archivos de los protestos globales

The War for Latin America


-Investigates conflicts where the US threatens poor people and the environments they depend on. We welcome input as we seek to portray a fuller story and the consequences of US military and economic interventions in the Andean region and neighboring areas.
USA (520) 312-6662
Did you know that the Continental US has 800 species of birds and that Colombia has 1800 species? that there are more species of all kinds in Colombia and the areas near its borders than in all of Brazil or any other country? There may be more species in Colombia than in all of North America.
Did you know that the US government is spending billions of dollars pretending to fight a drug war that is now - intentionally - turning into a wide ranging war that will endanger this most precious area of the world.
And it is all caused by our addictions to oil, coal, cocaine, and heroin and political apathy?
The people in the US are misinformed about the War on Drugs and the depth of corruption in Colombia. If we don't create some democratic outrage quickly, a human and ecological tragedy will ignite in South America.
Visit to find out what you can do now and this April to stop the madness
In solidarity with the poor and the Earth,
Marcel Idels



by Marcel Idels, The Ecosolidarity Working Group,
(520) 312-6662
6029 words with footnotes (4534 words in text)

  The true reason that the Colombian government made the decision to
  end the peace process was that they wanted to hide the discussion of
  fundamental issues from the people. Democratization of the economic
  and political life of the country are part of the agreed upon common
  agenda for change which via the negotiating table were to take us
  towards a new Colombia.-Article  IX of the Communiqué from the
  "Mountains of Colombia."(1) - March 1, 2002.

The insurgents in Colombia, under the banner of the FARC-EP and the
  ELN, have four decades of experience. Their leaders are not middle
  class intellectuals or professionals in search of opportunities to
  re-insert themselves into the system. In most cases, they are
  campesinos who have been transformed through the 'university of life
  and struggle'-wise people forged in the enormity of a defiant
  geography. These experienced commanders, backed by a heroic and
  marvelous youth, have decided to emulate the example of Simon
  Bolivar, making a decisive contribution to the freedom and
  independence of our peoples. They want to transform a nation under
  imperialist domination, submerged in violence and narco-trafficking
  into a nation of free men and women, workers, educated people,
  subjects of their own destiny.- Manuel Salgado Tamayo, a professor
  and former Vice President of the Ecuadorian National Congress.(2)

Colombia is 53 times bigger than El Salvador with 7 times as many
people. It is three times as big as California and twice as big as France.
  Colombia's 41 million people, are equal to one and a half  times the
population of all the Central American countries combined.

Attack of the Gringo Military Apparatus: Billions of Dollars for
Weapons,  Blackhawk Helicopters, Spare Parts, Grants, Advisors,
Trainers, CIA Intelligence and Satellite Information Sharing
-A War by Proxy.

  The US is threatening the people and biodiversity of many countries
  in Latin America. This is a war of the rural masses and the urban
  poor against the elite who run the world from Wall Street and the
  White House. This is a war of guns, herbicides, torture, massacres,
  lies and economic blackmail.
      The US version of FTAA and WTO has the intentional effect of
  bankrupting small farmers and rural governments throughout the
  western hemisphere and beyond. The  IMF-World Bank-US Corporate
  Program drives people into the polluted and congested urban
  nightmares of Sao Paulo, Rio, Mexico City, Bogota and Lima. These
  regions will be flooded by millions of rural refugees as neoliberal
  globalization progresses.
      Simultaneously, the "Drug War" and US backed death squads drive
  farmers into the ecologically sensitive rainforests of Ecuador,
  Colombia, Bolivia and Peru - the Andes Mountains and the headwaters
  of the Amazon River basin. Urban explosions and environmental
  destruction are the "twin towers" of free trade that the corporate
  media works so hard to hide from the world.
      The US profits from both war and peace. It has been the largest
  exporter of arms for most of history. In 2000, the US exported $19
  billion in weapons-about half the world's total. Seventy percent of
  these sales were to developing countries(3).
  "The  battle against narco-trafficking, the defense of human rights,
  expansion of market democracies, and the war on terrorism serve as
  the smokescreens for advancing a world order that for the first time
  in the history of capitalism has the world's population by the scruff
  of its neck... From 'containing' communism the US has moved to
  "expanding" capitalism in its most cruel and savage form: neoliberal
  globalization. The powerful have at last built a world in which only
  two slogans reign: 'Everything for us, nothing for the rest', and
  'Enrich yourself and think only of yourself.'" - Eduardo Tamayo(4)
      In 1950 there were 78 cities with more than one million  people.
  By 2025 there will be 650 cities with more than one million people,
  21 cities will have more than 10 million people. Seventeen of these
  mega-cities will be in the Third World and 15 will be on the coast,
  many are in South America(5).
      To all of this many say, "Never! Nunca! Ya Basta!"
      Serious organizations must put their projects and differences
  aside to unify resistance to US and corporate domination. Hope rests
  with a unified demand for a tax on international trade and on rich
  countries to fund agrarian reform, public health and ecological rural
      A shift to sustainable rural development can avert the twin
  disasters of global warming and mega-city explosions. It can work for
  poor countries and for rich countries too. It slows down runaway
  globalization and the rush to the bottom for workers and wages.
  Sustainable rural development is the bridge between activists in the
  north and the south. It is the key to building a base from which to
  challenge the other threats from globalization such as corporate
  domination, genetic engineering and a lack of meaningful democracy.

