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Dec 13, 2011 Beirut Bank Seen as a Hub of Hezbollah’s Financing

QUOTE: an intricate global money-laundering apparatus that, with the bank as its hub, appeared to let Hezbollah move huge sums of money into the legitimate financial system, despite sanctions aimed at cutting off its economic lifeblood....While law enforcement agencies around the world have long believed that Hezbollah is a passive beneficiary of contributions from loyalists abroad involved in drug trafficking and a grab bag of other criminal enterprises, intelligence from several countries points to the direct involvement of high-level Hezbollah officials in the South American cocaine trade.

New York Times
Oct 21, 2009 US congressional hearing highlights Colombia rights abuses

QUOTE: ...United Nations Special Rapporteur Margaret Sekaggya, who visited Colombia in September, expressed her continued concern over what she has called a "pattern of harassment and persecution against human rights defenders" in Colombia, and challenged President Álvaro Uribe to "genuinely address" concerns for their safety.

Christian Science Monitor
Jul 31, 2009 U.S. Criticized for Extraditing Minor Colombian Drug Suspects

QUOTE: A range of critics -- defense lawyers, analysts and even a former American ambassador who once strongly advocated extradition here -- are questioning a policy that they say has gone beyond targeting drug kingpins to scooping up players on the periphery of the narcotics trade

Washington Post
May 15, 2008 Venezuela Offered Aid to Colombian Rebels

QUOTE: President Hugo Chávez, who has publicly lauded the FARC and characterized Colombia's government as illegitimate, ridiculed the latest batch of correspondence Sunday as "imbecilic documents." He cast Colombian President Álvaro Uribe as a "manipulator" linked to drug trafficking and charged that the Bush administration is using the documents as a pretext to invade Venezuela from Colombia.

Washington Post
Nov 14, 2007 Colombian families' suit says Chiquita liable for torture, murder

QUOTE: Earlier this year, Chiquita, as part of a plea agreement, admitted that what it called protection payments had been given to Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, or AUC. AUC was named a terrorist organization by the United States in 2002, making it a crime to give them money.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Oct 08, 2007 Afghans Pressed by U.S. on Plan to Spray Poppies

QUOTE: But officials said the skeptics — who include American military and intelligence officials and European diplomats in Afghanistan — fear that any spraying of American-made chemicals over Afghan farms would be a boon to Taliban propagandists. Some of those officials say that the political cost could be especially high if the herbicide destroys food crops that farmers often plant alongside their poppies.

New York Times
Aug 02, 2007 In Terrorism-Law Case, Chiquita Points to U.S.: Firm Says It Awaited Justice Dept. Advice

QUOTE: On April 24, 2003, a board member of Chiquita International Brands disclosed to a top official at the Justice Department that the king of the banana trade was evidently breaking the nation's anti-terrorism laws.

Washington Post
Jul 13, 2007 How best to win US hostages' release? The case of three captives in Colombia, held since 2003, tests the Bush administration's 'no negotiation' policy.

QUOTE: [Gene and Lynn Stansell’s] son is one of three American hostages held by a narco-terrorist group in the Colombian jungle and the Stansells say they believe the US government's refusal to negotiate with the group is the reason that the three have been held for more than four years.

Christian Science Monitor
May 22, 2007 Paramilitary Ties to Elite In Colombia Are Detailed: Commanders Cite State Complicity in Violent Movement

QUOTE: Mancuso's testimony, buttressed with remarks made in a jailhouse interview by another top paramilitary commander, represents the first time that major players in the scandal have described in detail how the establishment joined forces with them

Washington Post
May 16, 2007 Wiretaps Raise New Problem for Colombia's Uribe: Police Unit Intercepted Calls By the Opposition, Reporters

QUOTE: Opposition politicians in Colombia demanded an explanation from President Álvaro Uribe's government on Tuesday after it was revealed that an elite police intelligence unit had for two years been illegally tapping the phones of opposition figures and journalists.

Washington Post
May 15, 2007 Colombian Lawmakers Arrested: 14 in Congress Now Charged With Ties to Paramilitary Groups

QUOTE: The Colombian Supreme Court on Monday ordered the arrest of five more congressmen for alleged links with illegal paramilitary groups, bringing to 14 the number of lawmakers charged in the widening "para-politics" scandal that has shaken this Andean country and its conservative government.

Washington Post
May 11, 2007 Bush and Democrats in Accord on Trade Deals

QUOTE: The unusual agreement, which came after weeks of negotiations, would guarantee workers the right to organize, ban child labor and prohibit forced labor in trading-partner countries. It would also require trading partners to enforce environmental laws already on their books and comply with several international environmental agreements.

New York Times
Apr 11, 2007 Chiquita case puts big firms on notice: The company's admission that it paid Colombian paramilitaries $1.7 million has sparked outrage in Colombia.

QUOTE: Chiquita Brands International admitted in US court last month that it paid $1.7 million to Colombia's brutal right-wing militias over the course of eight years. The company said it did so to protect its employees and agreed to pay a $25 million fine. The case is sparking outrage in the capital, Bogotá, where officials want to see company executives on trial.

