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The Narco News Bulletin
Name of Our Country is América"
Civil Society Wants US Airbase at Manta Closed
Publisher's Note: Two
days ago, Narco News published a report, for the first time in
English, that El Salvador's major opposition party has filed
federal suit to stop the US "anti-drug" military base
near the nation's capital of San Salvador.
Not since the 1970s has
Washington drawn a "yanqui go home" backlash like the
$1.3 billion Plan Colombia military intervention has provoked
The latest development
comes from Ecuador, neighbor country to Colombia and host of
the Manta US military airbase, the most key "Forward Operating
Location" (FOL) in Washington's plan. The Ecuadoran Congress
and an international movement among Civil Society -- with an
observer team led by German philosopher Heinz Deiterich -- are
moving to pressure the illigitimate government of Ecuador to
assert its neutrality in the Plan Colombia conflict and eject
the US airbase at Manta from national territory. This, as the
indigenous-popular rebellion throughout Ecuador heats up again.
Also on Narco News today:
Venezuela President Hugo Chávez explains exactly why Plan
Colombia is so reminiscent of Vietnam.
And Colombian paramilitary
leader Carlos Castaño admits: It's not just the drug traffickers
behind his terror squads, but also "legal" international
But after a brief flourish
of US and English-language press coverage around President Clinton's
August 30 trip to Colombia, just as the conflict now escalates
the US correspondents in Latin America have gone AWOL again.
From the daily El Nacional
in Caracas, Venezuela
Wednesday, September 6,
in Manta Airbase Criticized
from the EFE news agency,
The German philosopher
Heinz Dieterich, member of a civil delegation that monitors the
impact of Plan Colombia in Ecuador, said that the government
of (deposed) Ecuador president Jamil Mahuad made a "grave
error" in permitting US military troops to occupy the airbase
"The grave error
of the Ecuadorian government was to rent the base at Manta, because
there are going to be warplanes in its territory. This is the
principal base to attack the Putumayo region (in Colombia),"
said Dieterich in an interview with radio Noti Hoy.
Author of more than 20
books, among them "Latin America: From Colonization to Globalization"
together with Noam Chomsky, Dieterich said that Plan Colombia
will seriously affect the civil population, many of whom wil
flee to Ecuador where refugee camps are already planned for the
The current Ecuadorian
government, led by Gustavo Noboa, said that the Manta base does
not form part of Plan Colombia, but various social movements
and political analysts believe that to permit the installation
of this US center of operations involves Ecuador in a "foreign
The indigenous population
and social movements reject the US presence in the Manta base
saying that it represents a violation of national sovereignty.
Last January, the US installed a center-of-operations against
drug trafficking in the region at the Manta base.
Dieterich said that the
objective of Plan Colombia is not drug trafficking but rather
the guerrilla and assured that it was conceved by the United
States, "designed by Washington," and that it will
provoke a "tremendous massacre of the civil population."
from the daily El Universo,
Tuesday, September 5,
must revise the Manta contract"
QUITO.- Only the president
of the Republic, Gustavo Noboa, as chief of the country's foreign
policy, can revise the terms of agreement for the use of the
Manta base, sigend between the governments of Ecuador and the
US during the Jamil Mahuad regime.
The head of the Democratic
Left Bloc (ID) of Congress, Wilfrido Lucero, recalls that at
the time the contract did not pass through the hands of Congress,
and because of that, its application is the responsibility of
the executive branch.
Lucero's response leaves
the demand of the social and indigenous movements that Congress
cancel the Manta base contract with the US goes unanswered...
Regarding Plan Colombia,
the congress will consider the report of the International Affairs
Commission on the proposed resolution that Ecuador declare itself
neutral in the conflict.
From the EFE news agency
Wednesday, September 6,
insists on comparing Colombia to Vietnam
Venezuela president Hugo Chávez said yesterday that the
Vietnam War began little by little, similar to what could happen
"That's how Vietnam
began. First ten helicopters, later another ten, and so on. In
recent days a US phantom plane was alost and seven solders died,"
said Chávez, before travelling to New York to attend the
Millenium Summit of the United Nations.
The Venezuelan president
said that the arrival of 60 US Black Hawk helicopters to Colombia
has everyone worried, including the Colombian people, "Because
these are signals."
"It remains to be
seen what 60 of these bugs, these death machines, are. Some were
here during the Vargas tragedy but then they gave life,"
siad Chávez remembering the abilities that those machines
demonstrated during the natural disaster that isolated the Northern
coastal region of Caracas last December.
"There is concern
and nervousness and I have said this to President Pastrana, with
frankness and friendship, because I believe we are right to be
bothered," said the Venezuelan president.
Chavez's comments were
related to the arrival of Colombian civilians escaping into Venezuelan
territory from the violence unleashed in their home regions.
"It is a human problem
and a painful one, but Venezuela has always been in solidarity
with the pain of the Colombian people. I understand this reality
because I lived many years near the border," he said.
Chávez added that
it is logical that the displaced people are afraid to stay in
their own lands under the violence of the guerrilla, drug trafficking
and, above all, the paramilitaries.
"I imagine the terror
with which the children in the mountains of Colombia are living
after the mistake some days ago, when they massacred six children
believing they were guerrillas," said Chávez....
Updated 7:31 AM ET September
By PAISLEY DODDS, Associated Press Writer
...Carlos Castano, commander
of the national paramilitary umbrella organization known as the
United Self-defense Forces of Colombia, said in Colombia on Wednesday
that rightist militias were enjoying growing support and funding
from private business executives.
Castano did not name any
of his alleged backers by name. He claimed, however, that his
6,000-strong militias count on the "growing support"
of local and international businesses fed up with leftist guerrillas....
NOTE: In that
AP story, the news agency neglected to quote the words from the
same letter by the paramilitary leader when he admitted that
drug traffickers gave more money and support to the paramilitaries
than "legal" businesses.
