Plan Colombia and Beyond
16 July 2008
Congratulations are due to the group of Colombian non-governmental organizations that published a report last week on an April 2008 mission to the department of Putumayo in southern Colombia. The report [PDF available on the website of the human-rights group MINGA] details the human-rights situation in this conflictive zone, based on “open dialogue between people, communities, organizations and local authorities, in meetings with approximately 400 people.”
Understanding what happened in Putumayo is critical for a full appreciation of the lessons of Plan Colombia. It was in Putumayo, during the 2000-2003 period, that Plan Colombia basically got underway, as U.S. funding underwrote a mostly military “Push into Southern Colombia” in the department, a major coca-cultivation zone along the border with Ecuador.