Pieces of the Puzzle: Corruption, Commodity Price Collapse, and Negative-Land Reform.

      Decades of corruption and theft by the economic elite-supervised
  by the US and global capital-have crippled most of Latin America and
  impoverished 80 percent of the people in most regions. More than 220
  million  people live on less than two dollars per day(6). Forty
  percent of Argentineans, Bolivians and Peruvians no longer believe in
  Democracy. Two thirds of Colombians and Brazilians have given up. In
  El Salvador, nearly eighty percent of the people no longer believe in
  Democracy (7). People vote but they know it is meaningless. Wealth has
  always been concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority who take
  most of their money out of the country to Miami or to the US stock
  market. In 1986, three percent of the Colombian population owned 70
  percent of the land- now it is closer to 90 percent (8). Similar conditions
prevail in Brazil and Venezuela.
       From Mexico to Argentina small farmers are being driven off the
land by low prices and government indifference (9). In response, we
see the growth of the Zapatistas; the Landless Workers Movement in Brazil;
the coalition of indigenous rebels, unions, leftists and progressive
military in Ecuador; and the FARC-EP peasant guerilla force in
Colombia. Normal politics is nearly impossible in most of Latin
America where being a radical politician, a union organizer or even a
  union member is to become an instant target for murder. This "social
  terrorism"-supported by the US-is hard to imagine. Since the last
  time the guerillas laid down their arms (1989) almost 5000 members
  of the leftist political party, Patriotic Union, have been assassinated
In El Salvador and Guatemala peace accords resulted in similar levels of
repression (11).

Globalization of Small Farm Bankruptcy: Coca or Corn?

   The situation of farmers in Colombia is desperate. In 1990 Colombia
  imported 17,000 tons of corn, in 1997 corn imports reached 1.7
  million tons. Increased agricultural imports eliminated 130,000 local
  jobs. Coffee exports fell from 16 million sacks of coffee in 2000 to
  only 9 million sacks in 2001. Declines in the coffee sector have
  imperiled the 350,000 families who depend on it(12). The
  globalization of low prices for many commodities is driving
  Colombian farmers and farmworkers to abandon farming for the urban
  slums or else they clear new lands and turn to the growing of coca
  and opium poppies.
     Large export oriented farmers are thriving in parts of Colombia. If
  you buy cut roses or heroin or cocaine in the US, odds are that they
  came from Colombia along with the coal, oil, bananas, nickel and
  coffee that the poor and the oppressed workers of Colombia serve up
  to their masters in the US. Colombia is the largest exporter of
  flowers after the Netherlands (13). Fifty percent of Colombian legal
exports go to the US, 15 percent to Europe. Most of Colombian illegal
exports got to the US.
      "Drug use and the narcotics trade are a phenomenon of globalized
  capitalism and of the Yankees - not a problem caused by the FARC-EP!
  Since the US uses the existence of the drug trade as the pretext for
  its criminal activity against the Colombian people, we call upon the
  US to legalize the consumption of narcotics. In that way, the huge
  profits produced by the illegality of the drug business would be
  reduced, consumption could be controlled and those with drug
  dependence could receive treatment.
      The leaders of the northern imperialist power should abandon
  their two-faced morality and make a real contribution to humanity by
  addressing the drug problems in the developed countries. They should
  not forget that the Roman Empire perished because of its arrogance
  and immorality." - Statement by the FARC-EP, January 2002 (14).
      The rightwing death squads working along side the Colombian army
  have driven farmers and peasants off the land in large areas of
  Colombia. Those who do not leave are killed. The large farmers and
  drug lords of the rightwing then take possession of the "abandoned"
  lands. US funded fumigation with herbicides has also driven thousands
  of farmers off the land (15). Small farmers have abandoned more than
  two million acres since 1992. These lands that once produced hundreds
  of thousands of tons of corn for domestic consumption have been
  replaced by cattle ranching enterprises (16).
     Last August, the National Association for Farm Salvation held
  national protests that blocked roads in half of Colombia's
  Departments. The army killed two protesters when 11,000 peasants
  occupied roads in Huila. Farmers complain that the government has
  over and over failed to deliver on promises to the rural areas for
  technical assistance, road improvements and other rural programs (17).
  Alliance for progress...?

