Sunday, October 31, 2004

State Department defends Plan Colombia

I missed this excellent Chicago Tribune editorial when it was published but it's back in the news thanks to a response by the White House and State Department spokesman, Marc Grossman who denied the plan is an ongoing failure and trotted out all the customary false or distorted statistics the prohibition profiteers have been spewing all year.

The Tribune got it right. For all the lame assertions by Grossman, Colombia's 30 year old civil war continues unabated and the only thing we have contributed is soldiers, guns and money to further escalate the fighting. In fact, Colombia Week reports in it's latest edition, since Uribe took office in 2002, FARC attacks have increased, an Organization of American States panel finds Colombia lacks clear laws for paramilitary demobilizations while at least 2.5 million Colombian children work for unjust wages in atrocious conditions and a Colombian dies from hunger an average of every two days.

Our tax dollars are being used to cause this suffering and worse. The CW further reports that sexual violence by government forces, guerrillas and paramilitaries has made women the main victims of Colombia’s war as evidenced by this chilling first person account.

It's time to hold our legislators accountable for this misdirected spending.


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