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Last Updated:12/21/01
Relevant excerpts from conference report on H.R. 2506, the 2002 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill (with annotations)

(Excerpt text only, without annotations)

ANDEAN COUNTERDRUG INITIATIVE

For necessary expenses to carry out section 481 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 solely to support counterdrug activities in the Andean region of South
1. Overall amount: The figure of $625 million for the entire Andean region is less than the Bush Administration's original request of $731 million and the $676 million granted by the House of Representatives, though it is substantially more than the $547 million in the Senate's version of the bill. The Bush Administration will have to make cuts from its original request, but may apply them as it sees fit, with some small exceptions outlined below. Also note that this is not the only appropriations bill that funds aid to Colombia's armed forces - a smaller amount of aid will come through the Defense Department bill (view the administration's estimate for Defense Department-funded aid to Colombia in 2002).
America, $625,000,000, to remain available until expended: Provided, That in addition to the funds appropriated under this heading and subject to the regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations,
2. Additional $35 million: The $625 million can become $660 million by taking funding out of the budget of the State Department's International Narcotics Control program, which funds counter-narcotics programs worldwide. That program's budget for 2002 is $215 million, so $35 million would be a substantial cut.
the President may make available up to an additional $35,000,000 for the Andean Counterdrug Initiative, which may be derived from funds appropriated under the heading ``International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement'' in this Act and in prior Acts making appropriations for foreign operations, export financing, and related programs: Provided further, That of the amount appropriated under this heading,
3. Straight to AID: This provision guarantees that (a) over one-third of the region-wide package must be social and economic aid (the original administration request was 40 percent); and (b) funds for social and economic programs will be appropriated directly to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) instead of first passing through the State Department's anti-narcotics bureau, as they did last year.
not less than $215,000,000 shall be apportioned directly to the United States Agency for International Development, to be used for economic and social programs: Provided further, That funds appropriated by this Act that are used for the procurement of chemicals for aerial coca fumigation programs may be made available for such programs only if the Secretary of State, after consultation with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, and, if appropriate, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, determines and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that (1) aerial coca fumigation is being carried out in accordance with regulatory controls required by the

4. Fumigation certification: This rather self-explanatory language cuts off money for new herbicides until the State Department (along with the other agencies mentioned) can certify that several conditions exist. In fact, these conditions may not exist right now. Labels on Monsanto's "Round-Up" herbicide indicate that the product must not be used near bodies of water and that people and animals should stay out of sprayed areas until the herbicide has dried. Many local authorities and NGOs have documented health effects of fumigations (see, for instance, reports from the Contraloría General de la República de Colombia, World Wildlife Fund, International Labor Rights Fund, and RAPALMIRA, among others). While a Colombian government procedure for compensating unjustly sprayed crops exists on paper (through the Environmental Oversight office of the National Narcotics Directorate), this mechanism has been employed in very few cases.

Note also that this provision only cuts off purchases of herbicides. If the State Department and Colombian government have been stockpiling "Round-Up," this certification requirement will have no effect on the fumigation program.

Environmental Protection Agency as labeled for use in the United States, and after consultation with the Colombian Government to ensure that the fumigation is in accordance with Colombian laws; (2) the chemicals used in the aerial fumigation of coca, in the manner in which they are being applied, do not pose unreasonable risks or adverse effects to humans or the environment; and (3) procedures are available to evaluate claims of local citizens that their health was harmed or their licit agricultural crops were damaged by such aerial coca fumigation, and to provide fair compensation for meritorious claims; and

5. Fumigation and alternative development: This provision reflects a growing belief in Congress that fumigation without alternative development opportunities in place is unlikely to reduce net coca cultivation. It requires that some alternative-development programs already be functioning in zones where coca holdings are to be fumigated.

such funds may not be made available for such purposes after six months from the date of enactment of this Act unless alternative development programs have been developed, in consultation with communities and local authorities in the departments in which such aerial coca fumigation is planned, and in the departments in which such aerial coca fumigation has been conducted such programs are being implemented: Provided further, That

6. Shootdown policy: The U.S. strategy of passing intelligence about suspected drug-smuggling flights to the Peruvian and Colombian Air Forces has been suspended since the accidental shooting down of a planeload of U.S. missionaries over Peru in April 2001. In this section, Congress seeks assurances that new safeguards are in place to avoid any new accidents.

none of the funds appropriated by this Act may be made available to support a Peruvian air interdiction progra m 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

7. Section 482(b): This provision waives section 482(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act, which normally prohibits the use of counter-narcotics funds for weapons or ammunition (unless they are to be used for the defensive arming of anti-drug aircraft or for defensive purposes by State Department employees or contract personnel engaged in counternarcotics activities).

