Pubdate: Wed, 20 Apr 2005
Source: Chapel Hill News (NC)
Copyright: 2005 Chapel Hill News
Author: Noreen Ordronneau


Peace is possible in Colombia but not through more military aid and aerial 
spraying of small farmers' crops.

In the past five years, the United States has given more than $3 billion in 
taxpayer money to the Colombian government; 80 percent of this money funds 
the military and police.

Plan Colombia has failed. Congress billed Plan Colombia as a counter-drug 
policy. Yet the price, purity and availability of drugs on U.S. streets 
have not changed. U.S. support of the Colombian military has not helped our 
South American neighbor draw closer to a solution to the protracted armed 

Plan Colombia has not worked. It is time for a change. We need an aid 
package that provides social and economic development in Colombia's rural 
areas, protects human rights and the just rule of law, ends aerial spraying 
of crops and provides alternative development in rural areas and provides 
drug treatment in the United States in order to reduce the market for drugs.

The Bush administration has requested more than $700 million to continue 
funding Plan Colombia. Congress should vote no and refuse to fund this 
failed policy. U.S. assistance to Colombia could go a long way in 
supporting the victims of violence, truly addressing the U.S. drug problem 
and creating the conditions for true security. It is time to fund a program 
of peace for Colombia.

- -- Noreen Ordronneau

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