Colombia’s DC trade envoy steps down following para collaboration charges

Just as the Peru Free Trade Agreement has passed the US House of Representatives, efforts to pass a similar agreement with Colombia hit an embarrassing snag. Sandra Suarez, the special envoy Colombian President Alvaro Uribe sent to Washington in July to usher the FTA through Congress, stepped down Oct. 30, stating in her resignation letter that she’d failed her government and that the agreement is dead. Although her letter didn’t mention it it, the day she resigned a former intelligence chief for Colombia’s Administrative Security Department (DAS), Rafael Garcia, testified to a Colombian government Commission of Investigation that Suarez collaborated with leaders of the AUC paramilitary network, and with the governors of Cesar and Magdalena departments to establish AUC control over key Colombian territory. The two governors are in prison for their own links to the outlawed paramilitary network. (United Steelworkers International president Leo W. Gerard for The Hill Blog, Nov. 9)

See our last posts on Colombia and the paramilitary scandal.