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Last Updated:6/25/00
Speech by Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minnesota), June 21, 2000
Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, we are working on the final version of the amendment, but I will outline for colleagues what this amendment is about. I will send the amendment to the desk in a short while.

This amendment would essentially transfer $225 million--as I said to the majority leader, this is by no means an amendment that says we don't supply assistance to Colombia--from the Colombian military for purposes of the push into southern Colombia to the domestic drug treatment programs.

Specifically, this amendment would transfer funds to the substance abuse prevention and treatment block grant program to provide--I will marshal evidence to colleagues--desperately needed funds for State and local community-based programs and for drug treatment programs within a variety of different facilities, such as correctional facilities and other facilities in the country.

By the way, part of the argument that I present today is that we deal with this drug problem for sure, but there is a considerable amount of evidence that we don't want to all of a sudden militarize this whole package, especially with the record of the military in Colombia.

Moreover, we want to deal with the demand side in our country. By the way, I am sure the vast majority of people in the United States of America agree.

This amendment leaves substantial assistance for the Colombian Government and civil society, including all sorts of alternative development programs such as judicial reform and human rights programs.

I want to make this clear, given some of the comments of the majority leader. It also leaves extensive funding for interdiction, investigating, and prosecuting drug trafficking and money laundering, and for the counternarcotics effort of the Colombian national police, as well as for other counternarcotics programs in other Latin American countries. It doesn't cut 1 cent from any of that.

I want colleagues to know what they are voting on. It simply removes and transfers to more effective domestic use the resources in this particular bill destined for the Colombian Army's push into southern Colombia.

Since 1989, virtually all U.S. assistance to Colombia has officially been intended to fight illicit drug production and trafficking. The majority leader comes to the floor and speaks as if we have not been making this effort. But what is sold as a war on drugs to the Congress and the American public is far more complex. This is where I dissent from the majority leader. This is much more complex than just a war dealing with drug production and trafficking.

Colombia today is embroiled in the hemisphere's largest and longest civil war with the military increasingly linked to paramilitary death squads.

The majority leader says this is just a matter of whether or not we are serious about the war on drugs. That is not what this amendment deals with. I am serious about the war on drugs. I am serious about interdiction. I am serious about getting the assistance to Colombia for that. But when the majority leader says: I am concerned about human rights, he then quickly brushes this aside.

We need to understand that there is a civil war in Colombia. There is a military link to paramilitary death squads with massive corruption and widespread human rights atrocities. The rebel insurgency has also expanded throughout large sections of the country, and innocent civilians have been killed by these rebels as well. Colombia now has the third largest internally displaced population in the world.

Before I go any further, since we are now by a 7-to-1 ratio going to change our assistance from police to military--that is what worries me with American advisers--let me talk about the military.

Let me, first of all, quote from the 1999 country reports on human rights practices released by the U.S. Department of State, February 25, 2000.


[Page: S5489]
Paramilitary groups and guerrillas attack at increasing levels unarmed civilians expected of loyalty to an opposing party in the country.

Government forces continue to commit numerous serious abuses, including extrajudicial killings, at a level that was roughly similar to that of 1998. Despite some prosecutions and convictions, the authorities rarely brought officers of the security forces and the police charged with human rights offenses to justice, and impunity remains a problem. At times, the security forces collaborated with paramilitary groups that committed abuses.

Paramilitary groups and guerrillas were responsible for the vast majority of political and extrajudicial killings during the year. Throughout the country, paramilitary groups killed, tortured, and threatened civilians suspected of sympathizing with guerrillas with an orchestrated campaign of terrorizing them into fleeing their homes thereby depriving guerrillas of civilian support.

This report goes on. It basically says you have the military directly linked to these paramilitary groups which have committed widespread abuses of human rights and which have murdered innocent civilians.

I am all for interdiction. But I have to raise some questions about what we are doing all of a sudden in this package by dramatically changing the ratio of our support and giving much more to the military linked to these death squads. I don't think that is what our country is about.

Moreover, I don't believe the militarization of this package will work. I will get to that in a moment.

The majority leader says he is concerned about human rights. He said it in a word or two. But I would like to spend a little bit more time on this.

`Human Rights Watch World Report 2000,' in Colombia,

Paramilitary groups working in some areas with the tolerance and open support of the armed forces continue to massacre civilians, commit selected killings and special terror.

Democratic Senators and Republican Senators, now we are going to give this military, given this record, a massive infusion of money for a campaign in southern Colombia with American advisers with them.

Let me quote again from the `Human Rights Watch World Report 2000.' That is this year.

Paramilitary groups working in some areas with the tolerance and open support of the armed forces continue to massacre civilians, commit selected killings and special terror.

I argue that we should take this seriously.

Amnesty International, May 3, 2000:

Jesus Ramiro Zapata, human rights defender, was abducted and killed in Segovia, department of Antioquia. Several days earlier he reported that members of paramilitary groups had inquired into his whereabouts eight times in the latter part of April. On the 3rd of April, 500 paramilitaries reportedly entered the municipalities of Segovia and Remedios, setting up camp in Otu. The large number of Colombian National Army 4th Brigade troops stationed in the area did nothing to confront the illegal paramilitary group.

That is a report from Amnesty International.

I could go on.

The armed forces, the military that we are now going to provide money to with American advisers watching and standing by idly as paramilitary groups violate human rights, abduct innocent people and murder them, and we are going to be providing all of this support for this military?

Colleagues, if there had been some evidence over the last couple of years that there has been a change, that would be a different story.

This is a letter from a number of different religious organizations in the United States of America.

Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that all of these documents be printed in the Record.

There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:

LEGAL ACTION CENTER, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ALCOHOLISM AND DRUG ABUSE COUNSELORS (NAADAC), NATIONAL COUNCIL ON ALCOHOLISM AND DRUG DEPENDENCE (NCADD), PARTNERSHIP FOR RECOVERY, STATE ASSOCIATIONS OF ADDICTION SERVICES (SAAS),
May 18, 2000.


Support the Wellstone Amendment to the Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill
Dear Senators: We are writing in support of Senator Wellstone's Amendment to the Foreign Operations appropriations bill to transfer $225 million from the section of the bill funding military operations in Southern Colombia to drug and alcohol treatment and prevention programs funded by the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) block grant. We feel this amendment leaves intact critical assistance for democracy stabilization and drug interdiction efforts in Colombia, while also supporting the vastly underfunded drug and alcohol treatment and prevention programs here in the United States.

Public funding for treatment primarily serves low income and indigent people who are seeking treatment in order to reclaim their lives. When looking at drug and alcohol addiction, we find that in addition to being a disease itself, it is a critical risk factor for health problems such as the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases as well as social problems such as crime and domestic violence.

Additionally, treatment and prevention systems have faced increased pressure from entitlement reforms, specifically welfare and SSI program reforms that decrease system capacity while increasing the need for public treatment and prevention services. Successful criminal justice programs involving (and often mandating) treatment, including drug courts, have proliferated and are steadily increasing the demand for treatment.

We feel that a balanced approach to the drug control effort is necessary, yet prevention and treatment programs have not received adequate funding to keep up with demand. The Wellstone amendment adds necessary prevention and treatment funds to domestic programs that will save lives and taxpayer dollars.

On behalf of the 18 million Americans who chronically use drugs or alcohol and the 8.3 million children whose parent(s) abuse drugs or alcohol, we ask that you support drug and alcohol prevention and treatment programs by supporting the Wellstone amendment.

We thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

TOM MCDANIELS,

Director of National Policy, Legal Action Center.


[Page: S5490]
WILLIAM D. MCCOLL, ESQ.,

Executive Director, National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC).

SARAH KAYSON,

Public Policy Director, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD).

CAROL MCDAID,

Partnership for Recovery.

ART SCHUT,

President, State Associations of Addiction Services (SAAS).


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1999 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

COLOMBIA
Colombia is a constitutional, multiparty democracy, in which the Liberal and Conservative parties have long dominated politics. Citizens elected President Andres Pastrana of the Conservative Party and a bicameral legislature controlled by the Liberal Party in generally free, fair, and transparent elections in 1998, despite attempts at intimidation and fraud by paramilitary groups, guerrillas, and narcotics traffickers. The civilian judiciary is largely independent of government influence, although the suborning or intimidation of judges, witnesses, and prosecutors by those indicated is common.

