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Last Updated:9/30/02
Relevant text of H.R. 5410 and House Appropriations Committee Report 107-663, the 2003 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, September 19, 2002
Andean Regional Initiative
Bill language
Narrative from the committee's report
For necessary expenses to carry out section 481 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to support counterdrug activities in the Andean region of South America, $731,000,000, to remain available until expended: Provided, That section 482(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 shall not apply to funds appropriated under this heading for assistance for Colombia: Provided further, That assistance provided with funds appropriated under this heading that is made available notwithstanding section 482(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, shall be made available subject to the regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations: Provided further, That in fiscal year 2003, funds available to the Department of State for assistance to the Government of Colombia shall be available to support a unified campaign against narcotics trafficking, against activities by organizations designated as terrorist organizations such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), and to take actions to protect human health and welfare in emergency circumstances, including undertaking rescue operations: Provided further, That this authority shall cease to be effective if the Secretary of State has credible evidence that the Colombian Armed Forces are not conducting vigorous operations to restore government authority and respect for human rights in areas under the effective control of paramilitary and guerrilla organizations: Provided further, That section 3204(b)(1)(A) of Public Law 106-246, as amended, shall remain applicable to funds made available for fiscal year 2003: Provided further, That the President shall ensure that if any helicopter procured with funds under this heading is used to aid or abet the operations of any illegal self-defense group or illegal security cooperative, such helicopter shall be immediately returned to the United States: Provided further, That none of the funds appropriated by this Act may be made available to support a Peruvian air interdiction program until the Secretary of State and Director of Central Intelligence certify to the Congress, 30 days before any resumption of United States involvement in a Peruvian air interdiction program, that an air interdiction program that permits the ability of the Peruvian Air Force to shoot down aircraft will include enhanced safeguards and procedures to prevent the occurrence of any incident similar to the April 20, 2001 incident: Provided further, That the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, shall provide to the Committees on Appropriations not later than 45 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and prior to the initial obligation of funds appropriated under this heading, a report on the proposed uses of all funds under this heading on a country-by-country basis for each proposed program, project, or activity: Provided further, That of the funds appropriated under this heading, not more than $15,680,000 may be made available for administrative expenses of the Department of State, and not more than $4,500,000 may be made available for administrative expenses of the United States Agency for International Development. The Committee recommends $731,000,000 for the Andean Counterdrug Initiative, an amount equal to the request and $106,000,000 above the 2002 level. The Andean Counterdrug Initiative is the continuation of the Administration's multi-year counterdrug assistance efforts designed to sustain and expand programs initially funded by Plan Colombia in the fiscal year 2000 emergency supplemental appropriations act. A limitation of $15,680,000 is recommended for administrative expenses for the Department of State and $4,500,000 for USAID. The Committee notes the requirement in the bill that the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of USAID, shall provide to the Committees on Appropriations not later than 45 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and prior to the initial obligation of funds appropriated under this heading, a report on the proposed uses of all funds under this heading on a country-by-country basis for each proposed program, project, or activity. This report is similar to the report required in the fiscal year 2000 emergency supplemental appropriations act and is required again in fiscal year 2003 given the Committee's disappointment in the level of pertinent information included in the Department of State's Congressional Budget Justification and congressional notifications.

The fiscal year 2000 emergency supplemental appropriations act provided over $1,000,000,000 in no-year funding for counternarcotics assistance in the Andean region. The Committee has learned that, more than two years after enactment of that Act, over half of the funds that were transferred by the Department of State to the Department of Justice for counternarcotics programs, have yet to be obligated by Justice. The Committee believes that the national interest of the United States would be better served if those funds, instead of sitting idle, be used to help combat the humanitarian crisis facing Colombia. Therefore, the Committee directs that the Department of State immediately terminate its inter-agency agreement with the Department of Justice and transfer remaining funds to USAID for development, rule of law, and humanitarian assistance programs.

