Escalating U.S. Intervention in Colombia

November 2, 2002

Several recent reports show that the Bush administration keeps increasing U.S. military intervention in Colombia.

On October 12, the British newspaper "The Daily Telegraph" reported that a new detachment of 200 U.S. Special Forces have begun operations in Arauca, an oil-rich state on the border with Venezuela. These U.S. "advisers" are training and directing Colombia troops in helicopter operations, night fighting and intelligence operations against the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the ELN (National Liberation Army).

This latest deployment is a result of new authority given to Bush by Congress in July. In approving an additional $35 million dollars in military aid to Colombia, Congress dropped the old pretext of fighting a "drug war" and specifically authorized the Pentagon to target the popular insurgencies. In other words, once again, U.S. imperialism is officially waging a counter-insurgency (Vietnam-type) war against an indigenous liberation movement. According to official sources, at least 400 U.S. soldiers are actively in Colombia as well as hundreds of U.S. trained and financed mercenaries. Within the last 2 years, the U.S. has spent more than $2 billion on this war against the Colombian people.

Another news leak, published by Peter Gorman in "Narco News Bulletin," reports that by February, 2003, the U.S. is planning to deploy another two battalions of marines, totally 1,100 soldiers including support personnel, in southern Colombia. The marines will be charged with the special mission of eliminating officers of the FARC. The marines will operate out of a newly expanded U.S. base in Manta, Ecuador and a counter-insurgency U.S. base constructed on the Putamayo river near the border with Peru.