[Senate Hearing 107-579] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] S. Hrg. 107-579 U.S.-COLOMBIA POLICY: WHAT'S NEXT? ======================================================================= HEARING BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE, PEACE CORPS AND NARCOTICS AFFAIRS OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS UNITED STATES SENATE ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION __________ APRIL 24, 2002 __________ Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/ senate U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 80-847 WASHINGTON : 2002 _____________________________________________________________________________ For Sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: toll free (866) 512-1800; (202) 512-1800 Fax: (202) 512-2250 Mail: Stop SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-0001 COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr., Delaware, Chairman PAUL S. SARBANES, Maryland JESSE HELMS, North Carolina CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts CHUCK HAGEL, Nebraska RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD, Wisconsin GORDON H. SMITH, Oregon PAUL D. WELLSTONE, Minnesota BILL FRIST, Tennessee BARBARA BOXER, California LINCOLN D. CHAFEE, Rhode Island ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey GEORGE ALLEN, Virginia BILL NELSON, Florida SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming Virginia ------ SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE, PEACE CORPS AND NARCOTICS AFFAIRS CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut, Chairman BILL NELSON, Florida LINCOLN D. CHAFEE, Rhode Island JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts JESSE HELMS, North Carolina RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD, Wisconsin MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr., Delaware RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana (ii) C O N T E N T S ---------- Page Chafee, Hon. Lincoln D., U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, letter received from in-law regarding existing violence in Colombia... 5 Dodd, Hon Christopher J., Human Rights Watch report entitled ``Colombia: Terror From All Sides,'' submitted for the record.. 59 Feingold, Hon. Russell D., U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, prepared statement submitted for the record............................. 41 Grossman, Hon. Marc, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Department of State, Washington, DC................... 6 Prepared statement........................................... 11 Responses to additional questions for the record............. 75 Rodman, Hon. Peter W., Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Department of Defense, Washington, DC................................................. 16 Prepared statement........................................... 17 Responses from Department of Defense to additional questions for the record............................................. 72 Schneider, Mark L., senior vice president, International Crisis Group, Washington, DC.......................................... 47 Prepared statement........................................... 50 Speer, Maj. Gen. Gary D., U.S. Army, Acting Commander in Chief, United States Southern Command, Miami, FL...................... 21 Prepared statement........................................... 23 Vivanco, Jose Miguel, executive director, Americas Division, Human Rights Watch, Washington, DC............................. 53 Prepared statement........................................... 56 (iii) U.S.-COLOMBIA POLICY: WHAT'S NEXT? ---------- WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 2002 U.S. Senate, Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Narcotics Affairs, Committee on Foreign Relations, Washington, DC. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:40 a.m., in room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Christopher J. Dodd (chairman of the subcommittee), presiding. Present: Senators Dodd, Feingold and Chafee. Senator Dodd. Good morning. The subcommittee will come to order. Senator Chafee is on his way, and so we will start. I will make a short opening statement, and if he comes in before I complete we will move to Senator Chafee's opening statement and any other colleagues who may arrive, and then we will get to you, Mr. Secretary, and Mr. Rodman and General Speer, we want to hear from you as well. I just wanted to make note this morning that Senator Helms is in the hospital. It is serious, obviously, if he is in the hospital, but there is a possibility of some open heart surgery, and I would not want to begin a hearing here in this room this morning without expressing for myself and I am sure everyone else who knows Senator Helms and has worked with him over the years our strong, fervent hope that he will come out of this well and that he will return as soon as possible to his duties, and he should know that all of us are thinking about him and he is in our prayers and thoughts. Jesse and I have had some real battles over the years on various things, but there is no finer gentleman that I have ever served with, and we have our disagreements, but never disagreeable, and so he has my fervent prayers and hopes that he will be returning to us soon. It will not be the same around here without him. I like to have a good argument with him from time to time, and I want him and Dot to know we are all thinking of them. I thank everyone for coming this morning to this subcommittee hearing on ``U.S.-Colombian Policy: What's Next?'' For those of you who follow this at all, we had a hearing a few days ago on U.S.-Mexican relations. Today, we deal with Colombia, and the hope is over the coming weeks we are going to deal with the other issues in the Americas that deserve, I think, our review and attention. A lot has happened in the region in the last number of years that points us in a direction that is not as optimistic as it was when we used to have hearings and talk about the fact that there was only one nation in the Americas that did not have a democratically elected government. And today, where there are still strong democratic institutions in the region, there are mounting storm clouds on the horizon, the economic difficulties in Argentina, the problems economically in Brazil, the obvious problems we saw recently in Venezuela, the difficulties in Colombia we will be talking about today, and how that spills over into neighboring countries in the Andean region. There are trade agreements that are outstanding that need to be addressed, tremendous poverty, still, in Central America, the natural disasters that have devastated that part of the world, the historic and continuing relationship between the United States and Mexico. I know a great deal of attention, obviously, is on the Middle East, and rightfully so, a great deal of attention, obviously, on the war against terrorism and rightfully so, obviously, but in the midst of all of this the United States, of course, has a continuing and important set of interests that need to be addressed and watched on a very continuing basis in the Americas, so I thought it would be worthwhile to have a set of hearings in the midst of this to go and see where we are. Obviously on the issue of Colombia, this is going to be one of the major debates in the Congress as to how we proceed from here, with the change of administrations coming shortly in Colombia, with the departure of President Pastrana, who cannot succeed himself in that country, who has done a remarkable job in my view as President, determined from the very beginning to try and bring peace to his nation, and has achieved a great deal. We should not consider his administration, because he did not resolve ultimately all the issues, he should not be seen as not having succeeded. He has moved the ball forward, and any successor of his is going to have to pick up on those efforts and move forward with them, and so I will be very interested this morning in hearing from the administration and other witnesses as to where we go from here, and what are the pitfalls, what kind of problems we face. There are dozens and dozens of questions that I know we all ask ourselves, let alone ask each other about, and so I am looking forward this morning to the testimony from the administration and others as to how we can work closely together here in formulating and framing a policy that will serve, first and foremost, the interests of our own country, but obviously, as well, Colombia and its neighbors in the region. So today the subcommittee will hold its second hearing in a series of hearings to assess the challenges to democracy in the Western Hemisphere, and the effectiveness of U.S. policy in responding to those challenges. This morning, as I have said, we are going to focus on U.S.-Colombia policy. The hearing has been appropriately, I think, titled, ``U.S.-Colombia Policy: What's Next?'' Colombia's democracy is in crisis. That is to state the obvious, and it did not happen overnight. Colombia's civil society has been ripped apart for decades by having one of the most violent societies in the Western Hemisphere, despite also having one of the longest records of democracy in the hemisphere. Historically, Colombian civil leaders, judges, politicians have put their lives in jeopardy simply by aspiring to positions of leadership and responsibility. The introduction of illicit drug cultivation and production has only heightened further this climate of violence in Colombia. Despite fears that must be pervasive in every Colombian's heart, tens of thousands of men and women have allowed and still allow their names to appear on electoral ballots in election after election. These are truly courageous people who deserve our respect and complete admiration for their willingness to stand up and to fight for democracy in their communities throughout Colombia. Two years ago, I supported U.S. efforts to become partners with the Pastrana administration's efforts to address Colombia's problems. I said at that time that I believed that it was critically important that we act expeditiously on the Plan Colombia assistance package, because our credibility was at stake with respect to responding to a genuine crisis in our own hemisphere. We also needed to make good on our pledge to come to the aid of President Pastrana and the people of Colombia in their hour of crisis, a crisis that has profound implications for institutions of democracy in Colombia, throughout this hemisphere, and right here at home as well. No one I know has claimed that things have dramatically turned around in Colombia since the United States endorsed Plan Colombia and began to provide significant resources to support its implementation. Narco-traffickers, in concert with right and left-wing paramilitary organizations, continue to make large portions of the country ungovernable. Until recently, their activities were restricted to sparely populated rural areas of the nation, to places where the government, government order and services had never existed. Now, with the end of the FARC-Government peace process, and in an effort to disrupt upcoming elections, the FARC has increasingly focused on urban areas, especially critical economic infrastructures in the nation. Nor have these threats to Colombia's democracy remained within its borders. The ill effects are being felt by all of Colombia's neighbors, Ecuador, Colombia obviously, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Panama, and Brazil. Colombia's problems are having a profound impact on the stability and security of the entire region, yet there is little or no sustained regional support for Colombia's efforts to deal with the narco-terrorist threat. This is very difficult to understand. It is deeply, deeply disappointing to this Member of the U.S. Senate that we have not seen more interest and cooperation from the neighboring countries in the Andean region on this issue. The Bush administration has decided that our current policy is too narrowly focused to counternarcotics cooperation, and is seeking to loosen restrictions on past and future assistance. What the administration has not done yet, in my view, is to clearly describe what our stake is in Colombia, what changes are needed to the current policy, and what we hope to achieve by making these changes. The administration needs to describe whether and how they will mobilize regional support for our policy. Nor has the administration, in my view, outlined the costs and benefits of our deeper involvement in this issue. I am certainly open to considering changes to our existing policy, but I want to know with more specificity what those changes are and how they are going to make things better, not only for Colombia and the region, but also the United States' interests. I hope in the course of this morning's proceedings that we will hear the administration's rationale for seeking the loosening of restrictions on past and future aid to Colombia, examine the state of the ongoing conflict in that nation, assess the effectiveness of current counternarcotics programs, and scrutinize the human rights situation. I mentioned earlier the kind of numbers and statistics over the last 15 years in Colombia, and I know I have cited these on many occasions, but I think they deserve being repeated over and over again to make the point. We have seen more than 200 bombs exploded in Colombian cities, including one recently against Presidential candidates, the Archbishop of Cali was murdered, an entire democratic party was assassinated, 4,000 people all wiped out in one political party as part of the violence in Colombia. A Colombian Senator and her aide, Marta Daniels, were assassinated. Ingrid Betancourt has been kidnaped, a candidate for the Presidency in Colombia; four Presidential candidates have been executed, assassinated; 200 judges and investigators have been killed, assassinated; one half of Colombia's Supreme Court was wiped out by terrorist activity; 1,200 police officers, 151 journalists, and 300,000 ordinary citizens have been displaced in the process; 40 candidates running for municipal office in the last election were either kidnaped or killed in Colombia, to give you some idea of the magnitude of this problem that goes on in that nation. It is staggering, the numbers, when you think of it, what has occurred in just 15 years of violence in Colombia. At any rate those numbers, as I say, I have repeated them often, but I think for those who may not be familiar with what has occurred in Colombia in recent years, it will give you some idea of the magnitude of civil unrest and civil violence in the nation. But anyway, I welcome the witnesses here this morning. I thank them immensely for their willingness to be here and to participate in this important hearing, and before turning to them, we have been joined by my colleague from Rhode Island, the ranking member of the subcommittee and someone who cares deeply about the region, Senator Chafee. Any opening comments you want to make? Senator Chafee. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. Sorry for my tardiness. My own thoughts on Colombia are that it is important that we keep a sense of how the public themselves in Colombia are feeling about the violence, and it has, of course, been four decades, and on and on it goes. And I think as it first started, perhaps, it was a movement against, I think, what one of the insurgents called the ``rancid oligarchy,'' but my sense now is that that has changed, and that public opinion is opposed to the insurgents of both right wing and left wing, and I think that is important for our own experience as to how much the United States is going to get involved, given the experiences we have had, some good, some not-so-good in Southeast Asia and Somalia and some other places around the world. My cousin is married to a Colombian, and he, my cousin's husband, Guillermo, writes to me occasionally, and I just got a letter last night saying that as he wrote the thoughts to me a car bomb exploded. And as the chairman mentioned, all the violence throughout the country--this particular bomb was in his parents' home town and, as he said, ``My parents, who are in their eighties, have walled themselves in their own home for fear of this wave of bombings.'' It is just a situation that cries out for civilized countries to come to their aid, and I think that we do have a role to play, and the key is whether the citizens themselves in Colombia want our intervention or not, and whether we can, in the short term or the long term, bring some kind of stability to that good country. Senator Dodd. Very good, excellent statement, and we will make that letter part of the record, unless there are parts of it you do not want to include in the record. Senator Chafee. Yes, I would like to make it a part of the record. I will amend parts of it. Senator Dodd. Well, thank you. [The letter referred to follows:] April 9, 2002. Dear Linc and Steffanie, Thanks for your kind handwritten note about Colombia. Everything is downhill for Colombia. Two prominent women are killed and the country is in shock. After a commercial airplane is hijacked and a senator kidnapped, the peace process is broken. lngrid Betancourt, a presidential candidate is also kidnapped so that she may be ransomed for imprisoned guerrillas. The infrastructure of the country is being blownup by the guerrillas as a way of demonstrating their frustrating strength that has not won them any popular following. When the news could not get any worse, after daily news of assassinations, massacres, kidnappings, attempts to poison the water supply of Bogota, the archbishop of Cali is barbarically shot after he has happily married over one hundred couples in a poor neighborhood. The FARC do not want to negotiate in good faith. After 40 years in the jungle they still cling to the idea that power is within their grasp. They have not abandoned their hard line ideology of coming to power by random acts of terror and the belief that the masses would rise to crush the existing order that oppresses them. Though, Colombians, no matter how poor they are do not support a state system that did not work in Cuba or the old Soviet Union. After 9/11 the world changed. Unbeknown to the FARC, their world also changed. The welcome doors that had been flirtatiously open to the them by the European left, are now closed to them since almost no country in the world would support an organization that has been labeled terrorist and drug trafficking. Venezuela, is the only country that covertly supports them. Chavez of Venezuela sees himself as Bolivar's heir. A Colombia under turmoil would be ripe to fall under his orbit, the first of many countries that would reestablish his dream a Gran Colombia re- born and re-united under him to break the grip, in his words, of the ``rancid oligarchies'' that have kept these old Bolivarian countries poor and rootless. Chavez, who is testing the resolve of the American Administration to maintain the supply of Venezuelan oil flowing to the East Coast does not fully understand that his world also changed on 9/11. He will not learn much from the failed coup d'etat. His personal government will continue on a mercurial and erratic path. In a guerrilla war, the insurgents adopt hit and run tactics against a numerically superior enemy. A very small number of men, can destroy the infrastructure and morale of a country by phantom tactics of violence. ln the absence of good faith political efforts to end the conflict, the Colombian Government will have to dramatically quintuple its forces. From 200,000 soldiers it will have to increase its military forces to a million men under arms. This is also the view of Alvaro Uribe. A million armed men would impose a double pronged solution: The military one would re-establish control over its territory, and the social one would make the country fairer and juster. The roots of the conflict are unmet social expectations. High unemployment, a poor educational system, a high level of corruption. A generation of children who went to school in the 60s and 70s were educated by socialist teachers, and a new generation of Colombian school children would need to be educated to respect the rights and political opinions of others. Sometimes it is cheaper for a candidate to have his political rival assassinated rather than having to campaign in the open against him. Colombia will elect a new president on May 26th. The majority of the country, if the elections were held today, would vote for Alvaro Uribe, who feels an open war is inevitable. The killing of his father in a failed kidnapping in 1983 defines his political and personal life. His father was killed because a weak state was unable to protect him. Kidnappings occur by the thousands. Children might be kidnapped for groceries, the guerrillas ``retain'' anyone at random to collect a ``peace tax'', or to bring the war to the heart of the ``oligarchs''. As a reaction to this violence and chaos, Uribe represents the political center that desires safety, education, and tranquility for all. Colombians want to live in peace; the political center is tired of concessions to the guerrillas by a weak state. The state handed over to FARC a large part of its territory without demanding concrete goals. By creating a haven for the guerrillas, Colombia received no benefits: the kidnappings, disappearances, and killings make Colombia one of the most dangerous places on earth. The coca and poppy fields in the area of rebel control increased in area at a faster rate faster than the areas that were eradicated. Uribe's is very popular because he spouses a firm return to law and order. The country is on a war footing because the peace talks led to nowhere. This center feels caught between the old order of a very passive elite, and the violent actions of criminal groups that have destroyed the ``liberty and order'' of their lives. He dreams of a ``firm and just society'' run by the middle class and small businessmen who are afraid of the present chaos and violence. He supports the plan Colombia because Colombia's problems are more regional than local. Is he different from other politicians? He is ahead in the polls because the average Colombian trusts his political analysis of the country. The other candidates are in a rush to stop him. Anyone but Uribe they say by questioning his good faith and judgement. The paramilitaries sympathize with his candidacy but no links to them have ever been proved. As I am ready to mail you my random thoughts on Colombia, a car bomb killed over 13 young people and injured almost a hundred of them as it exploded outside a disco in Villavicencio, my hometown. The FARC urban cells, as a way of deflecting the pressure that the army is inflicting on the guerrillas in the country side, have gone on a senseless bombing rampage of towns and cities. My parents, who are in their 80s, have walled themselves in their own home for fear of this wave of bombings. The FARC would like to have anyone elected president but Uribe. They will try again to assassinate him because he is the candidate most feared by them. Love to all of you, Guillermo Senator Dodd. Marc, we appreciate your being here, and I do not know how you want to proceed. You mentioned to me you wanted to make a statement, a broader statement, and then supporting statements from your two colleagues, and if that is the way you would like to proceed, then we will do that. And I will make this apply to all of our witnesses, but any data, materials, maps, supporting material you would like to have as a part of this permanent record will be included in the record. So I am going to put a clock on here, but I do not want you to feel required to live by this. This is just to give you some sense, and let us make it--why don't we make it 8 minutes or so here, and if you need a longer time, obviously, take it, but to give some sense of what the time is like. Thank you for being here. STATEMENT OF HON. MARC GROSSMAN, UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON, DC Mr. Grossman. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. Let me first of all join you, and I am sure all of us on the panel, in wishing Senator Helms the very best. We were surprised and shocked to hear about his entry into the hospital this morning, and we join you very much in saying, especially in this room at this time, that we hope he will be back with us soon. I also want to thank you very much for allowing us to put a longer statement and maybe some maps and charts in the record. That will help us very much. I also want to thank you and Senator Chafee both for your opening statements. I appreciate what you say. We have a hard job to do. There are very hard questions here that, as you say, we ask ourselves and that you ask yourselves, and I hope this hearing and this conversation will help you understand a little bit better where we have come out and also move this process forward. And Senator Chafee, I agree with you also very much that this is a time when civilized countries really need to come to the aid of Colombia, and I think that was very well said, Senator. If I could get this down to one sentence, one bullet, it is that Colombia matters to the United States. You both made that point I think extremely well. I also want to say that Colombia has been a key partner in our effort to try to help Colombia as they deal with these issues of narcotrafficking, underdevelopment, human rights abuses, and terrorism. I also want to say that many members of this committee and the subcommittee have traveled to Colombia, and we very much appreciate that effort that people make to travel, and for those who were considering travel, I hope that they will go, because the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Congress has a big impact in making your points in Colombia as well. If I also might just start out if I could, Senator, by paying tribute to the tremendous men and women who represent the United States of America in Colombia. They do a great job. They have great leadership under Ambassador Ann Patterson and all the people who are there, civilian or military, I think deserve our support for a very difficult job that they undertake. I also cannot pass up the opportunity, Senator, if you would allow me to just make a pitch for the Andean Trade Preferences Act, and I hope the Senate will find a way to deal with that. Senator Dodd. I hope so, too. It is outrageous we have taken this much time. Mr. Grossman. Senator, you sent me a letter in which you asked us to try to deal directly with what is going on in Colombia and what kind of changes we seek in the law, and on March 21, the administration asked the Congress for new authorities. We believe that the terrorist and the narcotics threat in Colombia are linked, they are intertwined. As President Bush and President Pastrana spoke last week when they were together, we need a strategy now about how to change the focus on counternarcotics to include counterterrorism. If I can just deal with this up front as clearly as I possibly can, here is what these new authorities would allow us to do. First, we want to address the problem of terrorism in Colombia as vigorously as we are currently addressing narcotics, and second we want to help the Government of Colombia address the heightened terrorist risk that has resulted from the end of the demilitarized zone. If I can also be as clear and up front as I possibly can, here are the things we will not do. We are not seeking--first, we will not stop a human rights vetting of Colombian military units receiving U.S. assistance. We are committed to abiding by the Leahy amendment. Second, we will not exceed the 400-person cap on U.S. military personnel providing training in Colombia, nor the 400- person cap on U.S. civilian contractors. We are committed to the Byrd amendment. Third, we will not do away with the requirement in the Foreign Operations Act that the Secretary of State certify on Colombian Armed Forces human rights records before we provide assistance to the Armed Forces, and finally we do not intend, we will not bypass regular reprogramming requirements. What we seek is flexibility that would enable Colombia to use U.S.-provided helicopters and the counterdrug brigade from Plan Colombia to fight terrorism. We would also be in a position, as General Speer will talk about, to provide more information to the Colombians. Let me also be clear that as Colombians use these helicopters and this equipment, if this authority is granted, they would continue to be subject to existing Leahy restrictions and, as I said to you before, we look very much forward to talking with you about this and debating this proposition with you. Senator Dodd, in your introduction you contrasted where we were perhaps some years ago and where we are today in the hemisphere, and I think that we all have got to work hard to preserve this hemisphere consensus in favor of democracy, the rule of law, human rights, open markets, and social progress. I thought one of the great events of last year was the Quebec summit, where democratically elected heads of state and governments came together and set the goals of the hemisphere, democracy, security, and prosperity, and my question is, what good are these principles if they are trampled in Colombia? Colombia's democracy is under assault, and Senator Dodd, you gave statistics that are right in line with mine, in fact, better than mine. Colombian democracy is under assault from three terrorist groups, from the FARC, from the AUC, from the ELN. The FARC and the AUC are involved in every single facet of narcotics trafficking, including cultivation, processing, and transportation, and the income they derive from this narcotics trafficking, which we estimate to be almost $300 million a year, has been a key to their expansion. As you said, Senator, they attack democracy by attacking candidates, by attacking leaders, by attacking representatives of Colombian democracy, but they also attack Colombian democracy by bombing key infrastructure, by bombing, for example, the Cano Limon oil pipeline, which cost the government almost $500 million in lost revenue. Terrorist attacks resulted in almost 300,000 Colombians killed in 2001, and another 2,856 were kidnaped. And as you say, the FARC and the ELN and the AUC also threaten regional stability. Those groups also threaten American interests. Since 1992, the FARC and the ELN have kidnaped 51 U.S. citizens and murdered 10 and, of course, there are American victims of Colombian violence on our streets, because Colombia supplies 90 percent of the cocaine consumed in the United States, and is a significant source of heroin as well. Mr. Chairman, you talked about President Pastrana's efforts and President Pastrana's great goal in Plan Colombia. He launched Plan Colombia in 1999, a $7.5 billion effort, and we believe that the Government of Colombia is well on its way to funding its commitment under Plan Colombia, having spent $2.6 billion for Plan Colombia projects and another $426 million on social services and institutional development that are related to Plan Colombia and, with the strong support of the Congress, since July 2000 the United States has provided Colombia with $1.7 billion in support for that plan to combat narcotics trafficking and terrorism, strengthen democracy, strengthen Colombia's institutions, strengthen our effort on human rights, foster development, and mitigate the impact of violence on Colombian citizens. We get asked a lot, have we made any progress in this area? And in my statement for the record, Mr. Chairman, I have given you 11 specific examples of where we have made progress. For example, we have delivered to the Colombian National Police 8 of the 11 helicopters to be provided under Plan Colombia, and the Colombian military has now received 35 of the 54 helicopters that it is programmed to receive under the plan. The Government of Colombia, another example, has extradited 23 Colombian nationals to the United States in 2001, which is an unprecedented level of cooperation. Senator Dodd. You might just, as a matter of comparison-- President Pastrana mentioned that the other day. I forget the number he cited, but prior to his assumption of office I think the number was---- Mr. Grossman. It is tiny. We have actually got a chart here. It is pretty graphic, and one of the reasons we have been involved with them on such a great level, and also their commitment to dealing with the drug problem, and as I say, that is quite a telling chart. As I say, we have trained and equipped the Colombian Army's counternarcotics brigade, which has destroyed 818 base laboratories and 21 hydrochloride laboratories, and provided security for our aerial eradication. Most people believe this is the best-trained unit in the Colombian military. We have sprayed a record number of hectares against drugs. We funded a program that has provided protection to 1,676 Colombians whose lives were threatened, including human rights workers, labor activists, and journalists. We have got an early warning system going so when the Government of Colombia hears about a potential attack from a FARC or the ELN or the AUC they have got a chance to go in and stop it, and that has been used 106 times over the past year, and we have also provided assistance to almost 300,000 Colombians who have been made internally displaced by this violence. And so we think in a lot of categories--and as I say, for the record I have given you 11 of them where we have really made progress since September of last year, when we started to spend money on Plan Colombia. Alternative development. I think it is worth spending a moment here, Mr. Chairman, even though perhaps we are not the greatest experts in alternative development, that this remains a key part of U.S. interest and a key part of our overall effort in Plan Colombia. As you know, and everybody else who has looked at this program knows, promoting alternative development in Colombia is not easy. The security situation makes it more difficult. The challenges of alternative development in the area in which we are working make it more difficult, and here I pay tribute to our people in Colombia and in AID who are changing the way we do alternative development. And again, in my statement for the record I tried to provide some details in the new way we intend to make this issue a success for the United States and for Colombia as well. Human rights. It has got to be said, and I want to say it as clearly as I possibly can. The human rights remain, are, must be a central element in our Colombia policy. When I was last in Colombia in February, I had a chance to tell President Pastrana and his senior leadership that human rights remains for us absolutely key to all of our efforts. I had the chance to say exactly the same thing to all of the Presidential candidates. Army Commander General Shineki was there a few weeks ago, gave the same message, and I know General Speer does as well. We think that this human rights message we are giving to the Colombians and very much to the Colombian military is having a difference. A couple of statistics. The Colombian