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US officials outline Bush's Andean Regional Initiative

by RevereRides Wednesday, Jul. 04, 2001 at 4:05 PM

excellent collection of raw material on Colombia. Note: modification of program "Plan Colombia" to now, "Andean Regional Initiative" (ARI)... apparently the corporations see the ability to franchise farther afield!

Check out these excerpt, which one of our public servants is promoting:

JAMES MACK

DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE

FOR INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AFFAIRS

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

"Some allege that the glyphosate used in the spray program results in health side-effects to exposed populations. First, let me stress that glyphosate is one of the least harmful herbicides available on the world market."

And this one.... a couple of notes... A.) the gov't may maintain a program, however, they don't institute it

B.) the reason coca, etc is grown is because the "neo-liberal" IMF/WTO strictures have eliminated tariffs, and subsidized US ( etc. ) produce has decimated the price local growers used to make a living on.... ( sort of like the destruction of the family farm in, where... why, the US!! )

Excerpt Two: ( attributed to same propagandist, note when seeing Sec'y of State, try and think, Sec'y of Real Estate.... and they want more tenants!! )

"Furthermore, the government of Colombia maintains a system to compensate farmers for damages caused by the program. Over the past few months, we have encouraged the Colombian government to streamline the process and efforts have begun to better educate the public about that option.

Recent field visits encountered evidence that coca growers in southern Colombia are using dangerous chemicals, such as paraquat. That is a concern to us as it presents a very real risk to the people of the region.

The traffickers' utter disregard for human health and environmental security that pervades the illegal drug industry goes beyond the obvious examples of poisoning millions of drug consumers with their illegal products. It includes the clear cutting of rain forest; the contamination of soil and watersheds with acids and chemical salts; and the exposure of their workers and themselves to potentially deadly chemicals all in the name of profit...."



( ed. sorry, about the length )

[This message is being sent in 2 parts]

Subj: CLM: US officials outline Bush's Andean Regional Initiative

Date: 7/2/01 6:20:03 AM Mountain Daylight Time

Sender: owner-clm-news@. prairienet.org

To: clm-news@. prairienet.org

________________________________________________________________

COLOMBIAN LABOR MONITOR

www.prairienet.org/clm

Monday, 2 July 2001

*****************

* U.S. CONGRESS *

*****************

1. AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE-Thursday, 28 June 2001

US State Dept officials outline Bush's Andean Regional Initiative

2. U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES-Thursday, 28 June 2001

Statement of James Mack

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics

and Law Enforcement Affairs

U.S. Department of State

3. U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES-Thursday, 28 June 2001

Statement of Michael Deal

Deputy Assistant Administrator

Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean

U.S. Agency for International Development

________________________________________________________________

****************************************************************

* 1 *

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Thursday, 28 June 2001

US State Dept officials outline

Bush's Andean Regional Initiative

---------------------------------

WASHINGTON - State Department officials on Thursday outlined President

George W. Bush's Andean Regional Initiative, a group of programs aimed at

addressing the challenges of democracy, drugs and development in the area.

The initiative is seen as an extension of Plan Colombia, a Colombian

proposal to address that country's complex war- and narcotics-related

problems, backed by the United States to the tune of one billion dollars.

"ARI balances the need to address the continuing challenges in Colombia

with the competing priority of working with the rest of the region to

prevent a further spreading of Colombia's problems," said Deputy Assistant

Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement

Affairs, James Mack.

US funding for the plan was controversial as some lawmakers feared it

could drag the United States into Colombia's conflict with the guerrillas

believed by Washington to be profiting from the drug trade.

Nations bordering Colombia also said they feared the intensive

anti-narcotics push would result in rebel activity and refugees spilling

over into their nations, and demanded US aid to help them deal with that.

"Our support to Plan Colombia was the first step in responding to the

crisis undersay in Colombia," Mack told a House subcommittee hearing on

the ARI.

"The Andean Regional Initiative is the next stage of a long-term effort to

address the threat of narcotics and the underlying causes of the narcotics

industry and violence in Colombia while assisting Colombia's neighbors to

ward off those same dangers."

Bush has proposed 882 million dollars for ARI, 731 million dollars of

which would be earmarked for the anti-narcotics fight, and also includes

funding for developmental and economic support programs, and "a small

amount" of Foreign Military Funding.

ARI covers programs in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Panama

and Brazil.

Speaking at the same hearing, Republican congressman Ben Gilman called for

the reinstatement of anti-narcotics shoot-down policy over Peru and

Colombia, suspended after Peru's air force downed a missionary plane,

killing a young mother and her infant child.

US surveillance flights had been used to detect and track suspected drug

flights for the Peruvian air force.

Copyright 2001 Agence France Presse

________________________________________________________________

****************************************************************

* 2*

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Friday, 28 June 2001

***********

* HEARING *

***********

HOUSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE

JAMES MACK

DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE

FOR INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AFFAIRS

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Good morning, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. I am pleased to be

here today to discuss with you the status of Plan Colombia and to describe

for you the Department of, State's programs envisioned under the

Administration's proposed Andean Regional Initiative, or ARI.

First, I'd like to provide you background on the origin of the President's

Initiative. In July 2000, Congress approved a .3 billion supplemental

appropriation to carry out enhanced counternarcotics activities in the

Andean region. Of that amount, approximately billion in Function 150

funding through the State Department was the U.S. contribution to what has

become known as Plan Colombia, a comprehensive, integrated, Colombian

action plan to address Colombia's complex and interrelated problems. The

initial two-year phase of Plan Colombia focused on the southern part of

the country.

It began with an intensive counternarcotics push into southern Colombia,

along with the expansion of programs aimed at social action and

institutional strengthening, and alternative development. Plan Colombia is

now well underway and showing good results. In addition to stemming the

flow of narcotics entering the U.S., our assistance is intended to support

institutional and judicial reform, as well as economic advancement, in one

of this hemisphere's oldest democracies.

