U.S. Tax Dollars Buy Death in Colombia

The American government plans on sending about $1 billion in aid to Colombia to help that nation fight a war on drugs. Critics complain that the money will largely end up in the hands of the Colombian military, which has a long history of human rights violations and a see and hear no evil policy toward right wing militias within that country. Oh no, counter supporters in the Clinton administration — the aid and weapons won’t be used for anything but fight narcotics traffickers.

Unfortunately an FBI report sent to Colombia in May but only recently seen by the U.S. press, implicates U.S. military hardware in a December 1998 attack on Colombia civilians. While the Colombian military was fighting with Leftist rebels nearby, an explosion in the village of Santo Domingo killed 16 people, including 6 children. The army claimed that the explosion was caused by a truck bomb set off by the guerillas.

The FBI report begs to differ. Its analysis of the damage and debris fingers a US-made AN-M41 bomb dropped on the village as the likeliest cause of the explosion. Shrapnel found at the scene was “consistent” with the use of the 20-pound bomb. The United States shipped the Colombian air force numerous such bombs over the years as part of previous aid packages.

The Colombian air force, meanwhile, sticks to its explanation of a truck bomb and now adds that the bomb fragments were planted at the scene by the Leftist guerillas. The only problem with that conspiracy theory is that a separate report by Colombia’s Medical Forensic Institute found that shrapnel taken from the bodies of victims was inconsistent with a truck or car bomb (the military also dismissed that report).

This is the sort of corrupt military that the Clinton administration wants to get in bed with — one whose basic approach is that killing the right civilians is largely the same thing as killing Leftist guerillas. Not that the guerillas are much better, but it is insanity to subsidize such murder with $1 billion in aid. Let the Colombian government and the guerillas kill on their own dime — there’s no reason to taint U.S. taxpayers with the blood of Colombian civilians.


FBI report points to cover-up in 1998 Colombian village bombing. The Associated Press, September 26, 2000.

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