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The new Latin American century, FARC, arms races, US bases & sundry fibs

category international | anti-war / imperialism | opinion/analysis author Sunday August 16, 2009 01:41author by iosaf mac diarmada Report this post to the editors

“Alfonso Cano” saw his first statement as current leader of FARC published widely last week. As FARC leader he denied giving prior electoral campaign donations or current administration sweeteners to the Bolivarian presidency of Rafael Correa in Ecuador. Further he denied receiving arms shipments from Venezuela. The communiqué from FARC is significant not only in consideration of the Colombian state decision to host US military bases despite the oratorical fury of Venezuela & more strategical alarm & objection of Brazil. But also because today Ecuador’s Rafeal Correa has accepted Colombian Uribe’s freshest apology for Latin America's last military incursion on March 1st 2008. I would like to bring readers through the facts and foibles so that they do not fall into the trap of thinking Latin America is as some suggest in an arms race & so that they also understand the new role (if new at all) being played by Colombia.
These people passed from relevant to anachronistic without even enjoying "-retro" - not even a t-shirt
These people passed from relevant to anachronistic without even enjoying "-retro" - not even a t-shirt

On the 1st of March, 2008 the Colombian state ordered a group of helicopters carrying elite military units, supported by Colombian airforce fighter jets to overfly the border with Ecuador. They landed at a point in the jungle, which the average GSM device would term North 0ş23`10.66 West 076ş20`59.88. That is a point exactly 1.85 kilometres on the Ecuadorian side of the border with Colombia.

Such an encroachment of sovereign territory is several hundred metres outside of the usual lassitude accepted between states who share those legally “precise borders” with practically hard to define frontier areas. I would direct readers doubtful of such to examine in the footnotes a facsimile copy of a letter sent from the Venezuelan government to the Colombian government protesting the incursion of 60 Colombian soldiers on May 16, 2008 in Sector Banks Paez Municipality of Apure state at coordinates: 7ş 2' 12,5" N, 72ş 2' 6,4" W or a mere 800 metres on the wrong side of the border. (*i)

Once the Colombian security services landed at that point 1.85km inside Ecuador on the 1st of March, 2008 they then wasted no time in giving journalists and the more profitable lobby of lawyers something to read and write about. Meaning - they killed a whole bunch of people in tents, amongst who was a man whose birth certificate said he was Edgar Devia Silva but who was and is better known to the underground jungle crew of global retro-revolution as "Raul Reyes", the number 2 of FARC. In addition to being “well in” with the then leadership of FARC of decades on account of in-law bedding arrangements, Raul Reyes managed to combine it seems an extraordinary interest in personal computers with the pressures one would expect from being the interlocutor for the last credible proposal of a peace process between FARC and the Colombian state.

Indeed such was the “A-list” category of Raul Reyes that on the day the Colombians technically invaded Ecuador to kill him he was the covert point of contact between FARC and the republic of France (as led by Celia Bruni and Nik Sarkozy) for the lengthy chats about Ingrid Betancourt’s release. As no doubt most media watchers remember the eventual movie rights which would ensue from the expected release of Ingrid Betancourt and her stories of love, betrayal, espionage, politics & irony through all those years in jungle captivity were estimated to rival the box office takings of Tarzan.

Before however, we re-examine the charades and games which led up to and followed the release of Ingrid Betancourt I would like to explain more about the importance of Raul Reyes.

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In an interview given by Raul Reyes on the 23rd of July 2006 to the then quite new continental TV station “Telesur” he offered a peace process which though stale history now must be put in context of the last known negotiations between FARC and any state. Especially considering the current tension between Ecuador and Colombia, the subject of this article, which is based on allegations that Ecuador has not only had contact with FARC but that its current socialist Bolivarian government is somehow indebted to such contacts for its election and maintenance.

Raul Reyes proposals of 23/7/06 could be summarized as follows :

* The opening of a Negotiation process would have to follow the demilitarisation of both Caquetá and Putumayo provinces.
* The suspension of Colombian state military actions under "plan patriot" (which counted on large scale US involvement long before the current polemical acceptance of 6 US military bases)
* An exchange of hostages & missing people (total 60) fnord,for FARC "POW's". (there were then roughly 5,000 such people in Colombian jails) & the best FARC hostage card at that time were undoubtedly the genuine “habeus corpus” of Ingrid Betancourt and the bizarrely phantasmogorical “baby Emmanuel”.
* That the Colombian state would have to recognise a state of "internal conflict" [sic]

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It is not in the reach of this article to explain why that process made no great progress save to highlight its core points of selective demilitarisation, suspenion of US military intervention, prisoner/hostage exchange, the "internal conflict" thing of course little Baby Emmanuel.

"Operation Emmanuel" was an idea suggested by Hugo Chavez and co-sponsered by the International Red Cross and very much supported by France. (*iii) It saw an air corridor ( demilitarised zone )opened for a brief time and then due to the first failure to land or make contact with FARC the corridor was extended for an even briefer time. Two Russian-made MI-17 helicopters from the Venezuelan Military Search and Rescue Team painted in International Red Cross insignia flew into Colombia December 27, 2007 with the permission of the President of Colombia painted in the International Red Cross (IRC) insignia for what was an unprecedented international humanitarian mission and which would had it suceeded been a triumph for Chavez. So in they flew to get a baby FARC were holding. The baby's name was Emmanuel and he had born to one of Ingrid Betancourt's friends Clara Rojas whilst she was in FARC captivity.

The wild goose, partridge and french hen chase ended the fifth day of the Christmas period of 2007 without any golden ring, promised child or high profile release. The Venezeulans and the Red Cross went home empty handed, and lots of sarcastic people who know Christmas carols in which baby jesus gets called Emanuel went really sarcastic on poor old Hugo - and then the Colombians feeling the spirit which was in it let them have another go at it and the corridor was opened yet again. Whereupon a most wondrous thing occured just like in a Dickensian Christmas season movie but obviously not the Dicken's Christmas tale with the chains and ghosts. The baby they were all looking for in the jungle had really been in a Colombian state orphanage all along, or at least since 2005. The Colombians finally released DNA evidence to prove his identity on January 4th or the tenth day of Christmas (which as you know if you study hymn sheets is the day the lords go a leaping) and nobody bothered to question the time it takes to do a DNA profile or the obvious omission of what could be considered relevant information.

A week later Clara Rojas, Emmanuel's mammy was released, again through the International Red Cross but everyone in France and Venezuela had taken down their Xmas decorations and didn't really get excited enough to up the % percentage points of their respective leaders Chavez & Sarkozy. Interestingly though not the subject in hand, Clara Rojas distanced herself from Betancourt since both were freed in 2008 and it appears their memories and stories and biographies of what happened in the jungle & what ought be "left in the jungle" don't seem to gel or co-incide anymore, we are it seems no closer to knowing what role Tarzan played.