The Government continued to face a serious challenge to its control over the national territory, as longstanding and widespread internal armed conflict and rampant violence--both political and criminal--persisted. The principal participants were government security forces, paramilitary groups, guerrillas, and narcotics traffickers. In some areas government forces were engaged in combat with guerrillas or narcotics traffickers, while in others paramilitary groups fought guerrillas, and in still others guerrillas attacked demobilized members of rival guerrilla factions. Paramilitary groups and guerrillas attacked at increasing levels unarmed civilians suspected of loyalty to an opposing party in the conflict. The two major guerrilla groups, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN), consist of an estimated 11,000 to 17,000 full-time combatants organized into more than 100 semiautonomous groups. The FARC and the ELN, along with other smaller groups, exercised a significant degree of influence and initiated armed action in nearly 1,000 of the country's 1,085 municipalities during the year, compared with 700 municipalities in 1998. The major guerrilla organizations received a significant part of their revenues (in the hundreds of millions of dollars) from fees levied on narcotics production and trafficking. Guerrillas and paramilitary groups supplanted absent state institutions in many sparsely populated areas of the national territory. In July 1998, then-President-elect Pastrana met with the FARC's leader, `Manuel Marulanda Velez,' and agreed to a demilitarized zone (`despeje') in which the two sides could pursue direct peace talks. In November 1998, the despeje was initiated in 5 southern municipalities, with a total population of approximately 100,000 persons. Security forces completed their withdrawal from the area the following month. In January Marulanda failed to appear for the scheduled formal inauguration of peace talks in the despeje. President Pastrana and Marulanda met again in May and agreed on an agenda for formal negotiations and on procedures for the creation of an international verification commission to monitor both sides' compliance with the terms of the despeje. However, the FARC refused to proceed with the establishment of the commission. Formal Government-FARC peace negotiations began in earnest in October and were underway at year's end, following the Government's concession to the FARC that, at least initially, there be no international verification commission. The Government also held a series of informal discussions with the ELN during the year, but insisted on the ELN's release of the victims of specific mass kidnapings as a condition for undertaking formal negotiations and for demilitarizing a zone in which the ELN could hold its national convention. At year's end, the ELN had not complied with the Government's request and still held captive several dozen of the specified kidnap victims.

The civilian-led Ministry of Defense is responsible for internal security and oversees both the armed forces and the National Police, although civilian management of the armed forces is limited. The security forces include armed state law enforcement, investigative, and military authorities, including the National Police, army, air force, navy, marines,
coast guard, the Administrative Department of Security (DAS), and the Prosecutor General's Technical Corps of Investigators (CTI). The army, air force, navy, marines, coast guard, and National Police fall under the direction of the Minister of Defense. The DAS, which has broad intelligence gathering, law enforcement, and investigative authority, reports directly to the President, but is directed by a law enforcement professional. The police are charged formally with maintaining internal order and security, but in practice law enforcement responsibilities often were shared with the army, especially in rural areas. The security forces regularly failed to confront paramilitary groups, and members of the security forces sometimes illegally collaborated with paramilitary forces. The armed forces and the police committed numerous, serious violations of human rights throughout the year.

Despite years of drug- and politically related violence, the economy is diverse and developed. However, the economy has suffered a recession, and there was negative growth of 5 percent in 1999 for the first time in the country's modern history. The Government has privatized many public-sector entities and liberalized trade and financial activity since 1991, and it plans further privatizations. Crude oil, coal, coffee, and cut flowers are the principal legal exports. Narcotics traffickers continued to control large tracts of land and other assets and exerted influence throughout society, the economy, and political life. The official unemployment rate peaked at 20 percent, a record high, although it had declined to 18.1 percent by year's end. Inflation at year's end was 9.2 percent. The Government passed an austere budget to address the fiscal gap, which was at 6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and has prepared reform proposals in areas such as pensions and regional finance. The balance of payments deficit was 4.5 percent of GDP. Income distribution is highly skewed; much of the population lives in poverty. Per capita GDP was approximately $2,100.

The Government's human rights record remained poor; there was some improvement in several areas, and the Pastrana administration took measures to initiate structural reform, but serious problems remain. Government forces continued to commit numerous, serious abuses, including extrajudicial killings, at a level that was roughly similar to that of 1998. Despite some prosecutions and convictions, the authorities rarely brought officers of the security forces and the police charged with human rights offenses to justice, and impunity remains a problem. At times the security forces collaborated with paramilitary groups that committed abuses; in some instances, individual members of the security forces actively collaborated with members of paramilitary groups by passing them through roadblocks, sharing intelligence, and providing them with ammunition. Paramilitary forces find a ready support base within the military and police, as well as local civilian elites in many areas.

On August 12, President Pastrana signed into law a revised Military Penal Code, which includes provisions that unit commanders no longer may judge their subordinates; that an independent judge advocate general corps is to be created; and that troops are to be protected legally if they refuse to carry out illegal orders to commit human rights abuses. However, necessary implementing legislation had not been passed at year's end. Also on August 12, the Government made public the Government's national human rights plan, which includes a provision that permits the armed forces commander to remove from service summarily any military member whose performance in combating paramilitary forces he deemed `unsatisfactory or insufficient.' The State demonstrated an increased willingness to remove from duty security force officers who failed to respect human rights, or ignored or were complicit in the abuses committed by paramilitary groups. The Government removed four army general officers from service during the year; the generals were under investigation for collaborating with or failing to combat paramilitary groups. A few other state security officers were removed from service or suspended during the year. The military judiciary demonstrated an increased willingness to turn cases involving security force officers accused of serious human rights violations over to the civilian judiciary, as required by a 1997 Constitutional Court ruling; however, concerns about impunity within the military judiciary remained.

Police, prison guards, and military forces continued to torture and mistreat detainees. Conditions in the overcrowded prisons are generally harsh; however, some inmates use bribes or intimidation to obtain more favorable treatment. Arbitrary arrest and detention, as well as prolonged pretrial detention, are fundamental problems. The civilian judiciary is inefficient, severely overburdened by a large case backlog, and undermined by intimidation and the prevailing climate of impunity. This situation remains at the core of the country's human rights problems. The Superior Judicial Council (CSJ) reported in August that 63 percent of crimes go unreported, and that 40 percent of all reported crimes go unpunished. The use of `faceless' prosecutors, judges, and witnesses, under cover of anonymity for security reasons, continued until June 30, in cases involving kidnaping, extortion, narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and in several hundred high-profile cases involving human rights violations. Human rights groups accused these courts of violating fundamental rights of due process, including the right to a public trial. On June 30, a `specialized jurisdiction' replaced the anonymous regional court system. The specialized jurisdiction prosecuted and tried cases of extortion, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, terrorism, and serious human rights violations, including massacres, some homicides, torture, and kidnaping. It permitted the use of anonymous witnesses and prosecutor in exceptional cases that potentially placed their lives in danger.

The authorities sometimes infringed on citizens' privacy rights. Journalists practices self-censorship. There were some restrictions on freedom of movement. There were unconfirmed reports of security forces harassing or threatening human rights groups. Violence and extensive societal discrimination against women, abuse of children, and child prostitution are serious problems. Extensive societal discrimination against the indigenous and minorities continued. Child labor is a widespread problem. Trafficking in women and girls for the purpose of forced prostitution is a problem. `Social cleansing' killings of street children, prostitutes, homosexuals, and others deemed socially undesirable by paramilitary groups, guerrillas, and vigilante groups continued to be a serious problem.