military captured 590 paramilitary people last year and killed 92 in combat. Eight military personnel, including two colonels, a lieutenant colonel, were charged in civilian court for collaborating with paramilitaries who were committing gross human rights violations in the year 2001, and a senior Colombian naval officer's career has been effectively ended because of allegations that he collaborated with the paramilitaries, so we think our message is having some effect. Still, it is clear that too many Colombians suffer human rights abuses, and this is an area we need to continue to focus our attention on. Our view is, the best way to ensure that Colombia continues to make progress in human rights is through continued U.S. engagement. One of the most interesting meetings I had, Senator, when I was in Colombia in February, was with a group of human rights groups, and to a person, all of them said that the most important thing we could do in Colombia is professionalize the military, train the military so that they would have a fair and honest chance of being secure. I was really struck by this, and one of the things I think we can be most proud of is the way that vetted unit of ours operates in the field. As I say, we have asked for new authorities. We believe those new authorities will help both President Pastrana, his successor, and the United States. President Pastrana asked for help just after 20 February when he ended the zone, and inside of our regulations and our laws we tried to provide as much help as possible, but it was in consulting with the Congress, both in the House and in the Senate, that we heard back one very important thing. People said, do not stretch the definition of counternarcotics. Do not play games with the law. So we came up and we said, fair enough. That is a fair point. We want to stay within the law, but here is now an opportunity to test, to talk, and to debate whether we want to move from just a counternarcotics mission to a counterterrorist mission, so one of the reasons we are here, one of the reasons we have made this proposition is, in our consultations after 20 February people urged us, if we needed something different, to come up, talk about it honestly, and ask for it straightforwardly. The new authorities recognize that terrorist and narcotics problems together threaten Colombia's security and prosperity and democracy. Two other quick points, Senator, then I will stop. First, the peace process. I think you very rightly said that President Pastrana should not look back on his time as a failure because he was not able to make peace with the FARC and the ELN. We support his peace effort, and we continue to do so, and to the extent that he can move forward on some peace process with the ELN, we will continue to support that as well. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chafee, your support will be crucial in the days ahead as we discuss our proposal for new and supplemental funding for our assistance to Colombia as well as our 2003 budget request and, as you said in your opening statement, Senator, we want to work together with you to make sure that the United States has the very best policy possible for Colombia so that Colombians are not denied what we all want, which is this prosperity, security, and democracy, which ought to be the consensus in this hemisphere. So I thank you very much, sir. That was an overview, and I hope my colleagues will not abuse your time and make the points that they want in a useful way. [The prepared statement of Mr. Grossman follows:] Prepared Statement of Hon. Marc Grossman, Under Secretatry of State for Political Affairs Thank you for inviting me to testify before you today on our policy in Colombia. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to exchange views on how we can best help Colombia address the tremendous challenges it faces as well as to review with you how we are doing in trying to advance American interests in Colombia. I will also detail the new authorities the Administration is seeking in order to better meet these challenges and enable Colombians to defend their democracy and achieve a secure and prosperous future. Colombia matters to the United States. Congress has been a key partner in our efforts to help Colombia defend its democracy from the demons of narcotrafficking, underdevelopment, human rights abuses, and terrorism. Many of you have traveled to Colombia. I thank you for your engagement. For those who are considering travel to Colombia, I urge you to go. Your visits make clear everything America stands for-- democracy, security and prosperity--both in the U.S. and in Colombia. I cannot pass up this opportunity, Mr. Chairman, to urge you to pass the Andean Trade Preferences Act as soon as possible.
Renewing ATPA is a national security issue. ATPA has been an effective weapon in our fight against drugs by fostering economic alternatives to illegal narcotics production. ATPA will promote economic development which in turn will help defeat the scourge of drug trafficking while building stronger democratic institutions. ATPA is a reflection of a long-term U.S. commitment to working with the Andean region to address issues of fundamental interest to all of us. On March 21, the Administration asked the Congress for new authorities. The terrorist and narcotics problems in Colombia are intertwined. President Bush recognized this link when he stated on April 18 after his meeting with President Pastrana, ``We've put FARC, AUC on our terrorist list. We've called them for what they are. These are killers, who use killing and intimidation to foster political means . . . By fighting narco trafficking we're fighting the funding sources for these political terrorists. And sometimes they're interchangeable. It is essential for Colombia to succeed in this war against terror in order for her people to realize the vast potential of a great, democratic country . . . I am confident that with the right leadership and the right help from America . . . Colombia can succeed. And it is in everybody's interests that she does succeed.'' The President added that he discussed with President Pastrana ``how to change the focus of our strategy from counternarcotics to include counterterrorism.'' Here is what the new authorities we seek would allow us to do: address the problem of terrorism in Colombia as vigorously as we currently address narcotics; and help the Government of Colombia address the heightened terrorist risk that has resulted from the end of the demilitarized zone. Here is what we will not do: We will not stop our human rights vetting of all Colombian military units receiving U.S. assistance. We are committed to abiding by the Leahy amendment. We will not exceed the 400 person cap on U.S. military personnel providing training in Colombia, nor the 400 person cap on U.S. civilian contractors. We are committed to abiding by the Byrd amendment. We will not do away with the requirement in the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act that the Secretary of State certify on Colombian Armed Forces' human rights record before we can provide assistance to the Armed Forces. We will not bypass regular reprogramming requirements. We were not interested in stretching the existing counter-drug authorities and because we are committed to abiding by the restrictions and laws you enact, we come to you today to seek new authorities to respond to the needs for a new mission--to combat terrorism. The authorities we seek would enable Colombia to use U.S.-provided helicopters and the counter-drug brigade from Plan Colombia to fight terrorism some of the time as needed. Let me be also clear that use of those helicopters and all other equipment and units would continue to be subject to existing Leahy restrictions. I look forward to discussing this proposal with you. hemispheric vision: democracy, prosperity and security We can be proud of the hemispheric consensus in favor of democracy, rule of law and human rights, open markets and social progress. As President Bush stated at the April 2001 Quebec Summit of the Americas, ``We have a great vision before us, a fully democratic hemisphere bound together by goodwill and free trade. That's a tall order. It is a chance of a lifetime. It is a responsibility we all share. The interests of my nation, of all our nations, are served by strong, healthy democratic neighbors, and are served best by lasting friendships in our own neighborhood.'' At Quebec, 34 democratically-elected heads of state and government agreed on: a democracy clause which makes democratic government a requirement for participation in the summit process; an approved action plan to promote economic prosperity, protect human rights, and fight drug trafficking and organized crime; and a 2005 deadline for the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Democracy, security, prosperity. What good will these principles be if they are trampled in Colombia? colombia: assault on democracy Colombia's 40 million inhabitants and its democracy are under assault by three narcoterrorist groups--the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). The three groups--with a combined force of over 25,000 combatants-- regularly engage in massacres, kidnappings, and attacks on key infrastructure. The FARC and AUC are involved in every facet of narcotics trafficking, including cultivation, processing, and transportation. The income they derive from narcotics--estimated at over $300 million a year--has been key to their expansion--both in numbers and armament--over the last ten years. These groups attack your counterparts. AUC killed two Colombian legislators over the last twelve months. The FARC kidnapped six Colombian legislators, including presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt. The three terrorist groups assassinated 12 mayors in 2001. FARC efforts to disrupt the March 10 legislative elections failed, but the terrorist group will undoubtedly try to interfere with the May 26 presidential elections as well. colombia: assault on prosperity ELN and FARC bombings of the key Cano Limon oil pipeline cost the Government of Colombia almost $500 million in lost revenue last year-- equal to almost one-third of Bogota's spending on health for its citizens. FARC strikes against the country's power grid in February left 45 towns, including two departmental capitals, without electricity for days. The FARC also attempted twice to blow up a dam near Bogota, actions which--if successful-- could have killed thousands of civilians. Fortunately, Colombian security forces thwarted both attempts. colombia: assault on security Terrorist attacks on Colombia's security have resulted in over 3,000 Colombians killed in 2001. Another 2,856 were kidnapped, with the ELN, FARC and AUC responsible for almost 2,000 victims. In the former demilitarized zone, the Colombian military recently found two large FARC-run cocaine laboratories and 7.4 metric tons of cocaine. AUC Commander Carlos Castano has publicly admitted that the AUC obtains 70% of its income from narcotics. FARC and AUC activities in southern Colombia have been a major obstacle to our aerial eradication and alternative development programs, especially in Putumayo and Caqueta. The FARC, ELN, and AUC also threaten regional stability. The FARC regularly uses border regions in Panama, Ecuador, Brazil and Venezuela for arms and narcotics trafficking, resupply operations, and rest and recreation. The insecurity created by the FARC, AUC, and ELN creates a haven for criminal activity that affects Colombia's neighbors. Since 1992, the FARC and ELN have kidnapped 51 U.S. citizens and murdered ten. Colombia supplies 90% of the cocaine consumed in the U.S. It is also a significant source of heroin. colombian response to growth in terrorist violence In 1999, President Pastrana responded to the crisis undermining Colombia's democracy, prosperity and security with the launch of the six-year, $7.5 billion Plan Colombia. Plan Colombia calls for substantial Colombian social investment, judicial, political and economic reforms, modernization of the Colombian Armed Forces, and renewed efforts to combat narcotrafficking. The Government of Colombia is well on its way to funding its commitment under Plan Colombia having spent $2.6 billion for Plan Colombia-related infrastructure projects, including a hospital in Puerto Guzman, a school in Orito and a farm to market road in Mocoa, as well as projects regarding human rights, humanitarian assistance, local governance, and the environment. Colombia has also spent $426 million on social services and institutional development, including family subsidies and programs for job creation and youth training. The Government of Colombia's contribution to Plan Colombia is being used for counterdrug efforts and social and economic development projects. These projects include social and infrastructure programs in Putumayo Department, in southern Colombia, the site of the heaviest concentration of coca growth. Colombia has also continued to modernize its armed forces; stabilized its economy in accord with IMF guidelines; and undertaken an aerial eradication program resulting in the destruction of unprecedented amounts of coca. u.s. support for plan colombia U.S. support has been a key component of Plan Colombia. With your support, since July 2000, the U.S. has provided Colombia with $1.7 billion to combat narcotics trafficking and terrorism, strengthen democratic institutions and human rights, foster socio-economic development, and mitigate the impact of the violence on Colombian civilians. Our assistance to Colombia using Plan Colombia funds is limited to support of counternarcotics activities. Have we had any success? Let me give you eleven examples of what we have already in the works: First, we have delivered to the Colombian National Police 8 of the 11 helicopters to be provided under Plan Colombia. The Colombian military has received 35 of the 54 helicopters that it is programmed to receive under the plan. Second, The Government of Colombia extradited 23 Colombian nationals to the U.S. in 2001, an unprecedented level of cooperation. Third, we trained, equipped, and deployed the Colombian Army's counternarcotics brigade, which destroyed 818 base laboratories and 21 HCL (hydrochloride) laboratories, and provided security for our aerial eradication operations in Southern Colombia. Operating as part of a Colombian Joint Task Force (JTF-South), we judge it the best brigade-sized unit in the Colombian military. Fourth, with Colombians we sprayed a record potential 84,000 hectares of coca cultivation last year, up from 58,000 in 2000, and have set a goal of 150,000 hectares in 2002. Fifth, through Colombia's Ministry of Interior, we have funded, since May 2001, a program that has provided protection to 1,676 Colombians whose lives were threatened, including human rights workers, labor activists, and journalists. Sixth, the U.S. Government-funded Early Warning System alerts Colombian authorities to threats of potential massacres or other human rights abuses, enabling them to act to avert such incidents. To date, the EWS has issued 106 alerts. Seventh, the U.S.