Thursday, April 1st, 2010
Say hello to Canada’s latest favoured trade partner! If the continent were a schoolyard, Colombia would be one of the kids your mom warned you against hanging out with – but little Stephen Harper wants to hang with the rough crowd.
Flashback: Obama’s War for Oil in Colombia | The Columbia Coverup | Outcry in South America over US military base pact | PM calls on Parliament to pass Colombia free-trade pact | Peru protest violence kills natives and police | Harper Pledges to Double Funding to International Bank at Americas Summit | Harper vows Canada will remain open to international trade | Confirmed: Mexico drug plane used for CIA ‘rendition’ flights | Canada, Colombia reach free-trade agreement | South American union is created | Third Cocaine Plane Surfaces and is Tied to Web of Government Connections | Sloppy tradecraft exposes CIA drug plane | Drugs on crashed plane belonged to Mexico’s biggest dealer | DC9 with 5.5 tons of cocaine was CIA plane | Pulitzer Winning Journalist Who Linked CIA to Crack Sales Found Dead of Apparent Suicide | Dark Alliance: The Story Behind the Crack Explosion
Dan Kovalik, The Huffington Post
April 1, 2010
The biggest human rights scandal in years is developing in Colombia, though you wouldn’t notice it from the total lack of media coverage here. The largest mass grave unearthed in Colombia was discovered by accident last year just outside a Colombian Army base in La Macarena, a rural municipality located in the Department of Meta just south of Bogota. The grave was discovered when children drank from a nearby stream and started to become seriously ill. These illnesses were traced to runoff from what was discovered to be a mass grave – a grave marked only with small flags showing the dates (between 2002 and 2009) on which the bodies were buried.
According to a February 10, 2010 letter issued by Alexandra Valencia Molina, Director of the regional office of Colombia’s own Procuraduria General de la Nacion — a government agency tasked to investigate government corruption — approximately 2,000 bodies are buried in this grave. The Colombian Army has admitted responsibility for the grave, claiming to have killed and buried alleged guerillas there. However, the bodies in the grave have yet to be identified. Instead, against all protocol for handling the remains of anyone killed by the military, especially those of guerillas, the bodies contained in the mass grave were buried there secretly without the requisite process of having the Colombian government certify that the deceased were indeed the armed combatants the Army claims.
And, given the current “false positive” scandal which has enveloped the government of President Alvaro Uribe and his Defense Minister, Juan Manuel Santos, who is now running to succeed Uribe as President, the Colombian Army’s claim about the mass grave is especially suspect. This scandal revolves around the Colombian military, most recently under the direction of Juan Manuel Santos, knowingly murdering civilians in cold blood and then dressing them up to look like armed guerillas in order to justify more aid from the United States. According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pilay, this practice has been so “systematic and widespread” as to amount to a “crime against humanity.” And sadly, when Ms. Pilay made this statement, she literally did not know the half of it.