Pubdate: Mon, 15 Jan 2001
Source: Blade, The (OH)
Copyright: 2001 The Blade
Contact:  541 North Superior St., Toledo OH 43660


A full-scale debate on U.S. involvement in the anti-drug war in Colombia 
should begin now. Many people fear we are heading into another Vietnam. 
Every day there are reports of murders of officials, massacres of police 
and residents of small towns, as well as violations of human rights by 
right-wing paramilitaries (sometimes wearing regular army uniforms) and 
leftist guerrillas.

U.S. taxpayers paid $1.3 billion in military tools and personnel and are 
entitled to accurate information about this civil war. Are U.S. pilots 
training Colombian pilots to fly the $13 million Black Hawk helicopters? 
Will we be told when Americans become casualties?

We need to know whether the purpose of this action is to stop drugs or to 
ensure the safety of American corporations that have invested in oil 
(Colombia is the seventh largest supplier of oil to United States) and 
other natural resources there.

Questions also need to be addressed about the environmental damage to the 
rain forest by the pesticide sprayed on coca plants as well as food crops 
grown there - total cost $600,000. We should also learn whether the United 
States has promised adequate funds to Panama and Ecuador to protect their 
borders against Colombian farmers fleeing guerrillas and pesticides.

National leaders must begin a debate on the Colombian situation.


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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens