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Professor of international studies school of international studies university of miami

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Semana, Edicion 928, Febrero 28, 2000.

23 GAO, Drug Control. Washington DC: United States Government Accounting Office, GAO/NSIAD-99-136, June 22, 1999; and GAO, Drug Control: U.S. Efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean. Washington DC: United States Government Accounting Office, GAO/NSIAD-00-90R, February 18, 2000. p. 7.

24 Semana, “Informe Especial: Los Negocios de las FARC,” Revista Semana, Edicion 879 (Marzo 8 de 1999).

25 Steven Ambrus and Joe Contreras, “Fighting the Enemy Within: The ‘FARC Republic’: A New Outlaw State in the Heart of South America,” Newsweek International, November 29, 1999; Reuters, “Colombia’s Pastrana Plays down FARC’s Drug Links,” The Miami Herald, July 29, 1999.

26 Cesar Garcia, “Tirofijo: Si Me Muero, Hay Mil que Me Reemplacen,” El Nuevo Herald, 30 de enero de 2000.

27 Associate Press, “Comandante colombiano rebate declaraciones de lider guerrillero,” El Nuevo Herald, 30 de enero de 2000.

28Accurate information on FARC’s drug-related earnings is exceedingly difficult to obtain, hence estimates vary widely from a low of US $100 million to a high of $600 million annually. The figures presented here are based on interviews with knowledgeable informants conducted by the author in Colombia in November 1999. For discussions of FARC’s income sources see Semana, “Informe Especial: Los Negocios de las FARC,” Revista Semana, Edicion 879, Marzo 8 de 1999; Douglas Farah, “Drug Sales Change Colombia’s Power Balance,” The Washington Post, Nov. 4, 1999; and Agencia EFE, “La guerrilla obtuvo $3.121 millones en ocho anos,” El Nuevo Herald, 12 de mayo de 1999.

29 See Alejandro Reyes Posada, “Investigacion sobre geografia de la violencia,” El Tiempo, 17 de octubre de 1999.

30 For his original statement of intentions in regard to the peace process see Andres Pastrana, “Una politica de paz para el cambio.” Bogota: 8 de junio de 1998, mimeo, 17p. For an overview of peace initiatives in Colombia during the last two decades see Juan Gabriel Tokatlian, “Colombia en guerra: las diplomacias por la paz,” Desarrollo Economico—Revista de Ciencias Sociales (Buenos Aires), vol. 39, no. 155, oct.-dic. 1999 (pp. 339-360).

31 Ambrus and Contreras, op. cit.

32 Agence France Presse, “Aseguran que las FARC Poseen un Poderoso Arsenal de Guerra,” El Nuevo Herald, 21 de enero de 2000; “Colombian Rebels Tap E. Europe for Arms,” The Washington Post, Nov. 4, 1999; Semana, “Los misiles de las FARC,” Revista Semana, Edicion 905, Septiembre 6 de 1999; J. Hammer and M. Isikoff, “Fighting the Rebels: A Mysterious Plane Crash Highlights Covert U.S. Operations,” Newsweek, June 1999; Semana, “Proceso de Paz: La Paz Armada,” Revista Semana, Edicion 873, enero 25 de 1999.

33 The Associated Press, “Colombian Militias Tax Drug Trade,” The New York Times, January 10, 2000; Semana, “Narco-Castano?” Revista Semana, Edicion 886, abril 26 de 1999.

34 On the links between the paramilitaries and the Colombian army see Human Right Watch, The Ties that Bind: Colombia and Military-Paramilitary Links. New York: Human Rights Watch, Vol. 12, No. 1, February 2000.

35 Linda Robinson, “Where Angels Fear to Tread: Colombia and Latin America’s Tier of Turmoil,” World Policy Journal, winter 1999/2000, p 64.


37 Ibid. pp. 64-65; Human Rights Watch, Colombia’s Killer Networks: The Military-Paramilitary Partnership and the United States. Washington DC: Human Rights Watch Publications, November 1996; Cambio, “Carlos Castano, jefe de las autodefensas,” Revista Cambio, 29 de nov. al 06 de dic., 1999.

38 Reuters, “Pastrana destituye a generales acusados de nexos paramilitares,” El Nuevo Herald, 9 de abril de 1999; Margarita Martinez, “Colombia Sergeants Convicted,” The Washinton Post, December 20, 1999.

