NewsDeclassified files on the armed conflict in Colombia reveal that the US...

    Declassified files on the armed conflict in Colombia reveal that the US knew about the ‘false positives’ in the Uribe government

    The Truth Commission reported on Thursday the publication of more than 15,000 US intelligence documents on the conflict in the Latin American country.

    The Colombian Truth Commission reported this Thursday on the publication of more than 15,000 intelligence documents from the US Government on the armed conflict and drug trafficking in the South American country, which served as input for the construction of the final report of the transitional body.

    The peace commissioner, Alejandro Valencia, explained that in the declassified files, which are available to the public on the website of the Truth Commission, there are also other documents on the close relationship and influence of the US in the internal war. Colombian, collect local media.

    Valencia commented that the declassified files are organized in three periods. The first refers to Plan Colombia (1998-2006) against the FARC and drug trafficking, where the US government was the main ally. The second addresses drug trafficking, national security and the internal conflict between 1982 and 1997; and the third on paramilitarism and its relationship with the State between 1979 and 2009. In addition, he said that the Commission has asked Washington to declassify other documents that they keep in reserve.

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    One of the matters that can be reviewed in the files are the intelligence cables that the US National Security Archive (NSA) delivered to the Commission in 2018 as part of a information and evidence exchange agreement on issues concerning the relations between Bogotá and Washington, in the fight against drugs, armed groups and human rights violations.

    Among the findings, it is revealed that Washington knew that during the government of Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010) and after the activation of the so-called “Patriotic Plan” —directed against the FARC-EP and ELN guerrillas—, the Colombian Army began to generate “a lot of pressure to show success” and “results” that would guarantee Bogotá to continue receiving funding and aid from the US for the war.

    The director of the NSA in Colombia, Michael L. Evans, explained to the press that the documents confirm that the Colombian military needed to demonstrate, with combat casualties and evidence of that the guerrillas were “closely linked” to drug trafficking, that US support was necessary. This “pressure” promoted a doctrine that Washington described as ‘Body Counting’, based on counting the bodies of killed insurgents.

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    False positives, paramilitaries, drug trafficking and links with the State

    The doctrine of ‘Body Counting’ it became the terrible practice of ‘false positives’, where state forces took innocent civilians by kidnapping or deception, passing them off as combatants or criminals, and murdering them to show them killed in clashes.

    Evans commented that in one of the cables there is a letter from the then head of the Southern Command, where he expressed his body count concernconsidering that it was not “an adequate measure of success” and that it could “be something” that would worsen “human rights violations” in Colombia.

    Both Valencia and Evans commented that in the cables one can also find evidence of financing and links between the Colombian State and US private companies with paramilitariesarmed groups that have historically been adversaries of the guerrillas and that mostly arose from landowners.

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    In one of the files there is the multinational Chiquita Brandswith financing to paramilitaries that operated in the extensive region of Urabá, which integrates the departments of Antioquia, Córdoba, Chocó and the Darién Gap, on the border with Panama.

    According to Valencia, the intelligence reports also reflect the US side’s concern about the close links between state forces and paramilitaries, a relationship that Colombian authorities have continually denied.

    In this regard, there is a cable from the US Department of Defense where there is talk of the “alleged relationship” between then President Uribe and “drug traffickers,” “especially with Pablo Escobar, head of the Medellin Cartel“said the commissioner. In that file it also says that “Uribe very surely had dealings with the AUC paramilitaries (United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia) when he was governor of Antioquia”.

    Source: RT

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