ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Geopolitics of Plan Colombia

Plan Colombia - the continuation of the US policy of intervention in Latin America - seeks to eradicate the drugs, trade and eliminate the guerrilla factions who thrive on it, but in essence, it is aimed at reconsolidating American power in the region. The plan, however, remains plagued by inconsistencies and doublespeak, and could in the long run rebound on US strategic plans for the region.

Plann Colombia, to be understood properly, should be located in a historial perspective both with relation to Colombia as well as in relation to the recent conflicts in Central America. Plan Colombia is both a ‘new’ policy and a continuation of past US involvement in Colombia. Beginning in the early 1960s, under president Kennedy, Washington launched its counter-insurgency programme, forming special forces, designed to attack ‘internal enemies’. The target was the self-defence communities in Colombia, particularly in Marquetalia. Subsequently with greater or lesser intensity, the Pentagon continued its presence in Colombia. Plan Colombia is president Clinton’s extension and deepening of president Kennedy’s internal war. The differences between the earlier version of the internal war doctrine and the current is found in the ideological justifications for US intervention, the scale and scope of US involvement and the regional context of the intervention.

Under Kennedy counter-insurgency was based on the threat of international communism, today the justification is based on the drug threat. In both instances there is total denial of the historical-sociological basis of the conflict.

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