39Agence France Presse, “Guerra total a paramilitares,” El Nuevo Herald, 15 de enero de 2000. In an early March 2000 visit to Washington to lobby U.S. lawmakers on the Clinton aid package, Colombian Vice President Gustavo Bell declared that seven top military commanders had recently been dismissed by the Pastrana administration for collaborating with rightist paramilitary groups. He also announced that seven paramilitary members had been killed and 42 captured by government forces in the first two months of 2000. George Gedda, “Colombia Breaking Paramilitary Ties,” The Washington Post, March 8, 2000.

40 El Tiempo, “Castano se ve en la mesa de negociaciones,” El Tiempo, 2 de marzo de 2000. In this article Castano boasted that his AUC forces numbered 11,200 as of March 2000, a figure considerably larger than the 7,000 estimated by most independent analysts.

41 Until May 1999 the ELN controled roughly 30 thousand hectares of coca in Catatumbo, Norte de Santander, but then lost control of this area to AUC paramilitaries. Because of the ELN’s official position not to finance its activities from drug trafficking and its comparatively smaller size, it is of less concern to Washington than the FARC. Diana Lozada, Unidad de Paz, “Diez obstaculos con el ELN,” El Tiempo, 26 de marzo de 2000.

42Semana, “El ELN y los alemanes,” Revista Semana, Edicion 893, junio 14 de 1999; Semana, “La bofetada,” Revista Semana, Edicion 894, junio 21 de 1999; Semana, “Si estamos cobrando,” Revista Semana, Edicion 918, Dic. 20, 1999.

43 El Tiempo, “Eln si pide despeje en el sur de Bolivar,” El Tiempo,” 8 de enero de 2000; El Espectador, “Coca, nudo para el despeje,” El Espectador, 8 de febrero de 2000.

44 The Associated Press, “Colombian Rebels Vow More Sabotage,” The New York Times, January 20, 2000.

45 Javier Baena, “Medellin bajo racionamiento electrico tras un grave atentado de la guerrilla,” El Nuevo Herald, 19 de enero de 2000; El Tiempo, “El pais, al borde del racionamiento por atentados del Eln,” El Tiempo, 23 de enero de 2000; Luis Jaime Acosta, “Colombia sufre perdidas incalculables por los atentados,” El Nuevo Herald, 22 de enero de 2000.

46 Since mid-February, paramilitary units have killed more than 60 people believed to be sympathetic to the ELN. The Associated Press, “Groups Kill 11 in Colombia,” The New York Times, March 13, 2000. Semana, “La caldera del diablo,” Revista Semana, Edicion 930, Febrero 28, 2000; Javier Baena, “Pastrana acusa a Venezuela de ‘irrsponsabilidad’”, El Nuevo Herald, 10 de marzo de 2000.

47 Agencia France Presse, “ Ataques recuerdan que la guerra continua en Colombia,” El Nuevo Herald, 2 de enero de 2000; Reuters, “Cae en combate el lider del tercer grupo guerrillero colombiano,” El Nuevo Herald, 29 de enero de 2000. On March 7, 2000, a recently released EPL kidnap victim announced to the press that the EPL had decided to enter into peace talks with the Pastrana government. El Tiempo, “Sucesos del dia,” El Tiempo, 7 de marzo de 2000.

48 Semana, “La suerte de ERP,” Revista Semana, Edicion 930, February 28, 2000.

49 Semana, Ibid.

50 The Associated Press, “Colombia Breaks Kidnap World Record, The New York Times, January 28, 2000; Reuters, “Former Cycling Champ Kidnapped in Colombia,” The New York Times, March 4, 2000.

51 Larry Rohter, “Driven by Fear, Colombians Leave in Droves,” The New York Times, March 5, 2000.

52 Maria Travierso, “Representantes federales abogan por los inmigrantes colombianos,” El Nuevo Herald, 20 de enero de 2000.

53 On March 11, 2000, Francisco Santos, a journalist with the Bogota daily newspaper El Tiempo and a leader of the Pais Libre peace movement that organized the October 1999 peace marches in which some 12 million Colombians participated, was forced into exile in the United States after the discovery of a FARC-inspired plot to murder him. In all, nine Colombian journalists have been assasinated in Colombia by various armed groups in the last 15 months, more than three hundred have received death threats, and at least 11 besides Santos have gone into exile. Agence France Press. “Existe un complot para matarme,” El Nuevo Herald, 13 de marzo de 2000; The Associated Press, “Peace Protests Planned in Colombia,” The New York Times, January 4, 2000;Henry Orrego, “Salida de figuras publicas muestra dimension de la violencia en Colombia,” El Nuevo Herald, 14 de marzo de 2000.

54 Sergio F. Kovaleski, “Thousands Roam Colombia to Escape Brutal Rural War,” The Washington Post, August 11, 1999, p. A01; Reuters, “Se han desplazado un million 700 mil colombianos por la guerra,” La Jornada, November 25, 1999.

55 Consultoria para los Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento (CODHES), Crisis humanitaria y catastrofe social. Bogota: Codhes, November 1999.

56 Kovaleski, op cit.

57 Ibid.

58 El Tiempo, “El ‘boom’ de las invasiones,” El Tiempo, 8 de marzo de 2000.

59 Tim Johnson, “Colombia’s Child Soldiers,” The Miami Herald, January 23, 2000.

60 Larry Rohter, “Crisis in Colombia as Civil Strife Uproots Peasants,” The New York Times, October 21, 1999; Semana, “Violencia joven,” Revista Semana, Edicion 932, Marzo 27, 2000; Semana, “ Los acuerdos de paz,” Revista Semana, Edicion 932, Marzo 27, 2000.

61 Tim Johnson, op cit.

62 Ibid; Rafael Prieto Sanjuan, “”Conflicto Armado en Colombia y Deplazamiento Forzado: Que Proteccion?” Revista IIDH, No. 28, (Julio-Diciembre 1998) pp. 39-68.

63 Semana, “Trafico de armas: La conexion venezolana,” Revista Semana, Edicion 898, Julio 19 de 1999; Servicios de El Nuevo Herald, “Chavez no tratara directamente con la guerrilla colombiana,” El Nuevo Herald, 17 de agosto de 1999; Gerardo Reyes, “Advertencia para Chavez: Manos Fuera de Colombia!,” El Nuevo Herald, 2 de octubre de 1999.

64 Bruce Bagley, “Panama-Colombia Border Conflicts could Threaten the Canal.” Special to CNN Interactive ( December 1999.

65 Although top U.S. officials fueled Colombian expectations of a major new U.S. aid package throughout the second half of 1999, partisan bickering and intense disputes over budgetary priorities between congressional Republicans and Democrats led to the tabling of Clinton’s initial aid request in the U.S. Congress in late 1999. See Michael Shifter, “The United States and Colombia: Partners in Ambiguity,” Current History, February 2000, p. 51.

66 Bruce Bagley, “Hablando Duro: La politica internacional antinarcoticos de los Estados Unidos en los anos noventa,” in Juan Gabriel Tokatlian, compilador, Colombia y Estados Unidos: Problems y Perspectivas. Bogota: Tercer Mundo Editores, 1998, pp. 103-118

67 Henry Orrego, “Saldo en rojo muestra la economica de Colombia,”El Nuevo Herald, 7 de agosto de 1999, p. 5B; Semana, “Economia y Negocios: En tierra de ciego…,” Revista Semana, Edicion 879, Marzo 8 de 1999; Semana, “Economica y Negocios: El Chorro,” Revista Semana, Edicion 913, Noviembre 1 de 1999.

68 Semana, “Luz al final de tunel,” Revista Semana, Edicion 924, Enero 17, 2000; Semana, “Como nos ven en Wall Street?” Revista Semana, Edicion 931, Marzo 6, 2000.

69 The US$ 289 million was three times the amount of aid that Colombia had received from the United States in FY 1998 during the last full year of the Samper government. Under Samper, virtually all of the reduced flow of U.S. counter-narcotics aid to Colombia was channeled through the National Police headed by General Jose Rosso Serrano rather than the military, which was viewed by U.S. authorities to be corrupt and deeply involved in human rights abuses. GAO, Drug Control: U.S. Counternarcotics Efforts in Colombia Face Continuing Challenges. Washington DC: United States General Accounting Office, Feb 12, 1998, GAO/NSIAD-98-60; GAO, Drug Control: Narcotics Threat From Colombia Continues to Grow. Washington DC: United States General Accounting Office, June 1999, GAO/NSIAD-99-136.

70 El Nuevo Herald, “Estados Unidos y guerrilla de Colombia hablan de paz,” El Nuevo Herald, 4 de enero de 1999. The murders by FARC guerrillas of three American human rights workers in March 1999 made any renewal of contacts between U.S. diplomats and the FARC politically unthinkable.

71 Madeleine Albright, “Colombia’s Struggles and How We Can Help,” The New York Times, August 10, 1999; Reuters, “High-level Visit Signal U.S. Alarm Over Colombia,” The Washington Post, August 11, 1999, p A15; Personal interviews conducted by the author with U.S. government officials during 1999.