From the Mexican news
Ex-Guerrillas Protest Against US Anti-Drug Base
They say the US
installation violates the sovereignty and the constitution of
The Salvadoran ex-guerrilla
party opposed legislation creating a US regional anti-drug base
in a lawsuit filed before the nation's supreme court.
Congressman Leonel González
of the ex-guerrilla party Farabundo Martí Front for National
Liberation (FMLN) said that the lawsuit was filed because "the
legislative decree violates the sovereignty and the constitution
of the country."
The regional anti-drug
base, aimed at fighting the narco-traffickers that operate in
the region, is part of a treaty signed last March between the
governments of El Salvador and the United States. The treaty
was ratified in July, but opposed by the FMLN, and took effect
on August 23.
According to the agreement,
the regional base will be installed in the international airport
of Comalapa, south of the capital. It will count with a number
not yet determined of P3 airplanes and US personnel and monitoring
equipment. The security employees are authorized to wear uniformes
and carry arms while working. "This violates our sovereignty,
our independence and our territory," said González,
one of five ex-guerrilla commanders of the FMLN during the 12-year
civil war that ended in 1992.
internationalizing the Colombian conflict, the FARC will not
cross into Brazil.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brasil,
September 3 (AP) - The Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia
(FARC) pledged not to cross into Brazil so as to "not internationalize
the Colombian conflict," according to a document they sent
to the Brazilian press.
The document was published
by the daily Folha de Sao Paolo in which the FARC said: "WE
want to reassure our neighbors, the territory of our fight is
Colombia, and for that will not be brought to another country."
The document, signed by
Iván Reis, a high commander of the FARC, said the group
"will not internationalize the popular struggle in neighbor
countries because it would provide a pretext for military troops
including from the US to help the government."
It was predicted that
similar documents will be sent to Venezuela, Perú, Panamá
Brazil and Venezuela are
considered with full trust by the insurgents, but not Ecuador
because it maintains a US military base in its territory, nor
Panamá for its traditional closeness to the US, nor Perú
because it waged a bloody fight against terrorism within its
From El Espectador, Bogotá,
Sunday, September 4, 2000
for the Vice
by Lisandro Duque Naranjo
I can imagine what would
have happened 80 years ago, during the North American prohibition
on alcohol, if the president of the United States had executed
the idea of a "Plan Scotland" to fumigate the barley
crops and erradicate the principle ingredient for the making
of whiskey in that European country....
...It's no coincidence
that North American fiction is replete, since the last century,
of heroes who cross the border into Mexico to hallucinate with
peyote. Nor that during the brief Kennedy era, the majority of
youths who enrolled in the Peace Corps were obsessed with Colombian
marijuana and cocaine from Perú and Bolivia. (There are
those who say that the increase of these crops in those countries
resulted from the tastes of those young pilgrims.) Nor that in
Vietnam there had been innumerable numbers of American soldiers
who were stoned all the time, something that was noticed when
the war ended.
To make the product available
in drug stores with a warning that "it is damaging to health"
would put an end to Al Capone. And it would save millions of
dollars and a lot of blood for us.
Press Believed Spain's Claim of S.A. Cocaine Siezure
of Reporting Based on "Official Sources"
From the Spanish News
Monday, September 4, 2000
(Madrid Time Zone)
REPORT OF HUGE HAUL, NO DRUGS YET FOUND ON SEIZED SHIP
Las Palmas, Spain, Sep
3 (EFE).- Spanish authorities continued searching Sunday for
what they had said were at least five tons of cocaine aboard
a seized freighter but acknowledged that, three days after the
vessel was boarded by elite troops, no drugs have been found.
Special Spanish anti-narcotics
agents and elite troops, some of them descending from rope ladders
dropped from helicopters, on Thursday boarded the Sao Tome-registered
"Privilege" on the high seas about 200 miles south
Eighteen crewmen were
released Sunday, though the vessel's Panamanian captain and his
Mexican second-in-command remained under arrest.
in Madrid held a press conference Saturday to announce what they
called one of Europe's biggest seizures of drugs in recent years.
Sources in Las Palmas
said the failure to find any drugs could be due to the size of
the 120-meter-long (nearly 400 feet) vessel, which was carrying
a cargo of steel coils from Venezuela to Italy.
Police sources said shipbuilding
experts have been called in to help authorities determine if
compartments may have been constructed along the hull to hide
the illegal shipment.
Narco News Commentary:
The government of Spain
continues its 500 year war upon América, now in alliance
with Washington, and one of the only European nations that backs
the $1.3 billion Plan Colombia military intervention.
The Spanish government
held a loud press conference on Saturday to announce the "record
siezure" of an alleged five tons of cocaine on a Brazilian
ship carring Venezuelan steel coils to Italy.
Now it turns out, there
is no cocaine on the ship.
After three days of searching
the ship, the alleged "five tons" of cocaine is suddenly
But the lack of hard evidence
did not stop AP, Reuters, UPI, AFP and EFE news agencies, and
the newspapers and media outlets that use their materials, from
publishing or broadcasting this lie of international proportions.
What motive did the Spanish
government have for announcing the siezure of five tons of cocaine
that it had not even seen, much less siezed?
Narco News will explain
the truth that no official news agency will tell: The powers
behind Plan Colombia are upset that South American nations Brazil
and Venezuela have not signed up for duty in the dirty war underway
of thin air was motivated by a desire to pressure and discredit
the governments of Brazil and Venezuela -- indeed, to punish
them -- for asserting their sovereign democratic rights to make
their own decisions as nations.
The Narco News Bulletin
published in our June editorial the news out of Perú that
the Spanish government had placed a spy as a top political consultant
to the presidential campaign of Alejandro Toledo:
We have also covered the
failed efforts of the Spanish government to convince the European
Union to support Plan Colombia.