When aid is subject to "normal notification procedures," the leaders of both houses' appropriations committees must be notified in advance when new aid is to be obligated; chairmen and ranking minority-party members of these committees occasionally freeze such aid until certain conditions are met or negotiated.

section 482(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 shall not apply to funds appropriated under this heading: 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

8. The "cap" on troops and contractors: The 2000-2001 "Plan Colombia" aid package held the presence of U.S. military personnel in Colombia to a maximum of 500, and held private contractors' presence to a maximum of 300. While U.S. officials have claimed that the military presence has not exceeded 400, they have argued for a lifting of the contractor cap. Neither house of Congress was willing to extend the overall number of U.S. personnel (military plus contractors) beyond 800; the House called for a combined total of 800, and the Senate kept the previous 500-300 split. The compromise version lowers the military limit to 400 and raises the contractors' legal presence to 400 U.S. citizens. (Foreign-country nationals are excluded from this count.)

section 3204(b)(1)(A) of Public Law 106-246 is amended by striking ``500'' and inserting in lieu thereof ``400'', and section 3204(b)(1)(B) of Public Law 106-246 is amended by striking ``300'' and inserting in lieu thereof ``400'': 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 funds made available under this heading shall be subject to the regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations: Provided further, That of the funds appropriated under this heading, not more than $14,240,000 may be

9. Helicopter end-use: This provision was also included in the 2000-2001 "Plan Colombia" aid package.

available for administrative expenses of the Department of State, and not more than $4,500,000 may be available for administrative expenses of the United States Agency for International Development.

...

COLOMBIA

SEC. 567. (a) DETERMINATION AND CERTIFICATION REQUIRED.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law,

10. Human rights conditions: Language conditioning military aid to Colombia on human rights performance -- which was included in the bill's Senate version -- is similar to that found in the 2000 "Plan Colombia" aid package, with four key exceptions:

(a) This year, there is no waiver on the conditions. The President cannot disregard the conditions if he finds "that to do so is in the national security interest."

(b) This year's conditions have been softened in a way that may make it easier to certify the Colombian military's compliance. In condition (A), for instance, "promptly suspending" has been reduced this year to "suspending." In condition (B), "cooperating fully" has been reduced to "cooperating." While last year's law required the Colombian government to be "vigorously prosecuting in the civilian courts" paramilitary leaders and their military collaborators, condition (C) calls only for "effective measures to sever links" between the armed forces and the paramilitaries.

(c) Forty percent of aid is withheld until June 2002, when certification must take place again. This will avoid a repeat of January 2001, when the outgoing Clinton Administration skipped a second certification/waiver by claiming it was unnecessary, since all funds had already been obligated.

(d) Consultations with human rights NGOs and reporting on progress toward the conditions must now take place every four months instead of every six months.

funds appropriated by this Act or prior Acts making appropriations for foreign operations, export financing, and related programs, may be made available for assistance for the Colombian Armed Forces as follows:

(1) not more than sixty percent of such funds may be obligated after a determination by the Secretary of State and a certification to the appropriate congressional committees that:

(A) 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;

(B) 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;

(C) 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; and

(2) the balance of such funds may be obligated after June 1, 2002, if the Secretary of State determines and certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that the Colombian Armed Forces are continuing to meet the criteria contained in paragraphs (1)(A), (B) and (C).

(b) CONSULTATIVE PROCESS.--At least ten days prior to making the determination and certification required by this section, and every 120 days thereafter during fiscal year 2002, 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 2002, 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 subsections (a)(1)(A) through (a)(1)(C); and

(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.

