[fla-left] [action] Critical Times on Colombia-your phonecalls, faxes needed (fwd)

Michael Hoover hoov at SPAMfreenet.tlh.fl.us
Tue May 23 13:47:27 MDT 2000

forwarded by Michael Hoover

> Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 00:46:14 -0400
> Subject: Fw: Critical Times on Colombia-your phonecalls, faxes needed
> From: Carol F Mosley <fcpj at juno.com>
> --------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Dwight Lawton <dllawton at gte.net>
> To: "\"L. V.\" Luis" <fdr224 at hotmail.com>
> Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 13:19:15 -0400
> Subject: Critical Times on Colombia-your phonecalls, faxes needed
> Message-ID: <39296C13.1FEAE358 at gte.net>
> Call your Senators now about the US military aid to Colombia in the
> Foreign Appropriations Bill
> Tell them your want the School of the Americas closed down
> completely-not just a new name
> You want humanitarian aid for Colombia but not military aid. Spend the
> "drug war"money in the U.S. for education and treatment. Get rid of the
> Drug Czar. Trained-to-kill military leaders will not bring peace to the
> region. It is all about keeping the Latin American military elite in power
> so we can have access to the resources of their countries without any
> benefit for the people.
> The US Senate appears to have postponed its vote on a package of
> US military aid for Colombia, included in the Foreign Operations
> Appropriations bill. The vote was scheduled to take place as
> early as May 16, but as of May 21 was still delayed. The
> US/Colombia Coordinating Office reported that the vote was
> delayed due to debates over other legislation, and urged human
> rights supporters to continue to call on their senators to oppose
> the aid package, support any amendments that shift aid away from
> military purposes, and speak out against the pacakge, which could
> come to a vote at any time. [US/Colombia Coordinating Office
> Update 5/17/00]
> On May 14, two days before the expected vote, the weekly New
> Yorker magazine announced the publication of an article by
> Seymour Hersh in its May 22 edition in which Gen. Barry
> McCaffrey, director of the White House Office of Drug Control
> Policy, is accused of having ordered an attack on retreating
> Iraqi troops in violation of the ceasefire that ended the US war
> against Iraq in 1991. [New Yorker Press Release 5/14/00]
> McCaffrey has been the leading figure in the fight to win
> approval of the aid package and increase US involvement in
> Colombia's counter-insurgency war, under the guise of the war on
> drugs [see Updates #524, 525].
> On May 15, political forces seeking a military "solution" in
> Colombia were fueled by a gory episode, attentively followed by
> the Colombian and international press, in which a Colombian woman
> was killed in an alleged extortion scheme. A police expert and
> three soldiers tried for nearly nine hours to deactivate a high-
> tech explosive collar which had been placed around the neck of
> Elvia Cortes Gil by a group demanding $7,500 in cash. Cortes was
> not wealthy; she owned a small farm and three cows in
> Chiquinquira, Cundinamarca department, where she made her living
> selling the produce from her farm in the market. The attempt to
> deactivate the collar was unsuccessful, and as journalists and
> family members watched in horror, it exploded, killing Cortes and
> one of the police experts, and wounding three soldiers.
> The Colombian military and government immediately blamed the
> killing on the 11th Front of the leftist Revolutionary Armed
> Forces of Colombia (FARC), and President Andres Pastrana Arango
> quickly called off an upcoming meeting scheduled as part of the
> ongoing peace talks between the government and the FARC. [AP
> 5/15/00; MSNBC 5/17/00 from Reuters; Hoy (NY) 5/17/00 from AP,
> EFE]
> The FARC immediately issued a communique condemning the killing,
> denying any involvement, and criticizing the government's
> cancellation of the May 29-30 "international public hearing,"
> which was to address environmental issues and the substitution of
> drug crops, with participation of representatives from the
> European Union. [FARC Communique 5/17/00] Ambassadors and
> delegates from 21 countries, including the United States and
> Europe, had been invited together with the United Nations (UN)
> special adviser Jan Egeland to attend the meeting. [MSNBC 5/17/00
> from Reuters]
> In a May 17 interview with the Bogota daily El Espectador, FARC
> spokesperson Raul Reyes called the killing of Cortes "a clumsy
> setup, slanderous and perverse, fabricated by military
> intelligence, with the goal of liquidating the [peace] talks,
> confusing the national and international community and which
> benefitted from an incredibly broad deployment on the part of the
> media." [Espectador interview, forwarded via Internet without
> date; Hoy (NY) 5/18/00 from Notimex]
> Colombian attorney general Alfonso Gomez emphasized on May 17
> that an investigation into the Cortes killing is under way and
> that "for now there are not clear elements to indicate that it
> was unequivocally the FARC" who were responsible. At the same
> time, Gomez criticized the FARC and noted that in the past, the
> group has denied responsibility for actions which it was later
> proven to have carried out. [Hoy (NY) 5/18/00 from EFE]
> On May 15, the Bogota Superior Court ruled that the basic rights
> of the Colombian indigenous U'wa people were not affected by an
> oil drilling project, and revoked an injunction handed down by a
> lower court on Mar. 30 [see Update #531]. The injunction had
> barred Occidental Petroleum Corp (Oxy) from drilling for oil on
> U'wa land in northeastern Colombia. [Reuters 5/15/00]
> On May 16, two human rights and environmental activists from the
> Activism Center at Wetlands Preserve and Rainforest Relief
> disrupted US vice president Al Gore's commencement address at the
> Columbia University Law School Graduation in Lincoln Center's
> Avery Fischer Hall, where Gore's daughter was among the
> graduates. Activists Cindy Rosin and Joan Roney held up placards
> and shouted at Gore--a major Oxy shareholder--for failing to
> condemn Oxy's oil drilling on U'wa lands. In front of the
> graduation audience, Gore offered to meet with the activists, who
> were subsequently detained. After initially hedging, Gore
> eventually met with the activists for 10 minutes. After being
> informed that the injunction against the Oxy project had been
> overturned, he pledged to contact the company to pursue the
> matter. [Activism Center At Wetlands Preserve News Release
> 5/16/00]

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