U.S. anti-drug money spent on Latin America has been funneled through corrupt military, paramilitary and intelligence organizations and ends up violating basic human rights.Read More
MEXICO: During a 1997 training exercise, candidates for an elite Mexican military unit, the Air-Mobile Special Forces Groups, were divided into two teams. Team A was packed into a truck and ambushed by Team B, which took prisoners. The methods used by Team B members to extract information from their captured rivals were not exactly in line with international law. “They were beaten,” said one former officer who observed the training. “They were smothered by putting a plastic bag on their heads; they were hit with sticks on the soles of their feet.” The interrogation went on, he told ICIJ, “until they managed to escape.”
WASHINGTON: As aid to Colombia mushroomed in the late 1990s, an ugly feud broke out over combat helicopters, the largest line item in the Clinton administration’s $1.3 billion Colombian aid package.
COLOMBIA: One of the striking characteristics of the U.S. operation in Colombia and elsewhere in the Andes is hiring civilians for work traditionally carried out by U.S. military and intelligence services.
COLOMBIA: Putumayo, a vast, rainforest-carpeted province in southern Colombia, is the main military target of the $1.3 billion U.S. aid package known as Plan Colombia. Coca grown in the region provides 40 percent of the cocaine sold in the United States, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Pilots working for DynCorp, a major U.S. government military contractor, spray poison on the coca of Putumayo, while U.S.-trained assault troops secure the area for the fumigation raids. But there are other forces operating here, as well.
WASHINGTON: At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on March 5, 1998, Gen. Charles E. Wilhelm, then head of the U.S. Southern Command, laid out the rationale for a large-scale U.S. military aid program unfolding for Colombia.
U.S. anti-drug money spent on Latin America has been funneled through corrupt military, paramilitary and intelligence organizations and ends up violating basic human rights.
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