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Asunto:[GAP] más sobre el conflicto...
Fecha:Martes, 23 de Julio, 2002  00:29:21 (+0000)
Autor:cuervo cuervo <mundodeluz @.......com>

HOLA... DE NUEVO YO...July 22, 2002

este artículo fue escrito por un corresponsal extranjero sobre Colombia, es 
de hoy 22 de julio...


la pagina es  www.colombiareport.org


es una muy buena página sobre Colombia y su situación interna y para 
aquellos que defienden a las guerrillas colombianas es bueno que se enterne 
de cómo es realmente el conflicto armado...

Esto no es Chiapas y ni Jojoy, ni Reyes son  el sub comandante Marcos...

Colombia no está viviendo un sueño ni una utopía... 300.000 muertos lo 
ratifican...


La guerra de las drogas está teniendo ua gran repercución en la región...


Y es de sumo cuidado el análisis que debemos hacer sobre lo que ocurre en 
Colombia... los juicios a priori nos entierran...

Brazil's Escalating Role in the Drug War

by Ronald J. Morgan

Brazil began bolstering its border security almost as soon as Plan Colombia 
surfaced in 1999. After three years of military expansion, the 
Brazil-Colombia border is bristling with new installations. Among them is a 
new air force base, a naval base, and a set of border platoons stretching 
from Tabatinga through an area known as the Dog´s Head, where Colombia, 
Venezuela and Brazil meet. A new jungle brigade based in the Amazon city of 
Tefe provides support for the 2,500 troops stationed along the 1,000-mile 
border. These ground forces are supplemented with naval and marine units as 
well as aircraft at the new Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira airbase.

The Brazilian military has also been busy putting in new roads, bridges, 
schools, health clinics, water wells and riverboat docks throughout the 
heavily indigenous area with a population of some 100,000. The Brazilian 
buildup, part of a revamped older border development program know as Calha 
Norte, includes $14.5 million in military security spending and $10.5 
million in social development, most of it spent in the Colombian border 
region.

The government has also dispatched to the border a 200-man federal police 
task force known as Operation Cobra to further bolster security and fight 
drug trafficking. Brazil says its programs are preventive medicine aimed at 
protecting the Amazon and that most activities are directed at controlling 
drug trafficking, stopping illegal logging, and clearing out poaching gold 
miners.

As early as 1996, Brazil and the Raytheon Corporation began constructing a 
$1.4 billion radar system called System for Amazon Surveillance (SIVAM). 
Announced with much fanfare at the 1992 Rio Earth Conference, the project is 
about 70 percent complete and will be inaugurated in Manaus on July 25. This 
system uses radar stations, air reconnaissance and some satellite support to 
monitor air traffic, maritime movement, border activity, and intercept 
communications of all types. SIVAM will also keep track of weather patterns 
and land use, while making rural telecommunications in the Amazon more 
efficient.

While originally designed to save the Amazon rainforest from various types 
of abuse, it is expected that its Manta FOL-type reconnaissance abilities 
will also be used to stop drug pilots from entering Brazil and provide 
timely information to border units. The Brazilian air force estimates that 
some 200 planes flew into Brazil illegally in 2001 and is calling for the 
government to issue a shoot down regulation similar to the type in place in 
Colombia and Peru. Last year, the U.S.-Peruvian program resulted in the 
accidental shooting down of a missionary plane.

Brazil stressed that it was not interested in becoming part of the 
U.S.-backed Plan Colombia when the border buildup began. In October 2000, 
Admiral Hector Blecker, Brazil's assistant chief of intelligence, told the 
Brazilian congress that while it was obvious the probable impact of Plan 
Colombia would require Brazil undertake police, environmental and social 
action programs in the border area, "the idea of a multinational military 
operation in the Brazilian Amazon is unacceptable."

During the congressional hearings it was stressed that the environmental 
impact to the Brazilian Amazon from Colombian aerial spraying, and the 
possible use of a mycoherbicide could destroy legitimate crop production 
along Brazil's jungle rivers. Blecker is concerned that "chemical agents 
such as glyphosate and biological agents such as fusarium oxysporum in the 
Putumayo and Caquetá rivers will flow into the Ica and Japura rivers 
respectively."

But just as the United States originally claimed that Plan Colombia would 
confine itself to fighting drug trafficking but is now expanding to include 
counterinsurgency operations, Brazil role in the war on drugs has also 
experienced mission creep. Recent air, land, and sea maneuvers along the 
Brazil-Colombia border involving 4,000 men sent a clear signal that Brazil 
intends to use force to keep guerrillas and drug traffickers out of its 
territory.