So thus did the farce of the International Red Cross, France and Chavez meddling in the game of ransoms and hostages between Colombia and FARC eventually close quite like a damp squib with the scandalous revelation that the child "baby Emmanuel" had been in a Colombian state orphanage all the way along. Suddenly even Sarkozy's hola presidente! style television broadcast to FARC and Latin America appealing for the safe release of Betancourt and baby Emmanuel seemed so very silly.

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Now for a moment let us go back to that first of March, 2008, an important date which has prompted yet another apology from Colombia to its southern neighbour Ecuador in the last 48 hours. With support of US supplied Colombian air-force fighter jets who did not cross the border, a group of four helicopters landed at “google earth co-ordinates” North 0ş23`10.66 West 076ş20`59.88 which the best and maddest of us in the know, knew all along was the “FARC motherbase”. After shooting up a bunch of people they bagged and photographed and removed the corpse of Raul Reyes as a trophy of their victory and then, only then did President Uribe place a phone call to the President of Ecuador in which he apologized for the incursion and assured that all his soldiers were on their way home.

The immediate international reaction to the assassination of Raul Reyes and the alledged seizure as "evidence" of his computer systems pushed neighbourly relations in South America to their hottest point in the last ten years. The first of March 2008, is not considered by Brazil or Chile (it is my opinion) as a simple operation against FARC -. It was a clear extra-territorial military operation which counted on extensive planning, logistical support and intelligence gathering.

Venezuela immediately mobilised ten battalions of its army on the frontier with Colombia & Ecuador likewise mobilised its much smaller forces on its northern border & demanded no more “invasions”. Uribe responded by filing charges for genocide against Chavez at the International Court at The Hague citing data found on “Reyes' computers” implying Venezuela had funded FARC to the tune of 300,000,000$ and that FARC was preparing attacks with radioactive material on the capital of the narco-state of Colombia.
I consistently term it a "narco-state" because it has yet to be proven at international legal level to be anything over than a front for 3 cocaine cartels and one far-right grouping which made the comfortable transition from terrorism to government partner.

Yet to this day nobody really agrees on either the quality of that evidence or even if it really was Raul Reyes' PC collection of hard disks and not a humungous big fib. One thing you learn when you examine the narco-state of Colombia is that the fibs grow on tendrils and half the time nobody really knows what's going on because either they're not allowed to, have sufficient clearance to do so, or they simply reckon the paradoxes are so head-wrecking it would be best not to ponder too much.

This is where we introduce Interpol, that fearsome institution which many do not know saw all its files moved to NAZI Berlin from Austria from 1938 - 1945. Many of my faithful readers will know that I like to call them Interplod and as we in this article examine their role we'll perhaps see why.

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On pages 10 and 11 of the report in English by Interplod on the computers that the government of Colombia said it found in an encampment of the FARC-EP on March 1 and which are known as (without any satisfactory conclusive evidence to prove ownership) as the “Raul Reyes computers” that Interpol began a description about how it came to be involved in the work. Accordingly they described how on March 4th, 2008 they received a request from Colombian authorities asking for Interpol's "independent computer forensic technical assistance to examine the user files on the eight seized FARC computer exhibits". Yet in Appendix 2, they reproduced a letter that they had received from Brigadier General Oscar Adolor Narnjo Truillo, Director General of the National Police of Colombia. In that letter General Naranjo requested that Interplod evaluate "three (3) computers and three (3) USB devices.". Charles Hardy, the author of “Cowboy in Caracas: A North American's Memoir of Venezuela's Democratic Revolution”, (Curbstone Press) immediately took to the Latin American interest blogosphere and internet to astound us all with his mastery of soft maths. “Adding three and three, I arrive at a total of six pieces of computer hardware not eight as Interpol mentioned”…. For reasons which had already occurred by the time of the publication of the Interplod report, but in this article have yet to be treated upon, I had already given up completely on reading Interplod reports – all the same Hardy’s analysis was truly “thought-provoking”:

[The next day Mr. Ronald K. Nobel, the Secretary General of Interpol, sent a letter (Appendix 3) to Ms. Maria del Pilar Hurtado Afanador, the directress of the D.A.S (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad) in Bogota accepting the invitation to go to Colombia to establish the terms of the agreement. In the letter he, again, mentions six pieces of hardware: "three (3) computers and three (3) USB keys." But on March 6 Ms. Hurtado sends him a letter (Appendix 4) asking that Interpol look at "the three lap-top computers, the three USB keys and two hard-disk drives." On March 4 there were only six items to look at, but for some reason two hard drives were found someplace by March 6……for later in the report we may read :- "Colombian law enforcement authorities have openly stated to Interpol's computer forensic experts that an officer in their anti-terrorist unit directly accessed the eight seized FARC computer exhibits under exigent and time-sensitive circumstances between 1 March 2008, when they were seized by Colombian authorities, and 3 March 2008."
The fibbing of Interplod and the cynical manipulation of image and supposed evidence didn’t stop there. Daniel Denvir, an independent journalist in Quito, Ecuador and 2008 recipient of NACLA's Samuel Chavkin Investigative Journalism Grant combed the photographs which were being presented as on the Reyes computers during the week that the White House of Bush expressed support for both Colombia and Interplod’s fine IT skills.

Denvir wrote : “Amongst which he identified photos taken inside and outside of Quito’s Casa de Cultura arts and convention center during the international conference of the Continental Bolivarian Coordinating Committee (CCB) the week before the attack. The CCB is a small left-wing organization with ties to the FARC and chapters throughout Latin America. The photos, which now appear to be intelligence photos, were included in a Web gallery on El Tiempo’s Web site of photos purportedly found on Reyes’s laptop. When I came across the photos my first question was “Why would the FARC take intelligence photos of their supposed allies?” The individuals photographed include two Basque separatists: Batasuna representative Ińak Bil de San Vicente and Askapena representative Walter Wendelin. (Batasuna is the political arm of the armed Basque nationalist separatist group ETA. Askapena is a support organization for Basque prisoners.) Also captured in the photos are Carlos Casanueva, a member of the Chilean Communist Party’s Central Committee; Lucía Morett, a visiting Mexican student who was injured in the attack (four other Mexican students were killed); Venezuelan Communist Party deputy and Central Committee secretary general Oscar Figuera; Chilean Communist Youth member Manuel Olate, who, along with fellow Chilean Valeska López, visited the FARC encampment just before it was bombed; an unnamed Italian CCB delegate; and at least five other unidentified people.”

