by Rep. Benjamin Gilman (R-New York), March 29, 2000
GILMAN. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
(Mr. GILMAN asked and was
given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Chairman,
I rise in strong support of the Gilman-Goss-Delahunt-Farr amendment which
is the result of true bipartisan cooperation. I want to thank the gentleman
from Florida (Mr. Goss), the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Delahunt),
and the gentleman from California (Mr. Farr) for their patience, cooperation,
and willingness to work on this issue.
We have a responsibility,
Mr. Chairman, to stop the drugs that are poisoning our communities. We
also must do our part to see that human rights are protected in Colombia.
This emergency supplemental appropriations bill and this amendment gives
us the tools to do what is right by our Nation and by Colombia, our troubled
This amendment establishes
common sense benchmarks that would make delivery of military assistance
to the Colombian Army contingent upon the President certifying the following:
An agreement by the government of Colombia to a strategy to completely
eliminate illicit drug cultivation by the year 2005. Certifying that the
commander of Colombia's Armed Forces having the same authority as the
director general of Colombia's national police to dismiss persons for
gross violations of human rights. Further certifying that Colombia's Armed
Forces cooperating with civilian authorities in the investigation and
prosecution in civilian courts of gross human rights abuses by Armed Forces
personnel. And also certifying Colombia's Armed Forces developing and
deploying a judge advocate general corps.
This amendment would make
funds available to support the creation in the Colombian Armed Forces
of a judge advocate general corps. It would also make funds available
to enhance the American embassy's capabilities to monitor U.S. assistance
to Colombia's military as well as to look into crimes committed against
American citizens and property by narcoterrorist guerillas and paramilitary
Horrific acts of violence
are visited on Colombians by insurgent and paramilitary groups. Just this
past Saturday, Mr. Chairman, 26 Colombian policemen and eight civilians
were brutally slain. Some were beheaded by the FARC. This amendment would
deny U.S. visas to persons supporting illegal activities by insurgent
and paramilitary groups. Our amendment includes appropriate waiver authorities
to preserve the President's ability to protect American national interests.
I join the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Delahunt) in urging the managers
to ensure that the President would provide written justification to the
Congress if the waiver authority is invoked.
Our amendment advances core
American values in our fight against drug traffickers by establishing
meaningful conditions to safeguard human rights. Accordingly, I urge my
colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this amendment.
Mr. Chairman, I reserve the
balance of my time.
As of March 30, 2000, this
document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:H29MR0-173: