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October 29, 2008

Colombia fires 3 generals and 22 soldiers over civilian massacre

Colombia has fired 3 generals and 22 soldiers who are accused of murdering 11 young men just to inflate the Army's body count:

They are suspected of being involved in the deaths of 11 young men from Bogota, whose bodies were found in mass graves in the north-east of the country.

Rights groups say they were kidnapped or lured with the promise of work, then killed in combat zones to inflate army statistics on rebels killed. [BBC]

Colombia's human rights record came up in third presidential debate. John McCain rolled his eyes when Obama expressed concern that Colombian labor leaders are being murdered with impunity.


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Jesus Christ. I don't even know what to say to such depravity.

I agree, Xanthippas. That is just sickening.

The Colombian Congressional committee in charge of the vote just said "Thanks, but no thanks" to conservative president Uribe running for a third term.

They had a 1 term limit which he had changed to run again, and he was re-elected, and then his campaign chief became his intelligence agency chief, who was then prosecuted for collaborating with the right wing narco-paramilitary death squads that people like John McCain and the Washington Post editorial board roll their eyes at all the time.

So now you have 1/3 of the right wing, Uribe-backing Congress either in jail or under investigation for collaboration with the right wing narco-paramilitary death squads.

Also this week the newest head of the intel agency resigned when agency employees gave a left-wing Senator (Gustavo Petro) definitive memo proof that they had been ordered to follow and spy on him and other liberal and left politicians.

Given the constant collaboration between the army, the intelligence agencies, and the right wing narco-paramilitary death squads (supposedly disbanded, but still there and often operating from prison as well as re-forming with new names), having leftist and liberal politicians followed & spied on by the intel agency is pretty close to a death threat.

I remember John McCain's remarks in the debate about a free trade agreement with Columbia and how he rolled his eyes. I couldn't believe it. Right there and then I sensed he is as careless and thoughtless as Bush when it comes to human issues.

I’ll give McCain the benefit of doubt and assume that with what he’s got on his plate lately he may not have had the time to keep up on Columbian affairs. Foreign policy is however his proclaimed bailiwick. He should know that right wing politics in Latin America in general, and Columbia in particular, grades seamlessly into fascist extra judicial murder as easily as milk turns sour. He either has a risible Pollyanna-like faith that Columbia’s rightist thugs have seen the humanitarian/rule-of-law light and doesn’t think anyone has been killed, or he figures that death squad thuggery is business as usual in Latin America and is not worth anyone’s, least of all his, concern.

Apologies. Closing tag.

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