--working with non-governmental organizations and international agencies--has provided assistance to 330,000 Colombians displaced by violence since mid-2001. Eighth, our program to demobilize child soldiers has helped 272 children to reintegrate into society. Ninth, we have implemented programs to help the Government of Colombia reform its administration of justice and strengthen local government. We have opened 18 Casas de Justicia, which provide cost-effective legal services to Colombians who have not previously enjoyed access to the country's judicial system. Tenth, our program to help municipalities improve their financial management, fight corruption, and boost community participation has completed six Social Investment Fund projects in southern Colombia. Eleventh, we are also helping the Prosecutor General's Office set up human rights units throughout the country to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of human rights abuses. alternative development We remain committed to alternative development as a key component of our overall effort in Colombia. Promoting alternative development in Colombia is not easy. The security situation is a major obstacle and there is no alternative agricultural production that can match the income of coca production. The limited insitutional capacity of the Colombian Government agency charged with implementing the programs has also been a problem. I have great respect for the people in our Mission in Bogota, and USAID here in Washington, who recognized that we were not achieving the results we hoped for in alternative development and are making adjustments to our program. USAID wants communities to participate in drug control efforts and is designing programs that are less risky to implement under current security conditions. These adjustment include: Working more closely with individual communities to tailor the program to help these communities with the needs they identify. For example, many villages are willing to abstain from coca production in return for access to potable water or a road to link them to a neighboring market. Funding activities which improve the economic potential of isolated regions such as Putumayo and boost temporary employment and income of rural residents, encouraging them to make the transition from coca to legal crop production or employment opportunities. Extending the alternative development program to areas beyond southern Colombia, where conditions may be more favorable for alternative income generation. As we move forward, we need keep in mind that, as the recent General Accounting Office February report on alternative development in Colombia noted: ``Without interdiction and eradication as disincentives, growers are unlikely to abandon more lucrative and easily cultivated coca crops in favor of less profitable and harder to grow licit crops or to pursue legal employment.'' Therefore, it is critical that we continue an aggressive spraying and eradication campaign if we are to persuade communities to participate in alternative development programs. human rights Human rights concerns are a central element in our Colombia policy. In meetings with senior Colombian civilian and military officials, U.S. officials regularly stress the need for Colombia to improve its human rights performance. During my visit to Bogota last February, I emphasized to President Pastrana that the Colombian military must take additional actions to sever any links between military personnel and paramilitary forces. I also met with the leading presidential candidates and made clear our expectation that they too be fully committed to improving human rights. Chief of Staff of the Army General Eric Shineki and Acting Commander for the Southern Command Major General Gary Speer have also traveled to Colombia and delivered strong human rights messages to their counterparts in the Colombian Armed Forces. Our human rights message is making a difference. President Pastrana and Armed Forces Commander Tapias have repeatedly denounced collusion between elements of the Colombian military and the paramilitaries. The Colombian military captured 590 paramilitaries and killed 92 in combat last year. Eight military personnel, including two colonels and a lieutenant colonel, were charged in civilian courts with collaborating with paramilitaries or with committing gross human rights violations in 2001. A senior Colombian naval official's career has effectively ended because of allegations that he collaborated with paramilitaries. Still, too many Colombians continue to suffer abuses by state security forces or by terrorist groups acting in collusion with state security units. Those responsible for such actions must be punished. The establishment of the rule of law and personal security for all Colombians cannot happen if human rights abuses and impunity for the perpetrators of such crimes continue to occur. The best way to ensure that Colombia continues to make progress on human rights is through continued U.S. engagement. In fact, when I visited Colombia in February, representatives from civil society and human rights groups said that what Colombia needed most was a professional, accountable and strong military that can provide security against the terrorist actions of the FARC, ELN and AUC throughout the country. They said strong United States involvement was needed to make this happen. Colombia needs more U.S.-provided training and human rights vetting, not less. We would do this under the new authorities and programs we are proposing. new situation requires new authorities adjustments On February 20, President Pastrana ended the demilitarized zone and the Government of Colombia's peace talks with the FARC. Since February 20, the Colombian military has reoccupied the main urban areas in the former zone, while the FARC has continued its terrorist violence. President Pastrana has announced plans to increase Colombia's defense budget, currently at 3.2 percent of GDP, to cover the cost of heightened military operations, and to add 10,000 soldiers to the army. He also requested additional aid from the U.S. to help cope with the increased terrorist threat. We answered Pastrana's request for immediate help by providing increased information sharing on terrorist actions, expediting the delivery of helicopter spare parts already paid for by the Government of Colombia, and assisting the Colombians with eradication activities in the former zone. In the counterterrorism supplemental submitted on March 21, we are seeking new legal authorities that would allow our assistance to Colombia, including assistance previously provided, to be used ``to support a unified campaign against narcotics trafficking, terrorist activities, and other threats to its national security.'' These new authorities recognize that the terrorist and narcotics problems together threaten Colombia's security, prosperity and democracy. Expanding the authorities for the use of aircraft and other assets to cover terrorist and other threats to Colombia's democracy does not ensure that Colombia will be able to address these multiple threats in the short-term. However, if approved, they will give us the flexibility we need to help the Government of Colombia attack this threat more efficiently and more effectively, in the shortest possible time, with resources already in Colombia. Our request for new authorities is not a retreat from our concern about human rights nor does it signal an open-ended U.S. commitment in Colombia. Our proposal expressly states that we will continue to do human rights vetting of all Colombian military units receiving U.S. training or equipment and will maintain the 800 person cap on U.S. military personnel and contractors providing training and other services in Colombia. In addition to new legal authorities, we are also seeking $35 million in the counterterrorism supplemental to help the Colombian Government protect its citizens from kidnapping, infrastructure attacks and other terrorist actions. Our $35 million request is broken down as follows: $25 million in Non-proliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Programs (NADR) funding for anti-kidnapping training and equipment for the Colombian police and military; $6 million in Foreign Military Funds (FMF) funding to begin training for Colombian military units protecting the key Cano Limon oil pipeline; and $4 million in International Narcotics Control Law Enforcement (INCLE) funding to help organize, train, equip and deploy Colombian National Police units that will provide security for the construction of reinforced police stations to enable the police to reestablish a presence throughout Colombia. peace corps The U.S. Government remains supportive of the peace process. We are encouraged by the current talks between the ELN and the Government of Colombia, and hope that they will soon produce a viable, lasting peace accord. colombian commitment The U.S. is committed to helping Colombia in its fight against terrorism's assault on its democracy, prosperity and security, but Colombians must take the lead in this struggle. Colombia needs to develop a national political-military strategy, boost the resources devoted to security, implement economic reforms, improve human rights protection, and sustain vigorous and effective counternarcotics programs. conclusion Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, your support will be crucial in the days ahead as you discuss our proposal for new and supplemental funding request for our assistance to Colombia, as well as our FY-03 budget request. I look forward to maintaining a dialogue with you as we work together to help provide Colombia's democracy the tools it needs to build a secure, prosperous and democratic life for its citizens. The people of Colombia must not be denied the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a hemisphere united by open markets, democratic governments, respect for human rights, and the rule of law. Thank you. Senator Dodd. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. We will now hear from Peter Rodman, Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs in the Department of Defense. STATEMENT OF HON. PETER W. RODMAN, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, WASHINGTON, DC Mr. Rodman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I, too, want to thank the chairman and Senator Chafee and the subcommittee for your courtesy to us. I, too, want to associate myself with the good wishes for Senator Helms. You have my prepared statement, so I just wanted to speak briefly to highlight a couple of points, if I may. We have had in the past few years a bipartisan consensus in support of Plan Colombia, and I am sure that has a lot to do with its effectiveness. We believe it has been a success. It has achieved many of its objectives, and I think our hope is in coming before you to help nurture a similar bipartisan consensus in support of the modifications in policy that we are proposing. Plan Colombia, as Marc said--I want to wholeheartedly endorse his statement of what the stakes are. Colombia is a friend, it is a democracy, it is a country we have a huge stake in, for a number of reasons. This is a friendly government that is under pressure from extremists of both left and right. We believe we have the ability to help it, and that that is something that the United States really has to do and, in fact, the failure, if Colombia fails in this present effort, this is a disaster for the hemisphere. The new approach that we are proposing is not a wholesale new policy, it is not a vastly expanded commitment. To some extent it is a request for some new flexibility, which would in our view allow us the more effective use of many of the things we are already doing to support the Colombians, particularly in the military field. The reason for coming before you with some new ideas is that a number of things have changed in the recent period. First of all, I might mention there may be a new understanding that we have of the nexus between narcotics and terrorism with respect to the FARC, perhaps more awareness of this than we had in earlier periods, and of course our sensitivity to terrorism at this moment needs no explanation. The second major development is President Pastrana's closure of the safe haven. As Marc said, we supported him while he was conducting and committed to the diplomacy, and we also should support him now that he has come to this very fateful decision that the diplomacy was not working, that he had to take on the FARC. This is a very difficult and consequential decision that he has made, a courageous decision, in which in our view he needs to be supported. The third factor I would mention is what we see as the improved performance of the Colombian military. Again, as Marc referred to, not only their human rights performance, we think their military effectiveness, their professionalism in that respect as well is evident in the last year or so. We think this is in part, in considerable part, the product of the training and support that we have been providing, and it is this improvement in performance that encourages us to believe that additional support, and with the flexibility in the form that we are discussing here, will indeed make a difference, and may perhaps tip the balance more decisively in favor of this friendly democracy. So in sum, it is a pivotal moment in Colombia, and that makes this hearing especially timely and especially important. Thank you again, Mr. Chairman. [The prepared statement of Mr. Rodman follows:] Prepared Statement of Hon. Peter W. Rodman, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Thank you for the opportunity to appear before this Subcommittee. I want to associate myself with the testimony of my distinguished colleague, Under Secretary of State Grossman. I am honored to provide the Defense Department's perspective on threats to Colombian democracy and the Bush Administration's proposed initiatives to assist the Government of Colombia in addressing those threats. policy that adapts to changing circumstances The Administration has wrestled with developing a more effective policy and strategy to address terrorism as well as narcotics trafficking--the twin challenges posed by Colombia's illegal armed groups. Both the U.S. and Colombian governments recognize that the threat has evolved and now requires new thinking and new programs. President Pastrana's decision to terminate the FARC safehaven and this Administration's request for new authority, as described by Ambassador Grossman, reflect our shared assessment that terrorism and narcotics trafficking are inextricably linked in Colombia today. For the past decade, U.S. aid has focused almost exclusively on counternarcotics. Although counterdrug programs remain an important part of the security equation in Colombia, our assistance has not yet had a decisive impact on the political and security challenges that continue to threaten both Colombian democracy and U.S. interests. Therefore, President Bush has asked Congress for: expanded authority for Colombia to use U.S.-provided support in its unified campaign against narcotics trafficking and terrorist activities; and new funding in Fiscal Year 2003 that would provide assistance to train and equip units to protect critical economic infrastructure. These authorities will provide the Government of Colombia with the flexibility and resources needed to combat violent and formidable narcoterrorist threats to Colombia's national security. Over the past several years, these groups have increased their involvement in illicit drug operations. These drug revenues contribute to their war chests and have enabled them to increase their terrorist activities, placing further pressure on Colombia's democracy. This critical assistance will allow the Colombian security forces to confront more vigorously the increasing narcoterrorist attacks by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and National Liberation Army (ELN) and deal more effectively with the narcoterrorist paramilitary groups, like the United Self Defense Group of Colombia (AUC). These three groups--the AUC, ELN, and FARC--already are designated under U.S. law as terrorist organizations. Although not considered terrorists with global reach, they threaten regional stability and U.S. interests through transnational arms and drug trafficking, kidnapping, and extortion. Together, these groups are responsible for more than 90 percent of the terrorist incidents in this hemisphere. The changes in authorities described by Ambassador Grossman will help Colombia fight these groups more effectively, not only in traditional coca-growing regions such as Putumayo and Caqueta, but throughout Colombia. Beyond the toll in Colombian lives and treasure, these organizations have kidnapped and murdered U.S. citizens with impunity and damaged major U.S. commercial interests, such as oil pipelines. Accordingly, the Administration's strategy is to provide the Colombian government with the wherewithal and incentive to confront these groups throughout the national territory, whether or not individual units or combatants are engaged directly in drug-related activities. This is because, as we have learned, Colombia's major terrorist organizations both enable the drug trade and are financed in significant part by the revenues drugs provide. Attempting to segregate drugs and terrorism into distinct and severable threats is both politically unrealistic and militarily futile. Colombia urgently needs to establish the rule of law in its many regions that are presently ruled by lawless violence. A crucial component in this objective is a stronger, more effective security presence. Today, the political/military situation in Colombia has reached a stalemate. Taken together, the FARC, ELN and AUC effectively control over 40% of Colombian territory. This stalemate works to the advantage of those groups, whose acts of terror and narcotics trafficking continue unabated even though the overall military contest remains inconclusive. Hence, this situation compounds all of Colombia's problems: It delegitimates the democratic state. It undercuts any real possibility of negotiation with the guerrillas on better-than-surrender terms. It places a ceiling on what can be accomplished with the counternarcotics effort. It creates a security vacuum that is filled in part by the rightist paramilitaries. It is a vicious circle. The Colombian State's weakness in many parts of the country leads many citizens to believe that the paramilitary groups are more effective in promoting security. In turn, these groups receive greater support and legitimacy, making the state's ability to fill the vacuum even more difficult. The activities of the paramilitaries, of course, also undercut political support for Colombia in the United States. The United States cannot solve all of Colombia's problems with increased levels of aid, and given Colombia's human and capital resources, we need not do so. Currently, the government devotes approximately 3.5% of GDP to combating the narcoterrorists. Colombia must shoulder more of the burden by funding its security structure-- meaning both military and police--at levels that are more appropriate for a wartime footing. We are encouraged by President Pastrana's recent decision to increase the force structure by 10,000 soldiers and provide an additional $110 million for military operations related to elimination of the FARC safehaven. But current funding for security forces is simply inadequate to meet the current threat, and Colombian forces are simply too small and poorly equipped to provide basic security to large areas of the country. At the end of the conflict in El Salvador, the military had 50 helicopters while Colombia, fifty times larger, has only roughly four times as many. The Colombian military has roughly an 8:1 soldier advantage over the narcoterrorist, an inadequate ratio if the military is to seize the initiative in the conflict. The Colombian military's situation is partly due to the evolving nature of the threat, partly due to a lag