Members of Congress, the NGO community, and other interested observers had

previously expressed concerns regarding aspects of U.S. government support

to Plan Colombia. Those concerns focused particularly on three areas: that

we did not consult widely enough in putting together our support package;

that we focused too much on security and law enforcement, and not enough

on development and institutional reform; and that our assistance was too

heavily oriented toward Colombia as compared to the rest of the region.

The Bush Administration has taken to heart those concerns in formulating

the President's proposed Andean Regional Initiative (ARI). ARI is the

product of extensive consultations with the staffs of committees and

Members of Congress, with the governments of the region, and with other

potential donor countries and international financial institutions. ARI

addresses the three issues that lie at the heart of the challenges facing

the region: democracy, development, and drugs. ARI balances the need to

address the continuing challenges in Colombia with the competing priority

of working with the rest of the region to prevent a further spreading of

Colombia's problems or backsliding in areas where progress already has

been made.

The President has proposed 2 million in Function 150 programs for the

ARI. 1 million of the 2 million in ARI is for the Department's

Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)

funding of the Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI). The ARI also includes

funding for relevant Economic Support Funds (ESF), Developmental

Assistance (DA), and Child Survival and Disease (CSD) programs, plus a

small amount of Foreign Military Financing (FMF). The ARI covers programs

in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela, and those areas and

programs in Panama and Brazil most affected by the region's problems and

those where our assistance can best make a difference. In addition to

being balanced geographically, our budget will likewise be balanced

programmatically. About 50 percent of the ARI budget will be devoted to

programs focused on development and support for democratic institutions.

Integral to ARI as well are the economic development and job creation

afforded by expanded trade opportunities. The Free Trade Area of the

Americas (FTAA) can help the entire region through increased investment

and job creation. More immediately, renewal and enhancement of the Andean

Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) can provide real alternatives to drug

production and trafficking for farmers and workers desperate for the means

to support their families.

Our support to Plan Colombia was the first step in responding to the

crisis underway in Colombia. The Andean Regional Initiative is the next

stage of along-tern effort to address the threat of narcotics and the

underlying causes of the narcotics industry and violence in Colombia,

while assisting Colombia's neighbors to ward off those same dangers in

their own countries.

Their success is vital to our own national interests in promoting the

spread of strong democratic institutions, the enhancement of trade and

investment opportunities for U.S. businesses and workers, and the

reduction of narcotics production and trafficking that threaten our

society.

My USAID colleague will describe in detail the status of our alternative

development projects. However, I want to point out that alternative

development is an integral part of our plan for weeding out illicit coca

and poppy cultivation in the Andes. We have had large alternative

development programs in Bolivia and Peru for many years, and they have

been quite successful, combining with aggressive eradication and

interdiction programs to produce significant declines in the coca crops of

those countries.

Colombia is trying to replicate that success in Plan Colombia, combining a

substantially expanded alternative development program with aerial

eradication and interdiction activities in southern Colombia, currently

the largest concentration of coca cultivation in the world.

I am pleased to report that the Department is moving quickly to implement

our support to Plan Colombia. Below, I will discuss delivery of

helicopters, aerial spray aircraft, and other equipment, which is

proceeding smoothly.

I will also describe our support for the Colombian government's aerial

spraying program.

I'd then like to discuss the proposal we have submitted in our FY 2002

budget request for INL's 1 million Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI),

as part of the larger 2 million ARI. This initiative addresses

holistically-providing assistance for social and economic development as

well as for counternarcotics and security efforts-the narcotics scourge

throughout the Andean region. We are hopeful that this macro-approach will

eliminate the "balloon effect" which we observe when programs are

developed country by country.

Finally, I will note our support for the ATPA.



STATUS OF SPENDING ON PLAN COLOMBIA

In less than one year, the Department has "committed" approximately 75

percent of the .018 billion two-year Plan Colombia Supplemental. By

"committed," we mean that we have contracted for equipment or services,

signed reimbursable agreements with other agencies or bureaus within the

Department, and contributed to the U.N. Taken together, these

"commitments" total more than 0 million of the Supplemental.

The Administration is finalizing the Congressionally-mandated bi-annual

report on the Supplemental.



STATUS OF EQUIPMENT DELIVERIES

Turning now to our equipment deliveries, I can say that they have

proceeded smoothly, generally adhering to the anticipated schedules. Some

have even been accelerated from their original estimates. As of June 22,

2001, the status of UH-60, UH-1N, Huey-II and spray planes is as follows:

COLAR and CNP Black Hawks: A contract was signed with Sikorsky on December

15th for fourteen Black Hawks for the Colombian Army (COLAR) and two

helicopters for the Colombian National Police (CNP). Specifications for

the aircraft configuration were based on SOUTHCOM recommendations with

input from respective Colombian organizations. Arrangements are being made

for next month's delivery of the two CNP aircraft and the first COLAR

aircraft.

Remaining deliveries will be made in increments through December of this

year. The contract includes one year of contractor logistics support

(CLS). We expect to extend this contract pending availability of FY 2002

funding.

COLAR UH-1Ns: The UH-1Ns supplied to Colombia earlier continue to provide

air mobility support to the troops of the Counterdrug Brigade.

CNP Huey-IIs: INL and the CNP agreed to use the .6 million CNP Huey-II

and million CNP aircraft upgrade budget lines from the Supplemental to

modify nine additional aircraft to desired specifications and retrofit

twenty-two of the earlier produced Huey-IIs to include additional options,

such as floor armor and passive infrared (IR) countermeasures. A delivery

order has been issued for four modifications to be accomplished by U.S.

Helicopter (completion expected approximately August/September), and the

other five modifications will be done by CNP in-country with kits

furnished by INL. (Note: Twenty-Five Huey-II helicopters have been

delivered to the CNP from previous FY 1998 and FY 1999 funding).

