Open Letter to News Media- Colombia’s Real War?

Dear Chris & Steve, AP News, NY Times, El Espectador,

My name is Luis Mejia and I am doing a documentary on the Colombia Peace process with an Indigenous focus. We aim to report a balanced version of the crisis in Colombia.

Chris, I read your report on New Trade Perks in the LA Times and we can see the US has a big interest in signing a free trade deal with Colombia.

But at what cost?

I was also surprised to see the AP report in the Miami Herald, page 8A. Oct 23, 2006 http://www.herald.com, which says, “The government blames the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, better know as FARC, for the blast, which injured 23.

The FARC have yet to comment on the explosion”

They have commented and there seems to be more questions than answers. See news attached.

My concern is that the news has reported the FARC is responsible for this grave act of horror and the evidence points to a covert operation.

I am a journalist and film maker and wish to see if any evidence proves this was the FARC or another US backed 9-11 cover-up.

I do not support the FARC or any illegal armed group, but find it hard to believe this act of terrorism with a military dressed personal and a camera that was not working at the time is all the evidence available.

Quote from Indy Media-

Para buena parte de la opinión pública este atentado puede haber sido también un montaje, teniendo en cuenta que la zona afectada fue una de las más custodiadas y que, se ha dicho en los medios, que la persona que dejó el vehículo con los explosivos hasta el lugar vestía un uniforme de la Armada Nacional, portaba un carné y el carro estaba matriculado para entrar en el sitio, y además coincidencialmente la cámara de seguridad encargada de registrar a las personas que entran en automóvil al complejo militar se había dañado.

Translation-

Good part of public opinion regarding this attack thinks it is a setup, montage…

The zone which was affected, high security, and reported in local media,that the person that left the vehicle with explosives wore a uniform of the National Armada, had credentials and the car was registered to enter the place, and coincidentally  the security camera that registers everyone entering the military complex was broken.

Another concern is this quote from same AP article–

“The FARC previously demanded the zone be demilitarized to allow rebel negotiators to meet with the government and discuss a possible swap of around 500 imprisoned rebels for about 60 kidnapped prominent Colombians, including ex-presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and three American defense contractors.

Solorzano said that the number of rebels in the municipalities, located in the province of Valle, has risen in recent months, possibly as the guerrilla group prepared for talks.

Uribe said the only option left for freeing the hostages is military rescue, something bitterly opposed by the families of the kidnapped who fear their loved ones may die in the crossfire.” End quote-

So resort to war and military rescue and call of a dialogue for peace? When will the blood shed end?

Why is the media not asking the right questions? 

Where is the truth about the real Plan Colombia and the US backed war?

The fumigation war is a genocide on our Indigenous people, all children without a voice and a grave concern to the future of Colombia’s agriculture and water supply.

Adam Isacson said it well in his report to Center of International Policy,

Since Plan Colombia began in 2000, we have seen $4.7 billion spent and 2,500 square miles sprayed with herbicides. Yet U.S. government satellites found more coca in Colombia last year than they did in 2000, while cocaine and heroin street prices have actually declined.

Coca cultivation will decrease only when Colombia can govern its rural areas, where more than 75 percent of the people live in poverty.

Those who insist on spraying instead of governing are doing a disservice to Colombia’s police officers by forcing them to face mortal danger for a strategy that isn’t working.

ADAM ISACSON

Director of Programs

Center for International Policy

Please see news below and please offer your readers a balanced report.

Thanks and all the best,

Luis Mejia

Tribal Ink News & The Womb Radio/ TV

http://www.tribalink.org http://www.thewomb.com

786.268.2723 ~

https://globaltvlive.wordpress.com/

http://www.myspace.com/lcondor

http://tribalinknews.blogspot.com/

Editors note-

This is a updated version, once read need to add more info.