in the Colombian public's learning curve, and partly due to lingering hope that numerous peace proposals would be successful. As Ambassador Grossman pointed out, after three years of FARC duplicity at the negotiating table, on 20 February 2002 President Pastrana eliminated the FARC safehaven. Frustrated at the FARC's lack of good faith, the Colombian public appears to be gaining a more realistic understanding of the security challenges their country faces. But Colombia's difficulty in providing for its own security is due in no small part to its inability to protect significant revenue-producing infrastructure such as oil pipelines, which leads us back to the imperative for expanded authorities that Ambassador Grossman has described. effective sovereignty and basic security If U.S. aims in Colombia are cast solely in terms of reducing the production and export of drugs to the United States, important aspects of the violence there and the inability of the government to respond effectively will be ignored. As a practical matter, we cannot view Colombia as a country in which we either adhere to a counterdrug program or slide unwittingly into a Vietnam-style counterinsurgency. More realistically, we must pursue policies and fashion programs that permit Colombia to meet the challenge of the narcoterrorists so that U.S. forces are not called upon to do so. There is a strong moral and strategic impetus behind this support for one of the United States' oldest and most reliable hemispheric allies. Virtually all experts concur that the problems of narcotrafficking and guerrilla violence are intertwined. Both the United States and the Government of Colombia hold that reducing drug exports can serve important political and security objectives by reducing drug-related income available to illegal armed groups. Nevertheless, though drug- related income is an important factor in sustaining insurgents and paramilitaries, it is doubtful that even effective counternarcotic operations in specific areas within Colombia can, on their own, be decisive in disabling illegal armed groups or forcing them to negotiate seriously for peace. Continuing to link U.S. aid to Colombia to a narrow counternarcotics focus means that, by law, we must refrain from providing Colombia certain kinds of military assistance and intelligence support that could immediately strengthen the government's position throughout the country. Hundreds of attacks by the ELN and FARC have been directed at electrical, natural gas and oil infrastructure. As Ambassador Grossman has noted, the guerrillas' sabotage of oil pipelines alone has cost the Government of Colombia lost revenue on the order of $500 million per year. The pipeline was bombed 170 times in 2001, spilling 2.9 million barrels of oil--eleven times the amount of the Exxon Valdez. The Administration has proposed to Congress $6 million in FY02 supplemental funding and $98 million in FY03 Foreign Military Finance funding to train and equip vetted Colombian units to protect that country's most threatened piece of critical economic infrastructure-- the first 170 kilometers of the Cano-Limon oil pipeline. This segment is the most often attacked. U.S. assistance and training will support two Colombian Army brigades, National Police and Marines operating in the area. These units through ground and air mobility will be in a better position to prevent and disrupt attacks on the pipeline and defend key facilities and vulnerable points such as pumping stations. These units will also send a message that the Colombian State is committed to defending its economic infrastructure--resources that provide sorely needed employment and revenue--from terrorist attacks. Basic security throughout Colombia's national territory is the essential but missing ingredient. The Pastrana administration's Plan Colombia was an admirable start toward resolving Colombia's interrelated problems, of which the security component is only one part. But there can be no rule of law, economic development and new job creation, strengthening of human rights or any other noble goals, where there is no basic security. Therefore, our policy in Colombia should augment traditional counterdrug programs with programs to help Colombia enhance basic security. A friendly democratic government in our hemisphere is struggling to preserve its sovereign authority under assault from extremists of both left and right. U.S. policy towards Colombia requires a bipartisan consensus at home for a long-term strategy aimed at strengthening Colombia's ability to enforce effective sovereignty and preserve democracy. The new and more explicit legal authorities that the Administration is proposing are intended to serve these goals. human rights concerns The Administration is concerned, as are many Members of Congress, about human rights in Colombia. President Pastrana has instituted important reforms. The practices and procedures that the U.S. government has put in place, often at the behest of concerned Members of Congress, and the example set by the small number of our U.S. troops training Colombian forces, have also had an impact. Professionalism is, after all, what we teach. Human rights violations attributed to the armed forces dropped by 95% during the period of 1993-1998, to fewer than three percent of the total reported abuses. Armed forces cooperation with the civilian court system in prosecuting human rights violations committed by military personnel has improved. Over 600 officers and noncommissioned officers have been relieved of duty under a 2000 Presidential decree that provides military commanders a legal means for removing personnel suspected of human rights violations and collusion with the paramilitaries. Officers have been dismissed for collaboration with or tolerance of paramilitary activities, while others face prosecution. The armed forces have demonstrated aggressiveness recently in seeking out and attacking paramilitary groups. Indeed, as already stated, the problem of the paramilitaries is itself partly a function of the vacuum left by the weakness of the national government and the Colombian military. By bolstering the democratic government and its effective assertion of national sovereignty, we weaken the paramilitaries. colombians must make the main effort Although a policy cast in terms of basic security should enhance overall prospects for peace and for more effective counternarcotics, neither goal is assured without a firm and enduring commitment by the Colombian government and Colombian people to devote a greater share of their own national resources to the effort. The key principle should remain that the Colombian people bear the ultimate responsibility for their own security and must demonstrate their national will through a commitment of resources. The Colombian military, by its own admission, is not optimally structured or organized to execute sustained operations. The Colombian military has greatly improved in many respects over the last several years--especially in the areas of tactical and operational effectiveness, increased professionalism, human rights training and awareness, and has realized a modest but sustained increase in force structure. But the military continues to suffer from limited resources, inadequate training practices, significant shortfalls in intelligence and air mobility, and lack of joint planning and operations. They need to better coordinate operations among the services and with the Colombian National Police. Adequate funding and restructuring of the military are essential if Colombia is to have continuing operational success against its national threats. The adoption of Plan Colombia demonstrates that Colombia is moving forward aggressively, exercising its political will to address, and ultimately solve, domestic problems that have persisted for decades. The U.S. has an enormous stake in the success of this plan. Victory in Colombia can only come--and U.S. interests in Colombia can best be served--once the Government of Colombia asserts effective sovereignty over its national territory. It is time for the United States to reinforce its commitment to Colombian democracy. conclusion President Pastrana has asked for both international and U.S. support to address an internal problem that has international dimensions--fueled in part by our country's and the international demand for cocaine. It is time to move forward, in partnership between the Administration and Congress. Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, I again thank you for the opportunity to discuss these issues with you. Senator Dodd. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. General Speer, we thank you for your presence here this morning, and General Speer is the Acting Commander in Chief of the U.S. Southern Command, located in Miami, Florida, and we appreciate your presence and your comments. STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. GARY D. SPEER, U.S. ARMY, ACTING COMMANDER IN CHIEF, U.S. SOUTHERN COMMAND, MIAMI, FL General Speer. Mr. Chairman, Senator Chafee, thank you both for the opportunity to represent the United States Southern Command about this important issue as we talk about Colombia, but I would like to first of all thank all the members of the committee, this committee, certainly for your unwavering support of the United States Southern Command as we go about our business in executing our mission throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. And certainly at this point in time, thank you all for your support of the men and women in uniform deployed around the world in the global war on terrorism and other military activities. This committee certainly is aware of the growing importance and significance of Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States and, Mr. Chairman, you highlighted very well the progress over the last quarter of a century and the transformation to a hemisphere of democratic nations. I would like to give credit to the men and women of the U.S. military over that 25-year period, because I think that to a certain degree it has been the military presence in the mil groups working day-in and day out with their host nation counterparts, the joint exercises and combined training and the professional military education opportunities for foreign officers and noncommissioned officers to come to the United States and study professional military education, all of which provide the U.S. military as a role model for the conduct of the military in a democratic society, with the respect for the rule of law, human rights, and subordination to civil authority. This is something we have to continue, because you rightly highlighted the challenges we face throughout the Southern Hemisphere, the challenges of instability and corruption that stem from arms and drug traffic and money laundering, illegal migration, and the backdrop of terrorism. Certainly no place is more at risk than Colombia in terms of violence as a milestone and, as you pointed out, Colombia certainly is the linchpin for the Andean Ridge from the potential spillover effects, not only of the violence, but also the other ill effects of corruption. A lot has changed in Colombia since your last visit in February 2001. At that point in time, Plan Colombia operationally was only in the second month of implementation. Now, after 15 months, Secretary Grossman highlighted the progress that we have seen, for example, with the counternarcotics brigade. It focused on the south, that was the focus for phase one of Plan Colombia, and it is important to remember, of the 6-year plan we are only at the 15-month mark in terms of Colombia's execution of Plan Colombia. Certainly, 20 February marked a significant milestone in the landscape in Colombia, with the elimination of the despeje and setting aside the peace process. The Colombian military performed very well in the military reoccupation of the despeje. Their military operations were very deliberate, deliberate in the context that they focused their efforts on securing the five major population centers and went about their business in a way to minimize the chances for collateral civilian casualties, and they executed that very well. And it took longer than we would have liked to have seen from a military perspective, but they did it very effectively, and I only heard of three collateral casualties as a result of that entire operation, attributed to both the FARC and the military through the reoccupation. The fact is, the military in Colombia has demonstrated tremendous progress over the past few years, progress tactically, progress operationally, and also, Mr. Chairman, progress in human rights. The real problem in Colombia is not just about drugs, though. It is the problem of security. You described the situation in terms of the violence that persists throughout the country, and until the Government of Colombia can reestablish a safe and secure environment using all of its security forces, the police and the military, to do so, the other aspects of governance cannot take hold, the judicial reform, the alternative development, and all the other things that are necessary. The challenge in Colombia today for the military, as we look at the sit rep every morning, I see a number of kidnapings, bombings, and civilian casualties through a variety of activities, not only the FARC but the ELN and the paramilitaries, so the military challenge on a day-to-day basis is to try to protect critical infrastructure throughout the country, and the Colombian military leadership has identified over 18,000 specific sites that they deem as critical infrastructure that require protection. Additionally, they have to provide protection to the major population centers because that is where the FARC is taking the terror campaign at the present time. In addition, they continue their support to counterdrug operations, and they continue to provide support to the CNP in overall law enforcement operations in terms of providing security to allow the police to do law enforcement actions, as well as continuing to combat the FARC, the ELN, and the illegal paramilitaries in their spare time, also to try to set the conditions to preserve the electoral process for 26 May and the Presidential election, a monumental task. They have demonstrated great progress, but the fact of the matter is, they lack the resources in terms of manpower, mobility, and equipment to reestablish a safe and secure environment throughout Colombia. And again, Mr. Chairman, Senator, thank you for your support for SOUTHCOM, and certainly we look forward to your continued support as we try to address these challenges. Thank you very much. [The prepared statement of General Speer follows:] Prepared Statement of Maj. Gen. Gary D. Speer, U.S. Army, Acting Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command Mr. Chairman, Senator Chafee, and distinguished Members of the Committee, I am honored to appear before you to discuss United States Southern Command's role in assisting Colombia. The men and women of United States Southern Command deeply appreciate the hard work by the Members of this Committee and we thank you, and your colleagues in Congress, for your commitment and steadfast support. I have served as the Acting Commander in Chief of United States Southern Command since October 1, 2001 when General Pace assumed the position of Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In the past ten months, I have traveled to Colombia eight times. I have met key leaders in Colombia and here in the United States, both military and civilian. I appreciate their challenges and am convinced that the Colombian military is led by experienced and principled officers. I have seen first hand the commitment of the Colombian military's leadership towards professionalizing their force, to include respect for human rights and the rule of law. I am grateful for the opportunity to provide an overview of the problems facing Colombia and its neighbors, and what we have done to date to address these threats and enhance security and stability, which are the underpinnings of economic growth and legitimate governance. security environment During the past twenty-five years, nations of our hemisphere have made substantial progress toward achieving peace through democratically elected governments, economic development, and the subordination of the military to civilian authority. All countries, except for Cuba, have democratically elected governments. Without a clear or imminent external threat, Latin American and Caribbean nations essentially appear to be at peace with their neighbors. Underlying this perception of tranquility are the multiple transnational threats of terrorism, drug and arms trafficking, illegal migration, and organized crime, all of which threaten the security and stability of the region. Some of our hemispheric neighbors are suffering from the effects of political instability, faltering economic growth, and institutional weakness. High unemployment, endemic poverty, corruption, and crime combined with the effects of terrorism, drug trafficking, and other illicit transnational activities challenge and threaten the legitimacy of many of these governments and consequently threaten U.S. hemispheric interests. Governments are feeling the strain of weak economies, rampant corruption, ineffective judicial systems, and growing discontent of the people as democratic and economic reforms fall short of expectations. Transnational threats in the region are increasingly linked as they share common infrastructure, transit patterns, corrupting means, and illicit mechanisms. These threats transcend borders and seriously affect the security interests of the United States. terrorism Southern Command recognized a viable terrorist threat in Latin America long before September 11. If not further exposed and removed, that threat potentially poses a serious threat to both our national security and that of our neighbors. We in Southern Command have monitored terrorist activities for years with such incidents as the bombing of the Israeli Embassy and Jewish-Argentine Cultural Center in Argentina in 1992 and 1994 attributed to Hizballah. Recently, international terrorist groups have turned to some Latin American countries as safe havens from which they sustain worldwide operations. As an example, the tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay serves as a base of support for Islamic Radical Groups, such as Hizballah, HAMAS, and Al Gama'at al-Islamiyya. These organizations generate revenue through illicit activities that include drug and arms trafficking, counterfeiting, money laundering, forged travel documents, and even software and music piracy. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army of Colombia (ELN) and the United Self Defense Group of Colombia (AUC) are all on the State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The FARC has been implicated in kidnappings and attacks against United States citizens and interests, including the murder of three U.S. citizens in 1999. According to the Department of State's most recent ``Patterns of Global Terrorism'' report, 86 percent of all terrorist acts against U.S. interests throughout the world in 2000 occurred in Latin America, predominately in Colombia. The recent bombing outside the U.S Embassy in Peru preceding President Bush's visit is indicative that other domestic terrorist groups pose threats to the United States elsewhere in the hemisphere. These include, but are not limited to, the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) and Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) in Peru and the Jama'at al Muslimeen (JAM) in Trinidad and Tobago. drug trafficking Illegal drugs inflict an enormous toll on the people and economy of the United States and our hemispheric neighbors, and appropriately, have often been characterized as a weapon of mass destruction. According to the latest Office of National Drug Control Policy figures, Americans spend more than $64 billion on illegal drugs while drug abuse killed more than 19,000 Americans and accounted for $160 billion in expenses and lost revenue. Most of the world's cocaine and a significant portion of the heroin entering the United States are produced in the Andean Region. Drug trafficking persists as a corrosive threat to the democracy, stability, and prosperity of nations within the region, especially in the Andean Ridge, adversely affecting societies and economies as scarce resources are diverted to rehabilitation, interdiction, and crime prevention efforts. Drug trafficking generates violence, fosters crime, and corrupts public institutions. Increasingly, terrorist organizations support themselves through drug trafficking. This trend is particularly troubling in Colombia where we find clear connections between drug trafficking, guerrillas, and terrorist activities. It is not only the drug producing countries that suffer. No country in this hemisphere through which drugs transit escapes the violence and corrupting influences of drug trafficking. Additionally, as traffickers exchange drugs for arms and services in the transit countries, transit nations are now becoming drug consumers as well. arms trafficking Although Latin America and the Caribbean spend less than any other region on legal arms purchases, illegal arms sales pose a significant threat to the stability of the region. Of particular concern is the rising trend in which Drug Trafficking Organizations exchange drugs for arms, which are then provided to terrorist organizations such as the FARC, ELN, and AUC in Colombia. Illegal arms originate from throughout the world and transit through the porous borders of Colombia's neighbors. Arms traffickers use a variety of land, maritime, and air routes that often mirror drug and human trafficking networks. illegal migration Latin America and the Caribbean are major avenues for worldwide illegal migration. Although not a problem directly tied to Colombia, illegal migration and human smuggling operations are linked to drugs and arms trafficking, corruption, organized crime, and the possibility for the movement of members of terrorist organizations. According to the Census Bureau's latest figures, more than eight million illegal immigrants reside in the United States; nearly two million of them are from the SOUTHCOM area of responsibility. The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service estimates more than 300,000 illegal immigrants annually originate in, or transit through, Central American countries destined for the United States. Also, many Chinese illegal immigrants destined for the U.S. transit through Suriname, Ecuador and other countries in the hemisphere. Human trafficking is highly profitable, providing revenue of more than $1 billion annually to smuggling organizations within the region. Moreover, human trafficking provides the potential means of entry into the U.S. for criminals and terrorists. colombia No other region is suffering the destabilizing effects of transnational threats more than the Andean Ridge countries. In Colombia, the FARC, ELN, and AUC have created an environment of instability in which the Government of Colombia does not control portions of the country. In the areas where military and police are not present and do not have control, there is lack of a safe and secure environment, which undermines the ability to govern and permits terrorism and crime to flourish. The violence in Colombia remains a significant threat to the region as the combination and links among guerrillas, terrorists, drug- traffickers, and illegal self-defense forces have severely stressed the government's ability to exercise sovereignty and maintain security. The FARC and other illegal groups cross into neighboring countries at will. In addition, neighboring countries remain transshipment points for arms and drugs entering and exiting Colombia. Colombia is critically important to the United States. With over 40 million people, it is the second oldest democracy in the hemisphere, and it is an important trading partner, notably for oil. More importantly, it is the linchpin of the Andean Region; as such, it is critical for the United States that Colombia re-establish a safe and secure environment within its borders and survive as an effective democracy. Venezuela, Panama, and Ecuador are certainly at risk to some degree based on what happens in Colombia. The current political and security situation in Colombia is at a critical juncture. Notwithstanding the Government of Colombia's eleventh hour extension of the despeje, the FARC's ``safe haven,'' on January 20 of this year, the FARC initiated a countrywide terror campaign with more than 120 attacks against the nation's infrastructure and cities. These attacks ultimately prompted President Pastrana to eliminate the despeje on February 20, and initiate operations to occupy the area. From a military perspective, it was the right move. The FARC used the despeje as a sanctuary to support their drug trafficking operations, launch terrorist attacks, and recruit and train their forces. Simply put, the FARC is a terrorist organization that conducts violent terrorist attacks to undermine the security and stability of Colombia, financed by its involvement in every aspect of drug cultivation, production and transportation, as well as by kidnapping and extortion. The Colombian military immediately initiated operations to reoccupy the despeje, focusing on occupying population centers with deliberate operations to prevent civilian casualties. This strategy averted significant displacement of the population. In response, the FARC avoided confronting the military and has broken down into small elements, retreated into the jungle and rural areas, and concentrated its actions on terrorist attacks against the country's infrastructure. While the March 10 Congressional elections were executed relatively problem-free, the weeks leading to the upcoming Presidential elections on May 26 will be particularly critical as the Colombian Military dedicates significant resources to ensure the security of the electoral process. u.s. southern command's support to plan colombia We continue to execute the Department of Defense's counterdrug support to Plan Colombia, Colombia's national security plan. Colombia is just beginning the second year of this six-year plan. The initial phase of operations focused in the Putumayo and Caqueta Departments of Southern Colombia where approximately half of Colombia's coca cultivation takes place. In implementing U.S. Support to Plan Colombia initiated by the FY 2000 Emergency Supplemental, Southern Command has been responsible for training and equipping a Counter Narcotics Brigade, riverine units, fielding Blackhawk and Huey II helicopters, training pilots and crews, infrastructure upgrades, and providing counterdrug intelligence support. We are seeing positive results from our support. Although our focus has been support to counterdrug operations, the increased professionalism of the Colombian military, significant progress in respect for human rights and the rule of law, and improved operational planning and execution are all directly linked to our support. counter narcotics brigade The Counter Narcotics Brigade (CN Brigade) headquarters and its three battalions are now fully trained and equipped. United States trainers performed staff and light infantry training for almost 2,300 troops. The brigade headquarters and the second battalion of the brigade completed training and began operations in December 2000; we completed training of the third battalion last May. We continue to provide sustainment training to the CN Brigade. The CN Brigade is the best-trained and equipped unit in the Colombian Army. It has impressive results during drug interdiction operations by destroying coca processing labs, providing security to eradication operations, and seizing chemical precursors and coca leaf in Southern Colombia. Since operations began in December 2000, over 890 drug labs have been destroyed and 119 people detained for judicial processing. The CN Brigade has also provided the ground security for the spraying of 59,000 hectares of coca in the Putumayo and Caqueta regions. Colombia's spraying effort in Putumayo last year would not have been possible without the CN Brigade's aggressive ground support to spray aircraft. There have been no allegations of human rights abuses against the CN Brigade. In addition, indications are that the Colombian military's concerted interdiction efforts combined with aerial spraying are having an effect on the narco-traffickers. Cocaine labs are being established away from the Putumayo and Caqueta cultivation areas; in fact, large scale, industrial size labs were discovered in the former despeje. With the training and capabilities of the CN Brigade, no longer does the FARC own the military initiative in Putumayo and Caqueta Departments, but avoids head-on engagements against the Colombian military. This increased security in the coca growing areas affords a better environment for interdiction efforts by the CN Brigade and the Colombian National Police. helicopters Since December 2000, the United States has provided air mobility to the first CN Brigade using 33 UH-1Ns with a combination of Colombian and Department of State contracted pilots. The UH-1N aircraft are based in Tolemaida with the Colombian Army Aviation Battalion and are forward deployed to Larandia for operations. Last year, the UH-1Ns flew over 10,000 flight hours in direct support of Joint Task Force South CN operations, moving over 26,700 soldiers and 261 tons of cargo. The current operational focus remains providing air mobility support for Joint Task Force South counterdrug missions in Colombia. Our training and logistics programs are on track to provide greatly enhanced air mobility capability to the Colombian Army. All fourteen UH-60L Blackhawk helicopters procured under Plan Colombia for the Colombian military were delivered by December 2001. The first 6 of the 25 Plan Colombia Huey II aircraft arrived in March 2002. Under the current delivery schedule, we expect the remaining 19 Huey II helicopters to be delivered by the end of September 2002. Department of Defense training programs specifically designed to fulfill the requirement for trained Colombian Army pilots, crew chiefs, and maintenance personnel for the Blackhawk and Huey II helicopters are currently underway and progressing well in Colombia and in the United States. In addition to training pilots, crew chiefs and maintenance personnel will also be trained. This has been a real success story: Colombian Air Force Instructor Pilots under the quality control of an U.S. Army Technical Assistance Field Team are training Colombian Army pilots in the Blackhawk transition and the Initial Entry Rotary Wing (IERW) courses. The night vision training, advanced or readiness level progression training, and the Huey II transition are being executed through a DOD contract in Colombia. Crew chiefs are being trained in Spanish, both in the United States and Colombia. The various special aviation and avionics maintenance training is conducted in Army schools in the United States. The Plan Colombia Blackhawk pilot and crew training will be complete in July. The first IERW course is in progress and Huey II transition will commence this month with a projected completion of Colombian Army pilots and crews for the 25 Huey 115 by mid 2004. The long pole in the aviation training is the CONUS specialized maintenance training, which will last through 2003 due to the extensive technical courses and the limited throughput possible. As such, contractor logistics support will be required throughout this entire period. riverine capability For much of Colombia, the rivers are the highways. Consequently, the rivers are the only means of transportation and commercial communication. As a result, an integral part of our support to Colombia has been the training and equipping of the Colombian Riverine forces. The goal of the Riverine Forces is to permit the Colombian government to exercise sovereignty throughout the vast regions where other governmental entities are otherwise absent. Colombia's plan is to establish controls at critical river junctures along its borders and throughout the heartland of the country. The plan includes establishment of 58 riverine combat elements, with support structures, at these critical river nodes. The operational objective of the Riverine Forces is to establish control over the riverine transportation network and interdict illicit trafficking of precursor chemicals used in the production of cocaine. To date five riverine battalions, composed of thirty riverine combat elements, have been deployed and are operating throughout Colombia. These riverine combat elements have successfully supported the operations of the first CN brigade in destroying riverside labs and by providing convoy security for building material used to construct the Tres Esquinas airbase. Furthermore, these riverine units have established the first continuous presence of the Colombian government in areas previously abandoned to control of narco-terrorists organizations. Continued support to complete the fielding of the remaining riverine combat elements and establishment of a self- sustaining training capability are high priorities in our strategy for the future. engineer projects Extensive projects are underway in Larandia to support the CN Brigade and associated helicopters. They include helicopter pads, a fueling system, maintenance hangar and storage warehouse, operations building, control tower, and an ammo storage facility with arm/disarm pads. The first helicopter projects will be completed later this year, with the overall construction complete in 2003. Other projects at Larandia include additional barracks for both counter narcotics and aviation brigade personnel, a counter narcotics brigade headquarters facility, and a supply warehouse. These support projects will be complete later this year also. At Tres Esquinas (a forward operating site in Southern Colombia), construction was recently completed on the riverine facilities, an A-37 ramp, and taxiway. The remaining projects at Tres Esquinas (runway extension and Schweizer hanger) are in progress with completions also scheduled for later this year. The riverine base at El Encanto (forward base in Southern Colombia) and the riverine maintenance facility at Nueva Antioquia are complete. However, the airfield runway improvements at Marandua remain unfunded; this airfield will be critical to supporting operations in Eastern Colombia. The military base and improvement projects, which we have funded and overseen, have effectively enabled the Colombian military to expand its influence over the coca growing areas of Putumayo and Caqueta. Additionally, we continue to improve our infrastructure at the Forward Operating Location (FOL) in Manta, Ecuador. Last year, operations at the FOL ceased for six months while we made runway improvements. The current construction for living quarters and maintenance facilities will be completed in June 2002. The infrastructure upgrades for the FOL at Curacao are in progress, but Aruba remains unfunded. The FOLS are critical