& so we see that there was something for everyone in the Raul Reyes computers. ETA, dirty bombs, squillions of dollars and most surprisingly of all not one hint of where a man called Pedro Antonio Marín a.k.a. Manuel Marulanda Vélez codename "Tirofijo" (English: Sureshot) (born 12 May 1930 Genova, Colombia, could be found or one hint that FARC actually knew it didn’t have baby Emmanuel. But thankfully for the Irish interest thing nobody thought to bring up the dreary Colombia 3 again.

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Colombia then started criminal proceedings against 11 individuals amongst whom were included journalists of TeleSUR and Senator Piedad Córdoba, the champion indiginous and womens' rights in Colombia and most outspoken critic of the Uribe regime. Senator Piedad Cordoba who had been pivotal as an interlocutor previously with FARC, was already facing charges for treason having described (quite properly) Colombia as a "Narcostate" and Uribe as being the centre of a Mafia and Terrorist regime, could hardly be surprised her email had popped up on the “Reyes memory sticks” and might have been forgiven for wondering why the co-ordinates of the afore-mentioned Tirofijo’s wee tent had not.

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Before we come to retelling the eventual release of Betancourt we should remember a bit more drama. Nelly Avila Moreno alias "Karina" [a.k.a. 'Janet Mosquera Renteria', 'Rocío Arias' aged 47, 1.60 metres tall and 85kg weight], had been one of the most wanted women on this planet this century. In a different sort of most wanted woman on the planet way to Kate Moss [a.ka. as Kate, aged 34, an impressive 1.68 metres tall, and weight of 47.7kg]. Their differences weren't just about biomass density whilst of course their similarities hinged on successful branding. Whatever you can say about Kate Moss you're not going to suggest she led brigade 47 of the FARC operating in western Colombia credited with narcotraffic operations in Samaná and Pensilvania reliant on plantations of 3,500 hectares. Coz you know you'd get a writ for libel for that. Nor was Kate ever worth 65 million US dollars in reward bounty. Equally and in balance not many people would buy perfume advertised by Karina. But respected women in their own fields were both.

In the second week of May of 2008, Colombia wheeled out "Karina" in what was to be the second high profile blow to FARC's command structure and undoubtedly meant it had lost control of swathes of territory which only a few years before had been not only its domain, playground, farmland and killing fields but also the principle areas of friction with the then rival far right terrorist groupings. The BBC spanish service and its analyst Harry Mc Dermott quickly decided that not only did "Karina's" statements cast fresh doubts on the peace process strategy proposed by the then recently assassinated Raul Reyes but actually went as far as to print in both English and Spanish editions the line : "things are looking bad for FARC".

Now at that sort of level of things, (as you might guess), when things look or looked bad for FARC they also look or looked bad for lots of other people & that's the sort of thing you'd want to read between the lines with such BBC commentaries. Take for example thier hundreds of hostages. Take for another example the many tens of thousands people who live or are engaged in subsistence agricultural activity within the zones the previous proposals for peace process negotiations would have assigned as under "de facto" FARC influence. Take for example how much political credit (both nationally and geopolitically) had been invested in a peaceful and just resolution of the FARC and Colombia narco-state problem by the Bolivarian revolutionary movement in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.

Gradually the dead Raul Reyes peculiar inclusion of recognising a state of internal conflict in his proposals was taking on a very different meaning and implying ever more considerations.

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On the 24th of May 2008, less than a week after parading Katrina, the Colombian state issued a warrant to arrest Senator Piedad Córdoba on a raft of “farcopolitics” charges.
A move which should have attracted lots of media attention and interest in Latin America and beyond was within 14 hours sidelined by the surprise announcement by Colombia that Tirofijo, the 78 year old founder of FARC had died.
On that day, as they dropped a dis-info bomb on analysts different dates were offered within hours for the death of FARC’s founder. The Colombian Defence minister Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, suspected of AUC (far right terrorist) collusion and/or membership and known to be a close associate of Pedro Carmona who attempted a foiled "coup d'etat" against Chavez offered both 22/3/08 and 24/3/08 as the date of death.

Now we come to the reason why I sneer so at Interplod. On the 21st of May, 2008 - Interpol listed Pedro Antonio Marín "Tirofijo", the chap I mentioned as not appearing on the supposed computer systems of not only his deputy but also the lad who spent the last nine years shagging his daughter, as 86th most wanted villain on the planet. To put that in perspective, the same listing ranked Osama Bin Laden at 202. Interplod base their regularly updated wanted lists on honest and forthright exchange between states and law enforcement agencies. Yet just as Osama was quickly dropping of the list of priorities, old Tirofijo was going up.

“NNCOL” is "the news agency of the new Colombia" which conduits reliably for the general secretaryship of FARC. Together with "TeleSUR" it verified the 23/6/05 Raul Reyes proposals of a peace process. Of course FARC have a website too. Like so does the Interplod, but nobody really goes there for information. As we have seen up the page when Colombia assassinated Raul Reyes they had to fly out his body from Ecuador in helicopters. In this sort of game - no body no death. These people just slip down the most wanted list of Interpol like Osama (as mentioned above).

Accordingly for a mere 24 hours there was a lull in international media whilst the BBC of Jeremy Mc Dermott’s Colombia desk opted to headline the reports as “Tirofijo may be dead”, indeed if I remember exactly 94 minutes after I had started disseminating Indymedia reports on the matter. Then the Colombians put some money on the table and offered a reward for the location of the grave of the founder of FARC. The reward was valued at 5 billion pesos or 1.7 million Euros or 1,287,920 sterling pounds.

Serious money you’ll agree.

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We all then played a game called “who do you want to be leader of Farc?” ( or at least I passed the suggestion around but with the obvious absence of Raul Reyes and Katrina – and what with Bono concentrating on carbon footprints we didn’t really come up with any credible candidates).

Appropriately enough therefore did FARC decide to say they'd made the decision themselves. Tellingly they did so not as had been habitual through their Stockholm based news agency but in video form as aired 25/7/08 on TeleSUR. Suddenly it became apparent that Colombia was not only intent on criminalizing TeleSUR journalists but was also peeping at their post.

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Timoleón Jiménez appeared in a video passed to TeleSUR and quite probably watched by Colombian intelligence before its airing to lament the passing of the founder of FARC whose death had been reported the day before. He also named the new leader of the paramilitary organisation. Thus the new name and personality who we may consider dealing with all the baggage of FARC. Its guerilla army, its hostages, its loyal population, its political hinterland who eschew armed struggle yet are persecuted, its role in the coca production and supply of cocaine from Colombia which is not already in the hands of the 3 cartels linked to the far right terrorists in the Colombian state. The new leader Guillermo León Sánez, alias Alfonso Cano is thus one of the people who decides how much rainforest should be cleared to grow coca instead of making oxygen. Coz as all you know well, coca only grows on the edge of rainforest for a maximum of two years, being a hungry little plant it needs nutrients when farmed which can only come from burning off jungle. Yet it has taken him almost a year to get one of his statements noticed as this article is all about.