Emails sent & time-

 

Date: Oct 24, 2006 3:30 PM

Subject: Colombia Truth

To: chris.kraul@latimes.com, sdudley@miamiherald.com, info@ap.org, editorweb@elespectador.com.co, executive-editor@nytimes.com

Cc:  cip@ciponline.org

 

=========================================================

 

Security boosted after car bombing in Colombia

The Colombian government sent police to secure a remote area that was proposed as a site for negotiations with rebels. The talks were called off after a bombing in Bogotá.

 

BOGOTA – (AP) — A remote zone in southwest Colombia, once a proposed safe haven for negotiations with rebels, was teaming with police Sunday after the president ruled out talks because of a bombing.

 

Police Capt. Guillermo Solorzano on Sunday said some 150 police officers were sent to the municipalities of Florida and Pradera to boost the government’s presence in the area and “calm the situation.’’

 

President Alvaro Uribe, in an impassioned speech Friday, said he’d given up on the possibility of talks after a car bomb exploded Thursday in a military installation in northern Bogotá, just yards away from the Army’s top general.

 

The government blames the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, better known as FARC, for the blast, which injured 23.

 

The FARC have yet to comment on the explosion.

 

‘’We are going to capture the militias of the FARC that have infiltrated the urban centers of Pradera and Florida and we are going to remove any trace of the FARC from the rural areas,’’ Uribe said.

 

The FARC previously demanded the zone be demilitarized to allow rebel negotiators to meet with the government and discuss a possible swap of around 500 imprisoned rebels for about 60 kidnapped prominent Colombians, including ex-presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and three American defense contractors.

 

Solorzano said that the number of rebels in the municipalities, located in the province of Valle, has risen in recent months, possibly as the guerrilla group prepared for talks.

 

Uribe said the only option left for freeing the hostages is military rescue, something bitterly opposed by the families of the kidnapped who fear their loved ones may die in the crossfire.

 

Source AP- http://www.ap.org and Miami Herald Page 8 A – Mon Oct 23, 2006

=======================================

 

 

 

17 de Octubre de 2006

Los “positivos” de la infamia

Por: Iván Márquez / Integrante del secretariado de las FARC-EP

En ejecución de la nueva doctrina gringa de la “seguridad democrática” el gobierno Uribe está causando irreparables destrozos a Colombia, a sus perspectivas como colectividad.

 

Ya no es sólo la represión brutal y la adopción de leyes draconianas para humillar o disuadir la inconformidad social a favor de la política neoliberal; ahora las manos del Estado explotan bombas contra objetivos civiles y militares con la pérfida intención de inculpar a la insurgencia apuntando a su deslegitimación, y de mostrar resultados en busca de oxígeno para la desprestigiada seguridad democrática gubernamental.

La mentira y el engaño son consustanciales a esa política de lesa humanidad y lesa patria.

Con falso dolor de corazón el comandante del ejército reconoce que un coronel, un mayor y un capitán del B-2 del ejército están detrás de los atentados dinamiteros en Bogotá, pero el Presidente, consecuente con su torcida política, parece exculparlos ante la opinión.

No se puede olvidar que fue el mismo Uribe en persona quien incitó a los militares. Les exigió partes positivos y resultados en litros de sangre. Por eso la captura de más de 120 mil ciudadanos bajo la falsa imputación de guerrilleros. Por eso tantas muertes de inocentes. Esa indignante estratagema de asesinar civiles para luego uniformarlos y presentarlos en la televisión y en la prensa como “guerrilleros muertos en combate” no es una práctica aislada de la IV Brigada del ejército en Antioquia, sino la práctica cotidiana generalizada en todas las Brigadas militares de Colombia.

Los estímulos y recompensas económicas corren por cuenta de Uribe. ¿Quién alborotó los sapos en este país con ofertas de dinero? El mismo que incentivó esa emulación criminal de los “positivos”.

Varios generales y coroneles fueron echados de la institución por no presentar resultados, o porque se opusieron a la concepción gringa sobre el funcionamiento de los ejércitos. Para evitar ese albur, algunos se dedicaron a montar carros bombas y a desactivarlos, para ganarse un “positivo”. Y “platica”, como diría el Führer de Palacio. No importa que de vez en cuando estalle uno de ellos y mueran transeúntes y soldados.