Paramilitary groups and guerrillas were responsible for the vast majority of political and extrajudicial killings during the year. Throughout the country, paramilitary groups killed, tortured, and threatened civilians suspected of sympathizing with guerrillas in an orchestrated campaign to terrorize them into fleeing their homes, thereby depriving guerrillas of civilian support. Paramilitary forces were responsible for an increasing number of massacres and other politically motivated killings. They also fought guerrillas for control of some lucrative coca-growing regions and engaged directly in narcotics production and trafficking. The AUC paramilitary umbrella organization, whose membership totaled approximately 5,000 to 7,000 armed combatants, exercised increasing influence during the year, extending its presence through violence and intimidation into areas previously under guerrilla control. Although some paramilitary groups reflect rural residents' desire to organize solely for self-defense, others are vigilante organizations, and still others are actually the paid private armies of narcotics traffickers or large landowners. Popular support for these organizations grew during the year, as guerrilla violence increased in the face of a slowly evolving peace process. The army's record in dealing with paramilitary groups remained mixed. In some locations the army on rare occasions attacked and captured members of such groups; in others it tolerated or even collaborated with paramilitary groups.

The FARC and the ELN regularly attacked civilian populations, committed massacres and summary executions, and killed medical and religious personnel. Guerrillas were responsible for the majority of cases of forcible recruitment of indigenous people and of hundreds of children; they also were responsible for the majority of kidnapings. Guerrillas held more than 1,000 kidnaped civilians, with ransom payments serving as an important source of revenue. Other kidnap victims were killed. In some places, guerrillas collected `war taxes,' forced members of the citizenry into their ranks, forced small farmers to sow illicit crops, and regulated travel, commerce, and other activities.


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U.S. Aid to Colombia,
March 8, 2000.


[Page: S5491]
Dear Representative: We are writing as religious leaders in the United States to urge you to oppose the two-year $1.3 billion military aid package for the `Push into Southern Colombia' proposed by President Clinton on January 11. This aid targeting the coca growing regions of southern Colombia will escalate the violence and undercut efforts for a negotiated peace settlement to Colombia's 40-year civil war. We urge you instead to support much-needed assistance for peace, human rights, justice reform, alternative development, and humanitarian assistance to Colombia's internally displaced.

Colombia is currently the third largest recipient of U.S. military assistance. Yet reports from the United Nations, the U.S. Department of State, independent human rights organizations, and Colombian judicial authorities point to continuing ties between the Colombian security forces and brutal paramilitary groups responsible for massacres, assassinations of community leaders and human rights defenders, and over 70% of Colombia's human rights abuses. A report released by Human Rights Watch this month links half of Colombia's 18 brigade-level army units to paramilitary activity.

Colombia's internal conflict has produced 1.6 million internally displaced persons, more than in Kosovo or East Timor, and an increasing number of refugees fleeing to Panama and Venezuela. It is our fear the proposed aid package will draw the U.S. deeper into Colombia's civil war, intensify the conflict, and make the U.S. complicit in violations of human rights. Even more disturbing, the proposed aid package includes plans for intensive aerial fumigation that will displace 10,000 more people from southern Colombia, forcing them off of their lands and deeper into the fragile rainforests, causing great human suffering and incalculable environment damage.

Aerial fumigation of coca cultivation in Colombia has failed to reduce coca production in Colombia or consumption in the United States. Between 1992 and 1998 the area under coca cultivation has increased from 40,000 to 100,000 hectares despite huge increases in U.S. assistance for weapons, training, and intelligence. This proposed aid package will only expand a failed war on drugs by increasing military force, while failing to address the complex political, economic, and social inequalities at the root of Colombia's internal conflict.

On October 24, 1999, more than 10 million Colombians marched for peace. Talks between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the largest guerrilla force, have resumed. Progress is being made toward opening negotiations with the National Liberation Army (ELN), the second largest guerrilla group. We ask you to honestly assess the possible negative effects on U.S. military aid on those peace efforts. It is our judgment that such aid will undermine them. We urge you to vote against increased U.S. military involvement in Colombia.

RAQUEL RODRIGUEZ,

Program Associate, Latin American and Caribbean Office, Global Ministries, United Church of Christ--Disciples of Christ.

DAVID A. VARGAS,

Executive for Latin America and the Caribbean Global Ministries, United Church of Christ--Disciples of Christ.

THOM WHITE WOLF FASSETT,

General Secretary, United Methodist Church, General Board of Church amid Society.

STEVEN BENNETT,

Executive Director, Witness for Peace.

Mr. WELLSTONE. They are opposed to this aid package for the push into southern Colombia, again with the same concern about the basic violation of human rights and the close connection between the armed services and these paramilitary terrorist organizations.

Mr. President, I also have here a document which is from Human Rights Nongovernmental Organizations and the Peace Movement In Colombia.

I ask unanimous consent this be printed in the Record.

There being no objection the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:


Colombia Answers Plan Colombia: A Plan for Peace or a Plan for War?

(A DECLARATION FROM SOCIAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS, AND THE PEACE MOVEMENT IN COLOMBIA, BOGOTA, MAY 31, 2000)
We would like express our support for those offers of international assistance that contribute to resolving the armed conflict through a process of political negotiation, and that strengthen and unite Colombian society and the economy. We support proposals that include viable and integral solutions to the problem of drug trafficking, the design of a new development model agreed to by the people, and the strengthening of a new kind of democratic institutionality.

However, Plan Colombia, presented by the Government of President Pastrana, has been developed with the same logic of political and social exclusion that has been one of the structural causes of the conflict Colombians have experienced since the time of our formation as a Republic.

In this same vein, because we feel it is a mistake, we are obligated to reject the fact that Plan Colombia includes, as one of its strategies, a military component that not only fails to resolve he narcotrafficking problem, but also endangers the efforts to build peace, increases illicit crop production, violates the Amazonic ecosystem, aggravates the humanitarian and human rights crisis, multiplies the problem of forced displacement, and worsens the social crisis with fiscal adjustment policies. In its social component, the Plan is limited to attending to some of the tangential causes and effects of the conflict.

What we are proposing is the need for a concerted agreement between different actors in Colombian society and the international community, one where civil society is the principal interlocutor, where solutions to the varied conflicts are found, and where stable and sustainable peace is constructed. We are ready and willing to design strategies, to define forms of implementation and to monitor a plan that reflects these intentions.

Taking into consideration the arguments put forth above, we the undersigned are given no choice but to reject the U.S. assistance for Colombia that you are considering at this time.

Mr. WELLSTONE. I will quote one section:

In this same vein, because we feel it is a mistake--

They are talking about this package--
we are obliged to reject the fact that Plan Colombia includes as one of its strategies, a military component that not only fails to resolve the narcotrafficking problem--

I say to the majority leader and others, `that fails to resolve this problem,' but that is what we want to do, is resolve the problem--


[Page: S5492]

but also endangers the efforts to build peace, increases illicit crop production, violates the Amazonic ecosystem, aggravates the humanitarian and human rights crisis, multiplies the problem of forced displacement, and worsens the social crisis with fiscal adjustment policies.
It is from a variety of about 70 nongovernment organizations, including religious organizations as well, in the country of Colombia. They are saying don't do this. Provide the assistance; we need it. Let's get it to the civic-building organizations, get it to the police, get it to some of the interdiction efforts, get it to some other economic development efforts. But don't put the money into the military for this campaign, given the military's record of torture, murder, and widespread violation of human rights.

In short, continuing to pursue our current Colombia counterinsurgency policy, cloaked under the veil of antinarcotics efforts--that is not what this is about. This is not about an antinarcotics effort. That is not what the vote is about. The vote is about whether or not you are going to put money into this military anti-insurgency effort. It risks drawing us into a terrible quagmire. History has repeatedly shown, especially in Latin America--just think of Nicaragua or El Salvador--that the practical effect of this strategy now under consideration is to militarize, to escalate the conflict, not to end it. That is, I think, the flaw in this package.

The call by the administration for a massive increase in counternarcotics assistance for Colombia this year puts the United States at a crossroads. Do we back a major escalation in military aid to Colombia that may worsen a civil war that has already raged for decades or do we pursue a more effective policy of stabilizing Colombia by promoting sustainable development, strengthening civilian democratic institutions, and attacking the drug market by investing in prevention and treatment at home--the demand side of the equation, right here in our own country?