COLAR Huey-IIs: SOUTHCOM presented their recommendations on the

configuration of the COLAR Huey-IIs on February 22nd. An interagency team

then selected a configuration that includes a passive IR engine exhaust

system, floor armor, M60D door guns, secure radios, and a radar altimeter,

along with other standard equipment. We estimate that twenty-five Huey-IIs

modified to this standard, along with individual crew equipment (NV Gs,

survival vests, helmets, etc.) and some spares will be possible within the

million line item of the Supplemental Appropriation. We have

established a contract delivery order for the accomplishment of the

initial 20 modifications, with options for additional aircraft. Work is in

progress on these aircraft and we believe that aircraft deliveries to

Colombia can begin by approximately January 2002.

Additional OV-10D Spray Planes: Three aircraft are currently undergoing

refurbishment/modification at Patrick Air Force Base and are expected to

be completed in August of this year.

Additional Ayres Turbo-Thrush Spray Planes: A contract is in place for

nine additional agricultural spray planes. The first aircraft should be

delivered in August, with the balance phased in through February 2002.



AERIAL SPRAYING

Plan Colombia-related aerial spray operations began on December 19, 2000

in the southern department of Caqueta and moved into neighboring Putumayo

on December 22. Operations later shifted to the northern and eastern parts

of the country.

Some allege that the glyphosate used in the spray program results in

health side-effects to exposed populations. First, let me stress that

glyphosate is one of the least harmful herbicides available on the world

market.

Glyphosate has been the subject of an exhaustive body of scientific

literature which has shown that it is not a health risk to humans, and is

extremely environment-friendly. It is used throughout the United States

and over 100 other countries and has been rigorously tested for safety for

animals and humans. Nonetheless, we feel compelled to probe assertions

that it is making people sick. At the request of Congress, the U.S.

Embassy in Bogota, with assistance from our regional EPA representative in

Embassy Lima, is sponsoring two studies on the issue. The first dealt with

the individuals who reported reactions to the spraying. The final report

is not yet complete but the physicians who reviewed those cases found them

to be inconsistent with glyphosate exposure. In fact, many of the cases

were reported prior to any exposure from the spray program. The second

study is getting underway and will compare populations before and after

their areas are sprayed to see if any differences could be attributable to

spraying.

The Center for Disease Control is assisting in designing an appropriate

sampling methodology for this study

The timing of spray operations in Putumayo was based on a number of

factors.

Some were operational concerns, such as seasonal weather conditions. The

timing of operations was also meant to discourage the return of an

itinerant labor pool (coca leaf pickers or "raspachines") who generally

spend the December holidays at their homes in other parts of the country.

Importantly, the timing also corresponded with efforts to recruit

communities to enroll in development programs. While the intent of the

Colombian government to conduct eradication in southern Colombia was well

publicized, coca growing communities in the region initially showed little

interest in participating in development programs, preferring instead to

continue their illicit activity. Only after those initial spray efforts in

Putumayo, which demonstrated the government of Colombia's resolve to

address the growing problem of coca cultivation in the region, did these

communities express real interest in abandoning their illegal activities

in exchange for assistance. Funding was already in place for these

programs at the time spray operations began and, as each community signed

up for the program, the process began to tailor community-specific

assistance packages.

Many safeguards are built into the selection of spray targets and further

improvements are constantly being made to the system. And while the

Department of State does not select the spray locations, (those decisions

are made by the government of Colombia), the Department, through the

Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS) of U.S. Embassy Bogota, does consult on

the selection and supports the Colombian National Police (CNP) efforts.

According to Colombian law, an Inter-Institutional Technical Committee

(ITC) of Colombian government officials determines what areas of the

country may or may not be sprayed. The CNP generates quarterly estimates

of the illicit coca crop by flying over coca growing regions on at least a

quarterly basis to search for new growth and to generate an estimate of

the illicit coca crop. This information is reviewed for accuracy by

technical/environmental auditors and is passed on to the ITC. The

Directorate of Dangerous Drugs (DNE) chairs the ITC, which includes

representatives from the Anti-Narcotics Police, Ministry of the

Environment, the National Institute of Health, the National Institute of

Agriculture, the National Plan for Alternative Development (PLANTE),

regional environmental agencies, and technical/environmental auditors. The

CNP notifies the NAS Aviation Office of all decisions as to which areas

may not be sprayed. Spray operations are then coordinated and conducted in

approved areas only.

Generally, reconnaissance flights are conducted over areas identified by

the CNP in their quarterly coca crop estimates. With the use of SATLOC, an

aircraft-mounted global positioning system, these flights identify the

precise geographical coordinates where coca is being grown. Areas with

large concentrations of coca are then plotted, and a computer program sets

up precise flight lines, calibrated for the width of the spray swath of

the spray plane to be used. Once the government of Colombia has approved

spraying in a given area, spray pilots then fly down those prescribed

flight lines and spray the coca located there.

Also, every effort is made to protect legitimate farming operations from

possible damage from the aerial spray program. The spray aircraft apply

glyphosate at low altitude against predetermined fields, identified by

earlier reconnaissance. The planes carry computerized GPS monitoring

equipment that records their position and the use of the spray equipment.

This system serves to verify that glyphosate is being accurately applied

to intended areas. After spraying, combined U.S.-Colombian teams also

visit randomly chosen fields, security permitting, to verify that the

treated plants were indeed coca. To further aid in the identification of

fields not subject to aerial eradication, the government of Colombia is

currently working to produce a comprehensive digitized map indicating

exempted areas.

Furthermore, the government of Colombia maintains a system to compensate

farmers for damages caused by the program. Over the past few months, we

have encouraged the Colombian government to streamline the process and

efforts have begun to better educate the public about that option.

