11 April 2007

The friends BushCo keeps...

Does anyone remember Bush's trip to Latin America a few short weeks ago. The one where even in Colombia, where billions a year are wasted propping up a repressive but business-friendly regime in one front of the failed "drug war," Bush faced massive protests. BushCo is high on Colombia for the same reason the US loved the fascist military juntas of Argentina and Chile in the 1970's: they're "right thinking" when it comes to property rights, which is to say they supported unfettered capitalism and helped to murder, torture, or intimidate labor advocates.

Now it turns out -- surprise surprise -- that Colombia is still practicing that fascist collusion between state intelligence agencies and unofficial death squads:
SANTA MARTA, Colombia -- Zully Codina was a mother, veteran hospital worker and union activist. The last role was the one that cost Codina her life at the hands of paramilitary death squads, whose records show they collaborated with the country's intelligence service to liquidate her and other union activists.
Codina was killed on Nov. 11, 2003, when a gunman pumped three bullets into her head moments after she kissed her family goodbye and walked out of her Santa Marta home. Her murder remains unsolved, as do those of the vast majority of the 400 union members killed since President Álvaro Uribe took office in 2002.

This shit isn't funny. We looked the other way in Chile as Pinochet disappeared thousands. We looked the other way in South Africa as Apartheid forces murdered schoolchildren. We actively funded the Contras as they murdered teachers, doctors, and other civilians in Nicaragua (by the way if you haven't you need to see Ken Loach's Carla's Song). All of those atrocities were underwritten ostensibly in the name of the Cold War, but in reality it was more about protecting American business interests than in protecting anyone's freedom. Now we have the "war on terror" to excuse our funding of repressive regimes. Here's what our dollars are buying:
The Uribe administration's efforts have been hurt by the February arrest of the DAS's former chief, Jorge Noguera, who was charged with working with paramilitary members as they infiltrated the political establishment and silenced adversaries along the Caribbean coast. The illegal militias, organized a generation ago to fight Marxist rebels, have morphed into a Mafia-style organization dedicated to drug trafficking and extortion.
A clandestine paramilitary operative named to DAS by Noguera said in a recent interview that the intelligence service compiled lists of union members, along with details about their security, and handed them over to a coalition of paramilitary groups known as the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia.

We should all be proud. The "War on Drugs" is such an abject failure that BushCo has been desperately trying to link it to the "War on Terror" so that we can not only continue to fund police states but also increase that funding. Unfortunately for protofascists like Bush, every revelation makes it increasingly clear that it's the right wing hit squads that rely on the drug trade to supplement their US clandestine funding.

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