“The Israel of Latin America”
Well that is what Chavez quipped as he referred to Colombia’s assault on a FARC group in Ecuador, adding-
“Colombia is a terrorist state that is subject to the great terrorist, the government of the United States and their apparatus,”
No words minced there, the attack turns out to be a lot bigger operation than a quick ground attack-
Investigations on the part of the Ecuadorian authorities show there was no combat on the side of the FARC unit which was attacked. With the exception of three of them keeping guard, the 18 killed were asleep in their undergarments; none of the guerrillas had the opportunity of fighting or surrendering. The arms in the camp were piled up. They did not have the chance even to reach for their rifles and grenades; they were massacred while asleep.
After the bombing from these aircraft, several ‘Supertuscan’ helicopters of the Colombian air force came in and from these the attack on the FARC camp in Ecuadorian territory continued. The helicopters landed special commandos who finished off the injured guerrillas. As the bullet wounds in the bodies of the majority of the guerrillas show, many of them were piled up in a part of the camp and killed from behind. Even the photographs taken by the Colombian government of Raul Reyes’ body show he had a shot on the left side of his face.
Information coming from Ecuadorian military intelligence indicates that the country’s air space was not only violated on the dawn of March 1 but also that on the dawn of March 2 there was another incursion of the helicopters with night vision equipment to pick up members of the armed forces and Colombian police still in Ecuadorian territory. The position of the trees brought down by the bombardment, the multiple bullet holes on them, as also the position of the bodies, demonstrate that while the FARC was guarding the camp on the northern side facing the Colombian frontier, the air incursion happened from the south, which indicates that the Colombian air force intruded without permission or notification, contravening all international norms about Ecuadorian air space.
Washington is of course backing Uribe to the hilt, he is their kind of guy-
After years of increased violations of civilian human rights, the ongoing suppression of trade-unionism, assassinations of left-of-centre activists and politicians, and a political reality that has witnessed 75 governors, mayors and Congressional politicians alleged or found guilty of having direct links to the paramilitaries- including Vice-President Francisco Santos Calderón and his cousin Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos and President Uribe’s brother Santiago and their cousin Senator Mario Uribe-now the Colombian state has deemed it necessary to illegally encroach upon those nations that deviate from their ideological model of political and economic centralization.
FARC while no angels, have been designated as terrorists for political and strategic reasons-
Characterizing the FARC-EP as a foreign terrorist organization dramatically alters the dynamics of the peace process in favour of a killer state. Stipulating that the FARC-EP is terrorist results in the inability for legal peace negotiations to take place between the FARC-EP and any government that subscribes to the categorization. According to James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer, promoting the FARC-EP-and its supporters-as terrorists “puts them on the list of targets to be assaulted by the US military machine” and “thus subject to total war.”
And the timing of this attack might be about Uribe’s domestic agenda-
The actions of March 1 took place days before a major international demonstration scheduled for March 6. Promoted by The National Movement of Victims of State-Sponsored Crimes (MOVICE), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and countless social justice-based organizations, March 6 has been set as an international day of protest against those tortured, murdered and disappeared by the Colombian state, their allies within the paramilitary United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC) and the newly-reformed Black Eagles. Recently, President Uribe’s top political adviser, José Obdulio Gaviria, proclaimed that the protest and protesters should be criminalized.
It came at an opportune time, because there’s been criticism of Uribe Velez for not really carrying out serious measures to release the hostages that the FARC have been holding for some time now. Just last week, four hostages were released by the FARC to the Venezuelan government because of the intervention of Hugo Chavez and the Venezuelan government. And those people, when they got to Venezuela, those people who were in captivity for five, six years, immediately started criticizing and calling into question Uribe Velez’s positions
The military assistance that the United States has directed has been presented as a counter-narcotics aid package of over $5 billion over the last eight years in Plan Colombia. But there’s no doubt that it has been really geared towards attacking the guerrillas. It’s been a counterinsurgency assistance package that continues to maintain the same levels that it did even in 1999 and 2000, when Plan Colombia first started.
Which is sort of, could be good news (domestic repression, Uribe’s ego, imperialism and state terror aside) as it doesn’t relate to a deeper motive of regional war to benefit America and its allies, but the criminal disregard of Ecuador’s sovereignty and Uribe’s alliance with Washington have created a risk of conflict. The antagonism towards non US aligned states and leftists informs all the corporate reporting of this, one view is despite shiny new Russia weapons the Venezuelan military are no match for the ‘battle-hardened Colombian troops‘ and their US allies. Or should that be Colombians are no match for internal and external war- two borders and an insurgency. And then there appeared another ‘laptop of death’ claimed to be Paul Reyes and captured by the Colombians and suddenly a chorus of nuclear terrorism is being hawked around the place- Colombia says some documents suggest the rebels have bought and sold uranium– As Rafeal puts it Imperial Pet Stalks the Land. Certainly the Uribe regime prefers killing their opposition rather than negotiation-
Careful analysts of the Colombian situation continue to debate whether the Colombian state is pre-fascist or actually fascist. It is certainly neither humane nor actually democratic.
However the closed borders impede the large volume of trade between Colombia and Venezuela- $6 billion per year in trade, with Venezuela importing cars, beef and medicine from its neighbor. Colombia imports chemicals, iron and plastic from Venezuela.- And Colombia’s stock’s are falling. But Uribe enjoys great popularity playing this as Bush does, as a war on terror-
The case is being presented as a justified incursion into Ecuadorian territory in pursuit of terrorist groups that haven’t been persecuted by the Ecuadorian government. This is basically the position of the government. And as I say, both the media and opposition parties have also fully supported the decision of the government to present the case in this way.
So Uribe might be happy this has helped defuse the coming demonstrations against his abuses but the reaction might be more than he bargained for and is the Empire’s already overstretched military ready to back up its proxy? So rather than Colombia being Latin America’s Israel, Uribe is Latin America’s Bush, but it would be better if Colombians didn’t have to learn that via a bloody quagmire.