Recent field visits encountered evidence that coca growers in southern

Colombia are using dangerous chemicals, such as paraquat. That is a

concern to us as it presents a very real risk to the people of the region.

The traffickers' utter disregard for human health and environmental

security that pervades the illegal drug industry goes beyond the obvious

examples of poisoning millions of drug consumers with their illegal

products. It includes the clear cutting of rain forest; the contamination

of soil and watersheds with acids and chemical salts; and the exposure of

their workers and themselves to potentially deadly chemicals all in the

name of profit

For example, the expansion of coca cultivation, production, and

trafficking in Peru, Bolivia and Colombia has resulted in the destruction

of, at an absolute minimum, 2.4 million hectares of the fragile tropical

forest in the Andean region over the last 20 years. In addition, the very

act of refining raw coca leaves into finished cocaine creates significant

environmental damage because of the irresponsible disposal of large

amounts of toxic chemicals used in the process. A study conducted by the

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 1993 of cocaine production

in the Chapare region of Bolivia showed that production of one kilo of

cocaine base required the use of three liters of concentrated sulfuric

acid, ten kilos of lime, 60 to 80 liters of kerosene, 200 grams of

potassium permanganate, and one liter of concentrated ammonia. Processors

discard these poisonous waste products indiscriminately, often dumping

them into the nearest waterway, where the extent of damage is greatly

increased. They also may dump these chemicals on the ground, where as

point sources, they may infiltrate through the soil to groundwater. A

report from the National Agrarian University in Lima Peru estimated that

as much as 600 million liters of so-called precursor chemicals are used

annually in South America for cocaine production. This translates to more

than two metric tons of chemical waste generated for each hectare of coca

processed to produce cocaine.

These environmental concerns are another reason why we must continue in

our efforts to help the governments of the Andean region in their ongoing

struggle against the narcotics industry.



INL'S PROPOSED ANDEAN COUNTERDRUG INITIATIVE (ACI)

The Andean region represents a significant challenge and opportunity for

U.S. foreign policy in the next few years. Important U.S. national

interests are at stake. Democracy is under pressure in all of the

countries of the Andes. Economic development is slow and progress towards

liberalization is inconsistent. The Andes produces virtually all of the

world's cocaine, and an increasing amount of heroin; thus representing a

direct threat to our public health and national security. All of these

problems are inter-related. Sluggish economies produce political unrest

that threatens democracy and provides ready manpower for narcotics

traffickers and illegal armed groups. Weak democratic institutions,

corruption and political instability discourage investment, contribute to

slow economic growth and provide fertile ground for drug traffickers and

other outlaw groups to flourish. The drug trade has a corrupting influence

that undermines democratic institutions, fuels illegal armed groups and

distorts the economy, discouraging legitimate investment. None of the

region's problems can be addressed in isolation.

Of the 2 million Andean Regional Initiative (ARI) request, 1 million

is for INL's Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI). Our goals in the Andes

are to:

Promote and support democracy and democratic institutions-Foster

sustainable economic development and trade liberalization-Significantly

reduce the supply of illegal drugs to the U.S. at the source

Just as Plan Colombia represented an improved approach by considering drug

trafficking as part of Colombia's larger crisis, the Andean Counterdrug

Initiative benefits from its appreciation of the illegal drug industry as

part of something bigger. Drug trafficking is a problem that does not

respect national borders and that both feeds and feeds upon the other

social and economic difficulties with which the Andean region is

struggling.

No nation in the region is free of trafficking or the attendant ills of

other crime forms and corruption. To combat these ills, we propose a

regional versus Colombia-centric policy and a comprehensive and integrated

package that brings together democracy and development as well as drug

initiatives.

For this reason, we plan to allocate almost one-half of the requested 1

million for this initiative to countries other than Colombia. In so doing,

we intend to bolster the successful efforts and tremendous progress we

have made in counternarcotics in countries such as Peru and Bolivia, while

preventing the further expansion of the drug trafficking problem into

other countries of the region., such as Brazil, Panama, Venezuela and

Ecuador.

In addition to ensuring regional balance, the ACI also spans all three of

our stated goals counternarcotics, economic development, and support for

democratic institutions. The full ARI budget of 2 million breaks into

an approximately 50/50 split between counternarcotics and alternative

development/institution-building programs. Its ACI component (1

million) breaks into a 60140 (counternarcotics vs. development/democracy)

split.

3 million of the ACI budget will be devoted to programs focused on

alternative development and support for democratic institutions.

All of Colombia's neighbors are worried about the possibility of

"spillover," specifically that the pressure applied by the government of

Colombia (GOC) in southern Colombia will result in the flight of refugees,

guerrillas, paramilitaries and/or narcotics traffickers across porous

borders into other countries. We will work with the countries of the

region to strengthen their capacity to cope with potential outflows. In

Peru and Bolivia, we will work with those governments to continue their

reductions in coca through a combination of eradication, interdiction, and

alternative development. In all countries, we will work to strengthen

democracy and local institutions in order to attack trafficking networks

which move precursors, money, fraudulent documents and people.

Since we believe Plan Colombia will result in major disruption of the

cocaine industry, ACI's regional approach becomes even more of an

imperative. Traffickers will undoubtedly try to relocate as their

operations in southern Colombia are disrupted. We believe they will first

try to migrate to other areas inside Colombia, then try to return to

traditional growing areas in Peru and Bolivia. But if those options are

forestalled, they may well seek to move more cultivation, processing

and/or trafficking routes into other countries such as Ecuador, Brazil, or

Venezuela.

The nations of the region arc already heavily committed in all three of

the major areas of concern: democratization, economic development and

counternarcotics. All devote significant percentages of their annual

budgets to these areas, and are willing to work with us in the design and

integration of successful programs. Exact figures are impossible to come

by, but the nations of the region in total are committing billions of

dollars to economic development, democratization and counternarcotics

efforts. For example, Ecuador has established a Northern Border Initiative

to promote better security and development in the region bordering

Colombia. Brazil has launched Operation Cobra, a law enforcement effort

concentrated in the Dog's Head region bordering Colombia. Bolivia has been

attacking drug production through its Dignity Plan and is developing a

comprehensive poverty reduction strategy. Colombia continues to pursue its

commitments under Plan Colombia.

Panama has taken concrete steps to improve security and development in the

Darien region. The new Peruvian government has made reform of democratic

institutions a national priority, and continues to pursue aggressively the

counternarcotics missions. In Venezuela, local authorities have cooperated

admirably on drug interdiction, exemplified by last year's record

multi-ton seizure during Operation Orinoco.

Programs to provide humanitarian relief for displaced persons, to help

small farmers and low-level coca workers find legitimate alternatives to

the drug trade, and to strengthen governance, the rule of law, and human

rights will also be incorporated into the ACI.

[Part 2 of 2] Holistic??????



[RERUN] STATUS OF EQUIPMENT DELIVERIES

"Turning now to our equipment deliveries, I can say that they have

proceeded smoothly, generally adhering to the anticipated schedules. Some

have even been accelerated from their original estimates. As of June 22,

2001, the status of UH-60, UH-1N, Huey-II and spray planes is as follows:

COLAR and CNP Black Hawks: A contract was signed with Sikorsky on December

15th for fourteen Black Hawks for the Colombian Army (COLAR) and two

helicopters for the Colombian National Police (CNP). Specifications for

the aircraft configuration were based on SOUTHCOM recommendations with

input from respective Colombian organizations. Arrangements are being made

for next month's delivery of the two CNP aircraft and the first COLAR

aircraft.

Remaining deliveries will be made in increments through December of this

year. The contract includes one year of contractor logistics support

(CLS). We expect to extend this contract pending availability of FY 2002

funding.

COLAR UH-1Ns: The UH-1Ns supplied to Colombia earlier continue to provide

air mobility support to the troops of the Counterdrug Brigade.

CNP Huey-IIs: INL and the CNP agreed to use the .6 million CNP Huey-II

and million CNP aircraft upgrade budget lines from the Supplemental to

modify nine additional aircraft to desired specifications and retrofit

twenty-two of the earlier produced Huey-IIs to include additional options,

such as floor armor and passive infrared (IR) countermeasures. A delivery

order has been issued for four modifications to be accomplished by U.S.

Helicopter (completion expected approximately August/September), and the

other five modifications will be done by CNP in-country with kits

furnished by INL. (Note: Twenty-Five Huey-II helicopters have been

delivered to the CNP from previous FY 1998 and FY 1999 funding).

COLAR Huey-IIs: SOUTHCOM presented their recommendations on the

configuration of the COLAR Huey-IIs on February 22nd. An interagency team

then selected a configuration that includes a passive IR engine exhaust

system, floor armor, M60D door guns, secure radios, and a radar altimeter,

along with other standard equipment. We estimate that twenty-five Huey-IIs

modified to this standard, along with individual crew equipment (NV Gs,

survival vests, helmets, etc.) and some spares will be possible within the

million line item of the Supplemental Appropriation. We have

established a contract delivery order for the accomplishment of the

initial 20 modifications, with options for additional aircraft. Work is in

progress on these aircraft and we believe that aircraft deliveries to

Colombia can begin by approximately January 2002.

Additional OV-10D Spray Planes: Three aircraft are currently undergoing

refurbishment/modification at Patrick Air Force Base and are expected to

be completed in August of this year.

Additional Ayres Turbo-Thrush Spray Planes: A contract is in place for

nine additional agricultural spray planes. The first aircraft should be

delivered in August, with the balance phased in through February 2002.



AERIAL SPRAYING

Plan Colombia-related aerial spray operations began on December 19, 2000

in the southern department of Caqueta and moved into neighboring Putumayo

on December 22. Operations later shifted to the northern and eastern parts

of the country.

Some allege that the glyphosate used in the spray program results in

health side-effects to exposed populations. First, let me stress that

glyphosate is one of the least harmful herbicides available on the world

market."



Subj: CLM: US officials outline Bush's Andean Regional Initiative

Date: 7/2/01 6:20:03 AM Mountain Daylight Time

From: xx738@p... (Colombian Labor Monitor)

Sender: owner-clm-news@p...

To: clm-news@p...

________________________________________________________________

COLOMBIAN LABOR MONITOR

www.prairienet.org/clm

Monday, 2 July 2001

*****************

* U.S. CONGRESS *

*****************

PART II:

ATPA RENEWAL

Renewal of the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) is perhaps the single

largest short-term contribution to economic growth and prosperity in the

Andes. By renewing the Act and expanding its benefits, we can continue to

provide economic alternatives to narcotics trafficking in Bolivia, Peru,

Ecuador and Colombia. The Act has already succeeded in doing so without

adverse economic impact for the U.S. The original justification for the

legislation still stands, but it expires at the end of the year, and

should clearly be renewed at the earliest possible date. ATPA renewal

would serve to strengthen the credibility of democratically-elected

governments in the region and provide them with a clear demonstration of

the benefits of continuing to cooperate on counternarcotics. It would also

halt a potentially crippling exodus of U.S. industries that relocated to

the region when ATPA was established.

I appreciate the opportunity you have given fine to speak to you today,

and I look forward to responding to questions which members of the

committee may have.

________________________________________________________________

****************************************************************

* 3*

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Thursday, 28 June 2001

***********

* HEARING *

***********

Statement of Michael Deal

Deputy Assistant Administrator

Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean

U.S. Agency for International Development

Before the House International Relations Committee

Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, I am pleased to be here to

speak about the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) role

in the Administration's proposed Andean Regional Initiative and progress

to date in implementing Plan Colombia.

