Posted August 26, 2008
As Noam Chomsky had noted many years ago, the amount of U.S. military assistance to a particular country is, as a general rule, directly proportional to the level of human rights violations committed by that country's military. That maxim certainly holds true in the Western Hemisphere where the greatest recipient of U.S. military aid in that region by far - Colombia - is also that region's greatest human rights abuser.
This fact was brought home just last week by an L.A. Times article (by Chris Kraul on August 21) which explained that while Colombia has received over $4 billion of U.S. military assistance since 2000, and while Colombian President Alvaro Uribe "has become the United States' No. 1 Latin American ally in its war on terrorism and drugs," Colombia is actually the greatest purveyor of terror against its own population in the region. To wit, as the article, citing the well-respected Colombian Commission of Jurists, notes, the Colombian military has been credibly accused of murdering 329 civilians in cold blood in 2007 - a 48% increase from the 223 reported in 2006. This brings to 997 the total of civilians murdered by the Colombian military since President Uribe, the U.S.'s top regional ally, took office in the spring of 2002. No other country in the Hemisphere even comes close to this horrendous record of state-sponsored violence.