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| 8/20/2010 12:00:00 AM

Counterpoint: A New Plan for Colombia

The U.S. State Department is preparing to re-certify that human rights are improving in Colombia, thus freeing up further U.S. funds and technical assistance to battle guerrilla insurgents and the drug trade under Plan Colombia. But affirmations of success are misguided, as exposed in a recent report by the Washington Office on Latin America titled: “Colombia: Don’t call it a model.”

In an International Herald Tribune opinion article, “Colombia can win Mexico’s drug war” (Views, July 31), Gustav A. Flores-Macías argues that Plan Colombia, along with concurrent reforms to that nation’s tax system and improved government accountability, was a success in reducing drug-related and insurgent violence. The reforms, Mr. Flores-Macías argues, increased funds devoted to antidrug efforts and more reliable security forces.

“As a result,” he writes, “Colombia has made significant strides in fighting drug traffickers, guerrillas and paramilitaries.”

But while the national police have worked hard to meet constitutional standards and significant damage has been done to guerrilla military capacity, grave human rights abuses have continued under Plan Colombia. These human rights abuses cannot be ignored.
 
Read more here.

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