Reporte al Congreso sobre Putumayo - 2003 Plan Colombia’s first two years: An evaluation of human rights in Putumayo, April 2003

Miércoles 15 de junio de 2005, por Colectivo de Abogados "José Alvear Restrepo"

Plan Colombia’s first two years: An evaluation of human rights in Putumayo, April 2003

Synopsis

Witness for Peace (WFP), a politically independent human rights organization, has conducted extensive research in the Colombian province of Putumayo since the initial passage of ‘Plan Colombia’ by the U.S. Congress in 2000. In recent months, WFP has interviewed hundreds of people, representing a variety of social sectors and political perspectives, in order to assess the impacts of Plan Colombia after more than two years of implementation in Putumayo, the region of primary focus to date for U.S. support. As a follow-up to numerous reports that have been published on the specific impacts of counter-narcotics policies, this document will focus upon the issues of human rights and civilian security in Putumayo

Because Putumayo has been the primary focus of U.S. military aid to Colombia to date, it is imperative that Congress conduct a thorough evaluation of changes in the human rights situation in Putumayo since 2000, in order to evaluate overall U.S. strategy in Colombia. When Plan Colombia was initially passed, its stated goals were to support the Colombian government’s efforts to strengthen democracy, promote respect for human rights and the rule of law, foster socio-economic development, and reduce coca cultivation by 50% by the end of 2005. The conclusions yielded by WFP’s research in Putumayo raise fundamental questions about the efficacy of U.S. strategy in accomplishing these goals

-Despite enormous military and police aid from the U.S., the human rights situation in Putumayo has worsened since 2000. Illegal armed groups – particularly the AUC paramilitary – have grown in strength and territorial control. Homicides have increased. Civilians in Putumayo are regularly, brutally targeted and killed by the FARC and the AUC for purportedly “collaborating” with the other side

-Along with the social, environmental and health damages they cause, aerial fumigations have backfired profoundly: many young farmers from Putumayo are joining the FARC or AUC after having their primary means of survival fumigated

-There are widespread allegations of ongoing collusion between the Colombian public forces and the AUC. Though cases of active collusion are difficult to document, due to justified fear of reprisals for making legal denouncements, the connection between the two groups is considered a simple matter of fact by most people in the region. Near-100% impunity persists
- Displacement in Putumayo – as a result of escalating armed conflict and fumigations – has reached epidemic proportions. US Drug Czar John P. Walters recently stated to a Congressional committee, “In the Putumayo department in southern Colombia, after the massive spray campaign last year, we saw evidence that 10% of the population had left the area.”[1] Increasingly, displaced people are moving to other Colombian provinces to plant coca and attempt to evade the fumigations, dispersing the drug trade and its violence – not to mention the effects of possible future fumigations – throughout the country. Others are fleeing to neighboring countries, where ‘spillover’ from the Colombian conflict is increasingly evident

Background

Plan Colombia and the Andean Regional Initiative

Since the initial passage of Plan Colombia in 2000, the United States has provided approximately US$2 billion in military and police aid to the Colombian government. [2] Putumayo, as the Colombian province with the highest volume of coca production in recent years, has been the primary focus of U.S.-funded counter-narcotics efforts in Colombia. Until May 2002, military and police aid to Colombia exclusively targeted drug supply and drug traffickers. Since the passage of an Emergency Supplemental Bill (P.L. #107-206) in August 2002, U.S. aid can now be used by the Colombian public forces for counter-terrorist operations as well. One Counter-narcotics Brigade was created through U.S. aid in 2000 and 2001, with operations focused in Putumayo and the neighboring province of Caquetá. A second U.S.-trained and -funded Brigade, of roughly 1,700 troops, is being established this year.[3] The Bush Administration’s 2004 budget proposal asks for US$532.7 million in additional police and military aid.[4] Two years into the implementation of these strategies – and a broadening of the U.S.’s role in Colombia into support for military actions against illegal armed groups – members of Congress need to evaluate the results achieved thus far. The allocation of further funds should be contingent upon such an evaluation

WFP Research

In November 2000, WFP – a politically independent, nonviolence-based human rights organization with twenty years of experience in Latin America – opened a new program in Colombia. Since that time, Putumayo has been the primary focus of WFP’s work in the country

Due to a volatile security situation and profound fear, the residents of Putumayo are extremely cautious about what they say and to whom they say it, particularly regarding the armed conflict and human rights violations

However, by taking nearly twenty trips to Putumayo in the last two years, WFP has been able to establish trust with people from a variety of social sectors, and to begin to uncover some of the realities which they face. This report draws primarily from interviews with residents of Putumayo (Church leaders, farmers, indigenous people, government officials, etc.) and secondarily from national-level Colombian human rights organizations. In the section on human rights violations, the majority of interviewees are priests or people holding other positions within the Catholic Church; this is because Church leaders have been some of the only people in Putumayo willing to take the risk of discussing, and seeking to redress, human rights violations directly. Most interviewees’ names have been changed for this report, in order to help protect their security

Structure Of This Report

Sections II and III of this report will begin with brief summaries. The summaries will be followed by in-depth exploration of the issues at hand and extensive quotations from residents of Putumayo. The report is divided into the following sections: • I. Putumayo: General Description • II. Human Rights, Armed Conflict and Civilian Security o Overview of human rights situation o Collusion and impunity continue o Upper Putumayo: a study in paramilitary takeover and State omission o Backfire: aerial fumigations bring illegal armed groups new recruits • III. Displacement o Displacement in Putumayo o The health and education sectors o Displacement to other Colombian provinces and abroad: families, coca, violence • IV. Conclusions and Policy Recommendations

I Putumayo: General Description

Putumayo, a province (or “department”) situated on Colombia’s southern border with Peru and Ecuador, covers approximately 24,874 square kilometers. The province is divided into thirteen municipalities, which fall into three sub regions: Upper Putumayo, Middle Putumayo and Lower Putumayo. The estimated population of the province is 323,549. Over 65% of the population lives in rural areas. Twelve different indigenous peoples constitute 8% of the total population – roughly 23,500 people.[5] Historically, the Colombian government has maintained little presence in the province. There have been minimal – and in most rural areas no – civilian authorities, social programs, police presence and judicial apparatuses. As many Colombians from the major cities (Bogotá, Medellín, etc.) describe it, the rest of the country was scarcely aware that there were people living in Putumayo until the late 1990s, when the explosion of coca production in the area brought international attention. A number of guerrilla groups have been active in Putumayo over the last two decades, but since the early 1990s the dominant guerrilla group has been the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). In 1998 and 1999, paramilitary forces began to move into the region, and by 2001 they had established control over many of the urban centers. Both the FARC and the United Self- Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC, the national federation of paramilitary groups) have been designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) by the State Department

Colombia became the world’s leading producer of coca – the raw material out of which cocaine is made – in 1998. In recent years, Putumayo has been the focal point of Colombian coca production. The initial ‘Plan Colombia’ package was passed by the U.S. Congress in 2000 with the goal of significantly reducing, and eventually eliminating, Colombian production of illicit crops (primarily coca, secondarily opium poppy)