Guillermo León Sáenz Vargas alias Alfonso Cano was born in 1942, July 22nd in Bogota, Colombia. He registered to study anthropology in the national university of Colombia a fact which belies his privileged middle class background. His father was
a teacher whilst his mother was an agricultural scientist.

He led the negotations for peace between Colombia and FARC in Caracas, 1991 and Tlaxcala in 1992. Ironically for a state which claims to be fighting terrorists (rather than an insurgency or internal state legitimacy issue) and disguises the inclusion of far-right terrorists in its government ministries as “successful peace processes”, he was sentenced to 40 years prison (in absentia) for killing 40 of his own guerilla force in mid January 2008. The bodies of the 40 had been found in group graves between March and April 1991 in the province of Meta. The dead men had allegedly been shot by him at point blank range through the heart for disobeying orders and stealing rations.

I wrote at the time when the different language versions of his Wikipedia biography in Spanish and English carried markedly contrasted interpretations of his political stance :

“We may read in some sources that Leon Sanez / Alfonso Cano is of the intellectual type, a former communist party member and in many ways similar in profile to the vice president of the Bolivian government, the mathematician and former communist guerilla Álvaro García Linera. In that he is considered to be an ideologue capable of bridging the gap between the tradition of armed action which was a 20th century reaction to far right regimes and death squads in Latin America and the contemporary 21st situation which sees the need for more effective engagement with popular empowerment often understood as the "modern Bolivarian movement".

He might thus in a few words be considered a political moderate rather than hardline leader noting that only the future will allow him to appear "progressive". Especially considering the tactics of the Colombian narcostate to play as "hard" as possible against all left wing elements in an attempt to secure a referendum which will allow a second re-election of Uribe. Or equally he might be considered as a monster capable of shooting 40 of his own men through the heart for stealing biscuits.

But the factors which will shape his strategy as much as decide how ultimately he is described by the media are not only found within Colombia. The state of Venezuela and its ruling party itself are going through changes knowing that they will not see such a re-election of their own Chavez and must now decide the future leadership and style of the Bolivarian movement: should it continue as before with at times wanton populism? how can it seen to balance the conflicting interests of the indiginous groups which at first glance it champions until at closer analysis one realises a coca farmer who is pro-Evo Morales is as indiginous as a coal miner who wants to partition Bolivia?

Therefore the political mechanism which FARC under its new leader is expected to engage with in both Colombia and the wider region and continent is not as simple nor anywhere near as legitimate as the most popular "democratically" elected leaders of either rightwing or leftwing hue might pretend to claim. If it is true that the world in South America has moved on from the efficacy of armed struggle of jungle guerilla types, a world where anyone sitting in the UK can type the co-ordinates of their mother base into Google Earth and look at it, a world where the coca plantations of Brazil are identified for the police through Google Earth - then it might also be true that nobody is quite sure what comes next.

But for the moment it appears that the right and left wing press of the Spanish language this Sunday beyond Colombia hold small hope his political skills will ensure this conflict comes to a conclusion if not resolution.

English lingo Wiki says he's a hardliner, Espańol has opted for no such speculation.”

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I suppose whether or not
you’re a hard liner or a soft liner
depends on how much you've got to cut
and how many snouts are at the table.

How rather than where
you draw the line.

________________________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . . . . . . {cut along line and snort it}

……………………now we get to Ingrid Betancourt with or without Tarzan……………

Colombia had not only played its baby Emmanuel card well, it had learnt perhaps courtesy of the US satelite intelligence afforded it by the plan Patriot a bit more of the jungle and it had undoubtedly begun to play the female card and not only killed the principle FARC leader offering peace talks but outlived its founder.
Uribe saw his approval ratings soar and as I've often mused confirmed his role as the right wing heir to Bolivar's ambition. After all, the first Seńor Bolivar was never democratically elected and it is anachronistic to think he was Bolivarian in the sense we understand it beyond the colours which adorn the flags of Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador.

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Thus "operation Jaque" was to prove the dramatic and almost seamless psy-op Colombian response to the previous meddling in its affairs. Ingrid Betancourt was rescued on her 2321st day of captivity by Colombian elite forces flying aircraft painted in the red cross insignia of the International Red Cross society as well as the logo of the pan-American TV network "TeleSur". Needless to say there had been no painstaking negotiations before hand between Colombia and the IRC to use the colours, nor had there been any kind words between Colombia and TeleSUR it's harshest critic.
The Red Cross symbol has been subverted and mis-used many times. It would seem hyperbole in this Colombian context to remind readers of its use by the SS to disguise gas chambers using Zyklon B and even the vans to transport the gas - save that no reminder of the Holocaust and the examples it set may be considered hyberbole. Rather they are the outermost dilineations of "the rules". & so we should remember that the Red Cross as the Red Crescent have "rules" attached.
The International Red Cross symbol, as well as the International Red Crescent symbol, are not supposed to be used by military operations as a false flag. The slow trickle of released FARC hostages since 2007 had see in every case the involvement of the IRC which had offered the inviolacy of its flag and insignia to assure the guerillas of the conditions of "parley".
We thus can not allow ourselves to excuse the Colombians for delivering Betancourt on the 2321st day of her captivity, July 2nd, to arrive in Paris on what would have been the 2323rd day of her captivity to celebrate the July 4th independence day of the USA thing in the company of happy Sarkozy, Bruni, US diplomats and grinning Colombians. They broke the rules of the Red Cross. Betancourt was not the only hostage in the jungle nor was she the last. When the Colombians put their “SAS” under the IRC flag we must ask ourselves did they augment or decrease the possibility of clean releases of the remaining hostages in the future, reflecting that perhaps the lack of fresh releases has not been due to intransigence by FARC? We must also consider the resistance offered to IRC humanitarian aid in other states such as Myanmar/Burma almost always guised as caution of false flags. When you phone for a paramedic you don’t really expect Andy Mc Nab.

But it made very good telly all the same & Ingrid Betancourt enjoyed celebrity status without going into too much detail about her life in the jungle.

________________________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . . . . . . {cut along line and snort it}

::: Whence from all that happy mesh of fibs, lies, manipulations, omissions, bluster & murkiness we come to these last days and months.
::: Colombia has insisted FARC supported the Bolivarian regime of Ecuador.
::: Ecuador insists that Colombia is deliberately lax on border security to provoke a war situation and has denied any contact with FARC to talk about their “internal conflict”.
::: Hugo Chavez takes his ambassador out of Colombia and sends him back on a regular basis and has never really returned to the hope and glory of baby emmanuel.
::: Sarkozy hasn’t said a word about Latin America again.
::: The USA’s southern command of the Pentagon is linked to the ongoing coup d’etat situation in Honduras and has won what it had so long yearned for – bases in Colombia.