Este es el gobierno de la mentira. Y para ello tiene al diario El Tiempo de los Santos en el bolsillo, con Vicepresidente y Ministro de Defensa.

Simón Trinidad, vocero de paz de las FARC, fue extraditado a los Estados Unidos con mentiras y argucias para burlar la expresa prohibición constitucional de extraditar nacionales por razones políticas. A Sonia, la guerrillera, se la llevaron estampándole su huella digital a la cédula de identidad de una narcotraficante. Montaje y farsa fue la “desmovilización” de 70 supuestos guerrilleros en el Tolima, orquestada por el señor Montoya, actual comandante del ejército. Montaje noticioso es el desmantelamiento de laboratorios de cocaína propagandizados torpemente por algunos generales, como “pertenecientes a la guerrilla”. Lo raro, dice la gente, es que no aparezcan ni siquiera un soldado herido o un Black Hawk derribado. Mentira fue la muerte de 10 policías “por fuego amigo” en Jamundí, cuando en realidad fue una masacre perpetrada sin piedad por unos militares al servicio del narcotráfico.

Nos sumamos a la indignación del país y de los buenos soldados de la patria por tanta desinformación y estafa a la opinión proveniente del Estado y del gobierno, y por los crímenes y desafueros de los montajes y “positivos” de la infamia.

La alternativa antifascista clama concreción en Colombia.

Source FARC WEB –

http://www.farcep.org/?node=2,2367,1
==================================================================================
Source Indy Media- Colombia

Auto bomba en el Cantón Norte
Ante el último atentado, cancelan el intercambio humanitario y ordenan arremetida militar. Llamado de Uribe al terrorismo de Estado. El jueves 19 de octubre la explosión de un carro-bomba, en el complejo militar más importante del país, dejó más de una veintena de heridos minutos antes de una actividad académica al rededor de los Derechos Humanos, en donde participarían el delegado de la ONU, el comandante general del ejército, el artefacto explosivo fue ubicado al frente de la sede de la Escuela Superior de Guerra y en las inmediaciones de la Universidad Nueva Granada, una universidad pública dirigida por la fuerzas armadas donde también estudian civiles.

En medio de el derrumbamiento de gubernamentalidad del gobierno de Uribe, y ante esta nueva evidencia del fracaso de la “Seguridad Democrática”, ha impartido orden de ofensiva militar total. Mientras que el Estado en pleno responsabiliza a las FARC, el último comunicado de ese grupo guerrillero desmiente el hecho, y ambas partes hablan que la contraparte está en contra de la solución negociada.

Para buena parte de la opinión pública este atentado puede haber sido también un montaje, teniendo en cuenta que la zona afectada fue una de las más custodiadas y que, se ha dicho en los medios, que la persona que dejó el vehículo con los explosivos hasta el lugar vestía un uniforme de la Armada Nacional, portaba un carné y el carro estaba matriculado para entrar en el sitio, y además coincidencialmente la cámara de seguridad encargada de registrar a las personas que entran en automóvil al complejo militar se había dañado.

Dentro de la lógica obtusa de la derecha gobernante, al atentado da la oportunidad para descalificar toda opción de izquierda que se oponga a los intereses del régimen, desde las protestas estudiantiles en las universidades (que ya la semana pasada el vicepresidente pedía persegir con infiltración y castigar como terrorismo), hasta el trabajo de control político que los representantes de la izquierda democrática aunados en el Polo Democrático desarrollan en el congreso.

Ante los hechos que pueden suceder, a los sectores populares solo nos resta incrementar la organización para enfrentar la dictadura civil .
Source Indy Media
http://colombia.indymedia.org/

=======================================================================================

Source-Center for International Policyhttp://ciponline.org/colombia/060703isac.htm

The Real Solution for Colombia’s Drug Problems

Monday, July 3, 2006; A20

In “More Help for Colombia” [op-ed, June 26], Robert D. Novak employs a tired tactic: slapping the “soft on drugs” label on any who oppose the current U.S. policy toward Colombia.

