you for that generous introduction, and for inviting me to participate
in this conference, which comes at a particularly significant point in
understand that the purpose of this meeting is to explore the security,
economic and political dimensions of conflict resolution in Colombia.
Building on the progress made under President Pastrana, the incoming
Uribe administration faces tremendous challenges. It must provide for
increased security, strengthen democratic institutions, promote economic
recovery and improve the observance of human rights. It must also find
the increased resources that will be needed to do this.
conference contributes to those goals by providing an opportunity to
exchange views on how we can best help Colombia and the incoming
administration of President-elect Uribe to address the tremendous
challenges that he and his country face. To explore these issues, I want
to describe what the Administration is doing and hopes to do in order to
support progress towards their resolution.
that I said "progress toward their resolution," and we intend
to work with the Colombian government for this, but with the realistic
recognition that there are no easy or quick solutions.
first thing that needs to be recognized is that no single explanation
fully addresses the deep roots of Colombia's present-day troubles, but
they include limited government presence in large areas of the interior,
the expansion of illicit drug cultivation, endemic violence and social
United States policy towards Colombia seeks to help Colombia establish
control over its national territory in order to develop a prosperous
democracy that respects human rights and the rule of law and is free
from narcotics production and trafficking and terrorism.
strong support from the United States, the administration of Andres
Pastrana embarked on its "Plan Colombia" in 1999 to address
these multiple ills. Although widely described as a counternarcotics
program, "Plan Colombia" was a comprehensive effort by
Colombia to deal in a holistic way with the country's longstanding,
mutually reinforcing problems. The primary objectives of "Plan
Colombia" were to promote peace, combat the narcotics industry,
revive the Colombian economy, improve respect for human rights and
and social institutions of the country. The
Pastrana administration deserves credit for its articulation of these
goals and its programs to implement them; these programs were generally
accepted by all the candidates in the recent elections as the basis for
many of their own proposals.
said that, it is also important to note that Alvaro Uribe won election
without a runoff -- a first in recent Colombian history – by
campaigning on a platform that promised a more vigorous program to
combat narcotics trafficking and terrorism. His message quite clearly
resonated with the Colombian electorate. By the end of the peace process
with the FARC in February, it had become clear to all that the FARC
had no interest in a real peace or serious negotiations.
meeting here today comes as a number of developments are taking place.
The Administration continues to urge early adoption by the Congress of
renewed Andean trade preferences and is optimistic of its passage.
immediately, President-elect Uribe is completing a week in the United
States where he will have met in New York with U.N. Secretary General
Kofi Annan and here in Washington with President Bush, National Security
Adviser Rice, Secretary of State Powell, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld,
and ONDCP Director Walters, Assistant Secretary Reich, as well as
congressional leaders. This
has given us an opportunity
to learn more of his plans and to discuss the role of future U.S.
support. Before talking about that role, let me review what has
been accomplished with Colombia so far:
United States has trained and equipped the Colombian Army's
counternarcotics brigade, which has destroyed over 800 coca base
laboratories and 21 HCL (hydrochloride) laboratories and provided
security for aerial eradication operations in southern Colombia. UIT
Colombia, we sprayed a record 84,000 hectares of coca cultivation in
2001 and have set a goal of 150,000 hectares in 2002.
2001, the Colombian government extradited for trial in the United States
23 Colombian nationals here on serious narcotics charges.
Colombia's Ministry of Interior, we have funded a program that has
provided protection to nearly 1700 Colombians whose lives were
threatened, including human rights workers, labor activists and
U.S. government-funded Early Warning System alerts Colombian authorities
to threats of potential massacres or other human rights abuses. While
still incomplete and not perfect, it has made a difference.
with non-governmental organizations and international agencies, the U.S.
has provided assistance to 330,000 Colombians displaced by violence
program to demobilize child soldiers has helped 272 children to
re-integrate into society; this is a small beginning but one that we
hope will grow. One of the most egregious violations of human rights and
international humanitarian law is the forced recruitment of children,
especially by the FARC.
have helped the Colombian government implement programs to reform its
administration of justice and strengthen local government.
