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President Clinton's Trip to Colombia

President Clinton's Trip to Colombia

Message to the Media and Other Interested Parties

For the past year, researchers at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) have been issuing a stream of information and analysis on the internal situation in Colombia, the potential dangers of a growing U.S. involvement in that country, as well as various aspects of the inter-relationship of the Colombian military, drug-traffickers, rightwing paramilitary forces and the leftist guerrillas. COHA has produced thousands of pages of documentation and analysis on the possible Vietnamization of Colombia which is available free of charge by contacting our office: coha@coha.org ; telephone: (202) 216-9261; Fax: (202) 216-9193.

Much of this material is on our website: www.coha.org < http://www.coha.org >.

Among the themes that we have investigated:
1. Rightwing military responsible for 80% of all human rights
violations in Colombia.
2. White House drug czar's dangerously growing militarization
of the anti-drug war.
3. The Clinton administration's heading for merging the
anti-guerrilla and anti-drug wars.
4. President Clinton's waiving of human rights constraints on
the Colombian military to enable it to receive U.S. military assistance,
is
a dangerous step.
5. U.S. policymakers distorting pressures on Colombian
government to emphasize economic reforms, the abatement of poverty and
the
creation of new jobs and the construction of adequate housing, in favor of
a
military solution in the anti-drug war.
6. The Clinton Administration emphasizes coping with
demand-side drug policy, but in fact is putting most of its energy into
supply-side interdiction and elimination policies.
7. The regionalization of the anti-drug war and the spill-over
effect into Ecuador, Venezuela and Brazil.
8. The corruption of civic rectitude of Colombia's public
administration.
9. The anti-drug war replacing the Cold War as the primary axis
of U.S.-Latin American relations.
10. Colombian military has long maintained that they cannot win
a military victory against the guerrillas; President Pastrana
acknowledges
that he cannot personally guarantee the security of the guerrillas if
they
lay down their arms and return to civil life.

The Council on Hemispheric Affairs, founded in 1975, is an independent, non-partisan and tax exempt research and information organization. It has been described on the floor of the Senate as being "one of the nation's most respected bodies of scholar and policy makers."


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