Critics, Mr. Novak implies, are betraying brave Colombian anti-drug police officers who risk their lives every day.

Why, though, must these police risk all for a strategy that hasn’t affected Colombian coca and opium?

Since Plan Colombia began in 2000, we have seen $4.7 billion spent and 2,500 square miles sprayed with herbicides. Yet U.S. government satellites found more coca in Colombia last year than they did in 2000, while cocaine and heroin street prices have actually declined.

Coca cultivation will decrease only when Colombia can govern its rural areas, where more than 75 percent of the people live in poverty.

Those who insist on spraying instead of governing are doing a disservice to Colombia’s police officers by forcing them to face mortal danger for a strategy that isn’t working.

ADAM ISACSON

Director of Programs

Center for International Policy

Washington

As of July 5, 2006, this document was also available online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/02/AR2006070200561_pf.html

— =============================================================================

Biological Weapons in the Drug War

A Review of Opposition in South America

With Examples from Other Regions, Intergovernmental Agencies, and NGOs


INTRODUCTION

Under heavy US pressure, Colombia is choosing to ignore its neighbors and the international community and support the US strategy to use biological weapons in the Drug War. Although the plan is opposed by government officials and civil society both domestically and internationally, the Colombian Environment Ministry has prepared a US $7 million project proposal for work on illicit crops including a major component to develop biological weapons to forcibly eradicate coca crops.[1]

While Colombia denies that it will use US-developed biological weapons, the US State Department’s anti-narcotics chief Rand Beers says the US will keep the pressure up, recently telling the BBC “I am never prepared to admit it is over.” [2] The inventor of the US government’s preferred agent, a strain of the Fusarium oxysporum fungus called EN-4, is using the private company Ag/Bio Con (co-owned with a former US Air Force general) to promote use of the fungus. The inventor, whose work has been funded by the US government for over a decade, told journalists on camera that he believes biological weapons should be used by force on target countries.

The agents are to be used against the Colombian government’s enemies in an escalating armed conflict that has displaced one and a half million civilians and taken tens of thousands of lives. Colombia is the third largest recipient of US military aid in the world (after Egypt and Israel). Biological weapons have been proposed as part of a military offensive aimed at regaining state control of coca growing areas, most of which are de facto administered by guerrillas or right wing paramilitaries.

Colombia’s proposal mimics US usage of the deliberately confusing misnomer “biological control” when referring to coca-killing agents and spray technology. In fact, they are not legitimate biological controls; but weapons designed to provoke massive disease outbreaks and remain in the soil for decades. The term is being abused by when applied to this biological weapons research.

In other parts of the world, a program in Uzbekistan supported by the US, UK, and United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP) is developing weapons to eradicate opium poppy. These agents are to be used in conflict-torn parts of Asia, including Afghanistan and Burma. In Africa, concern has been expressed that anti-crop biological agents may be proposed for use on cannabis fields.

There is no exemption in the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), a key international arms control treaty, for the use of biological weapons in military, law enforcement, or civilian actions to forcibly eradicate illicit crops. Countries North and South recognize that prohibiting any use of biological weapons is critically important to stop arms proliferation, uphold treaty commitments, and protect human health and the environment.

The Agent Green[3] biological weapons controversy has generated important attention and statements from governments, intergovernmental organizations, and NGOs. This is especially true in South America, where the debate has been most intense. This paper organizes and presents important examples of government and other positions on Agent Green, providing an important reference point for policymakers and civil society working on policies to halt the use of biological weapons everywhere.

THE BIOLOGICAL WARFARE PROPOSAL

Despite the widespread opposition detailed in this paper, the Colombian Environment Ministry’s proposal to develop biological weapons for the eradication of coca is proceeding. The only donor country that has expressed interest is the US, making the Americans the logical funder for the proposal despite their prior statements, including to the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, that it would not bilaterally fund this biological weapons research. Earlier this year, Colombia refused to sign a controversial US funded contract with the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP) for the testing of a US-developed Fusarium oxysporum strain named EN-4.