ILLEGAL ARMED GROUPS

SEC. 568. (a) DENIAL OF VISAS TO SUPPORTERS OF COLOMBIAN ILLEGAL ARMED GROUPS.--Subject to subsection (b),

11. Visa denial: A new provision, this requirement applies to suspected supporters -- and not just members -- of all three Colombian groups on the State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

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.

...

12. Report language: The bill comes with a report clarifying the Conference Committee's intent and expectations for the law, as well as other concerns and the occasional request for information.

[Non-binding report language:]

ANDEAN COUNTERDRUG INITIATIVE

The conference agreement appropriates $625,000,000, instead of $675,000,000 as proposed by the House and $547,000,000 as proposed by the Senate.

Additionally, the conference agreement allows for the authority to provide up to $35,000,000 through a permissive transfer from the International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement funds. The managers intend that this discretionary authority shall apply only to funds within the International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement account in this Act and in prior Acts making appropriations for foreign operations, export financing, and related programs. Such a transfer is subject to the regular notification procedures of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations. In the event of such a transfer, the managers intend for the funds to support interdiction, alternative development, or other economic assistance to the Andean countries. The managers emphasize that there are other funds for Andean nations in this Act that may be made available for the Andean Regional Initiative (ARI).

The conference agreement includes no earmarks for Bolivia, Ecuador, or Venezuela as proposed by the Senate. The House did not address this matter.

13. Earmarks: The Senate's legislation had required that Bolivia receive at least $101 million, and Ecuador at least $35 million, leaving $411 million or less for the other Andean Regional Initiative countries (Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Panama, and Venezuela). This requirement was removed from the bill's final version, but a strong suggestion of $86 million for Bolivia and $33 million for Ecuador is in the report language. Complying would leave $506 million for the other five Andean Regional countries.

The managers strongly support the provision of $86,000,000 for assistance for Bolivia, and $33,000,000 for assistance for Ecuador. The managers note the success these countries have had in combating narcotics cultivation and trafficking, and expect the Department of State to ensure that successful programs and activities continue under the ARI.

The conference agreement does not include Senate bill language making available $2,000,000 for democracy-building activities in Venezuela. The managers strongly support efforts to promote democracy, the rule of law, and civil society in Venezuela and note with concern that the country remains a significant transit route for illegal drugs destined for the United States.

The conference report does not include language proposed by the Administration that would have exempted funds appropriated in fiscal year 2002 and subsequent fiscal years from the limitation imposed in section 3204(a) of the Emergency Supplemental Act, 2000 (P.L. 106-246). It is the conferees' understanding that funds appropriated in this Act that are made available in support of Plan Colombia satisfy the conditions set forth in section 3204(a) of the Emergency Supplemental Act, 2000 (P.L. 106-246).

14. Fiscalía Human Rights Unit: Aid to the Human Rights Unit of the Colombian Government Chief Prosecutor's Office (Fiscalía) has so far consisted mainly of training and some equipment which, as the report language indicates, is not what the unit says it needs most. The appropriators ask that they be consulted before future aid allocations to the unit.

The managers are concerned that funds included in P.L. 106-246 for assistance for the Colombian Fiscalia Human Rights Office, have been allocated without consultation with the Appropriations Committees for purposes that do not address this unit's priority needs of security, mobility and communications equipment for prosecutors, in particular for those prosecutors based in secondary cities and outlying regions. The managers direct the Department of State and Department of Justice to consult with the committees prior to the obligation or expenditure of funds appropriated in this Act or in P.L. 106-246 for administration of justice programs in Colombia regarding the use of such funds.

The Colombian National Police (CNP) anti-drug unit has the lead law enforcement role in the overall fight against illicit drugs and a commendable human rights record. The CNP has already been provided at least 8 Black Hawks and nearly 30 Huey II helicopters by the United States to carry out this important drug fighting function including providing protection of the eradication planes.

15. Colombian National Police spare parts: This request reflects concerns of House Republicans who have pressured for years to equip the new CNP anti-drug unit.

The managers believe it is vital that the CNP now be provided adequate spare parts and maintenance monies to keep this equipment flying at the high rates of operation that has been seen to date. The managers expect the Department of State to maximize the U.S. investment in these expensive helicopters and other equipment provided the CNP by providing adequate parts.