Ecology, Neoliberalism, and Alternatives

  The Colombian War endangers regional security and economics; it
  endangers the small farmers and the indigenous people; and the war
  and the herbicide spraying by the US is endangering the most
  biologically diverse region on Earth. Fifty percent of all species
  live in tropical rainforests. Five to ten percent of all tropical
  species disappear each decade: 100 species a day (18). There are more
  species of fish in the Amazon Basin than in the entire Atlantic Ocean
  (19). Half of all the land based species on Earth live in the Amazon basin,
according to the Audubon website (
      The only country in the world with more species than Colombia is
  Brazil, which is seven times larger. Ten percent of all the species
  on the planet live only in Colombia. This wildly diverse country,
  with coasts on both oceans and several mountain ranges,  ranks second
  in the world in the number of plant species and amphibians, third in
  reptiles. Amid the battle zones grow half the world's orchids and a
  dazzling variety of jaguars, giant otters, primates, spectacled
  bears, agoutis, kinkajus and dolphins. There are more species of
  birds in Colombia  (1780) than any other country and 75 percent are
  endangered . Manatees, tapirs and macaws are only a fraction of the
  species that are on the verge of extinction in Colombia.  And now
  there is war in paradise (20).
      Drug use by US citizens is the fuel that fires the nightmares in
  Colombia. But no one wants to emphasize this enough so people talk
  about the plight of the farmers and how fair trade could help.
  Shade-grown fair trade coffeeee! and support for local craftspeople
  is a fine idea, but these efforts will remain only symbolic education
  until there are major structural changes in global economics. Many
  groups don't want to sound like they are against the whole structure
  of international trade and finance so they promote fair trade and
  modest reforms. The real problem in Latin America is land ownership,
  income distribution and the continuous interventions of the US
  against progressive governments and new ideas.

