DAS-CIA Operation to Spy on South American Embassies
By Susana Pimiento
On May 4, the Colombian Senate held a special hearing on the illegal activities of the Colombian intelligence Agency (DAS). Such activities have included not only illegal surveillance, but a series of acts that amount to State terrorism, such as death threats, kidnappings, harassment of children, blackmailing and framing of Supreme Court Justices, opposition leaders, journalists and human rights defenders. DAS even created a manual that instructed agents how to threaten the children of their targets.
The International Pre-Electoral Observation Mission to Colombia was led by Global Exchange, with leadership from the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Washington Office on Latin America, Co-Development Canada, and the participation of professionals, analysts and citizens of more than seven countries including the United States, Canada, Germany, the U.K. and Mexico.
The mission brought together 22 individuals with collective experience of electoral observation in eleven countries. From Feb. 3-15, the group conducted pre-electoral observation in Colombia, prior to the 2010 elections. We divided into four teams to observe conditions in municipalities in the departments of Antioquia, Córdoba, Valle del Cauca and Santander.
February 16, 2010
International Pre-Electoral Observation Mission
The International Pre-Electoral Observation Mission is an effort led by Global Exchange, a U.S. NGO with the participation of professionals, analysts and citizens of more than seven countries including the U.S., Canada, Germany, UK and Mexico.
The mission is led by a group of persons with experience in electoral observation in more than eleven countries. From February 3 until the present a group of twenty-two persons visited Colombia. This group divided itself into four teams that visited various municipalities in Antioquia, Córdoba, Valle del Cauca y Santander Departments.
translated by FOR staff
originally appeared in El Tiempo, 21 January 2010
Lawyers for the victims of the slaughter warned that the soldiers could be out of jail within the month.
To avoid this, first thing this morning the lawyers will ask the National Judicial Council to name a backlog judge* to expedite the trial, which has been suspended since December, due, according to the lawyers, to the delay tactics of the defense and the unexplainable loss of certain evidence.
by John Lindsay-Poland
The United States continues to assist Colombian military units that have reportedly violated human rights, a review of recently released State Department documents shows. FOR obtained the list of 353 Colombian military and police units that the United States approved for aid in 2008-09 and 2009-10. US law requires the State Department to review all foreign military units proposed for assistance and exclude those with histories of gross human rights abuses.
According to US officials who spoke to FOR, military aid this year is concentrated in three geographic “bands”: in a long band across southern Colombia, from Meta, Tolima and Huila departments – where the Army-FARC war is focused – west to Buenaventura on the Pacific coast; in the southwestern state of Nariño; and in the northern Montes de Maria area.
Más de 100 colectivos sociales y religiosos de EEUU urgen a Clinton a suspender la negociación para bases militares en ColombiaNews
El acuerdo militar “supondría un peligro enorme para todo el hemisferio”
Más de 100 colectivos y líderes religiosos, civiles y académicos de EEUU hicieron hoy
un llamamiento formal a la Secretaria de Estado Hillary Clinton para que “suspenda las negociaciones para expandir el acceso de EEUU a bases u operaciones militares en Colombia”, un plan que ha provocado un aluvión de protestas procedentes de países latinoamericanos, incluido Colombia, que es el mayor receptor de ayuda militar de EEUU de todo el hemisferio.
Bases deal “presents enormous dangers for entire hemisphere”
Over one hundred religious, national, community organizations and leaders and academics today called on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to “suspend negotiations for expanded U.S. military access or operations in Colombia,” a plan that has generated a swell of protest among Latin American countries, including Colombia, the largest recipient of U.S. military aid in the hemisphere.
By John Lindsay-Poland
In the next few days, a retired Colombian colonel and School of the Americas graduate, Víctor Hugo Matamoros, will be tried for his role in facilitating the bloody takeover of the northeastern Catatumbo region of Colombia by paramilitary death squads in 1999. The takeover resulted immediately in a series of massacres, the displacement of more than 20,000 people, and paramilitary control of drug trafficking and other economic activities in the area.
U.S. Ambassador Curtis Kamman privately told Washington at the time that the army must be complicit in massacres in the towns of La Gabarra and Tibú. “How did seven massacres occur without interference under the noses of several hundred security force members?” Kamman wrote to Washington.