Putumayo was the logical initial focus for this mission. A new Counter-narcotics Brigade of the Colombian Army was formed, funded and trained through U.S. support, and established operations in Villa Garzón, a small city in Middle Putumayo

Since late 2001, the State Department and the Bush Administration have argued that, since illegal armed groups (the FARC and the AUC) receive significant funding through “taxing” coca production, the distinction between counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism in Colombia is artificial. In August 2002, the U.S

Congress voted, in an Emergency Supplemental Bill, to allow the Colombian public forces to use U.S. military aid for counter-terrorist as well as counter-narcotics purposes – erasing a distinction which had, in 2000, been crucial to the passage of Plan Colombia.[6] This broadening of the U.S. role in Colombia – into “counterterrorism” – was reconfirmed in the 2003 aid package

II. Human Rights, Armed Conflict And Civilian Security

Summary

In the last two years as increased U.S. military aid has been focused on Putumayo, the human rights situation in Putumayo has worsened. Civilians feel less secure than they did prior to the arrival of U.S. aid

Paramilitary groups have, since 1999, established control over most of the urban centers in Lower and Middle Putumayo, and since late 2002 have begun to establish a presence and carry out killings in Upper Putumayo. The FARC continue to control most of rural Lower and Middle Putumayo. Civilians are frequently killed, displaced, disappeared and threatened by one of these groups because they live in an area controlled by the other group – the FARC accuse those who live in urban areas of being paramilitary collaborators, and the paramilitary accuse those who live in rural areas of being guerrilla collaborators

There is a widespread belief among the civilian population that the public forces (police and military) collude with paramilitary groups

Numerous cases of active collusion or persistent omission by the public forces are cited to support this view. As a result, the vast majority of the civilians whom WFP interviewed view the U.S.- supported increase of military and police presence in the region as a serious threat to – rather than a hope for increased protection of – their security. Those few people who have been willing to denounce this situation publicly have been severely persecuted

According to numerous testimonies, aerial fumigations are leading to increased recruitment for the illegal armed actors. Left with few options after their crops – whether legal, illicit or both – have been destroyed, many farmers have moved to other provinces to plant coca

However, a large number of young farmers have instead joined the FARC or the AUC, not out of ideological sympathy but out of economic desperation

Overview of human rights situation

“You would think that with the arrival of the Armed Forces, homicides would go down. On the contrary, in the last two years we’ve had more homicides than in any other years over the last ten. .... There is still extensive collusion [between the public forces and the AUC].” — Father Juan Castillo, Catholic priest[7] “In the two years of Plan Colombia the situation has worsened. All the armed actors are still in the area and every day the armed confrontation seems to get worse

The situation has always been bad, but it’s actually gotten worse.” — Human Rights Officer (Personero) of La Hormiga[8] According to the Colombian Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office, in its October 2002 report on Putumayo, “the strategy of fumigation of coca crops and the increase in counter-narcotics and counter-insurgency operations, carried out by both the Police and National Army, have not been sufficient to diminish the conflict for territorial control between the illegal armed groups; and, to the contrary, it has been pointed out that these groups have strengthened their presence in the region.”[9] José Rivera, the president of a provincewide farmers’ organization, agrees: “the guerrilla and the paramilitary are getting stronger. The problem is for those of us who don’t have weapons.”[10] It is difficult, if not impossible, to find definitive statistics on homicides, massacres, disappearances, and other forms of violence in Putumayo because of the potential dangers involved in reporting violent acts. [11] However, the province’s health ministry – DASALUD (Departamento Administrativo de Salud) – has been able to compile some useful statistics on homicides. According to DASALUD, between January and July of 2002, there were at least 307 homicides in Putumayo – and 114 in the municipality of Puerto Asís (the municipality with the largest population) alone. This represents an increase of about 7% from the homicide rate one year prior to Plan Colombia.[12] Increases in human rights violations and homicides in Putumayo raise serious questions about the efficacy of current U.S. strategy in the region

The national Human Rights Ombudsman’s office concluded in October 2002 that “in sum, in recent months, the public security situation in Lower and Middle Putumayo has worsened considerably and the presence of illegal armed groups has strengthened.”[13]

Collusion and impunity continue

Civilians throughout Putumayo believe that the paramilitary operate with assistance from the Police and Military. The 2002 U.S. State Department’s Human Rights Report affirms this belief stating, “Some members of the security forces collaborated with paramilitary groups that committed serious abuses.” One of the cities most frequently mentioned as an example of ongoing collusion is Villa Garzón, a city in Middle Putumayo where the U.S.-funded and - trained Counter-narcotics Brigade is based

“How is it that we’ve been taken over by the AUC in broad daylight in Puerto Caicedo and Villa Garzón, when these are places entirely controlled by the public forces?,” asks the leader of a province-wide farmers’ organization. “What are we supposed to think when, in the last three years, the public forces in Putumayo have grown, and at the same time the homicide rate has gone up?” [14] María Gutierrez of the Secretary of Education, who works with teachers from throughout the province, provides a simple response to these questions: “The teachers tell me, “The Army is the paramilitary.”[15] Ana María Vasquez, a school teacher from one of the rural communities outside the city of Villa Garzón, relates events from April 13, 2002: At 5am, two trucks full of Army troops arrived, and as they got down from the trucks, some of them were wearing paramilitary armbands. They entered the house abusively, knocking people down and mistreating them, accusing them of being informers, militia-members [of the FARC], and other horrible things..... In my house they took my husband and pushed him up against the wall with a gun, in front of the whole family and the kids. We all cried and begged them to let our husbands go. When day broke, they took off the armbands and then they were just soldiers. However, they took away four people, including my husband...... They took them to a judge, who said that they had committed no offense for which their liberty should be taken away..... Since the farmers realized that they would be killed as soon as they went back to their houses, that night they all left....

We’ve sold our farm, we’ve cried more than you could believe, and we’re thinking of moving to Ecuador. I had to resign from my teaching position. My heart aches to know that I have to leave my country and my farm, without even knowing where we’re going.[16] In the urban center of Villa Garzón, an area where large numbers of Colombian military and police are stationed, the paramilitary “own houses, they live like kings,” says María Gutierrez of the Secretary of Education. The paramilitary and the public forces in Villa Garzón “are completely united. They play volleyball and soccer together.”[17] Along with collusion between the paramilitary and public forces, one of the foremost threats against the civilian population of Putumayo is impunity – the fact that an almost unnoticeable percentage of human rights violations and crimes ever make it to court, and even fewer result in punishments. According to the Human Rights Officer (Personero) for Puerto Asís, “there is 98% impunity...... The police don’t collaborate with us.”[18] Father Patricio, the priest of a small community in Upper Putumayo, agrees: “there is a total lack of trust...... People bring denunciations to the police and nothing happens. What’s more, then they get targeted [by the armed group they denounced].”[19] In one community outside of Puerto Asís, there were 17 murders in a seven day period in August 2002; the dates and specific circumstances of the killings, together with the names of both the murdered and the murderers, were known by a number of people. However, no one was willing to denounce these acts, out of fear for themselves and a lack of trust in the police and civilian authorities.[20] Father Patricio explains that, when approached about human rights violations by the paramilitary, the local police and military say that they need official denunciations through legal channels before they can do anything; whereas the Attorney General’s Office says that they cannot act until the police have officially designated a suspect as a member of an illegal armed group.[21] The number of people willing to sign their name to an official legal denunciation of an act committed by an illegal armed group is extraordinarily small. The chances of the denunciation resulting in an arrest and conviction are miniscule; and the chances of the armed group retaliating against the person who filed the denunciation, or their family, are quite large. The president of OZIP, a province-wide indigenous organization, concludes: “we just don’t know to whom to go for justice.”[22]