The US Demands War: Target Colombia

       February 7, Los Pozos, Colombia- "FARC renewed their calls for an
end to Plan Colombia; the removal of US advisers; trials for rightwing
paramilitary leaders; respect for human, civil and political rights for all
Colombians; modifications to the neoliberal economic policies of the
government; prisoner releases; an end to herbicide spraying; and one year
of financial aid for the unemployed. Funding for aid to the unemployed
would come from Plan Colombia, taxes on the wealthy and international
aid. FARC suggested that the national group negotiating the peace accords
should administer the fund, and the country's unions, peasant and
indigenous organizations should meet to work out the details (21)"
      After showing faked videos on national television (22), outgoing
Colombian president Pastrana Arango responded to the FARC-EP
proposals by declaring war. He terminated the peace talks, invaded
the guerilla safe haven and launched hundreds of bombing sorties,
which killed many guerillas and civilians (23).
      The war in Colombia intensifies as President Bush requests more
military aid and broader US involvement. Human rights groups counter
that the $500 million dollars about to be sent to Colombia must be
halted because the Colombian government is in serious and systemic
violation of the conditions stipulated in last year's US foreign aid law
(24). Colombia continues to ignore human rights abuses by the
military, it has not severed the ties between the military and right
wing paramilitary death squads and officers dismissed from the
military often move right into positions with the paramilitaries
(25). According to an article by Jim Lobe, the new Attorney General
of Colombia is not prosecuting corrupt officers, but he has dismissed
officers who want to cooperate with paramilitary investigations (26).
      In November, 2001, the Bogota daily El Tiempo reported that
documents were found in a safehouse of the dominant paramilitary
group the AUC. The documents captured in Colima (in the south central
department of Valle de Cauca) revealed a list of 30 members of the
Colombian police and army who are on the payroll of  the AUC.
Companies who are actively doing business with the paramilitaries
were also mentioned (27).
      Presidential elections culminate May 26 and by that time the war
may have spread to neighboring countries. In March, tensions on the
Ecuadorian  border resulted in the imposition of military rule by the
Ecuadorian government. The government claimed the military was sent
in to guard the border, but later admitted it was also due to large
protests by campesinos and indigenous groups against general
government neglect and the environmental impacts of a new oil
pipeline, the OCP, which cuts through Succumbios in northeast Ecuador
An international camp and tree-sit are also opposing the OCP
pipeline and attracting world media (29).The pipeline could easily
become a target when the Colombian war spills across the border.
     The Colombian war and the hardline stance of the frontrunner,
Alvaro Uribe Velez, will only increase investment jitters throughout
the region. Coupled with the deepening collapse of Argentina and the
weakness of many countries in South America the economic outlook
under the WTO looks bleak for years to come.
      The US is pushing many countries to the brink just as concerns
over neoliberalism and globalization have mobilized millions of
workers, peasants and indigenous peoples to rise up in self defense
and demands for power. Political parties are vanishing as quickly as
many endangered species (30). Is a continent in chaos just around the
      "Political independence without economic independence is not
  really liberation. Economic power wields powerful and effective
  weapons. In Chile, Allende made it clear that the socialism he
  envisaged was adapted to the needs and aspirations of the Chilean
  people. But multinational corporations like ITT were there provoking
  quarrels... The economic forces that need poor countries to stay poor
  are skillful at exploiting the weaknesses of people who are
  ill-prepared for the freedom [and expectations] which follows a
  popular victory." Dom Helder Camara speaking in 1977, "The
Conversions of a Bishop."(31)

CIA Death Squad Smart Bombs

      The bombing of Colombia began more than a year ago with a few
  drops of black ink. Only now are the bombs striking their targets.
  The reason that the peace talks have failed has nothing to do with
  the guerillas or a few kidnappings. The bombing of "The Peace" began
  when US President Clinton, with the stroke of a pen, released 100's
  of millions of dollars in military aid to Colombia despite his
  acknowledgment that the Colombian government had failed to improve
  its human rights record .
     Drug dealers and war criminals run the Colombian government and
  its armed forces. Just ask the kidnapped Colombian Senator and fringe
  presidential candidate of the Oxygen Green Party, Ingrid Betancourt.
  Her book "Until Death Do Us Part" (a best seller in France) states
  that half the Colombian legislators are on the drug money payroll
(32). When the Archbishop of Cali, Isaias Duarte, spoke out about
  drug money in Congressional elections he was gunned down in public
  (33). Few people inside or outside of the US have backed the "Plan
  [for war in] Colombia and even fewer think it will work to stop the
  drug trade. Henry Kissinger rejected the plan and the European
  Parliament voted 474 to 1 to  condemn US policies in Latin America.
  EU countries have stated that land reform is necessary for peace in
  Colombia and many have worked hard to keep the peace talks alive(34).
     US-made dumb bombs are blasting the rainforest hideouts of the
  FARC-EP, but it was the US-backed death squad "smart" bombs that
  doomed the chance for peace. These death squad smart bombs are the
  product of the greed of the Colombian wealthy and the US School of
  the Americas - the greatest terrorist training camp around (35). The
  paramilitary death squads of the AUC are the secret weapons in this
  dirty war that has lasted nearly 40 years.
      Carlos Castano's AUC, Alvaro Uribe's civilian militias (36) and the
Colombian military have killed  around 30,000 people in the last decade
and millions have been displaced from their homes or fled the country (37).
This death squad coalition supported by the wealthy, large  landowners and
the narco-bourgeoisie control most of the drug trade in Colombia.
  Accusations have been made that when Uribe was head of civilian
aviation he gave pilot's licenses to drug trade pilots (38).He is also
reported to have been close to drug lord Pablo Escobar and the Medellin
Cartel - Uribe was formerly the mayor of Medellin and the governor of
Antioquia. Some of his closest associates are under investigation for drug
dealing and he has always been friendly toward the AUC.
      The US listed the AUC as a terrorist organization this year. Few
  steps towards arresting or restraining the right wing death squads
  have been taken. They still control large areas of Colombia through
  terror and intimidation (39). How can the US give billions of dollars to a
government with known and persistent links to death squads that the US
lists as a terrorist organization?
      The UN and human rights groups repeatedly decry the terror
  killings of the death squads of the AUC who together with the
  Colombian army are responsible for 80% of civilian casualties. People
  are killed by the guerillas but rarely in the indiscriminate or
  terror inspired way that the death squads use - even chainsaw
  massacres (40). More union activists are killed in Colombia than in
  the whole world combined. They are killed by the Colombian Military
  and their death squad allies (41). The New York Times and most papers
  totally ignore the plight of the ELN, unionists, teachers and the
  vast majority of the innocent victims who die at the hand of US
  allies in Colombia." James Petras calls Colombia "The Death Squad
      This terror has a purpose: "Given the speed with which
  paramilitaries are extending their terror and gaining control of
  densely populated territories, Carlos Castano - the head of the AUC -
  may see his political ambition to elect the ultra-right leader of his
  choice become a distinct possibility.- The first democratically
  elected Fascist Dictatorship in Latin America backed up by mafia
  funding and support"- Ana Carrigan, In These Times Magazine (42).
     "When we talk about Liberation whether through violence or
  non-violence, we are groping in the dark. How can we expect young
  people to renounce armed struggle unless we offer them something
  strong and effective in exchange - something that can achieve
  concrete results?" - Dom Helder Camara,  deceased Archbishop of Rio de
  Janeiro - and a Liberation Theologist. (43)