More significant, however,
is how this story clearly demonstrates: The press should not
take "official sources" on their word until corroborating
the facts through real reporting.
And, it corresponds, the
public can not believe the official press coverage on Plan Colombia
or other drug war matters until the press rediscovers Authentic
The market-driven media
seems very far from that awakening today.
The Spanish authorities
have had three days to locate five tons of cocaine on a single
ship and have come up empty handed.
On Wednesday in Colombia,
"Darling," the drug-sniffing dog, caught it's wafting
aroma within three seconds.
But legions from Spain
cannot find five tons after three days.
Ah, but the tale of "Darling"
is another story for another day...
Update on our
Saturday story about "Body Counts" and war coverage:
As Narco News reported
on Saturday, the major English-language wires were caught in
a Vietnam war-style distortion of the death toll from battles
in Colombia following the Clinton visit last Wednesday.
followed suit by artificially raising the guerrilla death toll
in the key battle by the round number of 50; from 12 deaths documented
by cadavers to 62 claimed by Colombian military authorities --
officials who had lost communication with the scene of the battle
-- and again repeated by the unquestioning English-language wires
Now comes Associated Press
reporter Margarita Martínez to set the record straight
(Narco News thanks our collaborators among rank-and-file AP reporters
who raised a stink over the previous distorted body-count reports
on Sunday, September 3rd:
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP)
- A surge of rebel violence left 35 people dead over the weekend
following President Clinton's visit to Colombia, including seven
police officers slain by guerrillas - some of whom were disguised
In the latest attack,
leftist guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia,
or FARC, sneaked up on a police station Saturday in northern
Colombia, officials said Sunday...
The guerrillas arrived
in three trucks and a jeep, some dressed in camouflage and others
as police. Rebels shot to death the four officers posted at the
station and ambushed reinforcements as they arrived, killing
three more policemen...
Nine officers survived
the attack, in which rebels also destroyed the public telephone
office in the town in Guajira State, about 475 miles from the
At least one FARC fighter
died, police said.
Twenty-seven other people
were killed in heavy overnight clashes that ended Saturday in
western Colombia. Twelve of them were FARC rebels.
Associated Press was unable
to confirm previous reports of "62 rebels dead" and
has now trimmed its numbers to:
and police dead
1 US warplane downed
Although AP still neglects
60 prisoners liberated by the guerrila
But AP has yet to correct
one untruth. Martínez writes:
At the mountaintop communications
complex they were protecting, eight soldiers died in fighting
The rebels were unable
to take the complex, which controls cellular and other telephone
links to much of western Colombia.
This is the problem when
US news agencies send reporters to cover guerrilla insurgencies
when those reporters themselves have never spent a single night
"on the mountain". They don't understand the dynamics
of guerrilla war -- its aims and objectives -- and the badly-informed
US public remains in the dark.
The guerrilla strategy
would not have been to "take the complex" (and hold
it, AP wants us to believe? Do any of these so-called journalists
use common sense in their reporting?). Rather, the textbook guerrilla
strategy would be to down the communications system and then
disappear back into the night.
According to Spanish-language
reports cited Saturday on Narco News, the communications system
was, in fact, knocked out of action.
Thus, the guerrilla succeeded
in its objective against the communications base, as it did in
the attack on the police station (where it also downed the cellular
communications system for an entire region), and as it did in
the liberation of more than 60 prisoners from a jail in the three
major battles since Clinton's visit.
From the coast of Spain
to the jungles of the Amazon, Plan Colombia -- like the drug
war that it serves -- is a disaster and a failure in its first
week of combat.
Is anybody at the central
offices of US media paying attention? Does anybody in those places
care about the facts anymore?
"Body Count" Games Begin in Plan Colombia
By Al Giordano
As the US media argues about whether
"Plan Colombia" is another Vietnam, another El Salvador,
or none of the above, the behavior revealed by US press coverage
of the first major battle in the Plan Colombia war is distinctly
reminiscent of the 1960s.
During the Vietnam War,
US media outlets -- now documented by hundreds of books and scholarly
studies -- consistently lied about the "body count."
That is to say, more "enemy deaths" would be reported
than occured and always the goal was to keep the "allied"
body count at a number less than "enemy" casualties.
The first major Post-Clinton
visit battle in Colombia occured in the pre-dawn hours this morning.
Six hundred guerrilla troops attacked a key Colombian military
communications installation near Pueblo Rico (site of a recent
paramilitary atrocity against civilians).
The first English-language
report came from Associated Press. It noted that a US-made C-47
phantom airplane "crashed" into a mountain at dawn,
with loud official denials that it had been shot down by the
Colombian rebels. (If true that it simply "crashed,"
what does that say about the quality of US training of Colombian
pilots and troops?):
"The C-47 airplane
outfitted with .50-caliber machine guns crashed at about 5 a.m.
as it was heading back to base from the scene of the fighting,
a government military officer said on condition of anonymity.
The fighting has been centered at a main communications complex
on Mount Montezuma, 155 miles west of the capital, Bogota.
"There was no word
on how many people were aboard the plane, and the military officer
said it was not clear if there were survivors. He denied that
the plane had been shot down, saying it apparently crashed because
of a "technical failure."
Meanwhile, in the ground war battle, the AP reported the death
of "8 Colombian soldiers" and "12 rebels"
-- the implication being that the score is 12 to 8 in favor of
"At least eight government
soldiers and 12 rebels died in the ground combat at a communications
complex on Mount Montezuma, 155 miles west of the capital, Bogota.
