Col. Julián Villate, what a renaissance guy, well not really he gets lots of different gigs but they are always the same job, whether it be:- Colombian Army Colonel, instructor at School of The Americas/WHINSEC, ‘security consultant’ to Drummond mining, often named lynchpin around which various assassination plots are formed, be they Uribe’s critics, union organisers or lefty types; US embassy employee, Operation Dragon ‘mastermind’. He is much in demand and wherever he goes, people turn up dead and capital is protected. Go figure.
Retired Colonel Julian Villate — now employed by Alabama-based coal producer Drummond Co Inc — was accused by Senator Gustavo Petro on Tuesday of trying to hire hit men to kill him.
Oops, he is a bit of amn of mystery though
A retired army colonel who is accused of conspiring to assassinate Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s most vocal critic worked for the US embassy two years ago. US embassy spokesman Marshall Louis confirmed on Wednesday that Villate was employed by the diplomatic post between December 2004 and July 2005, when he resigned. Louis said he was not allowed to reveal what Villate did for the embassy, or why he resigned.
What was Opertaion Dragon?
It was a large plot to target for assisnation SINTRA-EMCALI labor union’s campaign against corruption and privatisation of the Cali Municipal Corporation (EMCALI) as well as human rights workers and associates. And the colonel?
…in Lt. Colonel Villate’s possession were names, phone numbers and addresses of those under surveillance, as well as highly sensitive information concerning detailed protection measures granted to those under surveillance by the Protection Program of the Colombian Ministry of the Interior. Lt. Colonel Villate’s notes also reveal the existence of an intelligence network through direct correspondence involving a nexus of private companies, private security groups and public security forces, including: the management of EMCALI, the Superintendent of Public Services, the Third Brigade of the Colombian Army, the Intelligence Service of the National Police (SIPOL), the National Electrical Finance body (FEN), the Colombian Ministry of the Interior, the Administrative Security Department (DAS), and the Cali Metropolitan Police Department.
…there have been continued threats against individuals targeted by “Operation Dragon.” On September 17th, 2004, paramilitaries with alleged ties to Lt. Colonel Villate made multiple phone calls to SINTRAEMCALI President Luis Hernandez, Vice President Luis Enrique Imbachi Rubiano, and union leader Carlos Marmolejo. On the same day, a man in a bulletproof vest conspicuously inquired about the whereabouts of union leader Carlos Ocampo at his university. On October 21st, former SINTRAMEMCALI member and retired EMCALI employee Tania Valencia was carjacked, beaten and interrogated about the activities of Representative Lopez Maya, Carlos Marmolejo, and Carlos Ocampo. During these encounters paramilitaries referred to SINTRAEMCALI union members as “Indumiles”, a term used by Lt. Colonel Villate in his notes to describe those under surveillance and targeted for assassination
Gosh, so when Drummond mining hired him, they probably, erm how shall I put this? Knew what he was good at doing and needed that expertise for their operations?
And those operations…
The bus carrying 50 tired and grimy miners had just left La Loma mine when gunmen forced it to stop and dragged two union leaders off. One was shot dead on the spot, the gunmen pumping four bullets into his head. The other was tortured and then killed. Six months later another union leader who had come to the mine was also assassinated.The men, members of the Sintramienergetica union, had been trying to improve the appalling and unsafe working conditions at a United States-owned mine, which sends huge amounts of coal from Colombia to Europe and North America.The lawsuit alleges that Drummond intimidated union activists by allowing “known paramilitaries to freely enter their mining facilities” and permitted pamphlets to be handed out accusing union members of being part of a “guerrilla union”.
Drummond has replied-
Drummond, one of the largest coal-mining companies in the world, denies any involvement with the paramilitaries. For decades, landowners and businesses have used private militias to protect them from the guerrillas. And Drummond says the court must first prove that the workers were not associated with these guerrillas.
Er no actually they don’t, and just a word of advice, judges take a dim view of being told by the accused what their job is. Hey why not get the good colonel to the witness stand? Because get what Drummond said:-
…the company said the retired colonel “came with the best recommendations. . . . The fact that he had worked for the United States Embassy in Colombia would lead one to suppose that there had been a thorough check of his résumé.”
Pretending the recommendations weren’t’ actually- Hey ! He really hate leftists and loves to kill them!- I mean if you have someone who has along history of planning and executuing assassinations and you hire him, well it isn’t to sit in reception and look pretty, is it?