Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Our Allies in the News: Colombian Edition

Top paramilitary commanders have in recent days confirmed what human rights groups and others have long alleged: Some of Colombia's most influential political, military and business figures helped build a powerful anti-guerrilla movement that operated with impunity, killed civilians and shipped cocaine to U.S. cities.

The commanders have named army generals, entrepreneurs, foreign companies and politicians who not only bankrolled paramilitary operations but also worked hand in hand with fighters to carry them out. In accounts that are at odds with those of the government, the commanders have said their organization, rather than simply sprouting up to fill a void in lawless regions of the country, had been systematically built with the help of bigger forces...

"Could these three groups -- I'm talking about political people, economic people, the institutional people, meaning the military -- operate without having contact with the chief of chiefs?" said Duque, speaking from the Itagui prison in Medellin, which houses dozens of paramilitary commanders. "That's impossible. That cannot be."...

Still, Duque called Colombia's war "dirty, slimy, anarchic, anachronistic," and said paramilitary fighters had killed countless civilians in massacres, contradicting long-held claims that those slain in the attacks were Marxist guerrillas. And he said that the paramilitary groups also murdered many union members for their "ideological posture," not for purported ties to guerrillas, as was claimed. "It was profoundly unjust," he said.

2 comments:

Murky Thoughts said...

It's like reading Margaret Atwood. No wonder Bush is going to live down there. I bet the Colombian paramilitary was closer to Blackwater than Saddam was to Al Qaeda.

helmut said...

Actually, Bush's land is in Paraguay. We have yet to learn of what eradication programs are taking place there so that Bush can maintain a verdant front lawn.