________________________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . . . . . . {cut along line and snort it}

…………………………….Is there an arms race in Latin America?

Quite simply, despite the recent spate of articles in both left and right press and even this weekend's BBC spanish news opinion piece on the subject - No there is not an arms race. Most Latin American militaries have started to re-equip in the last four years and if we examine expenditure by states and per capita basis or as percentage of GDP – there is no evidence of exceptionally high spending on arms. Both Colombia and Venezuela are on a strategic par, with the former reliant on US stock and the later reliant on Russian gear. As we all know, yet many of us overlook that both states have increased their orders for less glamorous military stuff than fighter jets from the same European source. Indeed both Aznar and Zapatero excelled themselves at ensuring that the neighbours have enough bullets should they ever go to war.

As lastly, the 45 year old FARC has passed from relevance and vanguard of Latin American armed struggle to utter anachronism. It's hostages will be freed when they can no longer afford to feed them. The Colombian narco-state has managed to cut perfect deals with its cartels, far right terrorists and so - No, like another situation closer to home, I can not see any end to this conflict. More people will die in firearm incidents on Colombian streets and more children from sniffing glue than will be remembered as victims of terrorism or armed struggle - but there will be no "peace".

that's the secret under all the murkiness.

On the lassitude of international frontiers -

last link is to my back articles.

Related Link:

1998 - 2005 gives an idea of how FARC was important. Now it's not.
1998 - 2005 gives an idea of how FARC was important. Now it's not.

author by iosafpublication date Wed Aug 19, 2009 20:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

in no particular order :-

[ 1 ]

Luis Carlos Galán was the favourite candidate to win the Colombian state presidential elections in 1989. It was the second time the journalist, liberal politician and vowed opponent of the drug cartels (in particular the Medellin cartel led by Pablo Escobar) had punted presidential office. Everything looked good for his campaign until the 18th of August that year when he was gunned down (quite dead as a result) in a public square in Soacha which is part of the urban sprawl of Bogota. It has since then been sort of taken for granted that his death was the work of the drug cartels. As if the cartels were somehow a seperate entity from the apparata of the narco-state of Colombia. Which is the point I doth labour to make.

Yesterday in the evening, the former director of Colombian intelligence (the DAS) Miguel Maza Márquez walked into a police station and gave himself up for the crime of that assassination after a warrent naming him was issued. Even though this development comes twenty years on, we can hardly speak of a can of worms being opened. That particular festering cannister was never closed since Miguel Maza assumed the directorship of the DAS on the 23rd of May 1985 under the presidency of Belisario Betancur. As part of his duties was included the responsible of task of guaranteeing the security of presidential candidates. Several hours before Galan was shot in that square, Maza relieved his team of bodyguards and appointed Jacobo Torregrosa a man without any experience. Torregrosa has now also been accused of altering evidence. One of the key witnesses who has resulted in Maza now facing charges for the assassination has been Iván Roberto Duque Gaviria, alias "Ernesto Báez". He was paramilitary terrorist member of the far right AUC the group I explained in the article above went comfortably from being enemies and rivals of FARC through a "supposed peace process" and straight into government ministries and institutions under Uribe.


way off

back then


[ 2 ]

Senator Piedad Córdoba, the indiginous rights activist and ardent critic of Uribe whom I mentioned specifically in the text above gave an interview to TeleSUR on Monday this week in which she gave assurances that the decision reported that day by FARC to release two Colombian soldiers it holds hostage was sincere and would go ahead regardless of the progress of a suggested parallel set of negotiations to arrange a forthcoming interchange of 20 military and police hostages for 500 members of FARC held by Colombia. In addition to the interview, proof that the hostages were alive and "well as can be" were provided and it seems accepted. This news was reported on several media channels including the BBC. You may read a copy of the interview between TeleSUR and the Senator at this link which not only discusses the suggested release of live hostages but also the delivery of the corpse of a dead Colombian soldier, the proposed larger swap and of course the question of the new bases. :-
She has also today emphasised that the safety of the Colombian security forces hostages held by FARC is being endangered by continued Colombian military operations supposedly aimed at their rescue.
[ 3 ]

Ecuador accepted the apology offered to it by Colombia for the events of the 1st of March 1998, "way off - back then". But qualified such friendliness by yet again formally requesting that the evidence "the Raul Reyes computers" seized by Colombia on its territory be handed over to the Ecuadorian state and that the Colombian state desist from making allegations that Ecuador has any connection with FARC until Ecuador has had a chance to examine evidence which under international law ought really be its concern.

[ 4 ]

This last comment might better be appended to the 2nd article in this series, or indeed the third forthcoming article in the series. So I'll make it brief - Hilary Clinton met up with the Colombian state to finalise the arrangements which will see the US military use 7 bases for what it terms "justice and counter narcotic" operations on a "purely logistical basis". & here we get the big fib Speaking to media she assured that the US would not use those bases for extra-territorial operations. Now if we consider that the most important counter narcotic operation from the point of view of ensuing diplomatic tension and dubious investigation and appraisal by "interplod" occured as I wrote above, exactly 1.85 km outside of the Colombian state whilst the US was operating its program out of a base in Ecuador, and if we understand that since Ecuador will not renew the lease on that one base, the USA has in the words of the BBC "been forced" to seek not one but seven bases in Colombia - we sort of come against a fib, don't we?

or to put it succintly -
how many bases does the US really need?
to preview my next article in this series -
"exactly where does the US want to put its bases?"

Wikipedia further reading & news sources :

TeleSUR Spanish reports

BBC Spanish - Ecaudor and the apology

BBC English - Clinton fibbing

last link to part 2 of this series -

Senator Piedad Cordoba, the one who committed treason by saying Colombia is a "narco-state"
Senator Piedad Cordoba, the one who committed treason by saying Colombia is a "narco-state"

Related Link:
author by iosafpublication date Fri Aug 21, 2009 20:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The article above includes an extraordinarily detailed account of the extra-territorial operation by Colombia on the 1st of March 2008 on Ecuadorian soil in which 25 people were killed. I have also linked to the interpol report on supposed evidence and highlighted at least one basic flaw in the consideration of that evidence.

So........... It appears you can apologise for an invasion. also appears you can shoot to kill over two dozen people in a neighbouring state
.........if you're Colombia

........ & who else?

In the last 24 hours Ecuador's judicial system has accepted that it may seek to prosecute Colombia and its president Uribe for the events of March 1st, 2008. In the last week Ecuador's requests for the supposed evidence (the raul reyes computers) be handed over to it have been ignored by both Colombia and Interpol .

For the last 17 months the requests of Ecuador that the video footage of the raid be made public have been ignored. We are it seems only to see some still images of one quite dead Raul Reyes. But why would anyone want to see video of a Farc mother base being shot up?

