Colombia: Issues for Congress [April 23, 2010]   [open pdf - 703KB]

From the Summary: "Since the development of Plan Colombia in 1999, the Colombian government has stepped up its counter-narcotics and security efforts. The U.S. Congress has provided more than $7 billion to support Colombia from FY2000 through FY2010. In October 2009, Colombia and the United States signed a defense agreement that provides U.S. access to Colombian military bases for counter-terrorism and security-related operations for the next decade. The improving security conditions in the country and the weakening of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas are cited as evidence that the strategy is working by supporters. Critics, however, argue that while pursuing these security improvements, U.S. policy has not rigorously promoted human rights, provided for sustainable economic alternatives for drug crop farmers, or reduced the amount of drugs available in the United States. […]. While acknowledging the progress in security conditions in Colombia, some Members of Congress have expressed concerns about labor activist killings and labor rights in Colombia; extrajudicial killings of Colombian civilians by the Colombian military; the para-political scandal (linking Colombian politicians with paramilitaries); and the domestic security agency (DAS) scandal concerning unauthorized spying on President Uribe's political opponents and human rights activists. These concerns have delayed consideration of the pending U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CFTA). President Obama in his State of the Union address in January 2010 supported strengthening trade ties with Colombia, but prospects for the CFTA in the 111th Congress remain uncertain."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32250
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