- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Mark Almberg
Thursday, Mar. 11, 2004 at 11:31 AM
The beginning of the new year has coincided with a new, menacing increase in U.S. hostilities against the Colombian guerrilla movement, particularly against the 40-year-old Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). A number of signs point to a possible U.S. invasion of that country in the months ahead.
blackhawks.jpg, image/jpeg, 165x217
01.03.2004 (By Mark Almberg, People's Weekly World*) Since 2000, the U.S. government has poured over 2 billion US dollars in military aid into Colombia to "combat narco-trafficking." According to critics of the program, such aid has been a thinly disguised way of fighting one of Latin America's oldest and most deeply rooted movements for independence and social justice. The FARC commands a rebel army of approximately 18,000.
Under the U.S.-backed "Plan Colombia," the Colombian military has been equipped with scores of Black Hawk helicopters, armored personnel carriers, drone aircraft, and other counterinsurgency equipment. Colombian troops have been trained by elite, U.S. "special forces" units in anti-guerrilla warfare technique. But it appears that the Pentagon may be readying its own forces for a direct military intervention from outside.
On Jan. 3 the Mexican newspaper La Jornada published an expose by reporter Carlos Fazio describing the Pentagon's quiet military occupation of Ecuador near the Colombian border.
Fazio details the dramatic growth of the Manta naval and air base, located on Ecuador's Pacific coast, only an hour's flight from Colombia. U.S. Orion C-130 spy planes depart from Manta each day and fly over Colombia on reconnaissance missions.
The base "is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U.S. Armed Forces' SouthCom (Southern Command)," he writes, and is a "command center directing key mercenary operations under contract to Dyncorp, a Pentagon private subcontractor, conducting the installation of three logistics centers in the provinces of Guayas, Azuay and Sucumbios." Currently Manta is home to 162 U.S. officers and 231 employees of Dyncorp.
The three logistic centers were authorized last September, Fazio says, by Ecuador's foreign minister, Patricio Zuquilanda, in a secret agreement with the U.S. military attaché in Quito, Arnold Chacón. The stated purpose of these centers is to serve populations affected by natural disasters caused by El Niño.
Miguel Morán, leader of the Tohalli movement, an organization opposed to the base, said, "Ecuador is already a U.S. base, not only Manta. They inaugurated seven military detachments in Amazonia and are now after key ports. ... The construction of the logistic centers is a smokescreen to conceal military activity."
Fazio reports that Gen. Wendell L. Griffin, SouthCom Planning and Strategy Director, and U.S. special envoy for Western Hemispheric Affairs, Otto Reich, visited Ecuador recently and, in the case of Griffin, toured the border near Colombia.
Many see that visit as a sign that "Washington is accelerating preparations to unleash military skirmishes inside Colombian territory" and that Ecuador will serve as a "U.S. aircraft carrier in an undercover war of aggression," Fazio says.
Launching the invasion from Ecuador, he says, would facilitate giving the action a multinational or multilateral cover, one that Ecuadorian President Lucio Gutierrez would readily vouch for. Meanwhile, Colombian government repression of trade unionists and right-wing paramilitary attacks on villages deemed sympathetic to either the FARC or the other guerrilla movement, the ELN, continue.
Just after New Year's, a group of 500-800 armed men in the uniform of the "United Self-Defense of Colombia," a fascist-like group allied to big landowners in the country, reportedly terrorized several villages in the Arenal municipality. Two villagers were killed, many were savagely beaten, and more than 200 families fled the area out of fear.
On Jan. 2, one of the FARC's top commanders, Simon Trinidad, 53, was seized in Quito by U.S. and Colombian security agents. While initial news reports said that he was in Quito for medical treatment, the FARC said that Trinidad was there for a secret diplomatic initiative, seeking to arrange a meeting with United Nations General-Secretary Kofi Annan, UN Special Adviser James LeMoyne, and representatives of the French government to discuss a prisoner of war exchange.
Trinidad is a distinguished political leader of the FARC, and was a top negotiator in peace talks with the Colombian government in 2002. Those talks eventually broke down.
The FARC leadership sees Trinidad's arrest as part of a larger picture of "ever-increasing interference of the U.S. government" in Colombia's affairs, and urges worldwide solidarity with the Colombian people.
Report this post as:
Change Links September 2018 posted
More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre
Site Outage Friday
Change Links August 2018
Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land
More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke
Change Links 2018 July posted
More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena
"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena
Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles
Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California
Change Links June 2018 posted
The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years
Unity Archive Project
Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi
CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police
Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies
California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings)
Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico
Change Links May 2018
Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
More Local News...
Cybermonde, cyberguerre, cyberespace, cyberterrorisme
Paraphysique de psychosomatique
Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal
Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy
Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales
Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc
Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk
Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement
The Dictatorship of Corporations
18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting
Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue
Shopping du bashing
After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again
“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen
Probabilités de fin d'humanité
Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW
Steer clear of work morality!
The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally!
August 2018 Honduras Coup update
Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges
Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts
Paraphysique de contextualité
Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism
Ex-voto de réification
Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh
Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation
Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council
More Breaking News...