Easy......You'd then know if any Americans were on the site at the time.


Colombian trade unions have called a day of action to protest the agreement reached with the USA by their state to increase the number of official bases from 3 to 10.


The Colombian Senate has finally approved a measure which will alter the constitution & thus allow president Uribe of the narcostate of Colombia to extend indefintely his term of office, after a simple referendum and a few elections of course.

What the leftwing heir of Bolivar, Hugo Chavez could not do, the rightwing heir it appears may have all sewn up.

part 2 of this series :
part 3 of this series :

author by iosafpublication date Sat Aug 22, 2009 23:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If anyone bothers to read this series which currently stands in three parts, they will see the delineation of several factors only one of which so far has been relevant to Ireland's Shannon. In part 3 of the series I listed the "FOLs" (as bases which are not "bases are termed) and explained the process which led to the current permission for the US to operate complete with diplomatic immunity and tellingly without timelimit on an airbase which is strategically of huge geopolitical importance in Paraguay which is as similar as the Costa Rican situation of a shared civilian facility to Shannon. Although there are better cases to draw parallels closer to home in the EU which shall hopefully form part of future parts of this series.

Let's introduce the element of US constitutionalism to all this now

The US government and its governance is a complex series of overlapping organisms with a surprising amount of stop checks and balances. I do not have space in this comment to go into great detail as to how the founding father's declaration and the first draft of the first constitution grew not as much "organically" (as would be understood in European law) but with constant amendments. Many of us casually miss the limits of power placed around not only a president of the USA but also his cabinet. Part 2 of this series introduced the role played by one cabinet appointee, the national security advisor. That role is not subject to approval by the legislative branch of US government, the houses of representatives and senate. In fact to cut it as short as possible, the president of the USA is in much more limited than the president of France and or the prime minister of the UK in certain key matters. We remember surely that one of those is war and foreign policy. Part 2 of this series also highlighted the importance of both presidents Roosevelt for imperialism in Latin America. It is also thanks to them (amongst other presidencies) that we ought look to understand the development of executive orders .

Executive orders are the niftiest loophole in the constitution of the USA . They allow for the president to sidestep the checks and balances put on foreign policy and personally do deals with foreign powers (such as Russia, China, the UK, France), states (such as all the other little countries without nukes or special interests), non-incorporated territories (like Puerto Rico, Samoa, half the Pacific atolls) and even I daresay martians, venusians and shapeshifting blobs from the back arse of zeta reticuli (whence jokingly we may note many Americans believe the grey aliens come from). It is my understanding that Michael Mc Dowell he who I called "big swinging mickey mc dowell" played a key role in the establishment of several executive orders which not only opened up Shannon as a FOL but touched on several other areas of our sovreignty. But I could be mistaken & I have never made any attempt to present myself as an authority on the particular case of Shannon.

The present US involvment in Colombia was established constitutionally with votes from Congress & subject to periodic review by the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs & its more powerful counterpart The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Also considering the amount of money involved (700,000,000$ per year) the second very powerful United States Senate Committee on Appropriations was brought in. The appropriations committee oversees "discretionary spending". The counter-narcotic project begun in 2000 by the USA in Colombia is "discretionary spending". Thos who have read part 3 of this series will understand the importance of the year 2000 to US imperialism and intervention in Latin America.

Before his election one of the advantages Obama supposedly had politically on a deeper level than oratory, youth, good looks etc., was that his route to presidential campaign came not from state governorship but from his career as a junior senator. What was particularly politically advantageous about his career as a US Senator was its brevity. The longer one sits in the Senate the more votes one passes and the more potentially embarrassing decisions go on your CV. As we all remember & if we don't we quite probably learnt from a twitter message or email, if indeed we were such key players in global politics to get Obama campaign spam : Obama voted "nay" (NO) to an Iraq war bill . That wonderful line of the CV almost served to dissuade us from examining the rest of his voting history or his friendships and alliances in the US Senate.

As junior senator, Obama signed a letter along with 7 much more senior and absolutely key members of the Senate Comittee on Foreign Affairs sent to then secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, in May 2007 This letter threatened to reduce the 700,000,000$ outlay on the Colombian counter-drug project and moreover highlighted concerns at the human rights record of the Colombian govermnent. It was no simple act of Democrats criticising the Bush presidency, for they had just taken control of Congress. The letter sent from Senator Dodd's office on May 22nd 2007 was circulated in the beltway (as Washington's heart of power is known) but did not attract much more attention beyond. One of its signatories Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont had the month before (April 2007) assumed the position of chairperson of the US Senate's Senate Committee on Appropriations and immediately frozen 55,000,000$ of funding to the Colombian military. The letter highlighted "grave concern regarding the infiltration of important Colombian state institutions by terrorists and drug traffickers." Furthermore it made specific reference to the case of Jorge Noguera who had been personally appointed by Uribe to head up Colombian intelligence and then arrested for compiling death lists of trade unionists and civilians and collusion with the far right terrorist groupings in Colombia. The letter signed by the then senator Obama expressed serious concern that Noguera had been released under a technicality by the Colombian judiciary.

That 2007 letter was published in Spanish translation in the Colombian "El Tiempo" newspaper in June 2007 a few days before president Uribe went to Washington to visit former US president Bill Clinton and give him an award for the part he had played in "countering Colombian terrorism and narco-traffic". It's publication in Colombia meant it was "refreshed", "pinged" as we would say in cyber-circles & thus Uribe faced a press conference on arrival in Washington which saw him asked uncomfortable questions about the impications. As a result Hilary Clinton, Al Gore, Madeleine Albright did not attend the award ceremony

references to Noguera may be found on our newswire from period in the comments to the article I wrote to report the proposal by Raul Reyes of a peace process with FARC & thereafter in a detailed account of death squad activity by Ed of the ISN

=_=_=_=_=_=_=_ =_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_=_

Obama is now President but the same senior Senators walk the House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Appropriations................ & they're still writing letters.

Both senior Democrat Senators, Christopher Dodd & Patrick Leahy wrote a letter to the US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton on the 28th of July 2009. Just as the letter they persuaded Obama to sign which they sent to Rice in 2007, it was neither reported nor caused a stir at first. Nor did it get a reply . So just as the last time it hung around at the back of the byzantine world of patrician politics and game-playing which is the US Senate. Finally this week it started to get mentions in regional newspapers in the USA with the some excerpts embedded in reports like this :-
lawmakers were not even told of the negotiations with Colombia, "much less consulted on them." Given the lack of communication, the senators said the State Department should tell them what the agreement would mean for U.S. ties with other South American countries. The letter also asked about the implications of further deepening relations with Colombia during revelations about alleged human rights violations by that country's military. Colombia's armed forces' rights record has long been questioned by leading Democrats in the U.S. Congress, including Obama when he was a senator. Members of its military currently are under investigation in the alleged extrajudicial killing of more than 1,600 civilians, many of whom were lured to their deaths with promises of employment and then dressed up as rebels to boost enemy casualty counts.
& then the much more interesting NavyTimes newspaper which talks to military types which added the following day :-
as well, several high-ranking officers in Colombia’s military, now cashiered, have colluded with right-wing death squads. One former army general is on trial for murder in such a case.