Christian Science Monitor
Oct 26, 2006 Concerns Accompany U.S. Support for Uribe: Talks in Colombia Note Alleged Abuses Of Human Rights

QUOTE: a high-level U.S. delegation that visited here this week raised concerns with President Álvaro Uribe's government about human rights abuses by the army and about the scandal-plagued effort to disarm paramilitary groups.

Washington Post
Sep 29, 2006 Rethinking Plan Colombia: some ways to fix it

QUOTE: Congressman McGovern sees Jamundí as indicative of a much larger, institutional problem. "Just how far have the drug mafias penetrated the military? Just how cowered are the courts?" he asks. "All the money we have sent down there has basically not worked."

Christian Science Monitor
May 12, 2006 Colombian Court Legalizes Some Abortions

QUOTE: Colombia's highest court has legalized abortion under limited circumstances. The decision is expected to embolden women's rights groups across Latin America to use courts in their countries to try to roll back some of the world's most stringent abortion laws.

New York Times
Dec 18, 2005 The World: Latin America Looks Leftward Again

QUOTE: ...a new leftward tide now rising in Latin American politics. Tired of poverty and indifferent governments, villagers here are being urged by some of their more radical leaders to forget the promises of capitalism and install instead a community-based socialism in which products would be bartered. Some leaders even talk of forming an independent Indian state.

New York Times
Nov 25, 2005 Free Speech Advocate Seeks New Path to Goals

QUOTE: Thirty journalists were killed in Colombia from February 1998 through August 2005. Investigations into the deaths have been delayed by procedural issues, and few perpetrators have been sentenced.

Washington Post
Apr 28, 2005 Colombian 'Peace Community' in Name Only: Civilians caught in middle of a conflict that's not theirs

QUOTE: Even though [San Jose de Apartado's] neutrality has been recognized by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, the army and paramilitary groups have killed 138 peace community members, while the country's largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), has killed 20 since 1997, community leaders and human rights groups say.

San Francisco Chronicle
Jan 21, 2004 Colombia's Landed Gentry: Coca Lords and Other Bullies

QUOTE: " older, festering crime that lies at the root of Colombia's 40-year conflict is stepping up — the illegal seizure of Colombia's most fertile land..."

New York Times
Jul 27, 2003 A Hard New Life Inside the Law

QUOTE: thousands of rootless young men and women who have served as foot soldiers in Colombia's undiscriminating war. By most estimates, more than 38,000 Colombians, from teenagers to grandfathers, are fighters in the country's three irregular armed groups, engaged in a conflict that draws strength from bleak economic prospects for the rural poor, a haphazard rule of law and a pervasive drug trade...Tamayo's restless generation is abandoning the war in greater numbers than ever...Many of them have joined the government's "reinsertion" program, an attempt to coax the young, in particular, out of the war by offering a brief financial boost, although many say it is not enough to guarantee a new start.

Washington Post
Jul 09, 2003 Progress Against Outlaws Is Cited as U.S. Releases Aid to Colombia

QUOTE: "It is unacceptable for our country to turn a blind eye while U.S. tax dollars benefit forces that abuse their power, commit shocking acts of violence and fuel the Colombian conflict,"

New York Times
May 26, 2002 Colombian Vote's Sinister Side: Rebels Opposed to Front-runner Threaten Rural Residents

QUOTE: The guerrillas and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia -- or AUC, as the privately financed paramilitary group that fights them is called -- have been using a variety of methods to influence the outcome....ranging from death threats to clandestine town meetings...

Washington Post
May 25, 2002 Colombian War's Uneven Burden: Rich Avoid the Draft As Poor Are Pulled Into the Trenches

QUOTE: The majority of the 4,000 students at "Los Andes" are drawn from the country's conservative elite and have studied Colombia's war. But most will never fight in it, despite a national law that requires one year's military service for all able-bodied men.

Washington Post
Aug 15, 2001 When Asylum Requests Are Overlooked

QUOTE: When Libardo Yepes...arrived at Miami International Airport last November with an invalid visa, seeking asylum, he told immigration officials that he feared for his life if he was returned...

New York Times
Jul 10, 2001 Rights Group Lists Abuses By Guerrillas in Colombia

QUOTE: The largest rebel group [in Colombia] regularly violates the rights of noncombatants by attacking civilians, kidnapping for ransom, recruiting children and focusing on medical workers, all in spite of the group's occasional pledges to abide by some international rights norms, Human Rights Watch says in a new report.

New York Times
May 30, 2001 Left Becomes Target at Colombian Universities

QUOTE: Across Colombia, the decades-old ideological battle between left and right in the classroom has changed....Paid informers monitor lectures for leftist overtones... Lists of those targeted for death...

Washington Post
May 18, 2001 Role of U.S. Companies in Colombia Is Questioned

QUOTE: Under private contracts known to only a few members of the United States Congress, these specialists — all working for American companies — have flown spray planes and helicopters, trained and advised Colombian military personnel, repaired high-tech machinery and helped pave remote airfield runways. Supporters of private contractors say that, overall, the companies have completed important work while relieving key American military specialists who would otherwise have had to uproot from strategically significant regions.

New York Times
Jan 27, 2001 Colombia, in Risky Move, Plans to Cede Zone to 2nd Rebel Group

QUOTE: Revolutionary Armed Forces FARC

New York Times