Plan Colombia, a U.S. military and aid initiative, helped Colombia gain the upper hand against the FARC rebels. The initiative, however, was far from perfect.
A rose-tinted view of Plan Colombia severely neglects the detrimental humanitarian toll it has had on the country's rural poor. If the United States is to be effective in supporting its South American ally during its peaceful transition, "Peace Colombia" demands a better understanding than its predecessor of the local realities in the areas where its efforts and dollars are likely to be focused.
Given the mayhem occurring around the world and the first votes in the 2016 Presidential election at home, my guess is the celebration today of the 15th anniversary of a milestone partnership between Colombia and the U.S. will be largely ignored.
After 220,000 dead (80 percent of whom were civilians), tens of thousands disappeared, countless victims of sexual violence, and more than 6 million internally displaced, it's time to stop the war.
To argue, as critics do, that Plan Colombia was a failure and the source of challenges faced by the Colombian people over the past 15 years, is to neither understand Plan Colombia and its historical context, nor the realities of Colombia today.
This week Hillary Clinton again revealed a blind spot for the drug war and a deafness of tone towards Latino issues. She decided to brag about Plan Colombia, her husband's signature international drug policy initiative, which has been a total disaster in one of the most emblematic theaters of the failed war on drugs.
Due to the good journalism of Colombia Reports as well as FAIR, there has been some attention given to the scandal of U. S. military and military contractors sexually assaulting young women and girls in Colombia.
Colombian refugees and internally displaced people are the frequently forgotten victims of the nearly 50-year-long conflict between paramilitaries, guerillas, and the Colombian military and security forces.
Echoes of victims call out to us over television or even twitter with bloodied images of civilians suffering. Those with empathy want to stop it. There is vast appeal for a fast fantasy of firepower solution
Armed forces are accused of murdering 2,547 civilians and presenting them as combat kills; there are now 27,000 forced disappearances in Colombia