Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Colombia to Chavez: See You In The Hague

By Eric Wingerter  Posted by Eric Wingerter (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
Author 4586
Message Eric Wingerter

Colombia's President Threatened to Haul Hugo Chavez before the ICC, but He'd Better Come Ready With His Own Defense

Originally Published on AlterNet

Last week, amidst of a tense standoff in the Andes, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe hastily called together a press conference and made an audacious claim. The Colombians had turned up evidence, he said, that the Venezuelan government was funneling hundreds of millions of dollars to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the FARC. The announcement was a bombshell. The FARC are designated as a terrorist organization, so evidence of financial support from a foreign government would have serious repercussions.

Uribe even took it a step further, pledging before his countrymen on national television that he would bring Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez before the International Criminal Court on charges-not of violence, not even of terrorism, but of genocide. Like in Rwanda, only...not. It was high theater, albeit theater of the deranged, but then a funny thing happened. People started to look at the documents he was referring to, and they didn't seem to say what he said they said.

The evidence, such as it was, came from a laptop computer that had apparently survived a bombing campaign that left twenty-two rebels dead days earlier. Investigators like Greg Palast translated and posted them, dismissing the Colombians' interpretations of their contents. Even the U.S. government-Colombia's number one, and sometimes only, ally in the region-expressed "extreme skepticism" over at least one aspect of the charges-the notion that the FARC were attempting to create a dirty bomb. By the end of the week, Uribe had backed off his statements about Venezuela and the ICC. Nobody would be going to The Hague.

All of this is a shame, because it would be sort of neat to see Uribe stand before the ICC. I wonder what they would make of his government, with its lethal campaign against trade unionists, those mass graves that keep turning up or, yes, its state support of terrorism. Because unlike the allegations against Chavez, President Uribe's terror links don't just stem from cryptic messages left on a miraculous jungle laptops. In fact, they're astonishingly well documented.

Back in the early nineties, then-Senator Uribe was already well known to U.S. intelligence officials. A now-declassified 1991 report from the Defense Intelligence Agency listed Uribe among "important Colombian narco-traffickers," noting that he was "a close personal friend of Pablo Escobar" and "dedicated to collaborating with the Medellin [drug] cartel at high government levels."

If they only knew! Today, of course, Uribe runs the show, and his organized crime connections no longer simply "collaborate" with the highest levels of government-they sit in Colombia's most powerful posts. Consider:

· Just last year, Uribe's foreign minister was forced to resign after her brother, a senator, was jailed for colluding with right wing paramilitary groups in a series of murders and kidnappings. Like the FARC, Colombia's paramilitaries are designated as a terrorist organization in the U.S. and Europe.

· That same month, the head of Colombia's secret police, who also served as Uribe's campaign manager, was arrested for "giving a hit list of trade unionists and activists to paramilitaries, who then killed them."

· Last March the Los Angeles Times turned up CIA documents alleging that Uribe's Army chief "collaborated extensively" with death squads and, back in 2002, colluded in the massacre of 14 people for their perceived leftist politics.

· In May, the trial of a paramilitary leader revealed that Uribe's defense minister had plotted with the terrorist group to destabilize past presidential administrations.

· Currently fourteen of Uribe's closest congressional allies sit behind bars for their own terror links. Their trials have uncovered untold horrors, including mass graves in the southern province of Putomayo where at least 211 bodies were discovered last spring.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Eric Wingerter Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I am a freelance writer with a special focus on Latin America. My blog, www.BoRev.net deals with Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution and its portrayal in the U.S. press.
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact EditorContact Editor
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

"Enabling" a False Perception: Hugo Chavez, the Press and the "Rule By Decree" Meme

Take it From the New York Times: It's Really Easy To Become A Foreign Correspondent

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: