The Narco News Bulletin
Name of Our Country is América"
Washington to Colombia... with Impunity
Role of Carlos Castaño's Death Squads
October 7, 2000
is the boss of the
death squads in Colombia. The television networks of the world
interview him without any problem. The counter-revolutionaries
in Miami meet with his emissaries in Paris. The Department of
State contacts him by telephone. Anyone who wants to find him
knows how to do it; above all, the police and military apparatus
of the government of Andrés Pastrana.
The same Castaño
has said, publicly on national and international television,
that 90 percent of his income is from drug trafficking; that,
for three years, the government has had the lists of the weathy
businessmen that support him economically; and that the State
Department of Madeleine Albright has called him to ask for his
support for Plan Colombia, offering him weapons if he leaves
his drug trafficking business.
None of this has been
able to motivate the government of Pastrana and his mentor in
Washington, Bill Clinton, to take measures against this delinquent,
whose killers - named with the euphemism of "paramilitaries"
- carry out with impunity his latest style of terror: cutting
its victims into pieces with chainsaws to intimidate the civil
The Colombian newspaper
El Tiempo explained on May 1, 1999 why Castaño
and his death squads are untouchable. Quoting Phil Chicola, Assistant
Secretary of Andean Affairs for the State Department, Chicola
confirmed that although the paramilitaries are considered as
terrorist groups by the State Department, they are not formally
included in the list of international terrorists by the US government.
And why not?
It's obvious that the
Colombian death squads don't meet this standard of Madeleine
Albright's, because its terrorism against the civil population
serves, in the first place, the United States, second, the Colombian
oligarchy and, third, themselves. Plan Colombia, like any counter-insurgency
plan - that is to say, State terrorism against the civil population
- is not primarily aimed at the at the famous armed guerrillas,
but, rather, against its social base. The way to destroy this
social support is with massacres, forced disappearances, torture,
the rape of women, the burning of homes and crops, and the destruction
of livestock belonging to small farmers.
This is the task of the
paramilitaries. Because the Army and the Colombian police are
known globally as the worst human rights violators in Latin America,
Washington has established a division of labor in Plan Colombia:
The Army protects the death squads of Castaño from armed
self-defense by the civilian population, the guerrillas, and
the paramilitaries conduct the war of extermination against the
civilian population; the war of terror that the assassins call
This policy by Washington
serves three owners: the paramilitaries get to keep the lands
of the peasant farmers who escape from the terror of "social
cleansing"; the Colombian oligarchy saves, once more, its
secular regime of violence and exploitation from the threats
of democratization and popular justice, and the empire obtains
the following benefits:
1. It demonstrates to those below it that any change
in Latin América has to come from Washington. Whoever
violates this axiom ends up like Saddam Hussein in Iraq or Milosevic
2. The US system of domination in the North of South
America is preserved inside of "Bolívar's Triangle,"
which includes Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. With the growing
instability of neoliberal dictators in Bolívia, Perú
and Paraguay - and, in a certain sense, also in Argentina - the
centrifugal Bolivian tendencies threaten the status quo of the
entire hemispheric regime of Washington.
3. Plan Colombia, is, at the same time, a warning
to Brazil, to not advance the Bolivian project of a unification
of South America outside of the realm of the empire.
4. The price that the Colombia oligarchy pays to
maintain itself in power through the direct intervention of the
empire is the recolonization of the entire country, or, in other
words, its absolute neoliberalization.
Plan Colombia promises
economic stabilization through fiscal balance: cuts in public
spending; widening the sales tax base; freezing of public salaries;
privatization of state banks and businesses; "open skies"
agreements with the United States; transparency and efficiency
in the regulation of biotechnology products and the protection
of the Amazon forest, defined as "an area of immense biodiversity
and environmental importance for the international community."
In fact, the Amazon is
the real strategic objective of Plan Colombia, because it contains
the four raw materials of the new millenium: biodiversity, renewable
fresh water, oil, and the reproductive system of 40 percent of
the planet's oxygen. Any social actor, be it the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Confederation of Indigenous
Nations of Ecuador (Conaie) or the Bolivian movement of President
Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, that demands self-determination
by the peoples and States of Latin America over their resources,
becomes the enemy of Washington... and of the neoliberal oligarchies.
This is the reason for
Plan Colombia and for the impunity of Carlos Castaño and
Touching the Untouchables