The decision to fund the Colombian Army's push into southern Colombia is an enormous policy shift. It represents a 7-to-1 shift in funding from the Colombian police to the army. General McCaffrey says the purpose of Plan Colombia is to help the Colombian Army recover the southern part of the country now under guerrilla control. But honestly, if the purpose of this military aid is to stop drug trafficking, should some of that aid not target the northern part of Colombia as well? Something strange is going on here. If we want to deal with the people who are involved in drug trafficking, then one would think we would also have a campaign in the northern part of Colombia. There you have the right-wing death squads involved. Colombia is currently the largest recipient of U.S. security assistance. It is exceeded only by Israel and Egypt. Foreign aid and other assistance to Colombia, since 1995, now totals $739 million. Yet the administration's own estimate shows a 140-percent

increase in Colombia coca cultivation over the past 5 years.

Colombia now produces 80 percent of the world's cocaine. Drugs today are cheaper and more available than ever before. If the drug war was evaluated like most other Federal programs, I suspect we would have tried different strategies a long time ago. More weapons and more soldiers have not and cannot defeat the source of illegal narcotics. While the Colombian Government and people merit our assistance, more money for guns is not the answer to Colombia's troubles or our own troubles with the serious use of drugs right here in our own country.

Being tough on drugs is important. But we also need to be smart about the tactics we employ. No one disagrees that Colombia faces a difficult challenge and we should respond to President Pastrana's call for help to combat illegal drug trafficking. I agree. President Pastrana has argued that U.S. support is necessary to `strengthen democratic institutions, stop the flow of drugs, and bring peace to the country.' I agree.

I would support the army's push into southern Colombia if I felt this proposal would make that happen. But, in fact, I think a military push would have the exact opposite effect by weakening democratic institutions and bringing more hardship to the Colombian people. There is not anything in the world we can do, by way of monitoring this, to make sure that this military--which has been so clearly linked to these right-wing death squads and terrorist organizations--will change its practice.

Amnesty International, the State Department report, `Human Rights World Watch Report'--I could spend hours just reading from these reports on the atrocities committed by the military, or the atrocities committed by these death squads, these paramilitary organizations toward which the military basically has turned a blind eye. Now we are going to provide the money for this military, for a military campaign, with American advisers, in the southern part of Colombia? That is what is problematical about this.

At the same time, however, forces from within Colombia threaten democracy. Paramilitary groups operating with the acquiescence or open support of the military--the very military we are going to support--account for most of the political violence in Colombia today. I need to make that point.

Yes to interdiction, yes to going after drug trafficking--but understand that this is a country in civil war. This is a country with the largest internally displaced population, maybe in the world, certainly in the hemisphere. And this is a country where too many innocent civilians are murdered. This is a country where paramilitary groups, operating with the acquiescence or open support of the military, account for most of the political violence.

Yet Colombia's military leaders have not taken a firm stand or taken clear steps necessary to purge human rights abusers from their ranks. The evidence is clear. They have taken no steps to purge human rights abusers from their ranks. They have acquiesced to these human rights abuses. Sometimes they support these human rights abuses. And we are going to provide this money for this military with American advisers?

I support the addition to this bill that requires conditions on assistance based on human rights concerns. But just as the Committee on Appropriations noted in its committee report to this bill, I, too, `have grave reservations.' I quote from the Committee on Appropriations:

. . . grave reservations regarding the Administration's ability to effectively manage the use of these resources to achieve the expected results of reducing production and supply of cocaine while protecting human rights.

Human rights organizations have detailed abundant and compelling evidence of continuing ties between the Colombian Army and paramilitary groups responsible for gross human rights violations. In its annual report for 1999, Human Rights Watch reports:

[I]n 1999 paramilitary [groups] were considered responsible for 78 percent of the total number of human rights and international humanitarian law violations [in Colombia.]

Human Rights Watch collected this evidence with the help of the Colombian Commission of Jurists, a highly respected human rights watchdog within Colombia. It has also collected evidence linking half of Colombia's 18 brigade-level army units to paramilitary activity.

In other words, military support for paramilitaries remains national in scope and includes areas where units receiving or scheduled to receive U.S. military aid operate. This is quite unbelievable. I hope all Senators will consider this seriously when they vote on this amendment.

