Saturday, September 12, 2009

Human Rights are Improving in Columbia? Good News Right?

U.S. Certifies Human Rights Gains in Colombia, Releasing Aid -

This article was published yesterday in the New York Times and many may have missed it. We are talking about Columbia and to most American readers of course what is the first thing that comes to mind? Drugs right? Of course. Well, the big reason that I can determine that the United States have apparently let up a little bit on the pressure on Columbia's human rights record, is because there is a tremendous need to aid the "war on drugs" being waged minute by minute in this country.

When we look at official CIA Factbook report for 2008, the biggest problem the United States has with Columbia is a no-brainer:

"illicit producer of coca, opium poppy, and cannabis; world's leading coca cultivator with 167,000 hectares in coca cultivation in 2007, a 6% increase over 2006, producing a potential of 535 mt of pure cocaine; the world's largest producer of coca derivatives; supplies cocaine to nearly all of the US market and the great majority of other international drug markets; in 2005, aerial eradication dispensed herbicide to treat over 130,000 hectares but aggressive replanting on the part of coca growers means Colombia remains a key producer; a significant portion of narcotics proceeds are either laundered or invested in Colombia through the black market peso exchange; important supplier of heroin to the US market; opium poppy cultivation is estimated to have fallen 25% between 2006 and 2007; most Colombian heroin is destined for the US market (2008)".

The human rights problems we have in the US and that they have in Columbia as well, are almost all accounted for by the these facts meted out by the CIA alone and are "insurmountable". This mass quantity of illegal drugs, lead to ALL kinds of human rights abuse as well as domestic abuses, and the list is endless... Lets just hope that we do not have to second guess the decision to aid a country with this type of track record.


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