This is an August 2007 copy of a website maintained by the Center for International Policy. It is posted here for historical purposes. The Center for International Policy no longer maintains this resource.

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Last Updated:2/6/02
U.S. Military and Police Aid:
The 2002 aid package

Relevant text of the 2002 aid package legislation (the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which includes most aid for Colombia and its neighbors):

A chronological list of reports, certifications and other releases of official information required by Congress in 2002

  • CIP analysis of the Bush Administration's original 2002 request for aid to Colombia and its neighbors.
  • Bush Administration's 2002 aid request for the Andes - State Department portion, document acquired May 8, 2001.
  • Bush Administration's 2002 aid request for Colombia - Defense Department portion, document acquired September 19, 2001.
  • Excerpt from International Narcotics & Law Enforcement Affairs Congressional Budget Justification, May 2001

The House-Senate Conference Committee met in November and December to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of the foreign aid bill. Both houses approved the final version on December 19 and 20. The final bill includes about $625 million for the "Andean Regional Initiative" aid program ($106 million less than the Bush Administration's request), and conditions on human rights and fumigation were altered but remain in the law.

  • Relevant excerpts from the legislation (with or without explanatory annotations from CIP)

The full Senate met on October 24 to debate the 2002 foreign aid bill. The debate focused on two amendments to the bill; one failed and one passed.

  • Relevant excerpts from the legislation

  • Sen. Bob Graham (D-Florida) introduced an amendment that would have restored the Bush Administration's $731 million request for the Andean Regional Initiative, which the Senate Appropriations Committee had cut to $567 million. The $164 million would have come from across-the-board cuts in the rest of the foreign aid bill. Sen. Graham's amendment was challenged on a point of order, which Graham sought to waive, requiring a vote. The vote on the waiver failed by a 27-72 vote, killing the amendment.
  • Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wisconsin) introduced an amendment to add a new condition prohibiting funding for aerial fumigation until alternative development projects are operating in affected areas. The amendment passed, together with several other amendments, by voice vote.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met on July 26 to mark up (amend and approve) the 2002 foreign aid bill. Its version of the bill does the following:

    • Cuts the counternarcotics portion of the "Andean Regional Initiative" request from $676 million to $567 million;
    • Inserts strong human rights conditions, probably similar to last year's conditions, wthout waiver authority;
    • Freezes funding for aerial drug fumigations until the Secretary of State, after consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Surgeon General, determines that they do not pose an “undue risk to human health or safety”; and
    • Re-establishes the cap of 500 military personnel and 300 civilian contractors allowed in Colombia at one time.

  • Relevant excerpts from the legislation
  • Relevant excerpts from the Senate Appropriations Committee Report [.html | Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)]
  • Senate Appropriations Committee's press release [English | Spanish]

The House of Representatives met on July 24 to debate and approve H.R. 2506, the 2002 foreign aid bill. Amendments to cut military assistance failed by party-line votes, with Democrats mostly in favor and Republicans mostly opposed. An amendment to reinstate a cap on contractors passed in modified form -- instead of a maximum of 500 uniformed U.S. military personnel and 300 private contractors allowed in Colombia at one time, a combined total of 800 U.S. personnel was added to the bill. More details about the debate and the votes will be added soon.

The House Appropriations Committee met July 10 to mark up (amend and approve) the 2002 foreign aid bill. No amendments were approved. The Republican leadership inserted in the bill's text a provision removing the legal maximum of 300 private contractors allowed in Colombia at one time.

  • Relevant excerpts from House Appropriations Committee Report 107-142 on H.R. 2506, the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, July 17, 2001

The Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee marked up the 2002 foreign aid bill on June 27. The only change: the committee cut $55 million from the administration's $882 million request.

  • CIP analysis of the Bush Administration's request for aid to Colombia and its neighbors in 2002.
  • Bush Administration's 2002 aid request for the Andes - State Department portion, document acquired May 8, 2001.
  • Bush Administration's 2002 aid request for Colombia - Defense Department portion, document acquired September 19, 2001.
  • [English | Español] State Department fact sheet on U.S. Policy Toward the Andean Region, May 17, 2001
  • On-the-Record Briefing with several administration officials on Andean Regional Initiative, May 16, 2001
  • Relevant excerpts from Fiscal Year 2002 International Affairs (Function 150) Budget Request, U.S. State Department, April 9, 2001

Human rights certification:

In two daily briefings (January 18 and January 19, 2001), the State Department announced that the U.S. government has determined that it does not have to issue a human rights certification or waiver for 2001 aid to Colombia. Instead of certifying, the White House will issue a report on progress toward the six certification requirements out of "goodwill," but will make no determination.

(Go here for a description of the human rights certification restrictions in the 2000-2001 aid package.)

How is this possible? The answer is complicated:

1) Colombia's aid in 2000 and 2001 can be categorized as "regular," coming from the usual aid programs, or "supplemental," additional aid from the bill passed last July. It can also be divided between programs managed by the State Department and those that the Defense Department carries out on its own. (The table above should make this a bit clearer.)

2) That makes four categories of aid: (1) Regular State Department, (2) Supplemental State Department, (3) Regular Defense Department, and (4) Supplemental Defense Department.

3) The certification requirements did not apply to the fourth category, Supplemental Defense Department, which was in a different section of last July's bill.

4) The certification requirements did apply to the second category, Supplemental State Department. The State Department obligated all money in this category ($781.5m) before the end of 2000. No certification is needed in 2001 to free up these funds, because they have already been completely doled out.

5) This leaves the first and third categories, the money from "regular" aid programs in 2001. The law is worded confusingly, though it appears that regular aid programs had to await certification to go forward in 2001.

The State Department was probably working under this assumption, since for months it has promised a certification decision in January and held a round of meetings with non-governmental organizations before issuing a recommendation.

Apparently, though, the law is being interpreted to mean that the certification requirement does not apply to "regular" aid programs. By that interpretation, no remaining 2001 aid requires certification.

The Center for International Policy finds this to be a troubling evasion of the human rights conditions. "Regular" aid funds the same programs as "supplemental" aid. To the people in the embassy carrying these programs out, it's all the same money. It should be subject to the same standards. It is improper to avoid human rights restrictions by taking advantage of an imprecision in the law.

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