Upper Putumayo: a study in paramilitary takeover and State omission

Upper Putumayo, a mountain valley region in northwestern Putumayo, has for decades been one of the few places in Colombia to experience relative peace. The area – also called Sibundoy Valley – has been used as a corridor for troopmovements at times by the FARC, but has never experienced a significant permanent presence of any armed group (including the Colombian military or police). As a result, there has been little violence

In 2002, this situation changed. First, in July, the FARC kidnapped the young daughter of the mayor of Colón municipality, in retaliation for the mayor’s refusal to resign when they demanded that he do so. On August 5, a peace march was held in Colón, demanding the girl’s release. The Catholic Church was the primary organizer of this effort, which eventually led to the girl being returned to her family

Later in 2002, the paramilitary began to arrive in the Sibundoy Valley. They started taxing local businesses and appropriating hotels and homes for their use. Again, it was the Church that assumed the responsibility of leading a civilian response. On October 7, the Church called a meeting with the Army, Police, Mayors, local Human Rights Officers, and the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office, to raise concerns about the presence of AUC troops in the valley. In this meeting, which they called a Security Council, the Church proposed alternative modes of community protection and the strengthening of State institutions.[23] In the weeks following this first Security Council, the paramilitary continued to tax businesses and impose restrictions on citizens’ mobility; and there was no response from the police or military, who insisted that they had no information indicating a paramilitary presence in the valley. The Church thus called two further Security Councils, on October 18 and November 28, where they presented further evidence of paramilitary activities and demanded a response from the responsible authorities. After denying the presence of AUC members in the valley during the first two Councils, the police and military sent new representatives to the November 28 meeting. These new representatives admitted the presence of the AUC and explained the AUC’s presence as part of a strategy long known to the public forces: the paramilitary started in Lower Putumayo and moved north; the final stage of their progress in Putumayo would be the Sibundoy Valley.[24] One of the most egregious actions of the public forces has been the persecution of community leaders who, from a position of neutrality in relation to the conflict, attempt to fill in for the absence of the State. After the second Security Council, Father Juan Castillo, one of the priests present at the meeting, received notice from the Attorney General’s Office that he was being charged with calumny for suggesting, during the Council, that there was collaboration between the police and the AUC in the Sibundoy Valley

When WFP visited the area in December 2002 and January 2003, a large number of people – from a variety of social sectors and professions – claimed that such collaboration was taking place

Father Castillo was legally prosecuted, however, because he was willing to state that widespread view directly to the police.25 Between November 23, 2002 and February 4, 2003 at least ten people were killed, and at least one disappeared, by paramilitary forces in the Sibundoy Valley.[26] Many local residents say that the number of homicides committed by the paramilitary over that time is in fact at least 25

Many murder victims were purported to be guerrilla collaborators. José Alvaro Munoz, a taxi driver, was killed because he had transported guerrillas in his taxi. As Father Ignacio, another local priest, pointed out, “Who is not going to ‘collaborate’ with someone who is pointing a gun at you?”[27] On January 22, 2003 the Catholic Church held a Mass for Peace in the Cathedral of Sibundoy celebrated by the Bishop of the local archdiocese

The message of the Mass was a simple, resolute “no” to the violence perpetrated by all armed groups. In attendance were national and local government officials, indigenous leaders, a WFP delegation from the U.S., and approximately 800 local residents—an extraordinary turnout in the face of intimidation by the AUC, who made their presence at the Mass known

The evening following the Mass, Father Juan Castillo, who had spoken during the Mass, received the first of a series of death-threats from the AUC. He was already facing charges of calumny for denouncing collaboration between the police and the AUC. The threats continued over the following days, through phone-calls to his office and his family’s home. The Bishop received a “warning” message. Father Castillo decided in February that he would have to leave the country, and is currently seeking asylum abroad.[28] A few days after the Mass, on January 28, Angel Juajibioy Chicunque and María Bernardita Jamioy, of the Kamentsá indigenous community, were killed in their home by AUC troops: a seven year old girl witnessed the killing.[29] The paramilitary offensive in Upper Putumayo continues

The Colombian military established a permanent presence in the valley for the first time on July 20th, 2002. [30] Within three months after the Army’s arrival, the AUC established a foothold in the region. Within five months, they had begun to carry out systematic killings. Though no one has produced definitive evidence of active collusion, the omission is evident. It is improbable that the Colombian Armed Forces would be unaware of the presence of the paramilitary in the region when WFP could learn, within a few hours of arrival in the Sibundoy Valley (and from a variety of sources), the locations and even names of the AUC troops in the area. Yet the police and military denied their presence until late November 2002

Backfire: aerial fumigations bring illegal armed groups new recruits I

t is impossible to find reliable statistics on the number of recruits the illegal armed groups take in in a given year in a given region. However, anecdotal evidence from Putumayo suggests that both the FARC and the AUC have seen an upsurge in recruitment as a result of U.S.- supported aerial fumigations

Álvaro Rodríguez, a farmer from Puerto Caicedo municipality, comments that “as a result of these [Plan Colombia] policies, both groups – the paramilitary and the guerrilla – grow. The fumigations contribute to their growth: the fumigations lead to displacement, and then people are unemployed and have nothing to do, and they join the illegal armed groups.”[31] The lack of viable agricultural alternatives, the lack of roads to market legal crops, put farmers whose fields have been fumigated “between a rock and a hard place”: to maintain a minimal income and provide food to their families, they can either flee to another province, plant coca in Putumayo in the hopes that they will not be fumigated, or join one of the armed groups

There are no other options for economic survival

Eugenia Manrique, who organizes a number of support groups and social projects for indigenous women in Middle Putumayo, says, “[the farmers] lived off of coca. Now, after being fumigated, they have nothing else that they can do, and they enter the ranks of the armed actors.”[32] Pedro Calderón, the young leader of a provincewide federation of the displaced, left his home in nearby Cauca province after his father was killed by the guerrilla. Before his father was killed, he told Pedro, “You have to pick one side or the other, to stay alive.” Pedro disagreed, and fled to Putumayo. Now, in his work with displaced people from all over the country, he sees a link between regions where counter-narcotics policies have been implemented and regions of heavy recruitment for the illegal armed groups

“Instead of helping farmers, Plan Colombia ended up helping the armed groups,” he says