Colombian President Andres Pastrana and Environment Minister Juan Mayr are attempting a dangerous and shortsighted political balance between global and US interests. A very small number of senior Colombian officials have deceptively said that Colombia will not allow the testing of “the fungus”  (“el hongo”), claiming that the US EN-4 poses risks to the environment and human health because it is “alien” . The effort is a public relations attempt to deflect scrutiny of their decision to proceed with the development of a domestic “hongo criollo” (“Creole fungus”) biological weapon to accomplish the same ends, and potentially cause similar environmental havoc, as the purportedly discarded EN-4 strain.

Thus, Colombia has only renounced a single US government-developed strain of Fusarium oxysporum. Ignoring the pleas of its neighbors and civil society, and with strong support from US anti-narcotics and security agencies, Colombia is moving ahead with “native” biological weapons developed from a wide variety of local pathogenic organisms.

The following sections of this paper present an important (but not exhaustive) list of examples of the lack of endorsement and broad rejection of the US-Colombian plan by Colombia’s neighbors, other Southern and Northern countries, intergovernmental organizations, and civil society… but first:

INVENTOR OF THE USA’S AGENT: USE THE WEAPON BY FORCE

The anti-coca biological agent preferred by the United States is Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Erythroxyli strain EN-4, a particularly virulent coca-killing type of a fungus genus that attacks many crops.[4] The strain was investigated along with many other Fusarium types (including samples from Colombia) in research contracts between the US government and Dr. David Sands, a plant pathologist at Montana State University in the USA. After the successful identification of EN-4 and development of formulation and dispersal technology, Dr. Sands established a private company called Ag/Bio Con to promote EN-4 and other agents to eradicate illicit crops. Ag/Bio Con has briefed the Colombian government, including President Pastrana, and sought contracts with the US Government for coca eradication research. Dr. Sands was interviewed in September 2000 by the BBC investigative journalism program Panorama and explained, in the frightening excerpts below, that he believes biological weapons should be used by force, with or without the consent of target countries:[5]

SANDS: This fungus is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a silver bullet … I have seen it take out 99% of plants in a field. I think that’s incredible and I think people should know that this technology exists … This would be a green kind of warfare …


BBC:
Okay, but we’re talking semantics here. You call it green warfare. Other people call it biological warfare. That is semantically correct, it is biological warfare.


SANDS:
That can be right. It’s biological warfare or green warfare. I just want you to understand my opinion is it’s a good thing if it’s done to eradicate something that the entire world feels is noxious.


BBC:
What happens if consent is not forthcoming … I put to you a hypothetical – you never get consent – what should happen then?


SANDS:
You’re saying that two countries [Colombia and Afghanistan] that knowingly are unleashing a chemical, a drug, on our children, an addictive drug, that they are consenting to do that and they are not consenting to do biological control, I think they should suffer the consequences of that decision.


BBC:
Which means that we should go in without consent.


SANDS
: I think somebody should.


BBC:
And it should be treated as an act of counter terrorism?


SANDS:
Well it’s a pretty high stakes game. Just go to any rehab clinic and check it out yourself.


BBC:
You’re saying yes?


SANDS:
Yes.

Source- Sunshine Project

http://www.sunshine-project.org

Background info–

The Sunshine Project

News Release

15 March 2006

US House Votes to Advance Offensive Biological Weapons Plan

In an titanic fit of myopia, the US House of Representatives has passed a bill that advances a US plan to wage biological warfare against Colombia and other countries where illicit narcotics are produced. If passed by the US Senate, the bill (HR 2829) will require the US Drug Czar to quickly formulate a plan to field test biological weapons designed to eradicate illicit crops.

The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) prohibits all biological warfare, including attacks on crops. The BWC has no exemptions – not for the Drug War, nor for the US Congress. The US eradication project thus violates the BWC’s Article I, which prohibits development and stockpiling of biological weapons.