USAID's program directly supports a comprehensive, integrated approach to

our Andean counter drug strategy by balancing the interdiction and

eradication efforts of other agencies with social and economic development

assistance. Our experience demonstrates that no single facet of our

counter-drug program can be successful without the other two also being

effectively applied.

The Andean Region faces a wide range of challenges. There are growing

doubts among significant numbers of the region's populations whether

democratic government can deliver essential services and a better life.

Sluggish economies produce political unrest that threatens democracy and,

in turn, weak democratic institutions; corruption and political

instability discourages investment, and contributes to slow economic

growth. This vicious cycle provides fertile ground for drug traffickers

and other illegal groups to flourish, and forces large segments of the

population to rely on crime, insurgency and the drug economy to survive.

The Andean Regional Initiative, like our support for Plan Colombia,

maintains a belief that the problems of drugs and violence in the Andean

region will not be solved in any sustained way unless the fundamental

causes of these problems are also addressed. Democratic institutions in

the region must become stronger, more responsive, more inclusive and more

transparent.

The presence of governments (both national and local) in rural areas must

increase and provide better services to the rural poor, and give them a

stake in the future, and improve the quality of life. The justice system

must be more accessible and efficient, must reduce impunity, and the human

rights environment must improve. Unless the problem of widespread

corruption is solved, and legal employment opportunities are created to

absorb the high number of unemployed, these fundamental causes and their

effects on the region and on America's national interests will be with us

for a long time to come.

Helping address these tough social and economic issues is going to take

time. They will require a sustained commitment and interest on the part of

the U.S. Government. The Andean Regional Initiative, which builds upon the

FY 2000 supplemental funding for Plan Colombia, proposes that USAID manage

0 million in FY 2002 funds. This initiative expands many of our

existing programs in response to the changing circumstances in the region.

USAID assistance will be directed in three main areas: first,

strengthening democracy; second, economic growth through trade enhancement

and poverty reduction; and third, alternative development.



Strengthening Democracy

In order to strengthen democracy in the region, we propose to commit .3

million in FY 2002. This assistance will help address the problems of

fledgling institutions, political instability and corruption which lessen

popular support for democracy at a time when most economies are

under-performing.

USAID will assist in improving the administration of justice by helping to

make justice systems work, make them more modern and efficient, more

transparent, and more accessible. An independent and vigorous judicial

system is vital to the observance of human rights, the defeat of narcotics

trafficking, and the decrease of white collar and street crime. Working

with the U.S. Department of Justice in Colombia, for example, we are

helping move from an inquisitorial to a more open, accusatorial judicial

process. We are strengthening court administration and training of judges,

institutionalizing the public defender system, and working with NGOs and

other interested groups to provide greater oversight and participation in

judicial reform. Part of that program provides access to justice for the

poor through one stop legal offices called "Casas de Justicia" (Houses of

Justice), in the poorer neighborhoods of major cities. We are doing this

now in Colombia and Peru with very good results. In Colombia, 18 "Casas de

Justicia" have been established thus far, each hearing 150 cases per day

and using alternative dispute resolution techniques to resolve problems.

We also have a program that is designed to help improve the observance of

human rights which will continue. We are strengthening human rights

institutions and groups, increasing their capacity to document human

rights abuses and monitor individual cases. In Colombia, our activities

are designed to help prevent killings with the development of an early

warning system that works with the human rights ombudsman and channels

information up the line to law enforcement and the military. We also have

programs directly aimed at the protection of human rights workers and

union leaders.

In Peru, we will continue to promote increased observance of human rights

through informal mechanisms for the resolution of disputes, with support

to legal clinics and conciliation centers, which provided assistance for

145,000 cases in 2000.

We are and will continue to strengthen local governments in rural areas of

Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, and Panama where the lack of basic

institutional and social services has marginalized rural populations.

Where the state is present, it is in the form of an overly centralized,

unresponsive bureaucracy that does not necessarily work or understand the

local interests of a community. Thus, we are training mayors and council

members in identifying and monitoring projects, setting priorities, and

handling financial resources in a more accountable, transparent way. It is

a very important part of bringing democracy to rural areas. And it is an

indispensable part of any program where local empowerment and ownership of

national goals-such as the war against drug cultivation - will be

required to assure the continued enforcement of agreed upon eradication

agreements.

With USAID assistance and through policy dialogue, the decentralization

process in Bolivia helps targeted municipal governments to develop and

carry out action plans in a participatory fashion, engaging civil society

at the local and regional level in the process. As a result, citizen

participation in government has increased, and municipalities have

organized themselves into a nationwide Federation, with departmental

associations and an association of women council members.

Corruption is another very serious problem. The ongoing corruption scandal

from the Fujimori era in Peru has shaken public confidence in the

government institutions of the country. We will work closely with the

incoming administration to strengthen democratic institutions and promote

good government. Similar problems are being encountered throughout the

region, where we are working to strengthen the ability to expose corrupt

practices and investigate and prosecute corrupt officials and very

importantly, make citizens realize they have the right to demand

accountability from their governments.



Social and Economic Development

The second major area of emphasis for USAID assistance will be economic

growth, trade enhancement and poverty reduction, for which we propose 3

million in FY 2002 funding. All of the economies in the region have

struggled over the last few years, and continue to be vulnerable to

setbacks. Each of the Andean countries has a large divide between a small

wealthy elite and a large impoverished class, frequently indigenous in

origin. Some lack the mix of policies necessary to promote growth. Others

have constructive policies, but lack the popular support necessary to

sustain them over the long run.

USAID assistance will directly support the poverty reduction strategies of

Ecuador and Bolivia, and will also address macroeconomic policy and

banking reform in Ecuador. After an intense economic crisis in 1999,

recent increases in oil prices have helped Ecuador's economy and

contributed to a successful dollarization that has restored confidence in

the economy.

