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September 2006
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Congress has too much money and is trying to get rid of it?

How else can you read this?

BOGOTA, Colombia — Despite growing bipartisan concern over alleged corruption in the Colombian army, the U.S. Congress appears likely to approve increased funds for this country’s war on drugs.

A final vote on Plan Colombia funding — the largest U.S. foreign aid program outside the Middle East and Afghanistan — probably won’t take place until after the November congressional elections. But staffers and analysts in Washington say Colombia will receive more than $750 million, exceeding the $728 million for the current fiscal year.

So what’s this corruption they’re talking about? Well, there’s this…

…reports that army officers planted explosives in Bogota, the capital, in the days leading up to Uribe’s second inauguration in August, in an apparent scheme to collect rewards for discovering the bombs.

and this…

In August, army units in the Caribbean port of Barranquilla killed six people, an incident at first portrayed as accidental deaths during a kidnapping rescue attempt, then as drug-gang killings.

oh, but wait! There’s this one…

But the most disturbing incident for some U.S. legislators happened in May, when Colombian army troops killed 10 U.S.- trained anti-narcotics police officers and an informant in the village of Jamundi, near Cali in the west of the country.
The shootout was first described as a case of mistaken identity. But one high-ranking Uribe official has since then called it “a criminal act” in which the army units allegedly did the bidding of narco-traffickers.

So the drug war in Colombia has encouraged and fueled widespread corruption and violence in the country. It has caused the destruction of poor farmers’ lives, ruined their crops, and poisoned their water. It has led to the destruction of valuable rainforest.

And it doesn’t work.

Just look at the numbers daksya put together below and it’s clear as can be.

But Congress wants to spend more money on it.

Idiots.

To be fair, the LA Times article, through their interview with Adam Isaacson of the Center for International Policy, gets to perhaps the real reason for Congress’ interest in increasing funds to the Colombia Drug War:

“Uribe knows he is one of the only friends the U.S. has in Latin America, and he is taking advantage of it.”

If Congress wants to buy a country, I wish they wouldn’t use something so destructive as the drug war as their excuse.

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