to our source zone counterdrug operations and provides coverage in the transit zone Pacific where we have seen the greatest increase in drug smuggling activity. The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is assisting the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in providing employment for the alternative development program in Colombia. Due to the long process for crop substitution to develop into major income producing industries, USAID determined that a large-scale jobs-via- infrastructure program is needed to provide short-term income to individuals shifting from coca production as well as eliminating the competitive disadvantages resulting from the lack of infrastructure where crop substitution will take place. The USACE is currently analyzing and evaluating infrastructure works in Putumayo and Caqueta. One project already approved for development includes the repair and widening of a road connecting the Putumayo and Caqueta river systems. This project will reduce the time required to move products through Putumayo and Caqueta while providing employment to those individuals shifting from coca production. Additionally, it will enhance the mutual support of Colombian military units operating along the rivers. professionalism and human rights We have witnessed a steady improvement in the professionalism and respect for human rights and the rule of law by the Colombian military, accompanied by increased effectiveness in counterdrug operations. The increase in professionalism starts with the continued professional military education, the confidence gained by technical proficiency, and resources available for operations. Our legal assistance projects in Colombia, which include developing a Judge Advocate General (JAG) school as well as legal and human rights reform, continue on track. We have worked closely with the Colombian military to establish and build a Military Penal Justice Corps that has made significant strides in a short period of time. The initial JAG school courses began in February 2002 for 60 judge advocates and clerks in temporary facilities. The Department of State recently approved funding for construction of a permanent JAG facility, and we expect completion in July 2003. In the area of human rights, United States Southern Command has supported Colombian efforts to extend human rights training throughout its ranks. Additionally, we sponsor opportunities for the continued exchange of information on human rights issues, such as: a recent Human Rights Seminar with 60 Colombian media and international representatives, bimonthly human rights roundtables involving representatives from various sectors of Colombian society, incorporating human rights in every training initiative, and advanced education programs. This summer, twenty students from the Armed Forces, National Police, Ministry of Defense, and Commanding General's office will receive specialty degrees in International Humanitarian Law. I am convinced the military leadership in Colombia is firmly committed to human rights and is taking action on any new reports of wrongdoing that come to their attention, to include any reports of collusion with illegal self defense forces. They have suspended officers and noncommissioned officers for acts of wrongdoing and have stepped up their operations against illegal defense forces. Colombian military combat operations increased against illegal self-defense groups in 2001. With increased operations against these groups, the Colombian military captured or killed approximately 700 illegal defense force individuals in 2001, compared to 239 in 2000. During this period there has been positive institutional response with prosecutions of military members with credible allegations of ties to illegal self defense forces rising and improved cooperation with civilian legal authorities. In fact, in a short period of time, the Colombian military has emerged as one of the most respected and trusted organizations in Colombian society. Fewer than three percent of complaints of human rights abuses last year were attributed to the Colombian Security Forces, down from a high of 60 percent just a few years ago. There have been zero allegations of human rights abuses against the U.S. trained counter narcotics drug brigade. This is a success story that often gets overlooked. Colombia should publicize what the military is doing and take credit for the accomplishments they have attained. This progress reflects a strong and principled leadership and the genuine desire of the Colombian military to honor and promote democratic principles in their country. fiscal year (fy) 2002 andean counterdrug initiative The Department of State's Andean Counterdrug Initiative is designed to sustain and expand programs funded by the FY 2000 emergency supplemental. It addresses potential production, processing, and distribution spillover due to successful Plan Colombia execution. Since the beginning of 2001, we have been working with the Department of State to help develop, prioritize, and validate requirements for partner nation militaries. In each case, although still counterdrug focused, we are seeking to sustain the military contacts focused on professionalization of the armed forces and the specific challenges and security needs within available resources. Approximately $100 million of the Andean Counterdrug Initiative will be allocated to support the Colombian military. This funding will be used to sustain the capabilities initiated under the FY 2000 supplemental appropriation, particularly in the areas of training and aviation support for the first CN Brigade, riverine programs, and the Colombia military legal reform program. second counter narcotics brigade Based on the success of the first CN Brigade, the U.S. government is supporting Colombia's request to train and equip a second CN Brigade in FY 2003 for employment elsewhere within the country. The existing CN Brigade has been successful in forcing the drug traffickers to move their operations outside of the Putumayo and Caqueta departments. A second CD Brigade will enable the Colombians to attack the other main coca growing areas to the east of the Andean Ridge or elsewhere in the country. Using the first CN Brigade as a baseline, we will profit from our experience in training and equipping the second CN Brigade. The second CN Brigade will be made up of approximately 1,700 troops. If approved, using U.S. Special Operations Forces, we could train one battalion per quarter, commencing with the second CN Brigade Staff. This training will continue to emphasize professionalism and human rights requirements. The equipment will include weapons, ammunition, and communications equipment. Additionally, the Department of State's FY 2003 request includes funding to continue sustainment training of the existing CN Brigade. infrastructure security strategy In addition to counterdrug assistance, the Administration has proposed to Congress $98 million, for FY 2003, to help Colombia to enhance the training and equipping of units to protect the Cano Limon- Covenas oil pipeline, one of the most vulnerable elements of their economic infrastructure. The FARC and ELN are active in carrying out attacks against Colombia's energy infrastructure. Attacks on the Cano Limon-Covenas pipeline cost the Government of Colombia more than $40 million per month in revenues when the pipeline is not operational. During the past year, the pipeline was of fline for more than 266 days. In addition, the amount of oil spilled during these attacks is eleven times greater than the Exxon Valdez spill, creating significant environmental damage. The Administration has included $6 million in the FY 2002 Supplemental to begin the training. The first unit to be trained for this program will be the recently human rights vetted, Arauca-based Colombian Army 18th Brigade. Subsequent units to be trained for infrastructure security include the 5th Mobile Brigade, designated Colombian National Police units, and Colombian Marines. The Colombian units will also be equipped with weapons and ammunition, vehicles, night vision devices, and communications equipment, as well as a helicopter tactical lift capability for a company-sized quick reaction force. If approved, this training will assist the Colombians to exert effective sovereignty in the Arauca Department, where these attacks primarily occur. Through a comprehensive strategy of reconnaissance and surveillance, offensive and quick reaction operations, the Colombian military will be better able to mitigate the debilitating economic and financial effects of constant attacks on critical infrastructure. challenges Despite extensive eradication in the source zone and successful interdiction in the transit zone, cocaine supply continues to exceed demand. Although Colombia and other partner nations are willing to work with us to counter the production and trafficking of illegal drugs, effective and sustainable counterdrug operations are beyond the capabilities of their thinly stretched security forces. United States counterdrug assistance to security forces helps Colombia and other nations in the region develop more effective counterdrug capabilities; however, drug trafficking organizations have shown considerable flexibility in adjusting their operations in reaction to counterdrug efforts. With Colombia's narcoterrorists increasingly supporting themselves through drug trafficking, it is increasingly difficult for the security forces to sustain a secure environment that allows democratic institutions to fully function, permits political, economic, and social reforms to take hold, and reduces the destabilizing spillover into neighboring countries. In addition to combating the FARC and its current terror campaign, the Colombian Military must contend on a daily basis with the conventional and terrorist attacks by the ELN and AUC, as well as the drug trafficking organizations. This requires not only the continuous conduct of military and counterdrug operations, but the protection of population centers, critical infrastructure to include electrical towers and power grids, communication towers and facilities, the oil pipelines, dams, roads and bridges. Also, the Colombian military must devote significant resources and manpower to secure the Presidential election process. Although we have seen great progress through the military portion of the first year of Plan Colombia, the Colombian military still lacks all of the essential resources to create a safe and secure environment in Colombia. As mentioned previously, fundamental security and stability are necessary for the Government of Colombia to remain a viable, legitimate government and for other supporting programs to succeed. U.S. support to the Colombian military is currently restricted to support for counterdrug operations. We are further limited by restrictions on sharing non-counterdrug information with the Colombians. The Colombians are also limited in their use of U.S. provided counterdrug-funded equipment, such as the Plan Colombia helicopters. If enacted, the Administration's FY 2002 supplemental request to expand our authorities in Colombia will provide some relief by lifting these restriction for United States funded equipment, assets, and programs for Colombia. Even, without any additional funding or resources, this authority would allow us to look at the FARC, (AUC and ELN) not only as drug traffickers, but also as a narco-terrorist organization and to gather and share information on their activities across the board. Additionally, from an interdiction standpoint, again with the assets already provided, instead of attempting to interdict only drugs leaving Colombia, we would be able to look for the arms entering the country, which are fueling the FARC, ELN, and AUC. For Colombia, the expanded authority, if approved, would allow them to use the helicopters we provide and the CN Brigade for missions other than counterdrug. We support reinstating the Air Bridge Denial Program in Colombia and Peru as an effective means to interdict the flow of drugs, arms and contraband. In the past, this program was very successful in breaking down a critical network of conveyance for the drug traffickers. Furthermore, we know that arms traffickers smuggle weapons to the FARC by air. By incorporating the recommendations of the Beers and Busby reports, we can safely resume U.S. support to the air bridge denial operations and reinforce our commitment to partner nations. As we look to the future, we need to ensure that our efforts are focused on fighting terrorism throughout this hemisphere and on preserving and stabilizing Colombia's democracy. The problem in Colombia is not just about drugs. professional military education One of the cornerstones of our security cooperation strategy is to provide the opportunity for professional military education in the United States for students from Latin America and the Caribbean. Our professional military education institutions dedicated to the region provide those opportunities and serve as vital tools in achieving United States strategic objectives in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our professional military education program has been a significant factor in shaping the current leadership in Colombia. All of the members of the current high command in the Colombian military have received training and instruction at United States institutions. With over 2000 Colombian military students graduating from United States schools within the past three years, the Colombian military's receptivity to professionalizing the force and significant progress in respecting human rights and the rule of law is a by product of professional military education opportunities with us. The National Defense University's Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS) at Ft. McNair, Washington D.C. supports the development of civilian specialists from Latin American and the Caribbean in defense and military matters by providing programs in defense policy planning, resource management, and political and civil-military relations. CHDS significantly enhances the concept of military subordination to civilian authority by training a core of civilian defense specialists who serve in the region's defense ministries and legislatures. As an element of the Interamerican Defense Board and Organization of American States, the Interamerican Defense College (IADC) provides senior service level professional military education for senior officers, including officers from the United States. The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) at Ft. Benning, Georgia, offers instruction that promotes democratic values, respect for human rights, and regional cooperation. WHINSEC provides an opportunity for regional military and police leaders to receive, in Spanish or English, the same instruction we provide our own Armed Forces. The capstone course at WHINSEC is the yearlong resident Command and Staff Course, which includes approximately 40 percent United States officers from all services. Concepts and values taught at WHINSEC are continually reaffirmed, as our hemisphere's militaries are increasingly supportive of democratic values and the subordination of the military to civilian control. The Inter-American Air Force Academy (IAAFA) at Lackland AFB, Texas, and Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School (NAVSCIATTS) at Stennis, Mississippi provide specialized technical and tactical training on aircraft maintenance and small boat operations to the region's militaries. This training enhances the interoperability and increases the life cycle of U.S. equipment used by countries in the region. For some of these courses and other military schooling, the International Military Education and Training (IMET) Program are critical. We appreciate the continued support of this valuable program. However, in order to reach the future military leaders for Guatemala, we need to remove the prohibitions on junior and field grade officer's attendance of the same professional military training as their U.S. counterparts such as command and staff college and advanced courses. These and other United States schools produce graduates who make positive contributions to their countries through distinguished military and public service. In many cases, the interpersonal relationships forged during a common educational experience serve as valuable tools for security cooperation while promoting regional stability. security assistance Security Assistance is an important element of the U.S. national security strategy that fosters and supports cooperative security arrangements. The International Military Education and Training (IMET) Program has been essential to the effort of professional military education and professionalization of the militaries of the region. We appreciate the continued congressional support of this valuable program. Although military expenditures in the region are the lowest in the world, Latin American and Caribbean militaries do have legitimate defense sustainment and modernization requirements. We need the assistance of partner nations in both regional cooperation and in protecting their own borders against terrorism and other transnational threats. Foreign Military Financing (FMF) is a critically important source of equipment and training for resource strapped countries. Against these requirements, Latin America and the Caribbean were allocated in 2002 less than one-tenth of one percent of the annual worldwide FMF program, which although an increase over previous years, was just $8.7 million. This allocation does not take into