“Kids enter the ranks of one side or the other as a result of their lack of confidence in the State

This lack of trust is greatly deepened by the fumigation of social-pact farms.” [33] Colombian Senator Antonio Navarro Wolff also believes that Plan Colombia fumigations have increased recruitment for the FARC and fostered distrust in the government: “I’d prefer that the FARC had more money [from drug production] and fewer people supporting them. The FARC may need millions of people to win the war, but they only need thousands to keep it going. These policies give them that and more.”[34] A farmer from the small community of El Venado in La Hormiga municipality, which was heavily fumigated in the fall of 2002, says, “I am all alone. Everyone else has left the community

There is no work, nothing to do since the fumigations. Some have left to find work or to look for another place to farm. A lot of the young people joined the guerrilla. Of course this was going to happen. With no work, the young people looking for work and money join the guerrilla.”[35] Miguel Castro, the catechist from José María, shares a similar perspective: “People do not voluntarily join the armed groups. But without income from the coca, people are finding themselves forced into joining these groups. 13, 14, 15 year olds join the militias...

they are slowly incorporated completely and cannot get out.” The problem of young people joining the armed groups when their families’ farms are fumigated is felt particularly strongly by workers in the educational sector. María Gutiérrez of the Secretary of Education reports that “the FARC offer a million pesos [approximately US$400] per month, room and board. The paramilitary offer the same or more..... The youth say to us: ‘Why should we study?’” Youth often leave schooling to enter the armed groups after 5th grade, at 13 years old, she says.[36] Adriana, a high-school teacher in the small community of Umbría, says that education is the only way to keep youth from joining the armed groups; but as the farms are decimated by fumigations, more and more students are leaving. “At 11, 12, 15 years old, kids think that joining the guerrilla or the paramilitary is part of a game...... They join and then once they’ve been with them for a while they learn to be scared...... [If we can keep them in school until they are] 18 years old, then they know what’s good and bad, they don’t join the armed groups.” Once a student enters high school, she says, “we trap them, we detain them, we do everything we possibly can to keep them there.” 37 Despite teachers’ best efforts, many youth, left without food or income by the fumigations, are leaving school and joining the ranks of the FARC and the AUC. This unintended consequence of U.S.-funded counternarcotics efforts should lead to a profound reevaluation of the fumigations program

III. Displacement

Summary

As a result of both the fumigations and the actions of illegal armed groups, tens of thousands of families in Putumayo have been displaced from their homes and communities in the last two years. According to government statistics, the number of people displaced in Putumayo more than doubled between 2000 and 2001. Whereas some people displaced by violence are eligible to receive humanitarian aid for a few months after being displaced, those displaced by the fumigations receive no aid, since the coca-growers are considered criminals

As more and more displaced people arrive in Putumayo’s cities, unemployment and poverty deepen into crisis proportions, and crime escalates

Finally, large numbers of farmers are leaving Putumayo and planting coca in other Colombian provinces, particularly Nariño (Putumayo’s neighbor to the west). This displacement of people and coca crops not only calls into question recent claims that fumigations in Putumayo have been “a success”; it also means that other Colombian provinces can expect increases in armed conflict, due to struggle over control of drug-production profits, in the near future

The dramatic increases in displacement since the beginning of Plan Colombia’s implementation raise two fundamental questions: 1) What are the U.S. government’s plans for the tens of thousands of farmers displaced each year, now that Plan Colombia alternative development programs have failed and for the most part been abandoned? Does the U.S. have any plans for these tens of thousands of jobless, landless Colombians?[38] 2) If the massive displacement of the last two years – as a result of both the fumigations and the escalating conflict – does not merit an evaluation of the framework and practice of U.S. aid in its present form, what has to happen before the U.S. government would admit to a failed policy?

Displacement in Putumayo

According to the Social Solidarity Network, the Colombian government agency responsible for delivering humanitarian aid to Colombians displaced by the conflict, 7,428 people were displaced in Putumayo in 2000. For 1999 – prior to the implementation of Plan Colombia – there were only 368 people officially registered as displaced. In 2001 the number rose to 17,143 – 237% of the previous year’s total, and nearly 5,000% of the 1999 totals. As of August 2002, according to this agency, there were a total of 33,914 displaced people in Putumayo – approximately 10% of the province’s total population.[39] These figures only include those displaced people who are officially registered by the Social Solidarity Network – thus they do not include a) people displaced by the fumigations (potentially a larger number of people than the number displaced by the conflict, in Putumayo); b) those who choose not to register out of fear of the armed groups who displaced them; c) those who apply for aid but are not recognized by the Social Solidarity Network (in some Social Solidarity Network offices, for example, people are required to show their land titles in order to be recognized as displaced – many farmers have no official titles to their lands, and many others left their farms running and did not have time to gather papers before fleeing). According to Pedro Calderón, the president of the Departmental Federation of the Displaced, the total number of people displaced in Putumayo (including those displaced by the fumigations) in 2001 alone was slightly over 40,000 [40] – compared with the 17,143 people officially recognized by the Social Solidarity Network

Calderón adds that over 50% of the people displaced in Putumayo since 1997 were displaced in 2001 and the first six months of 2002 – i.e., more people were displaced in the first 18 months of Plan Colombia’s implementation than had been in the previous four years.41 Mocoa, the capital city, receives more displaced people than any other municipality in Putumayo

In just three months, between August and October of 2002, Mocoa received over 2,000 displaced people.[42] The resulting crises of unemployment, poverty, crime, and overwhelmed social services (education, healthcare, humanitarian aid) are severe. In addition, as Sister Constanza of Villa Garzón points out, most farmers have no experience in or training for urban jobs – and there are already far too many people vying for the low-pay, unskilled labor jobs.[43] The U.S.-sponsored fumigations program is, like the actions of illegal armed groups, a major cause of displacement in Putumayo. Gilberto Losano, a farmer and community leader from La Hormiga municipality, explains the predicament of farmers whose crops – licit or illicit – have been fumigated: “Put yourself in our shoes. We just had everything fumigated. Now they say they are going to fumigate again in two months

Would you plant food crops again just to have them fumigated again? What else can we do? People are fleeing the region, looking for other places to go.”

