In the Beginning of July , John McCain traveled to Columbia (the country). His purpose, according to reports, was to talk about illegal drugs and the promotion of CAFTA. While he was there, he met with cabinet members and business leaders... Most importantly, he met with President Uribe, (who came to power in 2002) allegedly to talk about the country's Human Rights record. Source
I mention this because yesterday, capt, a member of our blog, brought to light an interesting snippet from HuffPo
. It was a CNN segment where a McCain representative suggested that Obama should visit other places that McCain has been, in particular, Columbia, South America. I quote "In fact, [Obama's] never met with President Uribe in Colombia, as John McCain has.
" This caught my eye. Many people focused a lot on Columbia that week early in July because John McCain's visit coincided with the release of 5 hostages (3 of which were Americans) after five years of FARC captivity. I will preface the rest of this with an opinion: FARC is not a nice group. This is not about FARC. FARC has been been trying to overthrow Columbia for quite some time. However
... President Uribe is not someone we should be associating with, in my opinion. I hope you follow me here, because this gets interesting. Let's focus on the President of Columbia, the man that John McCain traveled to see, the man he wants to do business with, the man he NOW thinks Barack Obama should go visit. From Justice For Columbia, A human rights group based in London
Uribe has worked for the Medellin Cartel and is a close personal friend of Pablo Escobar. He has participated in Escobar's political campaign…."
Perhaps unsurprisingly due to the links between the drugs traffickers and the paramilitaries Uribe also grew closer to those involved in the AUC paramilitary alliance. During his period as Governor of Antioquia, Uribe openly supported and financed local vigilante groups known as CONVIVIR. According to Human Rights Watch many CONVIVIR groups "were directed by known paramilitaries" whilst others "threatened to assassinate Colombians that were considered as guerrilla sympathizers of which rejected joining the [CONVIVIR]".
There is far more at the link, and I know Pablo is dead... however it's the paramiliatary aspect, more so than the drugs, that are disturbing me.Continue reading...