"When we lay down our weapons they kill us. When we get close to
  discussing the issues of fundamental importance to true peace they
  bomb us. And always they aid the paramilitaries in their atrocities. Look
at us we are here. We will defend this place, those are our
  instructions, this is our home, but this struggle is not about
  claiming or defending territory, it is about defending principles."
  Arbey Ramirez, a mid level FARC-EP commander, February 28, 2002,  in
  the former safe haven awaiting the approaching Colombian military.

Excerpts from the 13 Point Communique from the "Mountains of
  "The rupture of the peace talks in Colombia was due to pressure from
  the armed forces, the economic elite, the mass media, certain
  extremist presidential candidates and the US Embassy. The US
  government is eager to prevent any of the changes that our country
      Once again the Colombian oligarchy has prevented a negotiated
  solution to the severe structural problems of Colombian society. The
  government and the economic elite have abandoned and forgotten the 30
  million Colombians who are suffering.
      We say to all those people who believe in a political solution
  and the common agenda for change towards the new Colombia that we are
  ready and willing to meet and talk with any future government that
  shows an interest in returning to the search for a political solution
  to the social and armed conflict.
     We call on the international community and in particular the group
  of friendly countries to continue assisting in the search for a
  political solution to the social and armed conflict in our country.
  And we call on these countries to keep their distance from those
  warmongering sectors that at this time are trying to impose a war on
  Colombia using the pretext of fighting terrorism.
      Our voice is that of the Colombian people and this gives us the
  strength to say that we will continue the struggle and the
  mobilization in an organized way to find solutions to the problems of
  unemployment, lack of education, health, land for the farmers and
  lack of housing and for political freedom, democracy and national
  sovereignty and for a new government of national reconstruction and
      For more than 37 years the FARC-EP have fought for the interests
  of the people and we will continue to do so, holding our political
  and ideological beliefs high. It is for this reason that our class
  enemies continue to oppose us."-Senior Commanders: Raul Reyes,
  Joaquin Gomez, Carlos Antonio Losada, Simon Trinidad and Andres
  Paris. (44)

