its aim is to drown the Colombian revolution in blood
The article on this page is closely based on a statement issued by several anti-imperialist organisations based mainly in Italy, calling for mobilisation of all progressive people and organisations against Clinton’s Plan Colombia. Those wishing to sign the statement and read it in the original Spanish can contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
On 30 August, US President Clinton visited Colombia to give his blessing to the ‘Plan Colombia’, i.e., to increased US interference in the region. The Plan involves the provision of $1.3 billion to the Colombian government, ostensibly for the purposes of the struggle against drug-trafficking by eliminating the coca-leaf plantations on the one hand and by promoting alternative crops on the other.
In actual fact, however, Plan Colombia is almost entirely concerned with military intervention. It involves sending further military advisers to join those who have been active in the country for several years now.
The Colombian army will receive the latest military hardware and will be strengthened by the creation of special new assault battalions. There are no alternative crops being offered to take the place of the coca-leaf plantations which are to be destroyed. [In fact, the poisons sprayed on the coca leaf will destroy other crops as well]. This will mean condemning millions of people to starvation. This policy has long since been proved to be a failure.
Plan Colombia will also provide political respectability to the paramilitary groups, which are the real drug cartels, and its purpose is to protect the right of multinationals such as OXY and British Petroleum to expropriate the resources of Colombia.
Plan Colombia will lead to the displacement of at least 200,000 people, in addition to the 1.8 million who have already been forced to flee their lands and their communities because of violence perpetrated by paramilitaries and the Colombian army who have with impunity collaborated in unleashing a reign of terror against the civilian population, accusing it of supporting the guerrilla movement.
The immediate results of Plan Colombia were not long in coming. On 16 August, the Colombian army deliberately murdered six children on a school trip to the mountains. And elsewhere, on 5 August, paramilitaries brutally and sadistically massacred seven peasants not far from a military facility.
Plan Colombia threatens the on-going peace process between the government and ELN and FARC, for it not only makes the Colombian government feel it to be unnecessary to address the problems which gave rise to the armed struggle, but also it supplies vast sums of money directly to the warmongers, i.e., the Colombian oligarchy, which will frustrate all possibility of a peaceful solution.
As a result there is a real danger that the armed conflict will degenerate into wholesale slaughter of the people in struggle. There is even the possibility of the US mounting an invasion, either sending its own troops, or a multinational force made up of troops from Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.
The US was hoping that the EU would contribute financially to Plan Colombia, at least insofar as it was possible to dress up the operations as ‘humanitarian’. However, the EU has so far, as a consequence of the Plan’s overt militarism, categorically refused to endorse it – leaving it to individual national governments to do so if they wish. The UK, needless to say, and Spain are right behind the US.
We call on all social, popular, democratic, human-rights and left organisations to mobilise in protest against Plan Colombia.