The clash was the bloodiest since President Clinton visited Colombia
on Wednesday to support President Andres Pastrana's fight against
drug traffickers and leftist rebels who protect drug crops. "
Thus, the shrill insistence
that the US war plane was not downed by rebels, because seven
more military soldiers and pilots died in that crash, reversing
the "body count" score from 12 to 8 in favor of the
military, to 15 to 12 (plus a C-47 war plane!) in favor of the
rebels. Associated Press continues:
"Air Force Gen. Jairo
Garcia insisted the plane was not shot down. He said poor visibility
may have been a factor, because the crash happened just before
dawn in cloudy weather.
"The plane, which
was used extensively by U.S. forces during the Vietnam War and
was known as "Puff the Magic Dragon," had been providing
fire support for the ground troops.
"The Pentagon had
equipped the plane with Forward-Looking Infrared Sensors, or
FLIRS, and night-vision goggles, said Gen. Alfredo Velasco, Colombia's
air force chief. The pilots had been trained in night-flying
either by U.S. military pilots or by other Colombian pilots who
had received training from the Americans, Velasco told reporters.
"The fighting began
Friday afternoon at the communications complex, which controls
cellular and other telephone links to much of western Colombia."
The rebel forces have
not yet been quoted in the English-language press on their "body
count" statistics nor their version of how the war plane
was downed. Most probably they are still in battle and not issuing
press releases. Nor does the press, even exclusively with "official"
sources, say that the communications systems that were target
of the attack remained unscathed. Sometimes what they don't
say is as revealing as what they do say.
Meanwhile, the Mexican
news wire service NOTIMEX, with correspondents in Colombia, says
that among the 15 Colombian casualties was a high-ranking colonel,
leader of a key division, and other military brass:
(President Pastrana) "visited
the family of the commander of the San Mateo Battalion, Colonel
Jorge Eduardo Sánches, who died in the rebel attack on
the Army communication post.... In the action, attributed to
the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a major official,
a submajor official and six soldiers lost their lives guarding
the military base that was attacked with rockets and grenades."
And the daily El Tiempo,
of Bogotá, cleared up the matter of whether rebels had
succeeded in their objective of downing the vital communications
"After the battle,
communication with the military base in the mountains was lost."
Meanwhile, Reuters reports
(in Spanish) of another simultaneous battle in which the guerrilla
won the day:
"In addition to the
battles and the military plane accident, the FARC attacked a
prison in the Southwestern state of Cauca and liberated 60 prisoners."
Nothing, yet, in English,
on this battle, won by the guerrilla.
So as the North American
media debates whether Plan Colombia is "another Vietnam,"
watch the media's deeds instead of its words. Because already
the English-language press is behaving like it did decades ago
with its "body count" games and selective coverage
of the Vietnam conflict.
Note on yesterday's Narco
News Press Briefing:
The major US dailies have now conflicted each other on what happened
at the South American Summit of Presidents that was held on Thursday
and Friday in Brasilia, Brazil.
The Washington Post headline
- "S. American Leaders
Give Qualified Support to Plan Colombia" - Washington Post (September 2, 2000)
The New York Times headline
- "Latin Leaders
Rebuff Call by Clinton on Colombia" - NY Times (September 2, 2000)
Again, look to the South
American press for a clearer picture of what really happened.
As Clarín of Argentina reported from its correspondent's
direct witness of the events:
"South America Says
NO to Clinton and Plan Colombia"
America Says NO to Clinton and Plan Colombia"
Cardoso (Brazil), De la Rúa (Argentina) and Lagos (Chile)
firm in the principle of anti-interventionism" Photo by
the daily Clarín
September 1, 2000
from the daily Clarín
in Buenos Aires, Argentina
South America says "no" to Clinton
The US had asked
for regional support to the military assistance plan against
But the presidents
defended the principle of no intervention
By ELEONORA GOSMAN. Special
Correspondent in Brasilia
The aspirations of the
US government related to Colombia went adrift yesterday in the
Summit of the Presidents of South America. And this, in spite
of the pressure caused by the hurried trip by Bill Clinton to
Colombia, made on Wednesday for a brief lapse of 9 hours.
The principal leaders
participating in this unprecidented meeting, that seeks to create
the bases for an integrated South American commercial union,
distanced themselves from the Colombian question and particularly
the insistence by Washington that they join in "Plan Colombia"
of the anti-drug fight.
Some of those gathered
in Brazil beleive that the North American visit to Cartagena
de Indias was a "maneuver" to destroy the "positive
agenda" of South America....
At the hour of making
the serious decisions, the Argentina President Fernando de la
Rúa, opted to play hard: He joined his principal partner,
Brazil, elbow to elbow as a Colombian journalist asked, defiantly,
"Do you support Plan Colombia or not?"
De la Rúa responded
without leaving space for doubt: "We support the constitutional
government of Colombia." He reiterated the policy of non-intervention
and signaled, "We wish Colombia success in its peace gestures."
With this he wanted to
demonstrate as he said in another moment, that Argentina rejects
any military adventure that complicates the situation of other
countries in the region. There, he distanced himself from Clinton's
The President of Argentina
commented: "The Ecuadoreans are worried that the coca crops
displaced from Colombia might descend into their country."
The Brazilian President
sustained later in the opening speech of the Summit that South
America will not tolerate "abuses in the region."...
The hardest line against
Plan Colombia was expressed by Hugo Chávez, president
of Venezuela and one of the principal allies of Brazilian President
Cardoso, such that he was one of the leaders that the Brazilian
president invited to a private dinner. For the Venezuelan, US
military presence in Colombia puts peace at risk in Venezuela,
Brazil and other South American nations.
He criticized the United
States sustaining that "before thinking of solving drug
trafficking problems in other nations with acts of violence,
they ought to do something to reduce the high consumption of
drugs in their own territory." And then he gave a hard hit:
He said that the fortunes generated by drug trafficking "end
up in the banks of the United States and other industrialized
nations and don't do anything for the development of the countries
affected by the production of drugs."