United States involvement on the Brazilian side of the border is also 
ratcheting up. In September 2001, Brazil signed a bilateral letter of 
agreement with the United States for counternarcotics activities that call 
for mutual cooperation and U.S. aid for Operation Cobra and other counter 
drug trafficking operations. The agreement also pumps funds into the newly 
created National Secretariat for Public Security, which has unified control 
over Brazil's Federal and local police forces.

Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, while still officially 
claiming that Brazil is not involved in Plan Colombia, strongly endorsed 
Colombian President Andrés Pastrana's decision earlier this year to 
terminate the demilitarized zone granted to the rebel Revolutionary Armed 
Forces of Colombia (FARC). Cardoso also called the election of Alvaro Uribe 
in May a "clear example of the vigor of democratic ideas in South America."

Despite Brazilian contentions to the contrary, South America's biggest and 
most prosperous country is slipping deeper into the drug war and the 
Colombian Conflict. In March, Brazilian military officers visited the 
Pentagon where they exchanged views with U.S. officers and gave 
presentations on Brazil's border security and development program.

On a recent visit to Brazil, Otto Reich, assistant secretary of state for 
the Western Hemisphere, expressed Washington's desire for internationalizing 
intervention in Colombia's conflict, "We think that the threat to Colombia's 
democracy is a common threat not just to the United States and Brazil, but 
to the whole Hemisphere. And, if countries are worried about the spillover 
effect of, say, 'Plan Colombia', they should be even more worried about the 
effect of not stopping the terrorists and the narcotics traffickers inside 
Colombian borders."

Operation Cobra is also growing in scope and sophistication. In December, 
Brazil opened a regional intelligence center at Tabatinga whose mission is 
to sort through intelligence on border activities, which it will then share 
with Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and the United States. Additionally, Brazil has 
completed work on seven new police installations along the border stretching 
from Tabatinga to Vila Bittencourt.

Brazil has both shed blood and suffered casualties along the Colombian 
border. In February Brazilian troops attacked a boat with suspected FARC 
guerrillas, killing six persons near Apoporis. The same month a Brazilian 
soldier disappeared under unclear circumstances. In March, 197 indigenous 
persons of the Maku nation sought refuge at Vila Bittencourt charging that 
the FARC had threatened them. During maneuvers in May, Brazilian soldiers 
suffered two casualties--one wounding of a soldier outside Tabatinga 
apparently involved Colombians, while another soldier disappeared along the 
Rio Negro.

Colonel Roberto de Paula Avelino, who manages Calha Norte from a campus-like 
building in Brasilia, downplays the incidents, claiming the border area is 
fairly quiet despite the FARC presence on the Colombian side. He also 
believes that a major incursion by uniformed FARC guerrillas is unlikely, "I 
don´t think the FARC is interested in making a new enemy."

De Paula Avelino's analysis stands in sharp contrast to recent statements 
about Colombia's illegal armed groups made by Reich, "If these people work 
to ever gain control over larger parts of Colombian territory, I think there 
is no doubt that they would take their business, which is narcotics and 
terrorism, to other countries. I don't think they are only interested in 
taking control by force of Colombia. I don't think they know any borders. 
Terrorists sans frontiers, to coin a phrase."

Not surprisingly, the FARC disagrees with Reich's analysis. Oliverio Medna, 
the FARC International Committee representative in Brasilia, said FARC 
commanders have been ordered to keep their troops out of neighboring 
countries. "We are hoping for reciprocity from the neighboring governments. 
Reciprocity in what sense? If we don´t cause problems in the territories of 
the neighboring countries, that their governments will abstain from 
intervening and getting mixed up in the internal affairs of Colombia. We are 
not a problem for any state other than Colombia."

Medna claims that talk of FARC border incursions is part of a policy aimed 
at discrediting the rebel group, "If a tree falls in the Ecuadorian jungle, 
they says its the FARC's fault. If in Peru a cow shows up dead in the 
morning, it's the FARC. Our plans do not include intervention in the 
territory of any country."

Alcides Costa Vaz, an international relations professor at the University of 
Brazil, says Colombia is not a hot political issue in Brazil, "Issues of 
national security have ranked very low on the domestic political agenda. 
There is not a very strong position in public opinion. The last few years 
economic issues have ranked very high." He went on to stress that, "So far 
Brazil has resisted the idea of having a active role," but if Colombia asks 
for regional alliances and cooperation, Costa Vaz believes Brazil will 
probably cooperate.

Whatever the semantics, Brazil is involved in the Colombian conflict through 
the sharing of intelligence and an escalation of military and police 
activities inside Brazil aimed at stopping drug and arms trafficking and 
preventing a spillover of the violence. This is likely to continue even if 
the leftist Workers Party candidate Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva wins the fall 
elections for the presidency.