We have opened 20 "Casas de Justicia" to provide
cost-effective legal services in poor neighborhoods.
we are helping the Prosecutor General's Office set up human rights units
throughout the country to facilitate the investigation and prosecution
of human rights abuses.
also remain committed to alternative development as a key component of
our overall effort in Colombia. Promoting alternative development has
not been easy. The security situation is a major obstacle and in most
cases there is no alternative agricultural production that can match the
income derived from coca production. Because the results we had hoped
for were not being achieved, we are now making adjustments to our
includes working more closely with individual
to tailor programs to help with needs they identify or to fund
activities which improve the economic potential of isolated regions,
such as Putumayo, and boost the temporary employment and income of rural
we move forward on these refocused programs, we will need to keep in
mind the recent GAO report on alternative development in Colombia, which
noted: "without interdiction and eradication as disincentives,
growers are unlikely to abandon more lucrative and easily cultivated
coca crops in favor of less profitable and harder-to-grow licit corps or
to pursue legal employment."
support has been a key component of Colombian efforts. Since
July 2000, the United States has provided Colombia with $1.7 billion to
combat narcotics trafficking and terrorism, strengthen democratic
institutions and human rights, foster socio-economic development and
mitigate the impact of the violence on Colombian civilians. This
includes $380.5 million approved by Congress in the FY-02 Foreign
Operations Appropriations Act to continue these programs.
Department of State has asked for $439 million in its FY-03 budget
request, again for these and similar programs. Also, in the FY-02
emergency supplemental, the Department of State has requested $35
million for three initiatives in Colombia: $4 million to support
re-establishment of a Colombian National Police presence in areas it had
been forced to abandon; $25 million in anti-terrorism and
anti-kidnapping program funding and $6 million to jump-start training
for Colombian army units designated to protect a vital oil pipeline. The
House and the Senate are shortly to meet in a conference committee to
reconcile differences in the emergency supplemental legislation each has
addition to the $439 million for FY-03 I mentioned just a moment ago, we
are also asking Congress for $98 million to train and equip Colombian
military and police units protecting the Cano Limon-Covenas pipeline.
This proposal, which goes beyond our already established programs in
Colombia, is intended to help the Colombian government defend a vital
economic asset threatened by terrorist attacks and whose closure for
over 240 days during 2001 resulted in nearly $500
in foregone revenues and royalties lost, funds that otherwise would have
contributed to the country's legitimate economy and to social and
economic development programs. Often overlooked, oil spills as a result
of attacks on the pipeline have caused serious environmental damage.
proposed change that has caused the most commentary is the
Administration's March 21 request to the Congress for new legal
authorities to address the intertwined terrorist and narcotics problems,
the relation being something that perhaps we had not previously
you know, Colombia's 40-million-plus citizens and its democracy are
under sustained assault by three narco-terrorist groups: the
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC); the National Liberation
Army (ELN); and the paramilitary United Self-Defense Forces (AUC). These
three groups in varying degrees regularly engage in massacres,
kidnappings and attacks on key infrastructure. To support their
terrorist activities they -- and the FARC and AUC especially – are
intimately involved in every facet of narcotics trafficking, including
cultivation, processing and transportation.
Bush recognized this link when he stated on April 18, after meeting with
President Pastrana, that "we've put the FARC, AUC on our terrorist
called them for what they are. These
are killers, who use killing and intimidation to foster political means
... by fighting narco-trafficking we're fighting the funding sources for
these political terrorists."
these lines, I would note that yesterday the State Department expressed
its appreciation to the Government of Suriname for having expelled into
the custody of the United States a Colombian narcotics trafficker and
member of the FARC 16th Front who had been indicted in March 2002 for
being engaged in cocaine trafficking into the United States.
in Colombia have consistently shown that these groups have only minimal
public support. As in Africa, where the proceeds from illicit diamond
sales have been used to fund violence and intimidation, in Colombia it
is narcotics that provides the fuel. This is why a unified approach, one
that recognizes the cross-cutting relation between narcotics trafficking
and terrorism, is needed. The
new authorities the Administration is asking of Congress would allow us
the problem of terrorism in Colombia as vigorously as we currently
address narcotics; and
the Colombian government confront the heightened terrorist risk that has
resulted from the end of the FARC demilitarized zone.
primary difference between what we do now and what we hope to do is that
we are asking Congress to authorize the use of equipment previously made
available to Colombia for counternarcotics purposes - and in particular,
helicopters and the battalion the U.S. has trained and supported - for
the authorities for the use of aircraft and other assets to cover
terrorist and other threats to Colombia's democracy does not promise a
short-term solution. It
is not a silver bullet. However,
if approved, this will give us the flexibility we need to help the
Colombian government respond to this threat more efficiently and more effectively
in the shortest possible time, with resources already in Colombia.