72 Semana, “El Cheque de Tio Sam,” Revista Semana, Edicion 924, Enero 17, 2000.

73 Presidencia de la Republica, Plan Colombia. Bogota: Presidencia de la Republica, Septiembre de 1999. Clearly indicating that it was intended primarily to convince the United States to support the Pastrana government, Plan Colombia was initially written in English and first circulated in Washington before it was made available in Spanish to the Colombian Congress in Bogota.

74 Secretary of State Madelaine K. Albright, “Statement on U.S. Assistance to Colombia.” Washington DC: Office of the Spokesman U.S. Department of State, January 11, 2000; The White House, “Fact Sheet: Colombia Assistance Package.” Grand Canyon, Arizona: Office of the Press Spokesman, The White House, January 11, 2000.

75 Sergio Gomez Maseri, “Clinton le apuesta a Colombia,” El Tiempo, 12 de enero de 2000.

76 Luis Torres de la Llosa, “La Ayuda de Estados Unidos ira contra las FARC si trafican droga,” El Nuevo Herald, 27de enero de 2000.

77 Reuters, “Albright Declares ‘New Relationship’ with Colombia,” The New York Times, January 25, 2000; Steven Dudley, “Albright Discusses Anti-Drug Aid in Colombia,” The Washington Post, January 15, 2000, A20.

78 Tim Golden, “Colombian Asks Congress for Aid Not Tied to Human Rights,” The New York Times, January 26, 2000.

79 Ibid.; The Associated Press, “Doubts over US-Colombia Policy,” The New York Times, February 15, 2000.

80 Semana, “Guerra de dos mundos,” Revista Semana, Edicion 930, Febrero 28, 2000; Michael Radu, “Aid to Colombia: A Study in Muddled Arguments.” Distributed by e-mail by the Foreign Policy Research Institute, Philadelphia, PA [mailto;} pp.1-4.

81 On the counterproductive effects of coca eradication programs in Colombia see Coletta Youngers, “Coca Eradication Efforts in Colombia,” in WOLA, ed., WOLA Briefing Series: Issues in International Drug Policy. Washington DC: WOLA, June 2, 1997; Juan Gabriel Tokatlian, Estados Unidos y la Fumigacion de Cultivos Ilicitos en Colombia: La Funesta Rutinizcion de una Estrategia Desacertada.” Mimeo, Buenos Aires Argentina, Febrero 2000.

82 John P. Sweeny, “Tread Cautiously in Colombia’s Civil War.” Washington DC: The Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder No. 1264, March 25, 1999; Juan Gabriel Tokatlian, “Colombian Catastrophe,” The World Today, Vol. 56, No. 1, January 2000, pp. 13-15; Gabriel Marcella and Donald Schultz, “Colombia’s Three Wars: U.S. Strategy at the Crossroads,” Strategic Review, Vol. XXVIII, No. 1 (winter 2000): pp. 3-22.

83 Reuters, “Colombia Rebels ‘Declare War’ on United States,” The New York Times, February 29, 2000; The Associated Press, “Colombia Rebel Rips Pastrana Plan,” The Washington Post, February 29, 2000.

84 Matthew Brigs, “Contractors Playing Increasing Role in U.S. Drug War,” Dallas Morning News, February 27, 2000.

85 El Tiempo, “Buenos ojos a la ayuda de E.U.,” El Tiempo, 23 de enero de 2000.

86 When pressed by skeptical congressmen during his testimony on the Clinton aid package before the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees foreign aid, the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, General Barry McCaffrey, responded: “I personally think we have to think of it as a five-year effort.” By then, he claimed, there would be “substantial reductions of drug production.” Some of his critics on the subcommittee expressed fears that the proposal might lead the United States into another open-ended, “Vietnam-like” intervention and other argued that the funds could be better spent at home to control the demand for drugs in America. Alan Fram, “US: Colombia Drug War to Take Five Years,” The Washington Post, February 29, 2000. On the difficulties in obtaining resources from the European Union see Hernando Corral G., “Sin Censura: Dinero, Paz y Union Europea,” El Tiempo, 7 de marzo de 2000.

87 Radu, op cit. p. 3.

88 Ibid. pp. 2-3.

89 Ralph Peters, “The U.S. Is Setting a Trap for Itself in Colombia,” The Washington Post, March 5, 2000, p. B01.

90 Ibid., p. B01

91 Ibid., p. B01

92 Radu, op cit., p. 4

93 Peter, op cit., p. B01

94 The New York Times, “Dangerous Plans for Colombia,” The New York Times, February 13, 2000.

95 Seattle Post-Intelligencer Editorial Board, “”Spraying Coca Crop is a Misplaced Priority,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 9, 2000.

96 Ibid.

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