Pubdate: Fri, 20 Apr 2001
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2001 Los Angeles Times
Author: Gabe Thompson
Bookmark: (Reports about Colombia)


* Colombian President Andres Pastrana's April 16 commentary, "Despite
the Media, the Drug War May Have a Happy Ending," gives absolutely no
indications as to why a more optimistic attitude is warranted
regarding the situation in Colombia.

He is certain that the efforts by the U.S. to stop the drug flow will
have a "positive and lasting effect," though this supply-side approach
has never worked in the history of the world. Our planet is too
ecologically diverse and fertile to make the eradication of crops feasible.

The U.S.-funded Plan Colombia, which Pastrana endorses, will result in
more poverty, more violence, more refugees and (at best) a change of
venue for the growing of illicit crops. It hopes to solve a political
and social problem by military force.

The only "happy ending" in Colombia will be reserved for the Colombian
military and U.S. arms manufacturers looking for new markets. The
resulting escalation of violence will do little for Colombian citizens
caught in the cross hairs of the terrible policies of these two countries.

Gabe Thompson

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