Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Our glorious Columbian allies in the war against drugs, terrorism, and that communistic liberal, Hugo Chavez
Isabel Hilton in The Guardian
[Columbian president Alvaro] Uribe's visit offers the unusual spectacle of a British red carpet being rolled out for a man who, as mayor of Medellin, the drug barons' "sanctuary", allegedly accepted funds from the notorious trafficker Pablo Escobar. Uribe's father,....Coincidentally, no doubt, Uribe's presidential campaign manager, Pedro Moreno Villa, was named by US customs as the biggest importer of potassium permanganate, a chemical used in cocaine production, between 1994 and 1998, though he insisted it was for innocent purposes; at that time Uribe was governor of Antioquia department, of which Medellin is the capital, and Moreno was his chief of staff. It was there that Uribe also devised his policy of encouraging the armed rightwing terror groups that he now seeks to legitimise. President Uribe calls his plan Justice and Peace....; under it he offers amnesty and cash rewards to rightwing paramilitary fighters, many of whom are guilty of human rights abuses and cocaine trafficking....
In the last five years the US has spent $3bn in the war against drugs in Colombia, a trade with which the paramilitary armies are intimately connected. ....Washington has listed 18 paramilitary commanders as responsible for trafficking most of the cocaine reaching US cities. Now the US would like to extradite them, but many, including the cocaine trafficker and paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso, have successfully attached themselves to President Uribe's plan and have become untouchable.
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