The Committee notes that section 520 of the bill applies to the use of Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement and Andean Counterdrug Initiative funds for Colombia.

ANDEAN NATIONS

The Committee calls on the Department of State to ensure that all United States laws regarding human rights, including section 553 of this Act, are strictly applied in Colombia and each of the Andean nations. Additionally, the caps on the numbers of United States personnel in Colombia remain in effect. The Committee requests that the Secretary of State continue to submit to the Appropriations Committees a semi-annual report with respect to the Andean Counterdrug Initiative. Each report shall include an accounting of all aircraft, vehicles, boats and lethal equipment (other than ammunition) transferred to the militaries or police of any nation with funds made available under this heading. Further, the report shall contain an accounting of the number of United States Armed Forces personnel deployed or assigned to duty in the Andean Region or other nation at any time during the preceding 180 days with funds made available under this heading, the length and purpose of the deployment or assignment, and the associated costs and force protection risks. The Committee directs the Secretary of State to submit this report directly to the Committees on Appropriations.

The Committee recognizes the important contribution The Field Museum of Chicago is making to protect biological and cultural values in the Andean region and urges USAID to support The Field Museum's efforts to collaborate with local populations to promote economically and environmentally sustainable alternatives to growing illicit crops.

COLOMBIA

The Committee urges President Bush to publicly support future peace efforts in Colombia. The Committee commends the Colombian president for his efforts in partnering with the United Nations in the Colombian government's efforts to find a way to revive the peace process. While only a few weeks in office, the Committee hopes the collaboration between the Colombian president and the United Nations Secretariat General continues.

The Committee notes that the people of Colombia have shown a long-term resilience and tolerance for difficult and violent conditions, but the Committee is concerned about the urgency of the current situation facing Colombia. The Committee hopes the government's new fiscal policies will allow it to collect the additional resources needed to invest in the military, police, and social programs to establish security and give Colombians better access to services.

The Committee recommends $1,000,000 for the Naval Post Graduate School (NPS) for programs to strengthen public engagement and democratic control of national security in Columbia. Building on the program stated with fiscal year 2002 funds, funds in this Act should be used to develop and execute programs to help Columbia redesign its strategic planning process, to strengthen democratic control over security decision making, to provide for greater public input and support of Columbian security police, and to institutionalize changes to improve the quality of strategic planning while reinforcing democratic principles.

USE OF UNITED STATES ASSETS IN COLOMBIA

The Committee has extended the availability of funds provided for assistance for Colombia to support a unified campaign against narcotics trafficking, against activities by organizations designated as terrorist organizations, and to take actions to protect health and human welfare. The Committee is supportive of the Colombian government in its attempts to provide security for the Colombian people and has provided the expansion of authorities in recognition that the narcotics industry is invariably linked to the terrorist groups, including the paramilitary organizations, in Colombia. However, the Committee still concludes that coca provides the revenue and motive behind the violence committed by both the guerrilla and paramilitary groups. Therefore, the Committee expects counternarcotics, alternative development, and judicial reform to remain the principal focus of United States policy in Colombia. The expanded authority is not a signal from the Committee for the United States to become more deeply involved in assisting the Colombian Armed Forces in fighting the terrorist groups, especially not at the expense of the counternarcotics programs, but to provide the means for more effective intelligence gathering and fusion, and to provide the flexibility to the Department of State when the distinction between counternarcotics and counterterrorism are not clear cut. The Committee directs the Secretary of State to report to the Committee 90 days after enactment of the changes in United States policy, including new procedures and operations, as a result of implementing the expanded authorities.

...

ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT IN COLOMBIA

Nearly two-thirds of the coca grown in Colombia is in Putamayo. The Committee notes that spraying of coca only took place for three months over the last 24 months in this region. Therefore, the Committee is hopeful that the concerns of many that the spray program was proceeding faster than the development program in Putamayo have been alleviated, and that development programs have had the opportunity to accelerate over the most recent 17-month reprieve from spraying, from February 2001 to July 2002.

