Beatrice Overlander / Ynet News – 2008-03-15 00:28:53
Report: Israelis Fighting Guerillas in Colombia
Beatrice Overlander / Ynet News
(August 10, 2007) — Colombia’s defense minister confirmed recently that ex Israeli military men were helping his government fight guerilla organizations, Colombia weekly Semana recently reported.
Meanwhile, Colombian guerilla group FARC stated that Israeli commandos, along with American and British forces, were operating in the jungles against drug lords and guerilla fighters
While denying this report, Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos did admit that a group of Israeli advisors was working alongside local defense officials in the last year.
According to Semana, “A group of former Israeli military officials is counseling the military’s top brass on intelligence issues.” The paper added that the Israelis were hired by the Colombian Defense Ministry in order to improve the army’s intelligence gathering capabilities and the command and control structure within the military.
Defense Minister Santos, said the Semana, was put in touch with the Israelis last year by former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben Ami. Ben Ami’s spokesman stated that Santos has been referred to the relevant authorities in Israel.
The contract between the Israeli advisors and the Colombian Defense Ministry was signed in April this year, and sources in the country said that it stood at $10 million.
‘Best in the world’
The Israeli group, reportedly made up of three senior generals, a lower ranking officer and three translators, is highly esteemed by the Colombians. “They are like psychoanalysts; they ask us the material questions and help us see all the problems we weren’t aware of before,” Deputy Defense Minister Sergio Jaramillo told the newspaper. “They are the best in the world,” another high-ranking officer stated.
The paper described the Israeli aides as “mercenaries,” but stressed that the Israeli government was aware of their actions.
In recent years, Israel has become Colombia’s number one weapon supplier, with the arms mainly used to battle drug lords. These weapons include drones, light arms and ammunition, observation and communication systems and even special bombs capable of destroying coca fields.
“Israel’s methods of fighting terror have been duplicated in Colombia,” a senior defense official said Thursday, adding that arms export to Colombia has increased significantly in recent years, totaling tens of millions of dollars.
Itamar Eichner, Arieh Egozy and Ororn Meiri contributed to the report.
The Israel of Latin America:
Israelis Use their Talents to Aid
Death Squad Regime
B. Souter writes:
(March 7, 2008) — Chavez describes Colombia as “the Israel of Latin America” for good reason. It was recently revealed that Israelis have been fighting against FARC guerillas in Colombia, supplying counterinsurgency expertise from their many decades of hunting Palestinians in order to help accomplish this sort of thing. This is part of a long-standing relationship that Israel has had with the terror regimes of Latin America. No wonder there’s such an Israel-Colombia love-in.
Colombia’s recent aggression in Ecuador produced a wave of revulsion among Latin American states. Lula has condemned Colombia, and so has the OAS. Nicaragua has broken diplomatic relations with Colombia over its actions. Even Bernard Kouchner, who thought he was about to land a heroic role for himself in Ingrid Betancourt’s release, is pissed off. Venezuela, Argentina and Ecuador have found a new unity as a result of this. It’s not only a blatant violation of Ecuadoran sovereignty, but a deliberate strike at the peaceful negotiations that were under way — the killing of Raul Reyes finished off his own role in working out the freeing of hostages.
The Colombian state demonstrated that it would rather invade another country than come to a peaceful settlement with its domestic foes. The attack, involving the use of cluster bombs against a sleeping decampment, was apparently backed by the US – actually, it would be amazing if that wasn’t the case. The destabilising role of the US is hardly a secret.
Plan Colombia, the programme devised between US and Colombian elites and implemented for approximately a decade now, was supposedly a ‘war on drugs’. The result has been to dramatically increase outward shipments of cocaine [pdf], while destroying the livelihoods of peasant farmers and intensifying the war. Latin American leaders have worried that it could produce, in Lula’s words, a “Vietnamisation of the region”.
Ecuador has already suffered from the Colombian government’s war on ‘narco-terrorism’. Uribe’s regime, whose extensive ties to the AUC death squads have been exposed to daylight (roughly at about the same time that it was revealed that Chicquita bananas had been funding the AUC’s war to the tune of $1.7m), is of course led by a man of the landowning class with a background in drug trafficking. And the AUC has been one of the biggest international suppliers of cocaine. So, you can take or leave their claim to be opposed to ‘narco-terrorism’. But they certainly are doing their best to generate a casus belli against both Ecuador and Venezuela, by accusing them of funding the FARC.
The US has indicated that it doesn’t think a war ‘likely’, which means that they have called off their attack dog for now. But the combination of regional aggression, vicious counterinsurgency and subordination to US goals is indeed very familiar.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2008 6:57 PM PST
John M. Lane says:
Chavez has been funding FARC for almost a decade now. He also funds Correa and Ortega. He’s trying to revive the Communist Paradise, Souter. That seems to be consistant with your ambitions, too, from the tone of your posts. After all, Communism did so much for Cuba.
By the way, when you compare Colombia to Israel are you suggesting that they are both stable democracies (unlike their neighbors?) If so, I’d agree with you.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.