The conference agreement includes language, similar to the Senate amendment, requiring consultations, a determination and report by the Secretary of State to ensure that chemicals used in the aerial fumigation of coca do not pose unreasonable health or safety risks to humans or the environment, and that the fumigation is conducted in accordance with regulatory controls in the U.S. as described in the

16. This report is available on this site.

January 23, 2001 State Department health and safety report on aerial spraying. Additionally, the managers have required the Secretary of State to consult with the Colombian government to ensure that the spraying is in accordance with Colombian laws.

The managers are concerned with the lack of effective procedures for evaluating claims of local citizens that their health was harmed or their licit agricultural crops were damaged by such fumigation. The managers are informed that, in order to correct these problems, new procedures for handling claims have been put in place. The conference agreement requires the Secretary to determine and report that procedures are available to evaluate such claims, and

17. Report on compensation procedures: This report will be due ninety days after the bill is signed into law (probably early April).

the managers direct the Secretary to report to the Committees on Appropriations not later than 90 days after enactment on the effectiveness of these new procedures.

The managers are concerned that coca eradication in some areas has proceeded before effective alternative development programs have been in place, and that some farmers in those areas have already replanted coca. In order to ensure that farmers whose coca is eradicated have alternative sources of income, access to markets and social services, the Conference Agreement includes Senate language requiring that within 6 months of the date of enactment alternative development programs have been developed in consultation with communities and local authorities in each department in which aerial fumigation is planned, and that such programs are being implemented in each department in which aerial coca fumigation has been conducted.

The conference agreement includes the Senate provision requiring the return of any helicopter found to aid or abet paramilitary groups. The House did not address this matter.

While the managers fully appreciate the linkages between narco-traffickers and Colombian guerrilla movements and paramilitary organizations, they remain concerned with the prospects of involvement by the United States in Colombia's civil war.

18. A clear recommendation against a counter-insurgency mission in Colombia.

The managers strongly express reservations and objections to any mission creep in Colombia beyond ongoing counterdrug efforts.

The conference agreement includes a provision prohibiting funds for the resumption of flights in support of a Peruvian air interdiction program until a system of enhanced safeguards are in place. The conference agreement differs from the conditions on funding for Peru as proposed by the House. The first condition, the submission of a report by the Secretary of State, has been provided to the Congress. The second condition requires that the resumption of flights in Peru must include enhanced safeguards, and to date the State Department has not decided to resume flights in Peru. The Senate did not address this matter.

The conference agreement makes available $14,240,000 for administrative expenses of the Department of State and $4,500,000 for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

...

Section 567. Colombia

The conference agreement includes a modified version of the Senate provision on Colombia. The House did not address this matter. The managers are concerned with the alarming number of human rights violations and massacres of civilians in Colombia by paramilitary forces, kidnapping and other abuses by guerrilla forces, as well as persistent reports of aiding and abetting of paramilitaries by some units of the Colombian Armed Forces. The conference agreement includes language that provides for the obligation of 60 percent of funds appropriated for the Colombian Armed Forces if certain conditions relating to human rights are met, and for the obligation of the balance of funds after June 1, 2002 if such are conditions are met.

The conditions on assistance to the Colombian Armed Forces require suspending individuals, of whatever rank, who have been credibly alleged to have committed gross violations of human rights or to have aided or abetted paramilitary groups. By ``suspending'' the managers refer to removal from active duty and assignment to administrative duties only without combat responsibilities or command of troops in the field, pending investigation and prosecution, when civilian prosecutors determine there is credible evidence to support such allegations.
The conditions on assistance to the Colombian Armed Forces also require their cooperation with civilian prosecutors and judicial authorities, in prosecuting and punishing in civilian courts members of the Armed Forces who have been credibly alleged to have committed gross violations of human rights or aided or abetted paramilitary groups, including members who have been suspended for allegedly committing such crimes.

Section 568. Illegal Armed Groups

The conference agreement includes the provision in the Senate amendment prohibiting the Secretary of State from issuing visas to individuals with ties to illegal armed groups in Colombia. The House did not address this matter.

As of December 21, 2001, this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/B?r107:@FIELD(FLD003+h)+@FIELD(DDATE+20011219)

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