A Broader Peace for the Hemisphere

  Localization (45) is what the farmers of Colombia need: a new global
  economic structure paid for by the wealthy and from taxes on fossil
  fuels and trade. Under localization programs the price of food would
  rise significantly to reflect the true cost of production and the
  value of the important resources of the farmland soils and of healthy
  ecosystems. Corporations and the chemicals of the not-so
  Green Revolution would be restricted. Roses and other flowers would
  be plowed under and Colombians, Mexicans and others could once again
grow corn and food crops at a profit.
      To compliment policies of localization there needs to be a new
  kind of direct economic democracy like the examples being derived in
  Puerto Allegre (46) and in sustainable rural development programs. How
  can people form a dual-power to the state and organize along lines of
  direct participatory democracy, social equality and mutual aid?
      "The burgeoning Argentinean Soviets or Asambleas Populares are
  shaping an answer. It began in January 2002, with the people of
  Almagro, Buenos Aires who declared a State of Assembly and
  mobilization. 'This is the only way to guarantee our rights as
  workers, neighbors and Argentineans. We call all neighborhoods to
  create Popular Assemblies and organizations. And we call to create
  Connection Commissions (Comisiones de Enlace) to help the Assemblies
  coordinate.' Hopefully, these earthquakes of Neighborhood Assemblies
  and dual-power will shake all of Latin America (47)." The FARC-EP and
  the ELN have also endorsed these concepts and they support local
  power, free expression and participatory decision-making for the new
  Colombia .
      With the examples of Puerto Allegre, the Argentine Asambleas, and
  the social and agrarian reforms in Hugo Chavez's Venezuela a new path to
  sustainable development presents itself to the world. The economics
  of localization based on the principles enshrined in the Earth
  Charter uses self-organizing and practical self-sufficiency to create
  a credible alternative to the brutality of the FTAA-WTO-Free Trade

Another world is possible and it is happening right now...

  A. Vision of the Conflict

"Although it seems paradoxical, war, with all its cruelties and pain,
  is the only possible balm that can rupture the reign of terror held
  by the powerful over the weak. However, war, revolutionary war that
  is, has a political, humane dimension which seeks to rebuild the
  dreams and hopes of millions of men and women who have been
  disfavored, excluded, and downtrodden by a sociopolitical network
  imposed by those who hold the political and economic power. Thus, a
  paradoxical relationship between war and peace rises from the ashes;
  they are complements, they are derivatives one of the other, they are
  both part of a historic course that, instead of opposing them, ties
  them together, joins them, links them. The interrelationship between
  the two is well illustrated by our philosophy, because we make war to
  conquer peace with social justice".


The key points about Colombia and the US War plans there  are stated
well by Al Giordano: " Narco News, repeats three vital facts that we have
frequently reported:
#1 - The U.S. and Colombian militaries are fighting side by side with,
and protecting, the brutal and illegal paramilitary death squads, despite
the rhetorical admission by the U.S. State Department that the
paramilitaries are "terrorists" and profit-driven narco-kingpins.
#2 - We reject the cowardly and ignorant statements from some
"moderate" quarters that seek to create a moral equivalence between
the rebel guerillas and the paramilitary troops. That view reflects
official propaganda, not reality. The rebels oppose the rule of the large
landowners, foreign capital, and the Colombian oligarchy. The
paramilitaries seek to maintain that status quo. The governments and the
paramilitaries, together, wish to enforce a brutal and undemocratic regime
to violently prevent every aspect of an open society; they seek to keep
the impoverished majority from participating in elections, in unions, and in
civil organizations. By assassinating and repressing all social movements,
they have made violent revolution inevitable.
#3 - One of the most ignored differences between the FARC and its
opponents in government and paramilitary forces is that the FARC
openly calls for legalization of drugs as part of the program it hopes to
bring with its revolution.
      We have often repeated that when a government calls a policy a "war,"
as with the war on drugs, things will eventually go "boom!" (48) 


Footnotes for "War for Latin America"