More Updates This
Afternoon from the Brasilia Summit and throughout América
Gringos Have Landed"
in Semana magazine, Bogotá, 8/30
the New Colonial Viceroys to Colombia
Installs US General in Country
AOL Exec (Now
Running CNN) Leads Delegation of US Business Leaders to Collect
the Spoils of War
Today's Reports from: Cartagena and Bogotá, Colombia;
Brasilia, Brazil; Quito, Ecuador; Lima, Perú; Miami, Florida;
Washington, DC; Seattle, Washington; Hamburg, Germany; Managua,
Nicaragua; and Mexico City.
Today's Summary: Clinton lands in Colombia as Pentagon
installs military general in Bogotá and US business magnates
are presented to the Colombian government to begin to collect
upon the spoils of war.
Among the US businessmen
in Cartagena today is the president of AOL, America Online, which,
as Matt Drudge reports today, has taken over CNN, Cable Network
News. We point out that this is just in time for CNN's Gulf War-style
yellow combat journalism to resurrect in tandem with the Colombian
war that begins this week.
Meanwhile, popular revolts
sweep not only Colombia, but also Ecuador and Nicaragua, as 12
South American presidents head toward Brasilia for tomorrow's
major Summit meeting. Plan Colombia is now drawing criticism
from the Right as well as the Left, including from Miami Herald
syndicated columnist Andrés Oppenheimer, who calls for
greater US respect of human rights, and from Ecuador's leading
business newspaper, El Comercio.
And a key Clinton adminstration
document released today admits that Plan Colombia's program of
herbicide erradication using the Fusarium fungus complicates
and jeopardizes global talks to limit biological warfare.
August 30, 2000
El Universal, Cartagena,
world businessmen have arrived in Cartagena to participate in
the Clinton-Pastrana Summit"
Colombian foreign minister
Guillermo Fernández De Soto said that a key group of US
businessmen met last night with President Pastrana, his economic
team and Colombian businessmen
and the government will seek to take advantage of today's meeting
to establish commerce and business relations with a very powerful
group of North American counterparts who said they identified
with Colombian desires....
The US Businessmen:
Today the president of
American Online, one of the most important telecommunications
conglomerates in the world, James V. Kimsey, comes to Colombia.
Also in Cartagena are: Duane Ackerman, president of BellSouth
telecommunications company: Paul Charron, president of the cosmetics
company Liz Claiborne; Martha Behar, Latin American president
of Nortel Networks; Ted McNamara, president of the Council of
the Americas; Gary Drummond, president of the Drummond Company,
and Robert Hefner, president of the Seven Seas Oil Company.
Also here are Joseph Robert
of J.E. Robert Companies; Frank Caufield of Kleiner Perkins Caufield
and Byers; Dennis Bakke of Aes Corp.; Juan García of Global
Crossing; Mike Kappaz of KMR Power; Jore Fernández of
Delta airlines; Larry Martin of the American Apparel Manufacturing
Association; Sam Schwab of Schwab and Company; Mariella Mahan
of Assets and Development; Charles Andreae of Vick Associates;
John Gulla of Hartmax Corp.; and Martin Trust of The Limited....
Excerpt from the Drudge
Report on AOL's new power over Cable Network News
To see full story click:
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX
WED AUG 30, 2000 11:04:27 ET XXXXX
PLOTS 'BREAKING NEWS' COMEBACK; AOL'S PITTMAN DRAWS BATTLE PLAN"
It is out with the new
and in with the old as CNN attempts to go back-to-basics with
hopes of stopping its audience slide by pooling resources into
hard news and breaking news coverage.
"We will be back,
stronger than ever," said one well-placed source near the
network's reactor core, "with one mission: to inform!"
....Since the proposed
merger between TIME WARNER and AOL was announced, CNN, instead
of reporting to founder Ted Turner, reports directly to Bob Pittman,
a top executive at AOL.
Pittman -- with the blessing
of his boss Steve Case and TIME chair Gerry Levin -- is said
to be driving the changes at CNN.
news" instincts, however, are questionable. Pittman and
AOL had exclusive rights for more than 96 hours to the very first
Monica Lewinsky reports. Pittman, who read the stories featured
on AOL [Keyword: DRUDGE], did nothing to highlight the developing
story anywhere on the AOL system -- stories that would soon lead
to the impeachment of a sitting president. Pittman waited until
the WASHINGTON POST, ABC NEWS and NEWSWEEK ran versions. To regain
CNN's urgent glory days, Pittman will have to be slightly more
Filed By Matt Drudge
Reports are moved when circumstances warrant
http://www.drudgereport.com for updates
(c)DRUDGE REPORT 2000
From Associated Press:
"U.S. To Send
General To Colombia"
Updated 5:14 AM ET August
MIAMI (AP) - The Pentagon
plans to send an Army general to Bogota to oversee part of its
$1.3 billion Colombian anti-drug aid package, The Miami Herald
Brig. Gen. Keith M. Huber, director of operations at the U.S.
Southern Command in Miami, will implement the military portion
of the plan, the newspaper said. He will be the only U.S. general
posted in South or Central America.
Huber, 47, is likely to
travel to Colombia in September. Details of his assignment have
yet to be determined, military sources told the Herald.
"We have no official
decision on this temporary appointment," Southern Command
spokesman Raul Duany said.
Huber, a one-star general
with a 25-year career in the Army and background in Special Forces,
was appointed by Marine Gen. Charles Wilhelm....
August 30, 2000
Combined wire reports
Against Clinton Intensify"
launch wave of attacks just hours before his arrival
is discovered in Cartagena
BOGOTÁ (AP, DPA,
AFP, ANSA and Reuters).- Colombian guerrilla groups launched
an offensive in different parts of the country while the protests
by students and labor unions grew; all with the objective of
rejecting the visit that US President Bill Clinton makes today
to Cartagena de Indias.
