"Colombia has been one of the largest recipients of US military aid for well over a decade and the largest in the western hemisphere....Yet torture, massacres, 'disappearances' and killings of non-combatants are widespread and collusion between the armed forces and paramilitary groups continues to this day." - Amnesty International USA
"But once Plan Colombia was being fully implemented in 2002 and 2003, the situation in Colombia improved dramatically.....Plan Colombia did not magically save Colombia, but it did provide vital support to Bogota at a critical and lonely time in its war against narco-terrorists and drug traffickers....And all of this has been accomplished without sacrificing adherence to human rights principles, as happened at times during the Cold War." - Russell Crandall
This morning NPR had two stories on Colombia and neither dealt with the documented truth that the US policy in Colombia has created a human rights hell there. NPR's first piece featured the slippery Juan Forero telling us how Uribe, the current President of Colombia, "came into office in this country at a time when the government was teetering...buffeted by violence, drugs, by Marxist guerrillas..." He conveniently leaves out that the Colombian government itself was the major perpetrator of violence and that its paramilitaries were heavily involved in the drug trade.
The second story involves an interview with Russell Crandall, a scholar who is a participant for one of sides in the armed struggle in Colombia! Imagine if a university professor was a paid consultant for the FARC in Colombia and was brought on as a scholar and expert...and yet this tool of the Pentagon is trotted out for our edification.
Needless to say NPR doesn't even touch the ugly story of the US government support for drug trafficking, the irony of "anti-drug" Bush returning to the likely source of his alleged coke dabblings, or the sordid business of that other Coke in Colombia. That would be just a little to much of the real thing and we all know what happens to journalists who go down that road.