1) 13 Point Communique from the 'Mountains of Colombia," by Fuerzas
  Armadas Revolutionarias de Colombia - Ejercito Popular (FARC-EP) (go to English and then scroll down Latest News
issues to "FARC Reacts to Ending of the Colombian Peace Process."
  of FELAP), Feb. 2002 (
  2)"The Geo-Strategy of Plan Colombia," Covert Action Quarterly, No.
71, p. 38.
  3), Dec, 11, 2001.
  4) Covert Action Quarterly, No. 71. p.38.
  5) "Globalisation is Urbanisation," The Ecologist, Vol. 29, No.2.
  1999, p186. OECD Observer, 2002.
  6) "Eyewitness to Terror: US Links to Colombian Death Squads,"
  People's Weekly World, Mar. 9, 2002. Note: Official statistics on
  poverty (2001) do not yet fully reflect the accelerating crisis in
  Latin America: Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia. With
  few exceptions (Costa Rica, Chile, Uruguay) most nations are headed
  toward a poverty rate near 90 percent.  "CIA Facts on Colombia," says
  1999 poverty rate was 55%. "Forests Under Fire," NACLA Vol. XXXV,
  No.1, p. 34, says rural poverty went from 65 percent  in 1991 to 72
  percent  in 1995.  *Narco News says 59 percent extreme poverty.
  7) The Economist, Dec. 15, 2001. and have great stories on the censored results of
the Colombian Elections for the last two years. Only 42 percent of eligible
Colombians voted in the March 2002 elections.
  8) Peoples Weekly World, Mar 9, 2002, "IN 1984 32 percent of arable
  land was held by big landowners - today 49 percent," big landowners
  represent less than one percent of the population - Colombians that
  we interviewed  say that ten families own half the land.
  9) "In Corn's Cradle, US Imports Bury Family Farms," New York Times,
  Feb 6, 2002.
  10) "Crossroads of War and Biodiversity (Jason Martin)," Covert
  Action Quarterly, No. 68, 1999, p. 17.  "FARC Submit Proposals,"
  Peoples Weekly World, Feb. 15, 2002.
  11) Ashville Global Report, Mar. 1, 2002, * "Guatemala:
Lethal Legacy  of Immunity," Amnesty International, 2002.
"The  New Battle for Central America," Ana Aranal. Foreign Affairs Vol.
80, No.6, 2002, p. 88.
12) Ashville Global Report,  No. 134, Aug. 9, 2001. *Coffee prices fell
52 percent since 1997. "Forests Under Fire," NACLA, Vol. XXXV, No.1, 2001, 33,
"800,000 tons total agricultural imports by Colombia in 1990, three 
million in 1995,7 million in 1999."
  13) Country Report Colombia, 2001, The Economist. Independent
  Review, Vol. VI, No.3, 2001.
  14) FARC - EP "Statement on the Drug War," e-mail communique from
  Steve Argue, steveorchid@
  15) ACERCA Notes, Last Quarter  2001, "Globalization
and Resistance in Colombia," Earth First Journal, Vol 21, No. 6, 2001.
  16) "Forests Under Fire," NACLA, Vol. XXXV, No.1, 2001, p. 34.
17)Ashville Global Report, No. 134, Aug. 9, 2001. Note: The US promised
many of the same things that Colombia still needs back in 1961: JFK's Alliance
for Progress - ask Robert White the former Ambassador to El Salvador
18) Independent Review, Vol. VI, No. 3, 2001.
19) Hildebrandt, Ziporah, "Marina Silva: Defending Rainforest
Communities in Brazil, The Feminist Press, 2001.
20) Independent Review, Vol VI, No. 3, 2001. NACLA Vol. XXXV,
No.1, 2001, p. 33
21)"FARC Submits Proposals," Peoples Weekly World, Feb. 15,
2002."Colombia: The Politics of Escalation," Mark Cook, Covert Action
Quarterly, No. 68, 1999. FARC has made many proposals during the
three years of peace talks. They have been open both to legalization
and to crop substitution programs as a way to reduce the magnitude of
the drug problem in Colombia and the US (as Cook points out).Just
before Pastrana broke off the talks and attacked the FARC safe haven
the guerillas compromised on the 12 point Common Agenda for Change
and accepted that the government could not or would not control the
right wing death squads. The Colombian government failed to pursue
their own commitments much more than did the FARC.
22)"13 Point Communique from the "Mountains of Colombia,"
ANNCOL, Feb., 2002.
23) "Colombia Civil War Explodes, US Implicated," Ashville Global
Report No.163. Feb. 28, 2002
24) "Colombia follows US Lead: Insurgents Now Terrorists," Ashville
Global Report, No. 163, Feb. 28, 2002.
25) "Joint Report  on Colombia," Amnesty International, Human Rights
Watch, and the Washington Office on Latin America, Feb.2002,, Ashville Global Report, Nov.29, 2001. The Nation, Sept.
3, 2001. "CIA Cocaine Death Squads," Ecosolidarity Working Group,
Earth First! Journal, Samhain, 1999.Covert Action No.68, 1999. "The
right wing paramilitary groups and the traffickers they protect are
far deeper into drugs than the guerillas - and the US DEA knows it