However, important and necessary structural reforms are still pending,

particularly in the banking sector, for a sustainable recovery. In both

countries, our assistance will promote employment generation and access to

private lending capital through support to microenterprise.

Support for trade capacity development will be strengthened to help these

countries develop WTO consistent trade regimes. The Administration has

endorsed an extension of the Andean Trade Preference Act and a desire to

move aggressively toward creation of a Free Trade Area for the Americas by

January 2005. USAID Administrator Natsios has consulted with Trade

Representative Zoellick as to how we can advance these trade

liberalization measures. Early in June, my staff presented a range of

options for promoting free trade to our Andean country Mission Directors.

We look forward to helping our cooperating governments analyze their

existing trade regimes and prepare themselves for discussion of

competition policy and other issues.

We will also assist cooperating governments in bringing civil society into

the process to ensure, not only that there are economic and social

development benefits from globalization, but that there is also a broader

understanding of those benefits.

We will also continue health programs in Peru and Bolivia, and we will pay

specific attention to education, including an Andean regional Center for

Excellence for teacher training as announced by the President in Quebec at

the Summit of the Americas.

Protection of their natural resources, preserving their unique ecological

diversity, and helping rehabilitate environmental damage from the use of

harsh and persistent chemicals for producing illicit drugs will also

receive attention. Cultivation of illicit crops has a devastating effect

on the environment, both in the high mountains where poppy is grown and in

the lower altitudes where coca is produced. In both cases, delicate

forests are cleared and their fragile soils degraded by the illegal crop.

Even after the coca or poppy is eliminated, the land remains exposed and

environmentally sound production systems must be adopted for sustainable

conversion to pasture or agriculture. As part of our commitment to the

Amazon, we have encouraged the Government of Colombia's decision to

support sound livestock production systems within alternative development

areas. Our Parks in Peril program extends from Mexico through Colombia,

Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia providing practical assistance in protected

area management. Also, we continue to manage local funds created under the

America's Fund and the Tropical Forestry Conservation Act that underwrite

the programs of local environmental NGOs.



Alternative Development

Our third and largest area of attention is expanding our work in

alternative development for which we are proposing 7.5 million for FY

2002. We know that alternative development works. After a decade of work

in Bolivia and in Peru, we have seen conclusively that a three-pronged

strategy of eradication, interdiction, and alternative development has

dramatically reduced coca cultivation in both of those countries. There is

nothing as economically profitable as coca. The incentive to get out of

coca on a voluntary basis is not economic. Rather, it is the threat of

involuntary eradication or interdiction because drug production is

illegal. There has to be a credible threat and a risk of continuing to

stay in coca in order for our alternative development approach to work.

In Colombia, we are seeing that the risk of illegal coca production is

credible, as evidenced by the fact that over 24,000 farmers have lined up

to sign coca crop eradication agreements in just the last two months. But

this is not the only ingredient. Once eradicated, production has to cease.

It cannot be allowed to grow back and farmers cannot move down the road to

replant the same crop. To make elimination sustainable, farmers have to

have credible alternatives and local governments and organizations have to

apply pressure and provide incentives for the entire community to stay out

of illicit production.

Our alternative development approach is basically the same in all of the

Andean countries. Groups of small farmers, communities, or farmer

associations sign agreements with the government, agreeing to voluntarily

reduce their coca crop in exchange for a package of benefits both at the

farmer level and at the community level. At the farmer level, the benefits

help get them involved in legal income-producing alternatives, and at the

community level, the Government agrees to provide basic infrastructure

such as schools, health clinics, public water systems, and rural roads.

Last year USAID set a target in Colombia for voluntary eradication of

30,000 hectares of coca and 3,000 hectares of opium poppy within five

years. We have started in the Department of Putumayo, which presents a

particularly challenging situation. Compared to the coca areas in Peru and

Bolivia, the climate is harsher, the soils are poorer, the access to

markets is more difficult, the infrastructure is not as good, and of

course the security situation presents an additional complication for

legitimate agricultural activity. Despite these challenges, the turnout of

farmers who are voluntarily agreeing to sign these pacts and eradicate

coca has been quite promising. Our pre-Plan Colombia heroin poppy

eradication program has already eliminated 675 hectares of poppy and

produced 600 hectares of productive, licit crops benefiting 770 families

in the highlands of Tolima, Huila and Cauca.

In Peru, where coca production has dropped from a high of 129,000 hectares

to just over 38,000, we will concentrate our efforts in the Huallaga

valley.

Here we intend to put into practice our beliefs that local ownership of

the coca eradication goals and local empowerment to make decisions

regarding the economic and social life of the region will create the

environment to deter a minority from going into, or back into, coca

production. In coca producing valleys, more than 27,000 hectares of crops

such as coffee, cacao, palm heart and pineapple have generated around

10,000 full time jobs. Niche industries and global link-ups with

international groups have been promoted in the chocolate and specialty

coffee areas.

In Bolivia, coca cultivation in the once notorious region of the Chapare

has all but been eliminated. Where once over 44,000 hectares of coca grew,

there are now over 114,000 hectares of licit crops and pastureland. Last

year alone the value of licit crops in this region exceeded million.

Our agricultural programs have enabled Bolivian products such as bananas,

canned palm hearts and dried fruit to enter the highest quality markets,

such as Germany, Switzerland and Chile. Last year, Chapare exports

represented .7 million, an increase of 68 percent over the previous

year. We intend to consolidate these successes by providing agricultural

services used for coca growers to other farmers who have not yet benefited

from the program but who are susceptible to offers from drug networks.

In Ecuador, USAID will continue two key border initiatives begun with Plan

Colombia supplemental funding and expand the northern initiative along the

Colombian border. Support will be provided to community organizations

working on land-titling, social and infrastructure services, income

earning activities, integrated farming activities for indigenous

populations, irrigation, potable water and sanitation projects.

