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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Noriega, Hussein and Uribe

Noriega, Hussein and Uribe

A report of the United States Defense Department, dated September of 1991, reveals the relations of the president of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe Vélez, with the Medellin drug cartel and with paramilitarism.

The revelation of these facts was published by Newsweek magazine on August 9, 2004, in a note written by the journalists Joseph Contreras and Steven Ambrus, titled "From the black list to the list of favorites."

Newsweek makes reference to a declassified document, an intelligence report of the American Department of Defense, that "it indicates who is who in the business of cocaine of Colombia."

The list, which begins with the head of the Medellín cartel, Pablo Escobar, includes 104 "delinquents, killers, dealers and suspicious lawyers, until arriving at position 82: Alvaro Uribe Vélez, politician and Colombian senator dedicated to collaborating with the Medellín Cartel in high level instances of the Government."

In agreement with the point that Newsweek makes of the Intelligence Report, "Uribe was tied to a business involved in narcotic activities in the United States (), he has worked for the Medellin Cartel and he is a close friend of Pablo Escobar Gaviria."

When trying to explain why the relations of Uribe with Washington are so good, Newsweek mentions Adam Isacson, of the Center of International Politics, who maintains that "this is probably one of the presidents more pro the United States in all the history of Latin America."

Explanations of this type have been normal in the United States to justify relations with governments dominated by mafias. This is the case with Panama of Manuel Antonio Noriega and Iraq of Saddam Hussein.

CIA and drug trafficking

As early as in 1947, "money, arms and the disinformation of the CIA allowed the criminal syndicates of Córcega in Marseilles to reduce control of the labor unions of the communist party. The Córcega people gained control and political influence on the ports, which provided the ideal conditions for them to establish long term alliances with the mafia drug distributors. This turned Marseilles into the capital of heroin of the postwar period in the western world. In 1951, the first heroin laboratories were opened in Marseilles."

The previous point is part of the report The CIA, Contras, Gangs, and Crack published by the Institute of Political Studies (IPS for its initials in English) and the Interhemispherical Resource Center (IRC, also for its initials in English) in the digital edition of Foreign Policy in Focus (http: // ).

In this text, we can observe a trajectory of systematic support to groups and governments linked to drug trafficking, giving account of drug trafficking operations in Southeast Asia, in 1950, in Indochina, from 1950 until the 70s, in Australia from 1973 to 1980 and in Panama from 1970 until 1989.

The operations in Panama, in which Manuel Antonio Noriega was acting, were related to the military aggressions perpetrated by armed anti-Sandinista groups, which were operating from Honduran territory, in the decade of the 80s in the XXth century.

"The CIA was providing the counterrevolutionary forces (the Contras) planes and pilots entrusted to take cocaine from Central America to airports and American military bases - says the report of IPS-. In 1985, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent, Celerino Castillo, informs the heads that cocaine was being deposited in supply warehouses to the Contras at the Ilopango Air Force Base, in El Salvador, then to be sent in ships to the United States. The DEA did not do anything, and Castillo was gradually removed from the agency."

The CIA, Contras, Gangs, and Crack incorporates in its writing the ties that in more than one decade the CIA supported the "strong man" of Panama, Manuel Antonio Noriega, of whom it reports that "he was a very well paid collaborator of the CIA, although the American drug authorities knew that the general had been involved in drug trafficking and money laundering at the beginning of 1971. Noriega facilitated flights of "arms for drugs" for the Contras, giving protection to the pilots, safe refuge for the officials of the drug cartel and discreet banking facilities. American officials, including the director of the CIA, William Webster and many officials and agents of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA, for its initials in English), sent letters of praise to Noriega for his efforts in the struggle against drug trafficking (only against its competition, the Medellin cartel). Soon, the United States was opposed to Noriega, invaded Panama in December of 1989 and kidnapped the general."

The invasion of Panama and the kidnapping of Noriega were carried out in December of 1989, months after the Nicaraguan elections in which the government defeated the Sandinistas. The Panamanian general no longer had any use for the United States.

The history of Noriega is suspiciously similar to that of Saddam Hussein, another “strong man," but this time in Iraq.

Saddam was another one of the key components of the CIA to impose the worldwide domination of the United States, from his position as head of state in Iraq, from 1979 until 2003.

From this situation, Saddam deteriorated the relations of Iraq with the Soviet Union, contributed to the Camp David agreements, between Israel and Egypt, and led the war of his country against the Islamic Revolution of Iran.

The relationship of Saddam with the CIA is widely documented and, as an example, we can quote the works of Richard Sale for the agency UPI, published on April 10, 2003, and Morris Roger, in the New York Times, March 14, 2003.

Saddam and Noriega, with ample handbooks of conduct linked to murders, genocides and the practice of State terrorism, were used by the United States to attack revolutionary processes that were uncomfortable to Washington.

Today it has been up to Uribe to play this role and to serve as an element of threat and agitation to the democratic and progressive governments of the region, especially against Venezuela and Ecuador.

For all this, the government of the United States obviates the ties of the Colombian chief executive with drug trafficking and with the practices of extermination of political adversaries, realized in Colombia by paramilitary forces, some organized by their own Uribe, as the so-called brigades to "coexist" in the Department of Antioquia when he was governor between 1995 and 1997.

Nevertheless, the United States has in its hands that report quoted by Newsweek, prepared by the Department of Defense, that places Uribe in number 82, of a list of members of the Medellin cartel that, beginning with Pablo Escobar, includes 104 "delinquents, killers, traffickers and suspicious lawyers ".


Translated by Lisa KARPOVA