But no mainstream newspaper or news organisation in the USA thought to give the letter, oversight of Senate consultation, constitutional issues or concerns of the Latin Americans any mention. Except of course to highlight that Hugo Chavez was in a flap and that Hilary Clinton had thanked Colombia for its contigent of 100 soldiers to Afghanistan.

Now we could be talking about one senior Senator who failed in his bid for the Democrat presidential nomination being bitchy about his former junior. Equally we could be talking about the patrician law-makers reminding the executive that one of their peculiar kind, Ted Kennedy is about to leave a seat vacant and their agenda and lobbies, like those of the USSOUTHCOM pentagon (explored in part 3 of this series) and of course the "dixie empire" come before, during and long after any presidency. I daresay they even outlast Clintons.

But then today the letter got translated in its entirety into 626 Spanish words.
Just like the last time, this letter which would normally stay within the beltway of Washington really carries much more power when translated into Spanish and diffused in Latin America. It's just gone in its entirety onto TeleSUR as well. & you can read it here

The letter not only highlights concerns as the 2007 one did - it also puts a series of questions to Hilary Clinton and thus President Obama.

Those questions are to my mind an example of ones which the esteemed Senators feel they had the constitutional right and duty to put to her and the executive in their respective standing committees of Foreign Relations and Expropriations.

just for example :-

what type of military presence?
how many?
what equipment?
what cost?
what turn of duties?
what extension of deployment?

what political longterm strategy?
how does this affect, nullify, replace or alter the existing expenditure?

under what plan is plan Colombia supposed to be turned over to Colombia and how is this linked to the ten year lease on the new bases[ sic ?.......... yep you got it. "Bases"

The Senators went on and on.

& then true to the political skills of their kind, which really are, though we may not like to acknowledge it, far greater than the vast majority of politicians in Europe -

They offered three little questions towards the end which could give Clinton & Obama a back track way out without naturally touching on why Clinton and Obama would need their help in future. But of course in part 2 of this series I mentioned Fidel Castro's wonderful letter and his swipe at Obama's paws being full with health care, the only real "change" any ordinary American would ever believe in.

Oh yes - the old senators in all their unchanging wile, splendour, power & might simply asked could Hillary Clinton the blame the Colombians for the irregular way the negotiations had been led.

what limits on activity?
what territoriality?

a younger ambitious Obama standing as a Senator in a Senate House Committee room he wasn't a member of.
a younger ambitious Obama standing as a Senator in a Senate House Committee room he wasn't a member of.

author by Jose Martiepublication date Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This activity, nothing new of course, has provoked a reaction in Ecuador who are now refusing to work directly with the US on the narcotics issue.

Related Link:
author by iosafpublication date Tue Aug 25, 2009 08:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry, Jose Martie, but citing CNN does little to convince any of us that this is "Business as usual". MY last comment ought have shown explicitely that this new phase of intervention differs substantially from plan colombia in that it has sidestepped US constitutionalism.

Yesterday Noam Chomsky entered the fray with an extensive address given in Venezuela in which he appealed the world support the upcoming extra-ordinary summit of MercoSur and "dot the dots".

The dots are historical as I've outlined. The dots are fibs (calling bases FOLs) as I've detailed & the dots are the unprecendented strategic line-up of militarism which is not only US nor Colombian but has the real and highly probably potential to bring out the gorillas in Latin American military institutions.

this is new.

which is why I'm writing this series in many parts.

the chomsky statement and short vid :-

author by iosafpublication date Sun Aug 30, 2009 00:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

______________ News from Noam who thinks Colombian Sovreignity & statehood is "A joke"____________

I'll start off with Noam Chomsky, because we are mostly fans of his, aren't we? Indeed quite a few of us have corresponded with him, listened to him (when he spoke in Ireland) & I've joked a few times that I've even read his tarot cards.

Chomsky has been commenting and granting interviews over the last week on the new US bases thing. He's made it quite clear that he considers this new development in US hegemony and imperialism as a new departure .

He's now also given an interview which intrigues me for two of its shifts in criticism. Many of us on the international anarchism, anarchosyndicalist, libertarian and obviously linguist scene are used to how Chomsky speaks and articulates his ideas. His patience and thoroughness are surely qualities which have ensured his continued status as one of the world's leading teachers (linguistics at MIT for the benefit of the readership who don't do much thinking beyond our four green fields) [joke]. But the quality which Chomsky has which impressed me most many times, is the ability to take on board criticism from others, engage with it and then redefine his position. Anyone familiar with linguistic theory will know exactly what I'm talking about. I only wish I had had the opportunity to develop my love of languages and skills as a polyglot in a disciplined and academic setting under the tutelage of the likes of Chomsky. But we don't all get into MIT and we all come to an age in life when we must realise that such opportunities or delusions are lost forever perhaps where they belong in the relict subjunctive of "what if and could have been" .

However, this series I've been writing over the summer is not about linguistics, It is as it is titled about the "New Latin American Century" with particular focus: on the US plans to operate bases in Colombia, the evidence of US plans to use mercenaries to sidestep diplomacy, the fact that US foreign policy in South America is now outside of the reach of US constitutional oversight, the very real global strategic value of resources as different as water and lithium on the continent whose worth shall only become obvious well into the 21st century, the historical loose-ends and unanswered questions left by the dictatorships, operation condor and the role of ODESSA and naturally those who inherited the baggage of those old men.

Chomsky has in his latest interview introduced 2 ideas which previously he has not voiced .

The first is criticism of Venezuela and the regime of Chavez suggesting the bluster and rhetoric of the last years, crying wolf so many times was a big mistake. As I've reported in this series of articles, Chile, Argentina and Brazil which are not Boliviarian socialist states are crying "wolf!" as loud as they can but the western media-industrial complex only reports the usual Chavez bleating. I've got into too many arguments with ardent Chavists based in Ireland to expand on that now.

The second is much closer to my heart and humble ramblings and bloggins and conversations over the years.

Chomksy has described Colombia's Sovreignity as "a joke" & thus implied its statehood is illegitimate. This is one step further than Senator Piedad Cordoba (see article above) line that Colombia is a narco-state

When Raul Reyes, the man whose assassination is central to this article, announced his proposals for a peace process between FARC and Colombia, I reported same across the indymedia network ( c/f here at ) In the first comment to that article, I set out an idea which many South Americans I know and share political conviction with still think anathema & un acceptable. Yet it was an idea which was born of my conviction as one who consider's one's political understanding as anarchist, "no borders - no frontiers - only humans" and from logical, systematic appraisal of history and contemoporary realities.

