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what "pointless military programs"..., 2004-03-09 15:38:54 | Main | From the International Crisis ..., 2004-03-11 11:34:58

no president has done more for human rights, etc:

another for his long list of achievements, the third largest recipient of US military aid in the world is posting record human rights violations:

Reports indicate that in around 55% of the cases, torture is committed by army-backed paramilitaries, 11% directly by the security forces and almost 7% by armed opposition groups. In the remaining cases responsibility is not known.

During 2002 more than 4,000 civilians were killed for political motives, over 1,000 people "disappeared", over 400,000 were displaced and at least 2,700 people were abducted, some 1,500 of whom were abducted by armed opposition groups and paramilitaries.

This "represents a dramatic increase over the 3,413 people who were disappeared in total between 1994 and 2001." Further "anti-terror" laws, legalizing human rights abuses and curtailing civil liberties, continue floating their way through the halls of government. Paramilitary death-squad members can even buy get-out-of-jail free cards.

For comparison Venezuela (sub-Cuba, Enemy Number One, Mother of Tyranny, etc) has archaic censorship laws that prohibit the press from overtly mocking public figures and the police continue to use heavy handed violence against US-funded anti-Chavez organizations apparently protesting with gasmasks on, in a sort of inverse replay of Seattle 1999, with protesters targeting human beings instead of store fronts. Chavez has inherited a poor situation where the most serious violations "arise in the context of the country's extremely high crime rate". His government should investigate political killings, as human rights agencies have urged. A lot of other problems ought to be cleared up, but there's nothing here that justifies previous coup attempts, or forthcoming coup attempts, or the US encouragement thereof. Nothing really even justifying the colorful adjectives being used to describe his presidency. He's up for election in two years, vote him out if you don't like him, recall him now if you can get the signatures. If you're not a Venezuelan citizen I suspect you could hook something up through the NED.

Columbia, on the other hand, is recieving some $700 million in military aid from the US this year to fight leftist narcotaxing and support right-wing narcotrafficking, both of whom otherwise fund their violence with American coke habits. The government has been responsible for thousands disappeared, thousands tortured and killed, hundreds of thousands displaced. Nobody is suggesting we organize a coup against Alvaro Uribe, but as it stands regime change seems to be the only policy The Human Rights President understands besides uncritical support.

The United States continues to be the most influential country in Colombia, and in 2003 provided over $750 in mostly military aid. Although 25 percent of the security assistance included in this package is formally subject to human rights conditions, the conditions have not been enforced. The full amount of aid continues to flow to Colombia, even though the Colombian government has failed to break ties between the military and paramilitary groups.


:: posted by buermann @ 2004-03-10 18:17:52 CST | link





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