I was also given a book detailing the human rights situation in Colombia by the Twin Cities Chapter of the Colombia Support Network. This organization is working to establish a sister-city relationship with the war-torn town of San Pablo in southern Colombia. San Pablo is directly in the path of the suggested push into southern Colombia. This is just one of hundreds, if not thousands, of heartbreaking stories:

A young woman, with a confused and almost hopeless air about her, answered my questions and spoke into my taperecorder. She had been forced to join a military patrol and walk for 13 days through the mountains, guiding the soldiers and carrying their knapsacks. Although she witnessed numerous cases of torture and the destruction and burning of humble campesino dwellings, it was the brutal murder of Jesus Pastrana which affected her the most. I myself had met this campesino leader on one of his visits to Bogota to attend meetings of ANUC (a national peasants organization with strong support during this period). According to the terrible details the young woman gave me, Chucho, as Jesus was affectionately called, died a slow and agonizing death on October 31, 1981. He was hung from a tree as psychopathic soldiers cut off his ears, his fingers, hands, then arms and testicles and finally shot him 21 times.

Other colleagues have come to the floor to speak, and I want to make sure they speak.

If this were an isolated example and if I did not have in hand the evidence from respected human rights organizations and the State Department reports of blatant violation of human rights now of these paramilitary organizations committing so many of these atrocities, most of the violence, with the military acquiescing and sometimes linked to it and supporting it, with no evidence the military is taking any steps to purge its ranks of human rights abusers, I might think better of this dramatic change in our package, 7 to 1 from military to police, for a campaign in southern Colombia with American advisers, putting us in the middle of the civil war aligned with this military.

I want to have aid for Colombia. I want President Pastrana to have our support, but this effort will not be successful. Moreover, I think, we are, on very treacherous ground, moving into this area.

I will summarize so that other colleagues may speak.

We could put this money into the demand side. I am simply saying we take $225 million, leaving $700 million, or thereabouts, and we put it into the substance abuse prevention and treatment block grant program which basically is a block grant to our States. Whether or not we are talking about the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy or whether or not we are talking about the data that is collected in our States, we are talking about a situation where 50 percent of adults or more and 80 percent of adolescents or more who need treatment are receiving no treatment because we do not have the funds for the treatment programs.

Our police chiefs tell us drug abuse is the most serious problem in their community. They also identify a shortage of treatment programs as a real limitation on their ability to deal

with it.

We know from study after study--and I will talk more about this when I have more time--that money put into treatment programs pays for itself over and over. I have dramatic statistics and data I will present, but the long and the short of it is, if we have this package and if there are questions to be raised about the militarization of this aid, putting the money into the military for the southern campaign, a military directly linked to human rights violations, with so many organizations in Colombia saying do not do this, it will lead to more violence; do not do this, America, you could be sucked into this conflict; at the same time, we could provide a significant package into building democratic institutions for economic aid, $700 million, and we could take a tiny portion of it and deal with the demand side for drugs in our own country, which is also critically important, and get the funding to the community level that would help us provide some treatment for people, that is a win-win situation.

I hope this amendment will receive strong support from my colleagues.


[Page: S5493]

AMENDMENT NO. 3518

(PURPOSE: TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR THE SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES)
Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, I send the amendment to the desk.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the amendment.

The bill clerk read as follows:

The Senator from Minnesota [Mr. Wellstone], for himself and Mrs. Boxer, proposes an amendment numbered 3518.

Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading of the amendment be dispensed with.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

The amendment is as follows:
On page 143, line 9, insert before the period the following: `: Provided further, That, subject to the 2 preceding provisos, of the funds appropriated for military purposes under this heading for the `Push into Southern Colombia', $225,000,000 shall be made available to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for carrying out subpart II of part B of title XIX of the Public Health Services Act (42 U.S.C. 300x-21 et seq.): Provided further, That amounts made available under the preceding proviso are hereby designated by the Congress to be emergency requirements pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985: Provided further, That such amounts shall be made available only after submission to the Congress of a formal budget request by the President that includes designation of the entire amount of the request as an emergency requirement as defined in such Act'.


Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, how much time do I have remaining?

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has used 26 minutes and has 64 minutes remaining.

Mr. WELLSTONE. I thank the Chair.

I sent this amendment on behalf of myself and Senator Boxer. I reserve the remainder of my time.

As of June 25, 2000, this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:S21JN0-36:
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