This new initiative does not mean a retreat from our concern about human
rights, nor does it mean an open-ended U.S. commitment in Colombia. Specifically:
will not stop the human rights vetting of all Colombian military units
receiving U.S. assistance;
will not exceed the 400-person cap on U.S. military personnel providing
support to Plan Colombia nor the 400-person cap on U.S. civilian
will not send U.S. combat troops to Colombia. President Bush has made
rights concerns have been and will remain a central element in U.S.
policy toward Colombia. In meetings in Colombia with senior civilian and
military officials, including with President-elect Uribe, U.S.
officials, including Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc
Grossman, Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
Lorne Craner, and Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs
Otto Reich have regularly stressed the need for Colombia to improve
its human rights performance and sever remaining military-paramilitary
believe our human rights message is making a difference:
counternarcotics brigade that we trained and equipped has compiled an
unblemished human rights record to date.
Pastrana and Armed Forces Commander Tapias have repeatedly denounced
collusion between elements of the Colombian military and the
Colombian military captured 590 paramilitaries and killed 92 in combat
last year, three times more than the previous year.
too many Colombians continue to suffer abuses by state security forces
or by terrorist groups acting in collusion with them. Tose responsible
for such actions must be brought to justice. The establishment of the
rule of law and personal security for all Colombians will not be created
through human rights abuses or impunity for the perpetrators of such
Section 567 of the FY-02 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, the
Secretary of State is required to certify as to the Government of
Colombia's progress in meeting three human rights-related conditions:
Colombian Armed Forces members who have been credibly alleged to have
committed gross violations of human rights or to have aided or abetted
paramilitary groups are being suspended;
the Colombian Armed Forces are cooperating with civilian prosecutors and
judicial authorities in prosecuting and punishing in civilian courts
those members of the Colombian Armed Forces who have been credibly
alleged to have committed gross violations of human rights or to have
aided or abetted paramilitary groups; and
the Colombian Armed Forces are taking effective measures to sever links
with paramilitary groups, and to execute outstanding orders for capture
for members of such groups.
Secretary takes very seriously his responsibilities under the Act and
carefully weighed all the facts before certifying on May 1, thereby
releasing 60 percent of the funds appropriated in the FY-02 Foreign
Operations Act for the Colombian military. A second certification is
required before the remaining 40 percent can be released, and it too
will be carefully considered.
United States believes Colombia needs to continue a strong
counternarcotics program, including interdiction, spraying, alternative
development and extradition. Colombia must also make solid advances on
human rights and ending ties to paramilitary groups, increase GOC
revenues to meet increased needs and undertake to increase security
spending, but not at the expense of socio-economic development
commitment we have made to Colombia - to sustain our counternarcotics
programs, step up our counterterrorism assistance, strengthen programs
to protect human rights, and help to foment alternative development,
among other areas - cannot
succeed absent a sustained commitment of even greater magnitude by the
Government of Colombia.
Uribe received a solid electoral mandate for his pledge to establish
government authority throughout Colombia and has said he intends to
increase defense spending, add soldiers and police and create a civilian
defense force for intelligence collection. He has also said he would
call on the United Nations to provide assistance in peace negotiations.
devil is always in the details, but this strikes us as a good beginning.
you look at the issues to be posed by the three scheduled panels -
Economic Foundations for Peace; Military and Security Foundations for
Peace; and the Basis for Negotiating Peace - I hope you will find that
the programs and policies I have outlined contribute to these goals.
Colombian people have fought long and hard for peace. I
remember when I lived in Colombia as a child, reading in the newspaper
about atrocities committed in the countryside, in what was then
described as "La Violencia." Some of these guerrillas may have
had ideological motivations at that time. But in today's world, there is
no justification for a movement that kills, kidnaps, terrorizes or
narcotics trafficking to fund their goals. The
Colombian nation state, Colombian democracy, has to win this war for the
good of the country and the region. And the United States is committed
to helping our Colombian friends.
you very much.