The Committee is aware of the decades old cynicism among local residents of the region concerning alternative development and delivery of services. The Committee recognizes the excessive bureaucratic delays that have hindered day-to-day operations of development workers in Putamayo, and therefore the Committee recognizes the need for full cooperation of the Government of Colombia at the highest levels. With the expiration of the Government of Colombia's social pacts with families in Putamayo, alternative development in Colombia is at a critical pass.

The Committee strongly supports USAID's ambitious new alternative development strategy. This new strategy, started at the beginning of 2002, will focus on the historic underdevelopment of the region and concentrate on local infrastructure needs (roads, electricity, water) and delivery of services at the community level. The new focus on the entire community increases the social pressure for eradication and also helps organize the community to identify and prioritize local needs. Since the start of this focus, the Committee understands that over 5,000 hectares have been manually and voluntarily eradicated in Putamayo. The Committee hopes USAID partners can continue building on their good working relationships with the mayors and local leaders.

The Committee notes that Afro-Colombians represent at least 25 percent of Colombia's population, and Afro-Colombians suffer disproportionately from violence and displacement. The Pacific Coast region where many Afro-Colombians and indigenous peoples live is experiencing intensification of the Colombian conflict as the recent church massacre in Bojaya, Choco Province, on May 2, 2002 exemplified, in which 119 civilians, all of whom were Afro-Colombians, were killed. The Committee is concerned that United States assistance programs do not address adequately the Afro-Colombian community and people in the Pacific Coast region in general. The Committee expects USAID to take the views and specific problems of Afro-Colombians into account as it formulates assistance projects in the areas of human rights, democracy, displaced persons, and alternative development, including plans of return. The Committee urges USAID to provide significant additional funding to programs that benefit Afro-Colombian communities, municipalities, and NGOs.

HELICOPTER PROGRAM

The Committee recognizes the difficulty the Government of Colombia has had in recruiting the necessary number of Colombian candidates to become helicopter pilots. The Committee encourages the United States embassy in Bogota to continue negotiating with the Colombian Navy and Colombian Air Force in efforts to identify possible candidates to alleviate the pilot shortage. The Committee hopes the United States embassy in Bogota will work closely with the new Colombian Minister of Defense to find a way to combat inter-service and inter-agency rivalries that hinder counternarcotics efforts. The helicopters provided to Colombia as part of Plan Colombia have flown over 28,000 hours since the beginning of the program. The United States has made a significant investment in providing helicopters to Colombia and the Committee recognizes that future maintenance costs will be necessary to ensure the safety of pilots and crew.

...

EUROPEAN CONTRIBUTIONS

The Committee notes that demand for Colombian coca is rising in Europe and approaching United States consumption levels of approximately 300 tons a year. European nations and the European Union have contributed very little to eradication of coca or development programs in Colombia. The Committee again urges the Secretary of State to negotiate with our European allies in order to persuade them to contribute additional funds to counter-narcotics efforts, alternative development, and judicial reform in the Andean region.

...

[From the "additional views" of Rep. Nita Lowey (D-New York), the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee:]

With respect to Colombia, Congress agreed to provide expanded authority to furnish counter-terror assistance for Colombia in the FY02 Supplemental, provided that the new Colombian President committed to us in writing to formulating comprehensive policies on combating drugs, reforming the armed forces and increasing revenues from within Colombia. Those assurances have not been forthcoming. I will therefore reserve judgment on whether I will support extending these authorities for 2003.

Foreign Military Financing and the Caño Limón pipeline
Bill language
Narrative from the committee's report
FOREIGN MILITARY FINANCING PROGRAM

For expenses necessary for grants to enable the President to carry out the provisions of section 23 of the Arms Export Control Act, $4,080,200,000 ... Provided further, That except as provided in the following proviso, none of the funds appropriated by this paragraph may be made available for helicopters and related support costs for Colombia: Provided further, That up to $98,000,000 of the funds appropriated by this paragraph may be transferred to and merged with funds appropriated under the heading `International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement' for helicopters, training and other assistance for the Colombian Armed Forces for security for the Cano Limon pipeline.