Meanwhile, the Colombian
Attorney General seized arms and munitions in an elegant building
in the tourist zone of Bocagrande, Cartagena, that will not be
visited by Clinton. There they found two AK-47 rifles, an R-15
rifle, a revolver, 280 bullets, a shotgun, a communications radio
The attacks began with
the activation of three bombs against banks in the southeast
of Cali where pamphlets of the Colombian Armed Revolutionary
Forces (FARC) were found opposing the visit.
The second largest subversive
group in the country, the National Liberation Army (ELN) also
released a communiqué in Cali and announced terrorist
attacks with the same goal.
FARC members placed a
roadblock in a Caribbean highway in the state of Sucre and burned
six tractor-trailers that were also pained with slogans against
Clinon, while a toll booth was dynamited in a highway of another
Carribean state, Magdalena. Military sources said that an 11-year-old
girl died during a FARC attack against the population of La Uvita
in the central state of Boyacá, and two police officers
were shot by presumed guerrillas in the towns of San Antonio
and Anzoátegui in the central-eastern state of Tolima.
In Fortul, a town in the
eastern state of Arauca, on the border with Venezuela, six military
soldiers were wounded in an attack by the FARC against a barracks.
One of the most grave acts happened in the highway that connects
Bogotá with Villavicencio, state capital of Meta, where
Army troops had to intervene to stop a blockade by the FARC.
Traffic was suspended for various hours.
Elsewhere, the Army began
an operation to regain control of the area of Nariñó,
in the northwest state of Antioquia, which has been occupied
for days by the FARC. In another type of protest demonstration,
students of the State University of Antioquia caused disturbances
in Medellín to reject the visit of Clinton and incinerated
a public transportation bus.
At the same time students
of the State Pedagocical University peacefully occupied the seat
of the Andean Parliament, located in a commercial zone in East
Bogotá. The major unions have planned large street demonstrations
for today in various cities against "US intervention in
...Cartagena has been
polished and made-over, the street beggars have disappeared,
the street vendors are on forced vacation and the thousands of
men protecting (Clinton and the North Americans) will permit
them to enjoy unlimited security.
Editorial from El Comercio,
August 30, 2000
Avatars of Colombia
God willing, the dream
of one of the participatns in the Peace Recital of Colombia celebrated
these days in Bogotá will be granted. It was when one
of them voiced the aspiration that foreign money won't be necessary
to end the violence.
lamentably, something else. Colombian President Andrés
Pastrana wants to lead -- in the name of his country -- the search
for peace. The governor has made it really possible, including
cease fires and withdrawlos. But he has not been able to advance
in such a hard path. The good intentions have been diluted although
the goal continues.
The presence, to some
degree unexpected, of US President Bill Clinton in a Colombian
city -- Cartagena -- marks the beginning of Plan Colombia. In
other words, Pastrana and his country have taken a step while
tacitly confessing the impossibility to confront an adversary
of such size and such high economic power, alone.
In many long years of
confrontation, the Colombian governments have not succeeded in
erradicating the elder guerrilla movement or the powerful drug
traffickers. This is the truth on the landscape. The peace projects
with the subversives have not been made reality. A logical goal
have been to avoid foreign intervention. It results, thus, sensitive
that Plan Colombia has a high content of foreign economic contributions
and this is a sign of the gravity of the problem.
The so-called Plan is
aimed at drug trafficking, with the expectation that it will
diminish the finances of the guerrilla activity. It's an interesting
idea but has an audace root and risk. But nothing is easy yet
in Colombia. The neighbor country is playing with dare cards
that nobody wants them to put on the table.
The Colombian government
is interested in insisting that this is not a war plan. But what
cannot be ignored is that, the initial objectives being of another
nature, the consequences are unthinkable. The case of Ecuador
is in the line of fire. As has already been said on many occassions,
the Manta airbase has a constant role in the Plan....
President Clinton comes
taking steps that are bound to leave a large footprint when soon
he gives up his office. Today's visit has two lessons. The international
nervousness about Colombia and the dimension of the Colombian
problem. Both themes very unsettling and near to Ecuador.
August 30, 2000
from La Republica, Lima,
the fears of the people and the threats of the FARC, Clinton
and Pastrana will seal an anti-drug pact
the Plan, more criticized than supported, begins
By Miguel Gutiérrez
CARTAGENA DE INDIAS.- With the guerrilla defiant and with five
neighbor countries fearing that the violence will extend into
their territories, US President Bill Clinton, today in this city,
will give the symbolic launch of the so-called "Plan Colombia"...
...Nine hours in the city
of Cartagena de Indias will be enough for the North American
leader and his large delegation -- including the most hardliners
of his administration -- to seal the most ambitious antidrug
agreement ever made with any Latin American nation.
Alone, the government
of Pastrana, his armed forces and a sector of the big business
interests seem to be in agreement with the application of this
project born under US auspices.
Others, such as human
rights activists and representatives of displaced people fear
that the anti-drug plan will transform into an open counter-insurgent
war that increases the violence in the country even more.
Spokesmen of the Colombian
Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), key player in the peace negotiations,
but ignored in the formulation of "Plan Colombia,"
expressed their disagreement yesterday. They did so by making
spectacular attacks in different parts of the country.
The FARC has declared
that "Plan Colombia" is a virtual "declaration
of war" against them and they will not hesitate to shoot
down the US helicopters that enter the zone they control....
August 30, 2000
from La Folha of Sao Paolo,
Seen at the Border
by Cristiane Jungblut e Eliane Oliveira
The government is reinforcing
the military and federal police presence at the Brazilian border
with Colombia to avoid that traffickers and guerrillas cross
into Brazilian territory as the repression on drug trafficking
increases in that country.
