(en) Canadian complicity in Colombian drug wars?

Dave Cull (dcull@mail.island.net)
Tue, 02 Dec 97 19:57:22

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Date: Tue, 2 Dec 1997 10:18:37 -0500 Newshawk: carey.ker@utoronto.ca Source: The Varsity (A University of Toronto student newspaper) Date: December 1, 1997 E-mail: varsity@varsity.utoronto.ca

US aid goes to military

(RE: 'Violence, drugs and rebels: The Colombian Story?' Nov 24)

Bravo to Evangelina Sapp for her astute analysis of the phony 'War on drugs' in Colombia. She brilliantly connects former president George Bush, war criminal extrordinaire, (and Doctor of Law (sine laude) U of T), with the human misery and civil war in Colombia.

More than one half of the American foreign aid to South America ends up in Colombia (the majority going to the military).

In October, I was part of a trade union human rights mission with the Inter Church Committee on Human Rights in Latin America (ICCHRLA) that travelled to Colombia. While in Apartado (the Uraba region of northern Colombia), our delegation met with General Rito Del Rio, the military commander of this natural geopolitical funnel to North America. In that meeting, the general was straightforwardly asked why, after having received the vast amounts of military aid from the United States, there had been no confiscation of drugs in his region of command.

The general=92s answer was simple obfuscation because in Colombia the problem is the military and their partners in terror, the paramilitary!

Don Schmidt, Ontario English Catholic Teachers=92 Association 6T3

Support Colombians, not Colombia

The Varsity coverage of the tragic current events in Colombia is unparalleled in Toronto. Most media outlets miss the big picture and therefore misrepresent the political situation there. Thank you Evangelina Sapp for facing the issue without blinking and for your brave attempt to unravel one of the most vile legacies of the Bush administration: the so-called War on Drugs and its effects in Latin America. The ways in which geo-political interests intersect with the manipulation of the drug trade by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are almost too sinister to fathom, despite all the emerging evidence of CIA participation.

Right now Colombia=92s civilian population is suffering unspeakable violence -- murders, torture, incarceration and other human rights violations -- in their struggle to create a more just society and to distribute their country=92s bountiful wealth more evenly. Colombia=92s social movements concur that the financial and environmental resources of the nation constitute a common patrimony worth being defended from the small and rapacious group which controls the state, the army and paramilitary groups.

As Canadians, we should pressure our government to behave responsibly in the face of Colombia=92s human rights crisis; so far it hasn=92t even acknowledged the problem. Canada shouldn=92t be promoting trade with Colombia without knowing who will be affected and who will pocket the proceeds. We also need to expose the multinationals who support the paramilitary groups that are executing a reign of terror against peasants and workers.

Finally, Canada should officially join the international solidarity campaign -- =91Let Colombia Live=92 -- that is pressing for a negotiated peaceful end to the civil war. Until then, we have to do it ourselves, we are inviting anyone who is concerned about these issues to get involved (call us -- 978-7770).

Colombia Action Committee OPIRG-Toronto

Dave Cull <dcull@mail.island.net> | <http://fornits.com/no-zone/> <nozone@ibm.net> |

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