The Sunshine Project will call upon the BWC to prevent violation of the treaty by the United States. In April, the Sunshine Project will distribute an Agent Green dossier to governments attending a preparatory meeting for the BWC’s upcoming 6th Review Conference. If the US bill is signed into law, the Sunshine Project will press for multilateral action by the BWC 6th Review Conference itself, when it meets in November.

Opposition in South America, the primary target of the plan, spans the political spectrum. When first confronted by US biowarfare pressure in 1999-2000, the Colombian government decided against testing and use of biological agents to eradicate illicit crops. Other Andean countries also oppose the plan, as do many environmental and peace NGOs. So do indigenous peoples who grow coca for cultural purposes unrelated to the drug trade, a constituency that includes Evo Morales, the recently-elected President of Bolivia.

Speaking to the Colombian daily El Tiempo on Monday, former Colombian President Andrés Pastrana, now Bogotá’s Ambassador in Washington, emphatically reiterated Colombia’s opposition to the plan, telling the paper, “During my government we opposed it. And Colombia’s position, now under President Álvaro Uribe, has not changed.”

The main biological weapons agents under US consideration are strains of the fungus Fusarium oxysporum that attack coca and other illicit crops. With its serious human health and environmental risks, F. oxysporum has been dubbed “Agent Green” by civil society opponents, who liken it to the defoliant Agent Orange that was used by the US in Vietnam. In the US conception, huge amounts of specially-formulated Fusarium would be sprayed from large military aircraft to blanket large portions of Colombia and, potentially, other countries.

The HR 2829 provision does not specifically mention Colombia or Fusarium, although it does specify that the testing plan should be for a “major drug producing nation”. This opens the possibility that the tests could be conducted elsewhere, such as Central Asia, where the US has supported development of biological weapons for use against opium poppy. Given past events, however, the bill’s language is widely interpreted to refer to Colombia.

The Sunshine Project hopes that the US Senate will catch this egregious mistake and that the provision will be struck from any related bill that it considers. With US fear about a biological weapons attack and spending on biodefense both at unprecedented levels, it is difficult to envision a more unwise US policy than for it to field test biological weapons and to seek to perpetrate a biological attack on other countries.

——

SOURCES FOR BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Sunshine Project maintains an Agent Green web page, including a detailed background report (updated in September 2005) on the human health and environmental risks at: http://www.sunshine-project.org/agentgreen/

Independent researcher Jeremy Bigwood has also extensively investigated the issue. His Agent Green website is: http://www.mycoherbicide.info/

In 2000, the BBC’s flagship investigative journalism program Panorama interviewed proponents of the plan, including the US “inventor” of Agent Green, who concedes that it constitutes biological warfare and says that it should be applied by force: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/948102.stm

——-

HR 2829:

PDF copy (see page 30): http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_cong_bills&docid=f:h2829rfs.txt.pdf

HR 2829, titled “An Act to reauthorize the Office of National Drug Control Policy Act”, was sponsored by Rep. Mark Rep Souder, an Indiana Republican. The Agent Green provision was placed in the bill at the behest of Rep. Dan Burton, another Indiana Republican who is an enthusiastic supporter of using biological weapons against Colombia and other countries. As reported to the US Senate this Monday, the provision reads as follows:

    SEC. 6. AMENDMENTS RELATING TO APPOINTMENT AND DUTIES OF DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY DIRECTOR.

   

    (n) REQUIREMENT FOR SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF MYCOHERBICIDE IN ILLICIT DRUG CROP ERADICATION.-Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall submit to the Congress a report that includes a plan to conduct, on an expedited basis, a scientific study of the use of mycoherbicide as a means of illicit drug crop elimination by an appropriate Government scientific research entity, including a complete and thorough scientific peer review. The study shall include an evaluation of the likely human health and environmental impacts of such use. The report shall also include a plan to conduct controlled scientific testing in a major drug producing nation of mycoherbicide naturally existing in the producing nation.

 

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One Comment on “Open Letter to News Media- Colombia’s Real War?”


  1. Really nice site you have here. I’ve been reading for a while but this post made me want to say 2 thumbs up. Keep up the great work


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