I wrote that I saw no reason for the state of Colombia to exist.
It wasn't the first time I had written such a thing but I chose to append it under the Raul Reyes proposals for a peace process because I found one of the conditions, that which I have returned to many times in this text and current series "That the Colombian state would have to recognise a state of "internal conflict" so ludicrous and odd.

Considering the current change in power balance on the South American continent and the story of what happened to Raul Reyes as outlined above, I'm sure all of you must understand what was so odd about the "state of internal conflict". Within hours of his 23/7/06 proposals being verified and relayed here in one of their first English language versions ( ) I continued to write :-

".......I've always had a problem considering Colombia as an entity. It doesn't make sense to me socio-politically, economically or geographically. It's not that I'm a latter day boundary commission head or anything - the state of Colombia lays claim to huge areas of terra nullis far beyond the capability of the state to govern let alone secure and as history has marched - more of the formerly ungoverned area proves to be ungovernable. And in the last hundreds of metres before the shrinking forest are the coca plants. That's where they grow, when they're not being chemical bombed by the USA and then in the jungle is where orks, aliens, billionaires, and nazi scientists live....................................& yet all the different groups in Colombia are so loyal to the "nation state" even amongst South Americans in general - they really like their difference. When the Spanish sat down with the Portuguese and the Pope of course (don't mention the pope enough) all those hundreds of years ago to decide who would carve up the Americas - the difference between Colombia and Venezuela was only know to the National Geographic style natives. Modern day Americans pay a fortune to save the forest from the chem bombs - other modern day americans pay a fortune for the cocaine. Leaving drugs out of it - ah! but you can't. Colombia is drugs............................................When the "treaty of tordesillas" was argued out between Portugal and Spain it meant as much to them as a G8 might do for the types who go to those gigs now. The pope got his little marker and halved the continent - but the big and sly eternal but - the maps supplied by both sides in arbitration were falsified. They didn't know where the Americas were - other than west and had already agreed to split anything west between them on a north / south line - which would have messed up their secret explorations. Just in case you don't know - it wasn't possible to accurately measure north or south positions on the ocean back then.................... But they couldn't just turn up to the pope (a very busy man in the 15th century) with invented maps - there had to be some agreement - so they spied constantly on each others' fakes. & in the process the other spying nations of Europe got their first clues of how to go and get a bit of the action. But it was worth it -
Loads of Money. Loads of Blood. Fun fun Fun and lovely tanned petite people without venereal diseases.

Uribe's state honestly doesn't stretch far beyond the cities of child poverty and glue sniffers, and the backwash from the Cocaine industry which he so ferociously must regulate without too much pruning - so that all the family get their share - and then the nascent tourism which bills itself as "Caribbean" because no-one really thinks Colombia has good reputation. They'd be right the feature on Colombia includes archive material on masacres of indiginous communities in the way of Colombia's 21st century "clean tourism". American christians voted for that. Especially the type who never got to see Billy Graham gig Havanah in the 50's. I doubt the Colombian state even stretches into its own slums. But in the last while what we always knew (did we?) was true is leaking out - the Colombian regime has a jungle boot in the paramilitary camp. they've cobbled some archive things together for the moment it's all in spanish. But the introduction paragraph wondered what language this particular "state within the ideal area of a state" would speak. It won't move from here -
But the Colombian feature page will go down.
I can at momentary glance see no reason why Uribe and Farc would enter negotiations. Uribe of course would have to do something like that - because it was election manifesto and reassures the American investors who buy his votes for him. But why would Farc wan't to do this? What's in it for them? or is it the case as so often happens - that attention will be distracted from something else as these two "deficient state structures" occupying certain common space allow each other some damage limitation. a "pax" between schoolyard knived up killers rather than a "peace proces".............................."Oh it's probably a prisoner / hostage exchange.".........The illustration I would have put up was Marlon Brandon in the Godfather.......................
Hilary in the White House and the usual focus of the Democrats


I ruefully admit that my conviction that the narco-state of Colombia has no real reason to exist under its present borders caused me difficulty when the neonazis turned up in Bolivia's Santa Cruz demanding secession. But then I remembered that most of Bolivia is mapped. little difference.


A video has surfaced which shows a large consignment of arms stolen from the Venezuelan military in 1995 by the small marxist terrorist grouping ELN being handed over to FARC as part of their good will demonstration leading to a possible joint campaign.

These are the arms which the narco-state of Colombia and Interpol have suggested were sent by Hugo Chavez and Venezuela to FARC.

imagine what he would have said to Borat or Bruno.
imagine what he would have said to Borat or Bruno.

Related Link:
author by iosafpublication date Tue Sep 01, 2009 18:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The detention last night of Edgar Eulises Torres and Odín Sánchez of the party of Unity (Uribe's block) and Juan Pablo Sánchez (Liberal party) on the orders of the Colombian Supreme Court to face interrogation on their nexus with the far-right terrorist AUC and in particular the groupings of the AUC operating in or as : "Elmer Cárdenas", "Nordeste Antioqueńo", "Bajo Cauca" and "Magdalena Medio".

Those being the names of provinces where the AUC committed massacres or names of units of the AUC.
c/f spanish wikipedia list of demobilisation efforts 2003 - 2006
c/f English wikipedia explanation of "the Parapolitics scandal".

These arrests bring the total of parliamentarians accused of far-right terrorist links to over 70. There are 156 members of parliament. 20 are now imprisoned.

Of whom one was a cousin of president Uribe.
(the man with swine flu who Hillary Clinton trusts with 7 new bases to fight narcotrafficking and terrorism)

By thisthe casual reader will understand that it is not only the Colombian military who are hand in glove with far-right terrorism (be it supposedly demobilised or not) but also get an idea of how filthy Colombian parliamentary institutions are.

author by iosafpublication date Sat Oct 10, 2009 09:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

English speaking internet is deciding if it approves, disapproves or gives a shit about Obama's Nobel Peace Prize announced this weekend.

2 of the other 4 nominees were Colombian. - Ingrid Betancourt and Piedad Cordoba.

Piedad Cordoba (charged with treason for saying Colombia is a narco-state) has in her statement on Obama winning the prize she had been considered for, that it is time for Obama to stop the global & latin american expansion of de facto US bases and /or de jure "forward operating locations" or diplomatically liasoned civilian facilities such as airports (Shannon) and ports.

New Latin American century (part 2): Nixon, Pinochet, Brazil, Chile, US bases, declassified files
New Latin American century (part 3): US "Forward Operating Locations", Domination, Robots & fibs.

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