44 To take just one example: in the small community of Los Ángeles (Valle del Guamuez municipality), which was heavily fumigated in the fall of 2002, over 70 of the community’s 140 families had left by November.[45]

The health and education sectors

Health and education professionals have been particularly hard hit by displacement. 29 health workers in Putumayo are living in displacement and/or under threat from armed groups.[46] Over 200 teachers have been displaced.[47] When the only teacher in a small community is displaced, of course, the students are often left without schooling.[48] As of November 2002, 28 schools in Putumayo had been closed. Between January and June of 2002, approximately 8,000 5-17 year olds – students or potential students – were displaced.[49] Schools in the urban areas where the largest numbers of displaced people come, such as Mocoa, do not have enough capacity to take in all the potential students.[50] Matilde Serna, a teacher from the community of Quebradonia (Puerto Caicedo municipality) and an extension student of Bogotá’s Xaverian University, was displaced by paramilitary forces in February 2002. Her story provides one example of the experiences of hundreds of displaced teachers and tens of thousands of displaced people in Putumayo: How horrible it’s been to go around begging. They look at you like you’re a criminal, when you’re just a defenseless farmer. On February 9, [the AUC] killed Jhon Fredy Meneses, just 18 years old. They cut his body into pieces, and prohibited us from burying him

He was a community leader. He told us not to turn our lands over to anyone – better that they kill us and we don’t have to wander through the cities begging. Now I think what he said was the truth. Of the 42 families....

in Quebradonia, the only ones who stayed were an elderly couple that didn’t even realize what was happening.[51] Finally, not only the FARC and AUC but in some cases the Colombian Army have used schools as camps or to hold meetings—an explicit violation of International Humanitarian Law—and caused damages to the facilities. [52] The Puerto Asís and Puerto Caicedo public hospitals, as well as some private health clinics, are controlled by the paramilitary, endangering the civilians who use them.[53]

Displacement to other Colombian provinces and abroad: families, coca, violence

“The amount of coca in Putumayo has decreased dramatically, but it is moving to other places. People that harvest the coca are moving all over the place to harvest.” —Major Fernando Rangel, of the Counter-narcotics Brigade[54] (based in Santana, Putumayo) Since the most recent – and most intensive to date – round of fumigations began in August 2002, thousands of farmers from Putumayo have left the province to plant coca in other parts of Colombia and abroad. This large-scale geographic shift casts doubt on recent proclamations of the fumigations’ “success” in reducing coca production – in the long term, coca production will not be reduced by the fumigations, but merely dispersed into other parts of Colombia and into other countries. As coca-production becomes established in other provinces, it will bring along with it the escalated violence associated with the drug trade

In the last three years, displacement of Colombians from Putumayo and other southern- Colombian provinces into Ecuador has roughly quadrupled each year.[55] Between October 2001 and June 2002, 1,227 formal petitions for refuge were submitted to the Ecuadorian government by Colombians.[56] However, a much larger number of Colombians are currently living in the Ecuadorian states that border Colombia, without having submitted formal petitions for refuge.[57] Four Ecuadorian indigenous communities were temporarily displaced when they were fumigated – either directly or through spray drift from fumigations on the Colombian side of the border. [58] In addition, some Colombian drug producers have established cocaine-producing facilities in Ecuador’s jungles, according to the Colombian military. [59] Peruvian youth enter Colombia as raspachines (coca-pickers) during their school vacations, and some stay permanently. The FARC place prohibitive taxes on fishing – the primary economic activity – in Peru’s Putumayo province, in order to encourage residents to grow coca. In some cases, the FARC demand $3 out of every $5 gained from fishing

Some Peruvian farmers and fishermen have been jailed for growing coca, after being forced by the FARC into growing it.[60] According to Drug Czar John Walters, coca production in Colombia dropped by 15% between August 2001 and August 2002, from 169,800 hectares to 144,450 hectares. In Putumayo and Caquetá – the principle foci for fumigations – coca production dropped by 50%, according to Walters. 122,695 hectares were fumigated in one year – a record total.[61] U.S

and Colombian government agencies have been quick to hail Walters’s report as proof, for the first time, that Plan Colombia is working. (The CIA’s statistics for 2001 showed a 25% increase in Colombian coca production, causing many to criticize the fumigations strategy. [62] ) Luis Alberto Moreno, Colombia’s Ambassador to the U.S., for example, claimed that the new report “demonstrates the success of Plan Colombia.”[63] WFP research, as well as statements by many of Colombia’s governors, calls the triumphalism around Walters’s report into question. Since the beginning of the 2002 round of fumigations, residents of Putumayo – including many government officials – have reported massive displacement into other Colombian provinces, particularly Nariño. According to these interviews, most of the displaced farmers intended to plant coca upon arrival. To take just a few examples of interviewees’ comments: * “People who had coca have left. They have left to look for another place to grow coca....

The people that had some money saved have left. The others are cutting down more forest to plant coca again.” (farmer, La Sardina, Puerto Asís)[64] * “Fumigations don’t do anything..... They have been fumigating for nine years and every time they fumigate twice as much coca appears. And the drug lords keep paying enough that it’s worth it for the farmers to move..... The coca crops are moving into the Amazon and to the Pacific coast.” (Mayor of Puerto Asís)[65] * “The money from Plan Colombia does not get to the farmers..... I’ll give you the reason why the people continue to plant coca: they need to live..... It’s logical; I completely understand why people keep growing coca.” (Jaime Ramiro Ordono Rojas, Conservative Party, Vice-President of the Provincial Assembly)[66] * “There are municipalities in Nariño that now have three times the population that they had one year ago. People are leaving to go plant coca in other places.” (María Luis Ocampo, Fundaempresa (one of the NGOs contracted by USAID to distribute social aid in Putumayo), Puerto Asís)[67] WFP research in Putumayo suggests that, after Nariño, the primary destinations of displaced coca-growers are Cauca, Amazonas (a largely unsettled region of Amazon jungle), Chocó (on the Pacific coast), and the central part of the country (Quibdó, Tolima, etc.). When largescale fumigations of coca began in 1996, four or five of Colombia’s 32 provinces had more than one thousand hectares of coca. By the end of 2001, thirteen provinces had more than one thousand hectares.[68] Now, mid-way through the implementation of Plan Colombia, coca crops exist in 22 provinces – almost double the number from three years ago. [69] This wide dispersion of coca production heralds increased presence of illegal armed actors and increased violence for many parts of the country, all in exchange for a highly debatable (see below) and at best minimal reduction in national coca production

The official report announcing a 15% reduction in Colombian coca production is based on surveys that “were not designed to measure the replanting of coca in areas outside of the target areas that were fumigated”[70] – including many of the areas where Putumayo residents claim that members of their communities have gone. In addition, Walters announced increases in coca production in Peru and Bolivia over the last year[71] — suggesting that the Andean region’s total coca production will, in the medium-term, remain basically unchanged, as it has for the last ten years.[72] Meanwhile, Colombian governors are expressing concern about the arrival of cocafarmers displaced by the fumigations, and the violence likely to come with the coca crops they plant. Parmenio Cuellar, the governor of Nariño, reports that “of the 64 municipalities in the province, 50 have coca crops. This shows that the fumigation shifted the problem from Putumayo to Nariño.” [73] Iván Guerrero, Putumayo’s governor, claims that many coca growers are moving into Amazonas, since there is little State presence there.[74] A recent editorial in El Tiempo, Colombia’s most widely-read newspaper, summarizes the issue neatly: as long as there is demand for cocaine, “there will always be someone to provide the drug, no matter how aggressive the fumigations and no matter how much we congratulate ourselves for inundating Colombian fields with glyphosate.”[75] In the meantime, the displacement and dispersion of coca-crops provoked by the fumigations will bring the kind of violence Putumayo has experienced in the last three years to other provinces and other countries