Recognizing that support for local initiatives and institutions can help

extend the presence of the state and its accountability to citizens, we

will introduce activities to strengthen the capacity of local governments

both on the southern border, as well as throughout the country.

Since beginning work in January, Plan Colombia has already begun

implementation of 23 projects valued at .0 million and benefiting

117,000 people. They include potable water systems, sewers, bridges,

roads, land titling, income generation, and human rights. We have special

programs with indigenous communities in Carchi province and an innovative

approach to assisting the 24,000 Afro-Ecuadorans who live in northwestern

Esmereldas province.



Status of Plan Colombia Implementation

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: I would also like to take a

moment to review, specifically, some of our progress in Colombia. While

the task is complex, and even dangerous, and requires extraordinary

coordination among many actors, we are pleased with our start-up

activities and the progress we have made to date.

Because of our close collaboration with international organizations and

NGOs prior to receiving Plan Colombia funds, we were able to sign over

million of our displaced person monies almost immediately upon receiving

the funds. By renegotiating certain contracts funded prior to Plan

Colombia, we were able to "jump start" the important southern Colombia

elements of the program. Because of the size of other aspects of the

program and the interest of the U.S. private sector, it took several

months to compete and sign our initial contracts. However, all of our

funds were obligated with the government by September of 2000, all

commitments to contractors and subcontractors for reintegrating and

resettling internally displaced persons have been made, and to date, all

contractors have mobilized in the field. These efforts have resulted in

tangible successes on the ground.

I have already mentioned our successes in heroin poppy eradication. In the

Plan Colombia phase of our program, I can report that, as of June 11th of

this year, 26 of the 31 coca elimination pacts have been signed. Those

pacts are pledges to the Colombian Government by small farm families to

eradicate coca in exchange for short and long-term assistance in

substitute production, and these 26 pacts represent promises to eradicate

over 29,000 hectares of illicit coca crops by the end of next year.

Supporting the program has been our local governance strengthening effort

in southern Colombia. Memos of Understanding have been signed between

USAID and the 13 municipal mayors of Putamayo. These memoranda outline the

specific activities that USAID will undertake in each municipality over

the next year. To date, social infrastructure fund activities have engaged

scores of small farmers in their villages in Southern Colombia, providing

many of them with the first tangible evidence of government concern

regarding their economic and social development.

In democracy strengthening, 6 of 12 planned pilot courtrooms have been

established to demonstrate the efficiency and fairness of oral trials in

helping to move Colombia from an inquisitorial to an accusatorial judicial

system. USAID has supported institutional development of the national

Judicial School, which has trained 3,400 judges in oral advocacy, legal

evidence gathering, and courtroom management procedures. USAID has also

worked with NGOs and other civil society actors to analyze remaining

needed reforms, increase coalition building and support full

implementation of the modernization process in the justice sector.

In our highly successful effort to promote justice through alternative

dispute resolution, 18 of a targeted 40 casas de justicia or houses of

justice have been established. These "casas" are neighborhood judicial

centers in underserved communities which bring together a variety of

services in one location, giving residents "one stop" access to legal

services.

Protection of human rights workers remains a major concern. In addition to

having selected a long-term local contractor to help design and implement

a management information system for the Ministry of the Interior to

monitor abuses and progress, to date 197 individuals have received some

sort of protection from the program. We are pleased to say that 38

individuals received needed relocation assistance within Colombia and two

were relocated internationally under the program.

We have also made grants to seven human rights NGOs in Colombia totaling

over 5,000 to help improve delivery of human rights services.

Concerning our efforts to respond to the needs of displaced persons, we

can report that over 176,000 individuals have received or are receiving

direct USAID assistance in the areas of housing, employment generation,

health-care or education. This figure exceeds by about 70 percent our

target of 100,000 individual recipients by this time-which was considered

to be very optimistic during our planning of this vitally important

activity.

USAID also supports a .5 million program for Ex-Combatant Children which

strengthens Colombian initiatives in clarifying the legal status of these

children, extend them appropriate treatment and provides concrete and

durable reintegration solutions. In preparation for a large-scale release

of child soldiers by an illegal armed group, USAID is preparing a network

of decentralized organizations to respond to such a release, as well as to

assist individual cases where children must be rehabilitated after

exposure to combat conditions. The Program aims to benefit directly 800

ex-combatant children through January 2003.

It is important to underscore the enormous commitment that the Colombians

have shown in the various efforts we are supporting. Our efforts are

complemented by million that the Colombian Government has contributed

this year through the sale of government "peace bonds" and an additional

"peace tax". Major roads within Putamayo and connecting southern Colombia

to national and international markets are already underway, as are smaller

social and infrastructure projects, such as the Casas de Justicia, health

clinics and schools. There have been problems at times given the need for

coordination with the large number of agencies involved, and the

Government of Colombia's complex procurement procedures, but these were

not unexpected and have not been serious obstacles. When issues have

surfaced, we have worked with the Colombians to improve the process.

I should note the special dedication of the people such as the Ombudsman's

office representatives in the field, who face serious risks to their own

personal safety as well. Their efforts are also supported by other members

of the international community. International donors other than the United

States have already pledged over 0 million to assist Colombia's effort,

and the Colombians with our support have been working hard to press other

donors to turn these pledges into real commitments and projects in the

field.

Let me conclude by saying that just as in Colombia, the Andean Regional

Initiative should be viewed as the national program in each of the

affected countries, responding to their priorities and problems. They are

the ones that are going to have to make this work. Our role is one of

facilitating the process, and we will be working along with them over the

next several years in this effort.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to outline our programs, and I

would be pleased to respond to any of your questions.

________________________________________________________________

****************************************************************

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* http://www.prairienet.org/clm *

* and the CHICAGO COLOMBIA COMMITTEE *

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