(The Economist). The Colombian airforce is widely reputed to be a major
drug cartel.
26) Ashville Global Report, Feb. 14, 2002.
27) Weekly News Update on the Americas, November 1, 2001, Nicaragua
Solidarity Network,
28) Ashville Global Report, No.164, Mar 7, 2002.
29) "Fighting the Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados: Tree by Tree," Earth
First! Journal, Vol/22. No. 4, 2002., Ashville Global Report, No. 163, Feb. 28,
30) The traditional political parties in Venezuela are gone. They are
fading in Argentina. The PRI in Mexico will soon shrink to a shadow
of its former power. The Conservative party in Colombia (Outgoing
President Pastrana's) is losing ground fast and is now in third place.
31) Broucker, Jose de, " Dom Helder: The Conversions of a Bishop,"
William Collins Pub., 1979.
32) Betancourt, Ingrid, "Until Death Do Us Part," ECCO Press, 2002.
See also The Arizona Republic (A.P.), March 9,2002, "The Congress,
traditionally a corrupt and inefficient body," or the New York Times,
Jan. 15, 2002, " There are many steps toward the kind of agreements
           that could form the basis of a real peace; few have actually been
taken by [the government]... controlling the paramilitaries,
galvanizing support for a negotiated settlement among the elite
business class and the military... the government needs to show it is
serious about carrying out difficult reforms, among them
restructuring a corrupt and closed political system and purging
rights violators from the army... be prepared to take on such
complicated issues as agrarian reform and an equitable tax structure."
33) "Murder Linked to Drug Trafficking," Arizona Daily Star (A.P.),
Mar. 20, 2002, "Archbishop Isaias Duarte was gunned down in what
police say appears to have been an effort to cripple investigations
into the role of drug money in congressional elections." Since anyone
in Colombia can hire a poor youth on a motorcycle to kill anyone  for
ten dollars, it will never be certain  who killed the Archbishop.
Normal politics is impossible.
34) Covert Action Quarterly. No. 71, p. 39.
35) School of Americas Watch,
36) "A Hawk's Candidacy Gains," New York Times, Mar.30, 2001.
37) Russel, Dan, "Drug War,", 2000, pp. 563-564., Earth First! Journal, Samhain,  1999. *As Noam Chomsky
describes the AUC death squads in Colombia, "The US and
human rights groups have long recognized them to be responsible for the
overwhelming majority of the atrocities, including the most atrocious of
them, and they are surely the most violent and brutal terrorist organization
in the Western hemisphere, ranking high in the world," Alternative Press
Review, Spring 2001.
38) New York  Times, March 11.
39) "Not a Penny for the Colombian Military," Eyewitness report  in
Conspiracy Newsletter, March,2002,, "US
Bringing Terror War to Colombia for Oil, Coal," Ashville Global
Report  Nov. 29, 2001.
40) Kirk Robin, "War with Colombia and International  Law," USA,
1999. Peoples Weekly World, Mar. 9, 2002. The Nation,  Sept. 13, 2001.
41) Peoples Weekly World, Mar. 9, 2002
42) "An Invasion Foretold: Terror Triumphs  in  Colombia," In These
Times, May 14, 2001, p 10.
43) "Conversions of a Bishop,"
44) 13 Point Communique from the "Mountains of Colombia,"
45) "The Case for Localisation," (Helena Norberg-Hodge, Earth Island
Journal, Spring 2002, p.47. Wendell Berry, "In the Presence of Fear,", 2001. Hines, Collin, "Localization: A  Global
Manifesto," London, 2001.
46) "This is what Democracy Looks Like," Earth Island Journal, Summer
47) "Argentina: Globalization Reaches the Boiling Point," Earth
First! Journal,  Vol. 22, No. 3, p. 8.
48) *,

The people in the US are misinformed about the War on Drugs and the
depth of corruption in Colombia. If we don't create some democratic
outrage quickly, a human and ecological tragedy will ignite in South
America. - Rachel Guevara.


-Investigates conflicts where the US threatens poor people and the
environments they depend on. We welcome input as we seek to portray a
fuller story and the consequences of US military and economic
interventions in the Andean region and neighboring areas.
USA (520) 312-6662

The Ecosolidarity Working Group has published many articles on
Colombia, eco-philosophy and social change.

We have articles slamming the next President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe,
a very violent person. Another article is on the
Women of FARC - all 4000 of them!

Article on Treesitting in Ecuador pending.

In solidarity with the poor and the Earth,
Marcel Idels, The Ecosolidarity Working Group


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