARC might be about to secure money from the Venezuelans? And then what were the “dozens of e-mails in the rebel computers” that were shown to narcissist-retardist Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer last July? And what were the emails that Human Rights Watch said “raised serious questions about Venezuela’s relationship with the Colombian guerrillas”?

I guess the thing is when you get away with WMD lies about the most serious thing on Earth- a war, faking up shit on the odd laptop comes pretty easy as does slavish reporting on it by sympathetic hacks. Otto @ Inca Kola News who led the way on this also noted the suspiciously shiny newness of the 3 procured laptops-

It does remind me of the pristine condition of those laptops, as shown by Colombia to the world in May. That’s the official police photo above….I mean, just look at it. There’s not a scratch on those machines. Don’t you find that slightly weird for three pieces of computer equipment carried round the jungle by a bunch of terrorists? Don’t you find it weird after Reyes and his cohorts had the crap bombed out of them by several bombing runs and then commandos piling in to give them lesde grace a few minutes later? And then there was this story uncovered by Daniel Denvir.…the one about how the photos that Colombia leaked as from the FARC machines were proven to be Colombia intelligence snaps.

So will our news organs apologise (Carroll *cough*), mea culpas all round or as Otto says-

I find it amazing that yesterday’s revelation (no other word will do) there were no e-mails on the Raul Reyes FARC laptop computer hasn’t made any headlines this morning. I’ve just checked on Google and nobody’s running this story outside of fringe media in the Spanish language.

Surely you remember how world publications up to and including The Economist told us about the “huge caches of e-mails” that implicated the world and his wife (most notably Chávez, but natch natch and thrice natch, yeah?). In fact that Economist note is shown to be a very large crock, as it makes constant references to e-mails that (and get this very clear) do not exist.

This is, of course, precisely why the media won’t be dwelling much on this story. The news that the “thousands of e-mails” they used to whack those nasty lefty people over the head with do not exist is rather embarrassing. So in true style, the story will be ignored and spiked in newsrooms around the world. Not a single apology, not a single correction.

More background from The Real News Network back in May, who were somewhat more diligent in their reporting-

Murder On The Dancefloor

Well only injuries because the woman the Black Eagles, right wing Colombian paramilitaries, went into an Ecuadorean disco to execute wasn’t there, so they made do with injuring three people before sneaking back over the border. Not wholly surprising as Washington backs Uribe, who backs the paramilitaries and as the attack on Syria showed borders are not an issue when the Empire is in any way involved. And as Otto notes, only 1 English language report-

Ecuador demands Colombia to increase security on their joint border after paramilitaries allegedly entered Ecuadorean territory and assaulted people in an Ecuadorean disco.

According to Ecuador’s Ministry of Defense, twenty members of paramilitary organization Águilas Negras (Black Eagles) “armed with rifles, machine guns and high caliber guns” entered a disco in Borbón close to the Colombian border to look for a woman they allegedly planned to kill.

The paramilitaries injured three people present in the disco, including the owner, the Ministry said. Ecuador has repeatedly told Colombia to secure its border.

Oh you think maybe I’m being unfair on those upstanding Black Eagle fellas? That perhaps all they wanted was a pint and a dance and the machine guns were for…erm…duck hunting? Yeah Alex James would probably buy that.

This recent death threat by the Colombian paramilitary death squad Aguilas Negras may be quite shocking for Americans, but it represents a chilling everyday reality for many Colombian labor leaders and human rights activists. Where is the outrage in the American press over the fact that the United States government has funded and continues to fund the militarization of this country through Plan Colombia? Why are major newspapers across the United States now adding insult to injury by editorializing in favor of President Uribe and a pending investor rights agreement that will lock in the existing conditions of state supported violence and terror?

Posted in Human Rights. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Murder On The Dancefloor

Right Wing Paramilitaries In Colombia Cremated Enemies

Via Inca Kola News, Sabina Becker  @ News of the Restless provides this translation-

Jorge Iván Laverde Zapata, alias “El Iguano”, ex-chief of the AUC paramilitaries, in the department of Norte de Santander, said that his men incinerated their victims in ovens specially constructed for the purpose.

The paramilitaries built the first oven in 2001, in Juan Frío, a rural parish of the Villa del Rosario municipality. They incinerated 28 bodies in it, according to the confession of the ex-commander of the so-called Fronteras de las AUC.

“El Iguano” admitted that the victims were incinerated in this location, some 800 km northeast of Bogotá, to avoid risks and eliminate evidence. In 2003, another oven was built in the same region to similar purposes, the ex-paramilitary chief revealed.

In both ovens, some 100 victims were incinerated, all accused of belonging to guerrilla groups, as well as being extortionists and rapists, said “El Iguano”.

Posted in Media. Tags: . Comments Off on Right Wing Paramilitaries In Colombia Cremated Enemies

Colombia Body Count

(Reuters) – Some Colombian army officers are pressuring soldiers to kill people in combat as proof of their success in fighting illegal militias, a practice that may have caused rights abuses, the government admitted on Friday.The statement by Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos was the first acknowledgment by the U.S.-backed government that complaints long made by human rights groups may be accurate.

The groups say President Alvaro Uribe’s all-out military push against leftist rebels and other cocaine-funded groups has resulted in noncombatant civilians being shot by soldiers and passed off as guerrillas killed in battle. Santos’ comments come during a outcry over the deaths of at least 19 young men who the army said died in combat but whose families say were never involved in Colombia’s conflict.