Funding of $98,000,000 for Colombia is appropriated in this account, as requested, but for purposes of program implementation bill language is proposed that allows the funds to be transferred to ``International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement''. As a result the Committee has also included bill language prohibiting the expenditure of other funds appropriated under this heading for Colombia for helicopters and related support.
Colombia-specific human rights conditions
Bill language
Narrative from the committee's report
SEC. 576. (a) DETERMINATION AND CERTIFICATION REQUIRED- None of the funds appropriated by this Act may be made available for assistance for the Colombian Armed Forces until the Secretary of State determines and certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that:

(1) the Commander general of the Colombian Armed Forces is suspending from the Armed Forces those members, of whatever rank, who have been credibly alleged to have committed gross violations of human rights, including extra-judicial killings, or to have aided or abetted paramilitary groups;

(2) the Colombian Armed Forces are cooperating with civilian prosecutors and judicial authorities (including providing requested information, such as the identity of persons suspended from the Armed Forces and the nature and cause of the suspension, and access to witnesses and relevant military documents and other information), in prosecuting and punishing in civilian courts those members of the Colombian Armed Forces, of whatever rank, who have been credibly alleged to have committed gross violations of human rights, including extra-judicial killings, or to have aided or abetted paramilitary groups; and

(3) the Colombian Armed Forces are taking effective measures to sever links (including by denying access to military intelligence, vehicles, and other equipment or supplies, and ceasing other forms of active or tacit cooperation) at the command, battalion, and brigade levels, with paramilitary groups, and to execute outstanding orders for capture for members of such groups.

(b) CONSULTATIVE PROCESS- At least 10 days prior to making the determination and certification required by this section, and every 120 days thereafter during fiscal year 2003, the Secretary of State shall consult with internationally recognized human rights organizations regarding progress in meeting the conditions contained in subsection (a).

(c) REPORT- One hundred and twenty days after the enactment of this Act, and every 120 days thereafter during fiscal year 2003, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations describing actions taken by the Colombian Armed Forces to meet the requirements set forth in subsection (a).

(d) DEFINITIONS- In this section:

(1) AIDED OR ABETTED- The term `aided or abetted' means to provide any support to paramilitary groups, including taking actions which allow, facilitate, or otherwise foster the activities of such groups.

(2) PARAMILITARY GROUPS- The term `paramilitary groups' means illegal self-defense groups and illegal security cooperatives.

HUMAN RIGHTS

The bill includes again a general provision requiring that the Secretary of State certify that certain human rights conditions have been met before any funds may be made available for assistance for the Colombian Armed Forces. In the fiscal year 2002 appropriations act, section 567 required two certifications in the fiscal year. The Committee was alarmed to learn of the unintended costs to the pilot training program and the helicopter maintenance program that the semiannual certifications incurred at no apparent gain. Therefore the Committee recommends a one-time annual certification process in fiscal year 2003.

Visa denial for paramilitary supporters
Bill language
SEC. 577. (a) DENIAL OF VISAS TO SUPPORTERS OF COLOMBIAN ILLEGAL ARMED GROUPS- Subject to subsection (b), the Secretary of State shall not issue a visa to any alien who the Secretary determines, based on credible evidence--

(1) has willfully provided any support to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN), or the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), including taking actions or failing to take actions which allow, facilitate, or otherwise foster the activities of such groups; or

(2) has committed, ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the commission of gross violations of human rights, including extra-judicial killings, in Colombia.

(b) WAIVER- Subsection (a) shall not apply if the Secretary of State determines and certifies to the appropriate congressional committees, on a case-by-case basis, that the issuance of a visa to the alien is necessary to support the peace process in Colombia or for urgent humanitarian reasons.

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