President Fernando Hernrique
is worried about the consequences of Plan Colombia, a program
to combat against drugs and the guerrilla with financial aid
from the United States. He met yesterday with four key cabinet
members to analyse the problem. After the meeting, the President's
staff divulged "the necessity to augment our vigilance and
presence in our territory by military and police forces was stressed."...
Admits Possible Link between
Biological Weapons and Agent Green
Seattle and Hamburg, 29
In an August 22 memorandum,
US President Bill Clinton has conceded that the US
plan to use microbial agents to eradicate drug crops may have
impact on biological weapons proliferation. This is the first
US officials have publicly admitted that the use of biological
like Fusarium oxysporum (dubbed "Agent Green") raises
The Sunshine Project has
convincingly argued that F. oxysporum
and other mycoherbicides are biological weapons. Because of its
illicit coca crop, Colombia is on the front line of US biological
warfare plans. Other projects on biological agents to kill opium
poppy and marijuana are also funded be the US and the British
The Presidential memo
waives several conditions for US
assistance to Colombia. In particular, Clinton overruled the
Congress and severed the link between Colombian acceptance of
Agent Green and the overall implementation of the US 1.3 billion
dollar bilateral assistance package for Plan Colombia.
Clinton states that the
US will not use Agent Green until "a broader
national security assessment, including consideration of the
potential impact on biological weapons proliferation and terrorism,
provides a solid foundation for concluding that the use of this
particular drug control tool is in our national interest."
Memorandum of Justification for Presidential Determination 2000-
According to the Sunshine
Project's Edward Hammond, "This is an
important step forward. While important parts of the US
Government stubbornly refuse to withdraw support for Agent
Green, President Clinton has eased the bilateral pressure on
Colombia and admitted that this may have been a bad idea from
Adds Sunshine's Jan Van
Aken, "Agent Green is a biological
weapon. It was developed with a hostile purpose, intended to
used in an armed conflict in Colombia. Use of Agent Green
threatens to undermine international agreements prohibiting
biological weapons. It must be stopped immediately, worldwide.."
It is important to note
that the presidential memorandum does not
necessarily signal a change in US policy. "Pro-fungus parts
schizophrenic US Government could easily rebound. The
memorandum is a window of opportunity. Governments should
take fast action and exploit the possibilities for progress before
window closes." says the Sunshine Project's Susana Pimiento.
The Sunshine Project is
calling on governments and international
agencies to take the following steps:
o The United Nations Drug
Control Program (UNDCP), which
administers the US-funded work in Uzbekistan and is promoting
Fusarium testing in Colombia, should immediately freeze all of
international projects on crop-killing biological agents and
the contract it offering Colombia. No government, much less a
United Nations agency, can take risks with bioweapons
proliferation. Work cannot resume until the arms control issues
have been resolved, a broader range of expert UN agencies have
independently evaluated the program, and UNDCP's governing
body has fully reviewed the work.
o With aid no longer conditional
on acceptance of Agent Green
and with the US publicly admitting that it is uncertain about
bioweapons links, there is no reason why the Government of
Colombia has to proceed with the US-inspired biological eradication
idea. Colombia may now heal regional unease with the plan and
publicly withdraw from negotiations with UNDCP, halting any
planned research on Fusarium and other biological agents.
o The US Government must
conduct a transparent review of the
US Department of Agriculture program that funded and developed
F. oxysporum and other crop-killing weapons. The USDA worked
for more than a decade on projects. A dangerous policy failure
has taken place if serious assessment of the treaty compliance
and proliferation aspects of this program have not been reviewed
until now - after agent identification, work on virulence
enhancement, delivery systems, and field testing.
o The current situation
offers a remarkable opportunity to
strengthen the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention (BTWC),
updating it to reflect new and different political realities
and type of
conflict prevalent in the post-Cold War era. With the US leadership
having conceded there are proliferation concerns raised by the
drug war biological agents, during the next Review Conference
the BTWC in 2001, states parties should leap on the opportunity
insure that all crop-killing biological agents, especially those
with hostile intent in an armed conflict, are banned by the
In July, the Ecuadorian Government
banned the introduction and use of Fusarium oxysporum. In an
editorial in its August 7th edition titled "Agent Orange
oxysporum", the Managing Editor of Chemical and Engineering
News, the magazine of the American Chemical Society, called for
halt to drug war bioweapon research. Accusing the US of
developing "dubious weapons systems", the editorial
the program, saying, "There is an unavoidable moral component
scientific research, and development of F. oxysporum as a
weapon in the war on drugs or any other war violates it. Scientists
should just say no to participating in this research."
August 30, 2000
from El Universal, Mexico
of Containment" in the border of Perú
designed against exodus of Colombians
Israeli involvement in arms trafficking
By correspondent Gerald
Ruiz and news agencies
LIMA - the Peru Intelligence
Service (SIN) has designed a contingency plan before the possible
repelling of the FARC toward its border and the eventual exodus
of Colombians into Peruvian territory when Plan Colombia begins,
said Peru's government minister Federico Salas.
Meanwhile, in Bogotá,
it was known that the Attorney General investigated two Israelis
who were captured last may and are related with arms trafficking
Although the militarization
of the border with Colombia was denied, sources consulted by
El Universal confirmed the deployment of 2,000 Army troops of
Peru, at the same time that Brazil has moved its soldiers to
the Colombian border. The Peruvian government acknowledged yesterday
that the Brazilian brigades, of 8,000 heavily armed troops, were
moved to the Amazon zone only hours before US President Bill
Clinton visits Colombia.
High level sources close
to President Alberto Fujimori confirmed to El Universal that
his top intelligence advisor Vladimiro Montesinos has been charged
with designing a military "containment wall", as it
is almost certain that Colombians who live close to the Peru
border will cross escaping the attacks of Colombian military
forces and the FARC....