Workers Party Senator Tião Viana, who represents the Amazon state of Acre, 
said the party opposes U.S. bases and U.S. troops in Brazil but supports 
exchange of intelligence, training, and cooperation in operations as long as 
Brazilians execute them. "In the Brazilian Amazon there's a clandestine 
infiltration of groups from Bolivia, Peru and Colombia involved in drug 
trafficking and clandestine wood extraction," Viana said. "The Amazon is 
very unprotected. There's a need for troops and intelligence operations."

The Cobra Program is a natural for U.S. involvement, and cooperation between 
the two countries began to increase last year when DEA agents toured 
Brazil's Amazon operations. Brazilian Federal Police and the DEA also 
cooperated in the arrest in Colombia of Brazilian drug lord Luis Fernando da 
Costa, know as Fernando Beira-Mar (Seaside Freddy) and the bust a few months 
later of his top lieutenant Leomar Olviera Barbosa in Paraguay.

According to recent congressional testimony by DEA chief Asa Hutchinson, DEA 
agents in Colombia and Brazil are currently working to capture of Tomas 
Molina Caracas of the 16th Front of the FARC. The DEA is also fielding 
special teams of DEA and Brazilian police to investigate money laundering. 
It has been estimated that as much as 25 percent of Colombian drug money may 
be hidden in Brazilian accounts.

Enticing Brazil into greater cooperation may be the increased availability 
of funds for equipment, training, operations and development projects, and a 
decade-long growth in domestic drug use and drug-related violence. The Bush 
administration's Andean Regional Initiative calls for Brazil to receive $6 
million in counterdrug assistance and $12.6 million in social development 
funds this year, while a 2003 Bush administration request calls for another 
$12 million in counternarcotics funds.

Recently, the presidents of Brazil, Peru and Ecuador joined together to 
request $1.3 billion from the Inter-American Development Bank for use in 
border social programs aimed at dealing with the spillover from Plan 
Colombia. President Cardoso raised the fight against drugs to front burner 
status in a national speech June 19 when he compared it to the country's 
earlier struggle against hyperinflation. At the same time the government 
released a study estimating that there were 1.7 million cocaine addicts in 
Brazil.

Both increased domestic consumption and the creation of cocaine processing 
centers in Brazil are seen as potentially undermining U.S. drug war efforts. 
Brazilian traffickers are building a niche for themselves in designer drugs, 
while the nation's large chemical industry provides an opportunity to obtain 
drug-processing chemicals.

Drug traffickers are active and powerful throughout the country. A 2001 
Congressional inquiry into drug trafficking and impunity called for the 
indictment of 800 persons, among them politicians and police.

Fearful that Brazil could rival the U.S. and Europe as a drug market, the 
United States has been tinkering with Brazil's drug policies. It has jointly 
designed with Brazil a new series of drug courts and it finances a 
U.S.-style DARE school drug prevention program. It is also backing a study 
of Brazilian attitudes toward drug use.

Drugs are seen as the fuel for the country's tremendous criminal violence 
problem and increase in youth murders. In Rio de Janeiro some 10,000 persons 
are alleged to be active in local drug distribution and street sales. 
According to a study by the International Labor Organization, many of the 
persons involved are children. "What you find is that since 1995 more 
children have taken up drug trafficking. They start as young as eight years 
old," said Pedro Americo F. Oliveira, head of the ILO Child Labor section in 
Brazil. "They come from the poorest of the poor. They are one-parent 
families. The parent works and the child doesn't go to school." What is the 
average life expectancy for a child drug dealer? One year, says Oliveira.

According to a recent Human Rights Watch report the situation is exacerbated 
by the regular use of torture and murder by the Brazilian police forces. The 
gruesome killing of Brazilian Investigative Journalist Tim Lopez by a drug 
trafficking gang has sparked a police crackdown in the Rio de Janeiro 
favelas that may prove to be a prototype for harsh action to come. A 
combined task force launched by the federal government includes military 
intelligence units and the use of combined federal and local police squads. 
Some people are advocating military occupation of many of Brazil's troubled 
urban areas.

The rapid escalation of the drug war in the last year by the Cardoso 
administration runs the risk of exacerbating tinder box social conditions. 
Costa Vaz warns that over-militarization of the drug war, especially in poor 
neighborhoods, will backfire unless enforcement programs are designed 
carefully. "We have a very sensitive and dangerous domestic situation. What 
is going on in Rio right now is generating a situation of social conflict. 
The door to civil war will open if you bring in the military. We will not 
solve Colombia's problems, we will probably reproduce them."




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