The 19 youths were recruited near the capital, Bogota, by mysterious men promising jobs in the northeast of the country. Their bodies were found this month in mass graves. “It is likely that they were recruited to work on coca plantations or in cocaine laboratories,” said Cesar Restrepo, an analyst with Bogota think tank Security and Democracy. “It is clear that they were killed by the army. But under what circumstances? Were they shot in combat or executed?”

may be accurate‘ d’you think?

Posted in Human Rights, Media. Tags: . Comments Off on Colombia Body Count

The Terror We Support

On 21 August 2008, Luisa Fernanda Malo Rodríguez was in a park in the south of Bogotá on her way to the Family Welfare office to collect some documents. As she was crossing the park she was approached by two men, one of whom held a gun to her side, while the other attempted to inject her with a hypodermic needle. As Luisa Fernanda Malo Rodríguez was struggling to free herself, one of the men asked her if she wanted to die there and then. The other man then punctured her skin three times with the needle before injecting her with an unknown liquid. The men then pushed her and told her she had twelve hours to live. Luisa Fernanda Malo Rodríguez immediately contacted her partner, who accompanied her to a health centre located in the park, and subsequently to the Kennedy Hospital where she is currently under observation and is receiving psychological care.

Luisa Fernanda Malo Rodríguez has been forced to move around different regions of Colombia as a result of threats that she has received. She was residing in the city of Barrancabermeja with her family when her name appeared on a list circulated by the paramilitary group Águilas Negras, declaring her as a military target. She also received threats via e-mail and calls to her mobile phone in which she was told that her daily movements and places of work and residence were known. She was further threatened that retaliation would be taken and it would involve her children. Following these threats, she moved to Bogotá in March 2008, in order to lower her profile and she ceased many of her regular activities.

Front Line believes that the attack against Luisa Fernanda Malo Rodríguez was motivated by her activities in defence of human rights through her work with the Hope Foundation. In view of this attack and the resultant trauma, Front Line is seriously concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of Luisa Fernanda Malo Rodríguez.

Go to www.frontlinedefenders.org for details of how to help.

As for AGUILAS NEGRAS (Black Eagles), a previous terror warning makes it clear who they are aligned with (and they love caps, a common rightist phenomenon)-


The UK government’s support of the Uribe regime includes political backing and our special forces (SAS etc) ‘training’ and assisting Uribe’s security apparatus. Perhaps most infamously was the recent photo of Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells posing with members of the High Mountain Battalion, after that he smeared a human rights group- Justice for Colombia- as being supporters of FARC this put their lives in extreme danger. He has since rather grudgingly apologised, however our ‘aid’ in concert with US support of the Uribe client regime continues. As previously noted last year 329 people were assassinated by the regime, trade unions and human rights workers being prime targets. In this case our brave -boys- assistance supports the regime that fostered this terrorist attack on a woman and mother.

Posted in Class War, Militarism. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on The Terror We Support

329 Extrajudicial Killings by the Colombian Authorities in ’07

This was mentioned at BoRev over the weekend, this is the regime Uribe runs and is enthusiastically backed by the US and UK governments (and Alex James of Blur bass playing fame, he now lives in a house a very big house in the etc.)-

The number of civilians killed by the Colombian armed forces has soared, activist groups allege, with many of the abuses committed by army units that had been vetted by the State Department. There were 329 so-called extrajudicial killings by the Colombian military and police last year, a coalition of Colombian rights groups asserts in a report, a 48% increase from the 223 reported in 2006.

There is a correction in the LA Times article which is-

Colombia abuses: An article in Thursday’s Section A on human rights abuses by Colombia’s armed forces said that a report by rights advocates alleged that as of June 2007, Colombian military courts had won only four convictions in more than 900 cases of alleged murder involving uniformed soldiers and police. The article should have included the following sentence: “A Colombian Defense Ministry official said that since the formation of a special prosecutor’s office in mid-2007 to investigate alleged killings of civilians, 14 soldiers and police officers have been convicted in connection with those killings.”

Woohoo 14! Well that’s virtually solved then!

The Colombian Commission of Jurists, a Bogota-based civil society group that is responsible for verifying many of the deaths, said last week that a significant number of killings of civilians by the armed forces had been reported so far in 2008 in five Colombian states, but provided no precise numbers. A separate analysis of last year’s killings by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a New York-based peace group, alleges that 47% of the homicides were committed by army units that had been scrutinized in 2006 or 2007 by the State Department, which determined that they had complied with human rights requirements, making them eligible for U.S. military aid and training.

I’m guessing those human rights requirements are-

  1. Don’t get caught.
  2. The End.

BoRev crunches the figures-

the body count is roughly half the size of the Tienanmen Square massacre, which froze relations between China and the U.S. for a decade. It’s about on par with My Lai, and larger than Wounded Knee, Tlatelolco, or the Madrid train bombings. We’re talking 13 Bloody Sundays, 36 Manson families, or 82 Kent States. It’s more than double the death count at Dujail, which is what Saddam Hussein was tried and executed for. In other words…let’s see how did the New York Times put it?…”he will be remembered as the leader who brought Colombia back from the brink and onto a path toward peace.”

Which really takes us back to the previous Dominion post:– An interesting thought experiment I suggest doing is- look at the present day status, look at the countries with no or very low US military presence (like ‘advisers’) then think about how those countries are portrayed in the media…