August 30, 2000
from La Republica, Lima,
arrives at the Brazil Summit ahead of 11 presidents
by Silvia Rojas
Alberto Fujimori is on
his way today to the Brasilia Summit....
August 27, 2000
from The Oppenheimer Report
by Andrés Oppenheimer
Published Sunday, August 27, 2000, in
the Miami Herald
should address human rights in Colombia
president is not careful, trip could have repercussions
WASHINGTON -- President Clinton's one-day
visit to Colombia this week may be just a photo opportunity to
help the Democratic Party look tough on drugs in the November
U.S. elections, but the trip also has the potential to produce
a dangerous backlash in Latin America....
....The trip on Wednesday to the coastal
city of Cartagena has unleashed a barrage of criticism from U.S.,
Colombian and other Latin American human rights groups.
They say the U.S. military aid package
will worsen human rights abuses by the Colombian military and
the paramilitary groups they often protect. That, in turn, will
trigger an even more violent reaction from the more than 15,000
Marxist rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia,
In addition, Colombia's neighbors such
as Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil fear that the U.S-backed military
offensive will push drug traffickers and guerrillas to cross
into their own territories. And President Hugo Chávez
of Venezuela, a former army officer who sees the world through
military lenses, fears U.S. aid will turn the Colombian army
into a formidable force that could become a threat to Venezuela,
with which Colombia has an unresolved border dispute.
From what I heard here this week, the
White House is confident that U.S. television images of a triumphant
Clinton embracing Pastrana as a hero in the war on drugs will
far overshadow the three-second sound bites that human rights
activists may get to voice their concerns.
Clinton is expected to highlight the non-military
portion of the U.S. aid package, about $240 million that will
go to fund human rights monitors, judicial reform and economic
development projects. And he will reassure the world that, under
U.S. law, no more than 500 U.S. military trainers and 300 contract
employees will be allowed to be in Colombia at any time, and
that they will be barred from going into combat.
Will the world believe him? I'm not so
If Clinton is looking beyond U.S. domestic
politics and wants to help end the Colombian war, he should stress
two key points during this trip:
· First, he should state that as
a condition for releasing the future disbursements of the U.S.
aid package, Colombia will have to take very concrete human rights
steps laid out by the U.S. Congress. Among them, suspending military
commanders known to have committed human rights violations, and
prosecuting leaders of paramilitary groups.
· Second, he should make a call to encourage other Latin
American nations to take a more active diplomatic role in the
``Latin American countries should become
more engaged,'' says Peter Hakim, head of the Inter-American
Dialogue, a Washington think tank. ``Nobody is asking them to
send troops or money, but to make it clear to European donor
countries that Latin Americans support the peace plan.''
...Unless Clinton uses his visit to Colombia
to speak bluntly about human rights and regional cooperation,
his presence there will only draw new attention on the crisis,
and make Colombia's neighbors more nervous.
August 29, 2000
from El Nuevo Herald
Threaten the Government of Ecuador
by CARLOS CISTERNAS / AP
QUITO - The leading Ecuadorian indigenous
organization yesterday threatened the government with a "much
harder" mobilization than the one last January that toppled
the prior president.
"This government has not made any
change for the country and less for the indigenous movement,"
said Antonio Vargas, president of the powerful Confederation
of Indigenous Nationalities (CNI).
He announced that tdoay the organization
will hold an assembly to decide the date of an "indigenous
"This mobilization is going to be
much stronger than the one on January 21, because we have made
agreements with many other sectors of the country," said
Vargas in a TV interview.
On January 21, a march of 5,000 indigenous
peasants on Quito received the support of the young Military
leadership, that decided the toppling of President Jamil Mahuad
who was replaced by Gustavo Noboa, then vice president.
Asked if the comparison with what occured
on January 21 meant that the indigenous sought the fall of the
Noboa government, the leader was evasive. "I'm not going
to say in advance, but in an uprising anything can happen,"
Noboa, who just completed six months in
power, confronts the anger of union organizations and politicians
of the Left and the Center-Left that have threatened to unite
in a grand national protest against the government, possibly
allied with the indigenous, who represent 35% of the country's
population of 12 million inhabitants.
The opposition considers that the government
favors the monied classes of the country and accuses it of having
promulgated a privitization law to benefit the businessmen and
bring forward the dollarization of the economy causing harm to
August 30, 2000
from Associated Press, Managua, Nicaragua
of Revolt in Farmers March"
Demand that the Alemán Government restructure their debts
MANAGUA (AP).- Thousands of agricultural
producers from the Northern part of the country will march tomorrow
to demand that the government restructure their debts with private
banks to avoid losing their properties. It is believed that this
could degenerate into a rebellion against President Arnoldo Alemán.
The march is backed by the Sandinista
National Liberation Front (FSLN) and according to the former
Army chief, Joaquín Cuadra Lacayo "it is creating
a situation of general protest that we know how it will begin
and nobody knows how it will turn out."
The actions already known in the Sandinista
strategy are blockades of highways and demonstrations by students.
The Nicarguan Union of Farmers and Ranchers (UNAG) announced
that some 30,000 farmers from the North of the country will march
tomorrow toward the capital...
It is believed that the farmers and ranchers
will be joined by transportation workers (Teamsters)...
August 30, 2000
Column from El Universal of Cartagena,
By WENCESLAO TRIANA
"Certify me, Bill. Advise me, Bill.
Investigate me, supervise me, track me, technify me, fumigate
me, arm me, erradicate my evils, Bill. Worry about me, Bill.
Fix my life, Bill. Teach me, Bill. Help me, your Geisha, to give
you the caresses that you like and fill you with grace, dear
Bill, beloved, Bill, adored... Yes, my Bill... I love Bill."
is your war. This is your war on drugs. Any questions?
the US Media Won't Report About the War it Created