IV. Conclusions And Policy Recommendations

Despite the infusion of nearly two billion U.S. taxpayer dollars and the provision of helicopters, planes, training and other military aid, Plan Colombia has produced few successes. As many nongovernmental organizations, members of Congress and analysts have noted, there has been little if any progress in the reduction of drug supply, with great damages done to Colombians’ subsistence, environment, and health. Add to this the detrimental effects of U.S. military and police aid on civilian security and the overall human rights situation in the regions where that aid has been focused, and it can be seen that Plan Colombia is both a failed policy and a waste of taxpayers’ money

As this report has shown, the human rights situation in Putumayo has deteriorated significantly since 2000, when implementation of Plan Colombia began. The FARC has been weakened in some parts of Putumayo, but only as a result of the strengthening of the AUC – through massacres, killings, disappearances, displacements, torture, spectacular dismemberings and other methods. Overall, State Department-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations are no weaker today – and are probably significantly stronger – in Putumayo than they were before U.S. funding, equipment and training helped bring thousands of Colombian military and police troops to the region

Also, U.S. policies have contributed directly to vast human displacement in Putumayo over the last two years – displacement of tens of thousands of poor, farming families. Even separate from the ethical questions involved in carrying out policies which foster such displacement, the question of efficacy should be decisive: coca production is being spread, not reduced, by current U.S. policy. The increased violence associated with drug production will soon be apparent in a number of other Colombian provinces, and in other countries

The negative consequences of U.S. military and police aid have far outweighed the slim gains in counter-narcotics efforts. A fiscally responsible government does not spend such sums of money on programs with so few positive results. Even prior to the broadening of the U.S

role in Colombia, U.S. aid was expected to achieve the Herculean task of eradicating a resilient, easily-grown shrub from the entire Amazon Basin. It has not achieved this goal, nor made significant progress towards it. Now, with counter-terrorist assistance being provided to a military with one of the worst human rights records in the world[76], entrenched in a forty-year conflict that shows no signs of ending, similarly unconvincing and disturbing results can be expected. As has been pointed out since the first discussions of Plan Colombia, the articulation of an exit strategy and the definition of success are imperative – and neither has been provided.[77] The U.S. should pull itself out of Colombia’s wars – not only as a result of thorough evaluation of changes in the human rights/security situation, fiscal prudence, and recognition of sourceeradication strategies’ inefficacy, but also because we find ourselves on the precipice of Colombia’s internal conflict. The more actively the U.S. becomes involved in attempts to resolve Colombia’s internal problems, the more likely it is that we will not be able to extract ourselves from an increasingly brutal, seemingly endless war. The killing of one U.S. citizen and the kidnapping of three others by the FARC in February of this year provides ample evidence of the dangers of heightened U.S. presence in Colombia. The deaths of three U.S

contractors involved in the rescue operations of the three kidnapped US citizens is another sad example of the folly of U.S. participation in Colombia’s internal conflict

In short, the consequences of U.S. aid to Colombia since 2000 have been profound and truly devastating for the residents of Putumayo. Perhaps the most glaring example among these consequences has been the fumigations program’s contribution to FARC and AUC recruitment

Seemingly straightforward solutions have a tendency to backfire within the context of Colombia’s complex, entrenched conflict. The U.S. cannot realistically hope to resolve Colombia’s conflict; its resolution will come from Colombians, and it will happen through long-term efforts, cultural shifts, changes in economic disparities – as well as political negotiation. Instead of further pursuit of the pyrrhic victories won by military and police aid, the U.S. should support the long-term reforms that Colombian society needs to overcome both the ills of the drug economy and the damages of its internal conflict. The following list is a sampling of suggestions and concerns culled from interviews with residents of Putumayo that provide a starting point for ideas on a new foreign policy toward Colombia

-Support food security and diversified agriculture. “What we ask for is food security, from our perspective, from the perspective of people from Putumayo – not a bag of rice..... not a monoculture system..... not African palm.” [78] Support crop-substitution and alternative development initiatives that are designed and implemented by Putumayo’s farmers. Contrary to popular belief, there have been dozens of successful crop-substitution initiatives proposed and brought to fruition in Putumayo – for example, the organic, diversified agriculture projects promoted by Father Alcides Jiménez, a priest assassinated for his efforts four years ago. Study initiatives based in diversified agriculture, support them, and help farmers share them – as frameworks and practical experiences, needing to be adapted to each new community’s ecology and culture – with other farmers

- End military aid to Colombia. “Security? For whom?,” asks a lay leader of the Catholic Church.[79] Until the Colombian police and military can clearly show that they have severed all ties with paramilitary groups and drug traffickers, the U.S. should not fund them

- Expand funding for other positive social and economic programs. “If the United States really wants to help us, I ask that you support us with social investment, not money for war.”[80] The U.S. is already supporting valuable projects in Colombia, such as the Early Warning System, the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office, and the Ministry of the Interior’s protection program for threatened human rights defenders, trade unionists, judges, journalists and mayors

Expand support for these programs, and seek creative approaches – again, coming from Colombians – that foster economic stability for the displaced, autonomy for indigenous communities, opportunities for bringing crops to market for farmers. Within the Early Warning System, restore to the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office active participation in the committee that determines the veracity of warnings of massacres and mass displacements

-Fund education programs. “Funds for education are being cut nationally.”[81] “For me, the answers are in the countryside itself, in the young people.”[82] Many schools in Putumayo do not have sufficient funds to provide meals to the students – never mind books and other educational materials – and many families have been left without income or food by the fumigation of their fields. Help provide these basic needs, to keep children in school. Support education in Colombia as the only path that can lead out of an internecine conflict. As Adriana, the high school teacher from Umbría, put it, “at 11, 12, 15 years old, kids think that joining the guerrilla or the paramilitary is part of a game..... [If we can keep them in school until they are] 18 years old, then they know what’s good and bad, they don’t join the armed groups.”[83] Support Adriana in her efforts to “trap [the students], [to] detain them” in the critical space of education

- Cut bureaucracy in aid programs so that the money gets to the people and the projects that need it. “The money from Plan Colombia has not gotten to the farmers of Putumayo.....

you [in the U.S.] have this idiosyncrasy: you think that if the money’s disbursed, it’s gotten to the people.” [84] Jaime Ramiro Ordono Rojas, the Vice-President of Putumayo’s provincial Assembly and a representative of the Conservative Party, estimates that between 1% and 10% of the USAID money channeled through Colombian NGOs made it to its intended recipients, farmers. He recommends that the money be administered by the municipalities, and that some form of international monitoring be established. When Putumayo’s indigenous communities signed crop-substitution agreements with the Colombian government, they stipulated that the food-security funds from the government be managed by the communities’ governments, rather than being apportioned to individual families; this term of the agreement was not honored by the Colombian or U.S. agencies involved in the program.[85] • End fumigations immediately. “The [fumigation] part of Plan Colombia has been a complete failure. They’ve been fumigating for nine years. Every time they fumigate, twice as much coca appears. The drug lords keep paying enough that it’s worth it for the farmers to move.”[86] This report does not address the consequences fumigations have for people’s health and for the environment. However, the displacement of thousands of people and the ills associated with it (e.g. guerrilla recruitment, poverty, hunger, overcrowding of cities, increased violence, etc.) is compelling enough to stop this program. Add to that the utter failure of fumigations to register any decrease in the availability of illicit drugs in the United States, and it becomes abundantly clear that it is time to stop sending good money after bad

