In response to years of activist pressure, Congressional Democrats have proposed amendments to the Bush administration’s annual foreign aid appropriations request for Colombia. If the Democrats have their way, overall funding will be cut by 10%, while 45% of the total package will now be devoted to economic and humanitarian assistance, the remainder to the military. Yet, the majority of aid would still be directed at Colombia’s military, regularly implicated in horrendous human rights abuses. Moreover, despite the proposed cuts, Colombia is “expected to get an additional $150 million in purely military and police assistance through a separate appropriation in the defense budget bill,” as the Houston Chronicle reported June 7. Nor do the Democratic proposals appear to include any new mechanisms for ensuring that remaining military aid is not used to commit human rights abuses. (Jake Hess for Upside Down World, June 27)
See our last post on Colombia.