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The Narco News Bulletin

"The Name of Our Country is América"

-- Simón Bolívar

Today's Press Briefing

October 30, 2000

Narco News Congratulates Floro Tunubalá, a leader against "Plan Colombia," elected yesterday as governor of the state of Cauca in Colombia, the first Native American elected as governor in Colombian history.

Colombian Voters Reject the US-Imposed "Plan Colombia"

The Party's Over for Pastrana

His Conservative Party Loses in all 30 State Elections in Yesterday's Historic Vote

The big losers in yesterday's state and municipal elections in Colombia were that nation's president Andrés Pastrana -- whose party lost all 30 state governorships -- and the US officials who imposed the $1.3 billion dollar "Plan Colombia" military intervention.

The Colombian people, in yesterday's historic vote, soundly rejected Plan Colombia, as new parties and coalitions surged forward to take half the nation's states from both leading political parties -- Conservative and Liberal -- in a nation that for 40 years has had a US-style two-party system.

The wind from below howls...

The Party's Over

Civil Society, that concept branded upon the global psyche in 1994 by Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos in Chiapas, Mexico, has stepped forward in Colombia to assert itself against the two political parties that have dominated that nation for four decades.

What will probably not be noted in the US press is the main difference between Colombia's 1997 state and municipal elections and those held on Sunday, October 29, 2000.

In 1997, the guerrilla movement boycotted the elections. This year, they announced they would not interfere. And the right-wing fell into the abyss of the ballot box.

A hidden loser in this election are US Media like the Miami Herald, who consistently claimed that the guerrilla has support from only "three to five percent" of Colombians.

How they will explain yesterday's vote is predictable: that a candidate linked to the guerrilla lost in one township. This will be intended to draw a curtain around the victories by Plan Colombia opponents throughout the nation yesterday. The US press has become so damn predictable we can tell you today how they will spin it tomorrow. Maybe by saying it today, we will have some impact on the news tomorrow.

What did happen in yesterday's elections in Colombia?

The daily El Espectador of Bogotá reports:

The steep fall of the Conservative Party (interpreted by some analysts as a punishment against the government of President Pastrana), the rise of an indigenous candidate to the Governorship of Cauca, the arrival of a shoe-shine man on the city council of Bogotá, the protest of the independent vote in the Colombian capital and the punishment of the liberal party in Antioquia, are the most significant aspects in yesterday's regional and local elections.

Also on the front page: the advance of the Liberal Party in the entire country and success of Antanas Mockus as the mayor of Bogotá... The forward movement by the armed guerrilla, that dominated the pre-election seasons, and did not interfere except in a couple of episodes. Among other reasons, because the guerrilla didn't want to keep voters in some regions from the polls because they back its interests.

The exact results of the advance that the actors in the conflict (guerrilla and paramilitaries) could have had in the ballot boxes in local and regional elections is still unknown. Many analysts warn that their control might extend to more than half of the country.

Or the report from today's daily El Tiempo of Bogotá:

Conservativism: the Great Loser in the Elections

The main loser in these elections was the Conservative Party

The Independents are those who won the most terrain.

Coalitions are becoming more and more necessary.

By Tiempo editor Alexánder Terrerros B.

Three basic lessons come from yesterday's elections. The resurgence of the Liberal Party in Conservative bastions, the position of the Independent sectors, and the practical disappearance of the Conservative Party in the political management of the great capitals and states....

And more from El Espectador:

Added to all of this is the election of the Indigenous Governor of Cauca, Floro Tunubalá, whose platform of governing is notable in its critique of "Plan Colombia" and in favor of manual (not chemical) erradication of illicit crops. The entire South of the country could generate a contradictory dynamic, between the plans of the President, the insurgency and paramilitarism, and platforms of the new governors.

In any case, war and peace are newly in play in the future of local democracy, but an eventual humanitarian agreement can positively change the luck of the regions.

In sum: President Andrés Pastrana has lost all legitimacy in Colombia, because he sold out to Washington.

His position before the guerrilla was weakened considerably yesterday. And, although under-armed, the guerrilla, in the first weeks of Plan Colombia has won more military battles than it has lost, and the Armed Forces have suffered more casualties than the guerrilla.

A negotiated peace is the only way out.

The Colombian people, yesterday, rejected the policy of drug war militarization pushed by Washington and accepted by Pastrana.

The majority of Colombians have cast their votes: No to Plan Colombia.

Meanwhile, the political left surged in yesterday's municipal elections in Brazil.

The US-imposed drug war, for its hypocrisy, its damage to the environment, to human rights, to democracy, is losing ground in Our América every day.

The Narco News Bulletin salutes the People of Colombia for their wisdom in rejecting the politics of conquest embodied by Pastrana and his support of Plan Colombia.

Narco News Sports Page

Meanwhile, two Presidents who have not been rejected by their people, played baseball...

Venezuela President Hugo Chávez and Cuban President Fidel Castro Practice Diplomacy on the Diamond

There is something happening here...

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