- Initiate a comprehensive evaluation of the Counter-narcotics Brigade and the human rights situation in Putumayo. “In the two years of Plan Colombia the situation has worsened

All the armed actors are still in the area and the armed conflict seems to get worse everyday

The situation…has actually gotten worse.”[87] WFP’s research found that the creation of the Counter-narcotics Brigade has failed to provide security to Putumayo. In fact there has been an increase in paramilitary/military collaboration, a greater number of homicides, and a further deterioration of respect for human rights

 

Notes

1. “Overview of U.S. Policy Toward the Western Hemisphere.” Testimony before House Committee on International Relations, Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere; February 27, 2003 (regresar)

2. Total U.S. aid for 2000-2003 is approximately US$2.47 billion, including military, police, social and economic aid. Statistics compiled by the Center for International Policy (regresar) http://www.ciponline.org/colombia; March 8, 2003 (regresar)

3. Ibid (regresar)

4. Ibid (regresar)

5. “Resolución Defensorial Nacional #26.” Defensoría del Pueblo de Colombia (Colombia’s Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office); October 9, 2002; p. 4 (regresar)

6. The following are excerpts from February and March 2000 statements by members of Congress who pushed for the passage of Plan Colombia: “No one suggested that we were talking about getting involved in a civil war, and no one suggested that this was going to be a major military operation They were talking to us strictly about eliminating drugs at their source” (Representative C.W. Bill Young (R-FL)); “We must make clear to the Colombian government, in our words and our deeds, that although their fight against narcotics trafficking is our fight, their war against the guerrillas is their fight to win” (Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE)); “I understand that we do not want to get in a prolonged war. But we helped Peru and we did not get in a prolonged war because we did not have our troops down there” (Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL)). (http://www.ciponline.org/colombia; March 8, 2003) (regresar)

7. Speech delivered by Father Juan Castillo; October 31, 2002 (regresar)

8. Interview with Personero (Human Rights Officer) of La Hormiga; November 14, 2002 (regresar)

9. “Resolución Defensorial Nacional #26.” Defensoría del Pueblo de Colombia (Colombia’s Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office); October 9, 2002; p. 6 (regresar)

10. Speech delivered by José Rivera; December 9, 2002 (regresar)

11. Sister Constanza, a Catholic nun, said that frequently the only way one learns about killings is through rumors of bodies discovered in the streets or at the cemetery. Often, when a corpse is found, no one knows who is responsible for the killing and no one attempts to find out. “Here, no one asks. And no one speaks,” explained María Gutierrez, an official with Putumayo’s Secretary of Education, when asked who was responsible for the torture and murder of two brothers, discovered in their home in Mocoa (the province’s capital) with the skin of their faces disintegrated by acid and bruises from multiple beatings. (Interview with Sister Constanza, Villa Garzón; December 8, 2002. Interview with officials from the Secretary of Education; December 10, 2002.) (regresar)

12. DASALUD statistics published in August 2002; cited in “Resolución Defensorial Nacional #26.” Defensoría del Pueblo de Colombia (Colombia’s Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office); October 9, 2002; p. 9 (regresar)

13. Ibid., p. 8 (regresar)

14. Speech delivered in September 2002; cited in “Resolución Defensorial Nacional #26.” Defensoría del Pueblo de Colombia (Colombia’s Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office); October 9, 2002; p. 7 (regresar)

15. Interview with officials from the Secretary of Education; December 9, 2002 (regresar)

16. “Putumayo Oscuro #7.” Secretary of Education, Putumayo. January, 2003 (regresar)

17. Interview with officials from the Secretary of Education; December 9, 2002 (regresar)

18. Interview with Puerto Asís Personero; December 10, 2002 (regresar)

19. Interview with Father Patricio; Alto Putumayo; December 5, 2002 (regresar)

20. Speech delivered by MINGA; November 1, 2002 (regresar)

21. Interview with Father Patricio; Alto Putumayo; December 5, 2002 (regresar)

22. Interview with OZIP (Organización Zonal Indígena de Putumayo) leaders; December 8, 2002 (regresar)

23. “Hechos Violatorios a los Derechos Humanos y al Derecho Internacional Humanitario.” Pastoral Social (Social Ministries of the Catholic Church) of Mocoa-Sibundoy; February, 2003 (regresar)

24. Ibid.; Interviews with priests in Upper Putumayo; December 5-7, 2002 (regresar)

25. Interviews with Father Juan Castillo; November 2002-February 2003 (regresar)

26. “Estadística Mortalidad.” Pastoral Social (Social Ministries of the Catholic Church) of Mocoa- Sibundoy; February, 2003 (regresar)

27. Interview with Father Ignacio; Alto Putumayo; December 5, 2002 (regresar)

28. Interviews with Father Juan Castillo; November 2002-February 2003 (regresar)

29. “Hechos Violatorios a los Derechos Humanos y al Derecho Internacional Humanitario.” Pastoral Social (Social Ministries of the Catholic Church) of Mocoa-Sibundoy; February, 2003 (regresar)

30. Interview with Father Ignacio; Alto Putumayo; December 5, 2002 (regresar)

31. Interview with Álvaro Rodríguez; Puerto Caicedo; December 7, 2002 (regresar)

32. Interview with Eugenia Manrique; October 31, 2002 (regresar)

33. Interview with Pedro Calderón, president of the Departmental Federation of the Displaced; December 9, 2002. Social-pact farms are those whose owners signed pacts with the Colombian government to manually eradicate coca crops in exchange for alternative development benefits (regresar)

34. Quoted in “U.S. Makes Plans to Give War Back to Colombia.” Washington Post; March 9, 2003 (regresar)

35. Interview with farmers from El Venado; November 11, 2002 (regresar)

36. Interview with officials from the Secretary of Education; December 7, 2002 (regresar)

37. Interview with Adrianna, high-school teacher in Umbría; December 8, 2002 (regresar)

38. Comments made by U.S. Embassy officials in 2002 suggest that the focus of U.S. social aid to Colombia may be shifted to the cities – to the creation of industrial jobs in areas significantly safer than Putumayo. As mentioned above, Drug Czar John P. Walters recently described displacement from Putumayo as a sign of Plan Colombia’s progress: “In the Putumayo department in southern Colombia, after the massive spray campaign last year, we saw evidence that 10% of the population had left the area.” The possible future strategy of giving aid to displaced people in cities would have to confront the fact that all of Colombia’s major cities already have enormous surplus, unemployed labor forces. In addition, it would mark acquiescence to violation of some of the most basic of human rights: the rights to one’s land and one’s culture (regresar)

39. Red de Solidaridad Social statistics, cited in “Resolución Defensorial Nacional #26.” Defensoría del Pueblo de Colombia (Colombia’s Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office); October 9, 2002; pp. 10-11 (regresar)

40. Interview with Pedro Calderón, president of the Departmental Federation of the Displaced; December 9, 2002 (regresar)

41. Ibid (regresar)

42. Speech delivered by CINEP (National Center for Research and Popular Education); November 1, 2002 (regresar)

43. Interview with Sister Constanza, in Villa Garzón; December 9, 2002 (regresar)

44. Interview with Gilberto Losano; November 11, 2002 (regresar)

45. Interview with community members and PILDAET officials in Los Angeles; November 14, 2002 (regresar)

46. Speech delivered by DASALUD; November 1, 2002 (regresar)

47. Speech delivered by Secretary of Education official; November 1, 2002 (regresar)

48. Interview with Secretary of Education officials; December 7, 2002 (regresar)

49.Speech delivered by Secretary of Education official; November 1, 2002 (regresar)

50. Interview with Secretary of Education officials; December 7, 2002 (regresar)

51. “Putumayo Oscuro #2.” Secretary of Education; January, 2003 (regresar)

52. Interview with Secretary of Education officials; December 7, 2002 (regresar)

53. Speech delivered by DASALUD; November 1, 2002 (regresar)

54. Interview with Major Fernando Rangel; 24th Brigade; November 6, 2002 (regresar)

55. Speech delivered by CODHES (Consultation on Human Rights and Displacement); November 2, 2002 (regresar)

56. “Resolución Defensorial Nacional #26.” Defensoría del Pueblo de Colombia (Colombia’s Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office); October 9, 2002; p. 10 (regresar)

57. Speech delivered by CONFENAIE; May 27, 2002 (regresar)

58. Ibid. The Ecuadorian government has requested that the fumigations program in Colombia leave a ten kilometer buffer zone unfumigated, due to widespread reports of damages on the Ecuadorian side of the border. Reports from Ecuador suggest that the fall 2002 fumigations fumigated right up to and perhaps across the Ecuadorian border and that there were again environmental, social and health damages from spray drift. (“Report on Verification Mission.” Acción Ecológica et al.; October 2002.) An April 12, 2003 article in El Tiempo stated that Colombia had accepted Ecuador’s request for a buffer zone, citing Ecuador’s Vice Chancellor, Francisco Proaño: “I don’t yet have the official information, but I do know that Colombia has accepted Ecuador’s petition.” (regresar)

59. “Cocaine-producing laboratories reportedly shifting from Colombia to Ecuador amid anti-drug offensive in Colombia.” Associated Press; August 30, 2002 (regresar)

60. Speech delivered by AIDESEP (Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Jungle); May 27, 2002 (regresar)

61. “Cultivos cayeron un 15 por ciento.” El Tiempo; February 28, 2003 (regresar)

62. Cited in “Colombia’s Air Assault on Coca Leaves Crop, Farmers in its Dust.” Washington Post; November 13, 2002 (regresar)

63. “Debate por informe de E.U.” El Tiempo; March 1, 2003 (regresar)

64.. Interview with farmers; La Sardina community; Puerto Asís municipality; November 7, 2002 (regresar)

65. Interview with the Mayor of Puerto Asís; November 9, 2002 (regresar)

66. Interview with Jaime Ramiro Ordono Rojas; Vice- President of Departmental Assembly; December 9, 2002 (regresar)

67. Interview with María Luisa Ocampo, Fundaempresa; PILDAET office; Puerto Asís; November 6, 2002 (regresar)

68. Testimony by Adam Isacson, Center for International Policy; House Government Reform Committee hearing on “America’s Heroin Crisis, Colombian Heroin and How We Can Improve Plan Colombia”; December 12, 2002. Citing “Localización de Áreas con Cultivos de Coca, Proyecto SIMCI, Censo Noviembre 01 de 2001”: United Nations Drug Control Program, Colombian National Narcotics Directorate, Colombian National Police Anti-Narcotics Division; November 2001 (regresar)

69. “Colombia’s Air Assault on Coca Leaves Crop, Farmers in its Dust.” Washington Post; November 13, 2002. The U.S. government repeatedly stated, prior to the 2002 fumigations, that 50% of Colombia’s coca production was in Putumayo and Caquetá. Walters reported that coca production in those two provinces was reduced by 50% in the 2002 fumigations. If those two statements are true, and coca-growing elsewhere in Colombia remained the same, then there would have been a 25% reduction nationally. However, Walters only claimed a 15% reduction – meaning that cocaproduction increased in other Colombian provinces in 2002 (regresar)

70. “Coca Cultivation in Colombia: The Story Behind the Numbers.” Press release from Center for International Policy, Latin America Working Group, Earthjustice; February 27, 2003 (regresar)

71. “U.S. Says Colombia Remains World’s Leading Producer of Cocaine.” State Department Washington File; March 3, 2003 (regresar)

72. INCSR (International Narcotics Control Strategic Report); State Department; March, 2001 (regresar)

73. “Debate por informe de E.U.” El Tiempo; March 1, 2003 (regresar)

74. Ibid (regresar)

75. “No basta con fumigar”; lead editorial; El Tiempo; March 3, 2003 (regresar)

76. The 2002 U.S. State Department’s Human Rights Report states that, “…some members of the armed forces and the police continued to commit serious of [sic] human rights abuses” (regresar)

77. When recent debate seemed to suggest that a U.S. exit strategy might at last be formulated, Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos reacted with evident fear, calling an exit strategy “a disaster strategy.” (Quoted in “U.S. Makes Plans to Give War Back to Colombia.” Washington Post; March 9, 2003.) (regresar)

78. Interview with Miguel Castro, catechist from José María, Puerto Guzmán; December 10, 2002 (regresar)

79. Interview with Miguel Castro, catechist from José María; December 10, 2002 (regresar)

80. Interview with Leonidas Janasoy, former indigenous governor; December 10, 2002 (regresar)

81. Interview with officials from the Secretary of Education; December 7, 2002 (regresar)

82. Interview with Adrianna, high-school teacher in Umbría; December 8, 2002 (regresar)

83. Ibid (regresar)

84. Interview with Jaime Ramiro Ordono Rojas; Vice-President of the Departmental Assembly; December 9, 2002 (regresar)

85. Interview with OZIP (Organización Zonal Indígena de Putumayo) leaders; December 8, 2002 (regresar)

86. Interview with the Mayor of Puerto Asís; November 9, 2002 (regresar)

87. Interview with the Human Rights Officer in La Hormiga; November 14, 2002 (regresar)

Afiliaciones

Afiliado a la Federación Internacional de Derechos Humanos
y la Organización Mundial contra la Tortura
Estatus Consultivo en la OEA

José Alvear Restrepo

Nace en Medellín el 1 de julio de 1913 en el seno de una familia de profundas convicciones religiosas y bajo los parámetros de la ideología del partido conservador. Realiza sus estudios en la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Antioquia, donde se gradúa de Abogado con una brillante tesis titulada: "Conflictos del trabajo: la huelga"

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