account the need to sustain aircraft and other equipment previously provided to our regional partners, nor does it provide for modernization or new initiatives. In light of the security cooperation requirements that exist, the United States has not provided substantive security assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean over the past decade, and this is a region of vital significance to the United States in terms of demographics, trade, natural resources, and proximity. There may be a perception that the FY 2000 Plan Colombia Emergency Supplemental and the FY 2002 Andean Counterdrug Initiative fully satisfies the requirements for Colombia and neighbor militaries. While these programs are essential, especially for Colombia, they are not concentrated on military assistance, and the assistance provided is counterdrug related. Limited FMF resources constrain our ability to influence the direction and scope of regional military modernization and enlist the full cooperation of partner nations. Likewise, the capabilities of the militaries within the region could be increased to assume a more active role in security cooperation against transnational threats, disaster response, and peacekeeping. intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (isr) Our global war on terrorism continues to reinforce the critical role that a comprehensive ISR posture plays in any operational environment, whether home-based or abroad. Secretary Rumsfeld noted in the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review that: ``We cannot and will not know precisely where and when America's interests will be threatened . . .'' His observation is particularly applicable to the Southern Command area of responsibility, where threats take many forms and are often ambiguous. These threats present a range of intelligence challenges-- from tracking terrorist groups and drug trafficking organizations in Colombia to monitoring international criminal and terrorist activities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The restrictions placed on the use of certain collection assets exacerbate the constraints inherent to the limited availability of intelligence resources in our area of responsibility. Today, most intelligence assets allocated to Southern Command are funded from counterdrug appropriations. Therefore, the employment of these scarce assets is further restricted to supporting only counterdrug operations or force protection of those involved with counterdrug activities. Also, our access agreements on the Forward Operating Locations of Manta, Ecuador, Aruba and Curacao, and Comalapa, El Salvador restrict operations from the FOLs to counterdrug only. Our ability to assist operations in Colombia is also limited by restrictions on sharing data. We are prohibited from providing intelligence that may be construed as counterinsurgency related. For the operator, it is very difficult to distinguish between the FARC as a drug trafficking organization and the FARC as a terrorist organization and the FARC as a insurgent organization. In my opinion, we have tried to impose artificial boundaries where one no longer exists. conclusion In summary, the United States Southern Command remains committed to providing the assistance needed by Colombia and other partner nations in the region within Congressional authority. We continue to execute operations and activities to enhance the region's militaries, advance democracy, promote regional security, support hemispheric cooperation, foster economic opportunities, promote peace, sustain freedom, and encourage prosperity. Additionally, we will continue to prioritize these activities in areas that offer the greatest leverage for protecting and advancing United States regional and global interests. While Southern Command's priority since September 11 has been on the planning and coordination necessary to execute the global war on terrorism, everything we are doing in Colombia and in the region supports that end. Our efforts in Colombia are not only to fight drugs but also to save democracy in that country and promote security and stability in the Andean Region. We are seeing progress in our efforts. Although in the past few years the Colombian military has emerged as a much more capable and professional force, they still lack the resources, manpower, airlift and mobility, to reestablish a safe and secure environment throughout the country. Your continued support will help to ensure the stability of Colombia and safeguard U.S. national security interests throughout Latin America and the Caribbean against the transnational threats that concern us all. Thank you for providing me this opportunity to discuss these issues with you today. I will be happy to respond to any questions you may have at this time. Senator Dodd. Thank you very much, general, and let me underscore the point you made about the competency of our military personnel in the region. My older brother, Tom, was an American Ambassador in Uruguay and Costa Rica. He would often comment to me how impressed he was with the officers associated with the embassy and others in terms of their knowledge of the language, the culture, the relationships they built within the community. He was always deeply impressed with the level of competency and knowledge, and that is something we hear about often, so thank you as well for your efforts. What I am going to do is keep a clock on ourselves up here, not that the Senators have a reputation for talking too much, but why don't you put it on for 10 minutes apiece here so that we can complete some thoughts here with all of you. I wanted to include in the record a report from Human Rights Watch, ``Colombia: Terror From All Sides.'' You may have seen this, and I will include it in the record.\1\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \1\ The report referred to can be found on page 59. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- It points out here the terror from the FARC and the AUC, we have a tendency to talk about the FARC, obviously, because of their major involvement historically going back 40 years. It is beginning to appear, though, that both of these organizations are achieving sort of an equilibrium in terms of balance of forces. It appears, while the AUC does not have quite as many people in their ranks, they are growing. You talk about, according to this report, anyway, some 11,000 people as opposed to 17,000 in the FARC, so 11,000 in the AUC, and then you go down and you look at the kidnapings and assassinations and if you switch the names it would be hard to distinguish the level of violence that goes on from both of these organizations. I agree with the statement made by Senator Chafee earlier, there may have been a time when the FARC represented some social aspirations within the country, but when you hear and see the activity that goes on, even the case recently of a father who had been kidnaped and a son, a young boy dying, and even the appeal of Fidel Castro in a letter to the FARC to allow this father to see his dying son, and they denied--in fact, they then executed the father. The boy died and the father died as well--you begin to get some sense of what we are dealing with here. And as you see, with the AUC here--in fact, the language of both organizations, their statements, is pretty much similar in terms of what they do. So as we talk about this, it is going to be important as well to keep in mind here that while the attention is on FARC to a large extent, what we are dealing with, the ELN, that many of us are going to raise questions about this AUC issue. It is a growing concern. I understand in some ways, when people are frightened to death, literally, that they will grasp and hold onto elements that they think are going to provide some security for them. In the face of 3,700 kidnapings last year alone in the country, you get some appreciation of what people are apt to lurch to in their desperation, but it is deeply concerning to me, and I know to many of us up here, this growing paramilitary activity does not seem to be abating at all here, and I would like to have your comments on that. Let me ask, if I can, some questions related to this, and let me begin by U.S. policy objectives, Secretary Grossman. We have all heard, and you have articulated it again this morning here, the objectives of U.S. policy in Colombia, and I am not quoting these exactly, but to strengthen democracy, reduce drug production and trafficking, deal with counterterrorism, reduce the violence, promote human rights and the rule of law, sort of I think in one sentence all these issues, and the armed conflict, obviously. It is a difficult question, but if you had to prioritize those goals, how would you do so? That is a large order I have just laid out there, but there is some sense of priority how we address these questions. One leads to the other in some instances, so I wonder if you might give us some sense of priority from the administration's standpoint on those issues. Mr. Grossman. Yes, sir, let me try to do that. If I might, Senator Dodd, take up your invitation to speak a little bit about the AUC-FARC business in the beginning of your comments. First, one of the things that I hope everyone will do, and I have worked very hard to train myself to do this, is when you talk about terrorism in Colombia to always talk about the FARC, the ELN, and the AUC, to always use all three, and I think that is a very important thing to do for American officials. I also think it sends the right signal to Colombians. The second point I wanted to make is that I appreciate your mentioning the Human Rights Watch report. We have worked very closely with Human Rights Watch. We appreciate the information that they give us. We appreciate the fact that they also recognize that we have got to be engaged in Colombia, and so we work very, very closely with them. The third point that I would make is that one of the things that this administration did which I think is absolutely right was to put the AUC on the foreign terrorist list, and in fact if you will remember, Secretary Powell was in Lima, Peru, on September 11. He was on his way to Colombia, where he hoped to be on the 12th, and on the 10th we notified the Congress that we wanted to put the AUC on the foreign terrorist list. I think it was a very good decision. It has helped us a lot, and absolutely shows where we stand on the AUC. I think as you do, we are all worried about the increasing numbers in the AUC, in the FARC and as you say, it shows us that getting that security is absolutely key, because as you say, people will hold on to anything when their lives and their families and their prosperity is under attack. That leads me to your second question. You have listed exactly all of our objectives. Colombia matters to the United States. If you want to pin me down, what I would say is, we have got to start with security, because security is the beginning that leads us to all the other things. I cannot accomplish my goals on alternative development unless there is security. As you very well pointed out, how can people have a real democracy when politicians and judges and mayors and Governors are kidnaped and murdered? How can you really have prosperity when people are afraid to invest in Colombia, when an American company cannot make an investment work on a pipeline? So I would put security at the base of this. But, Senator, what you said was exactly right, these things are linked, and I think the days are gone when you could kind of work on security Monday and Tuesday, and democracy and human rights on Wednesday and Thursday, and your economy on Friday, Saturday. These things are all together, and one of the things that attracts me about supporting Plan Colombia is the fact that it is multifaceted. It is not just about one thing or the other. So I will try to answer your question, I think you have got to get at the security question, but I do not answer it by leaving all the other things aside. Exactly as you said, they are related. Senator Dodd. So let us focus on the security issue, then, and General Speer, let me draw you into this one as well, and the burden-sharing issue, and again Senator Chafee I think rightfully pointed out in his brief comments about, to what extent can we--I mean, we obviously know what the Colombian people are going through, 80-year-old people barricading themselves in their homes, and the details we have cited already cite statistically what is going on in the country. Plan Colombia, of course, we talked about not only our commitment, which I think we have fulfilled, the financial commitments and so forth. Part of that included, of course, $4 billion over 3 years to be spent by the Colombians. Now, obviously, their economy is suffering, and I realize they are under a lot of pressure. They have not met that goal, but I want to get some sense from you in the midst of all of this, some expression in your analysis of where the commitment is in Colombia to address this, rather than hopefully--well, not relying exclusively on sort of the United States coming in on this question. Second, related to that--and I want you to address this, general, if you can--I am still troubled by the fact that the Colombian legislature I am told, anyway, has not effectively dealt with the issue of conscription in the country, that you still have a prohibition against college-bound, or university bound--I think the rules are, students from being conscripted into the Armed Forces. We have seen the problems in our own country when this occurs, and obviously here, if you are talking about a nation under siege from the FARC, the AUC, the ELN, and you are excluding the elites from having to bear the burdens, then you contribute, it seems to me, to some of that dismembering of the social fabric of a country when they see people not being treated relatively equally in this regard. I wonder if that is going to change, what effect it is having on the ability to build the kind of support for institutions in Colombia to respond to this, the military, the public community, rather than lurching to the AUC as a more viable and credible organization to protect their security. My question again is in the absence of some of these things occurring from an institutional standpoint, in fact contributing to the very point I tried to make earlier about the success of AUC and its growing numbers of support by the civilian population. And what are we doing to try to reverse that trend so the ranks of AUC do not become enlarged in the coming weeks and months? General Speer. Thank you, Senator. I guess, let me go to the bottom line up front, which is, even the Colombian military leadership looks to the illegal paramilitaries, the AUC, as the greater long-term threat as they look at the challenges of dealing with the FARC, the ELN, and the AUC, because of what you just talked about. They have increased in numbers, and for all the reasons you just described, because there are at least some people in Colombia that look to the AUC as doing something. Of course, the AUC is not concerned about the rule of law in their application of how they deal with people. The other thing that is important to remember, though, is that the illegal paramilitaries, the AUC, is also involved in the drug trade, as are the FARC and the ELN, so in all three cases the FARC, ELN and AUC are self-financed through drugs, extortion, and kidnaping. Now, you highlighted--in my discussions with the Colombian military in terms of their leadership, frankly, if they could do it, they would love for the Government of Colombia to finance their total military budget and all of their demands. They really would prefer not to have to go elsewhere, or ask for outside assistance. I mean, they view it as a Colombian problem. I am giving you the military frame of reference. They view it as their responsibility, their problem, and they would hope that their country could finance all of their needs. That is not the case. Now, the other aspect in terms of dealing with legislation, you highlighted a problem, and that is their law in terms of not only who may be drafted, and where they may serve once they are in the military, but the other aspect is the term of service. And again, this is something that we have discussed with our counterparts, and our counterparts are working within their legislative framework to try to change the law. Senator Dodd. This has been an issue, though, now, for several years. General Speer. Yes, sir. Senator Dodd. And again, it is a Colombian decision, but it just seems to me, looking at this, and how we are getting deeper involved here, now, we are going to change the law in terms of how military equipment is used, and I appreciate the Secretary going down and telling me the things we are not going to do differently here, the vetting, the human rights and the military, the four points that you made. But I have got this eerie feeling you are going to be back at this table next year and saying, look, it has not gotten better. It may, in fact, have gotten worse. So I want to get some sense from you, too, where is this going? And if the financial commitments for the obvious reason in some cases are not being met by Colombians, they are not dealing with some of these very issues, and instead of talking about 11,000 people here in the AUC, I am back here next year and Human Rights is saying, oh, those numbers now are 18,000 people, you know, where are we going with this? I do not have too much difficulty in supporting the request you are making this year. I have not made a firm decision on that yet, but I can understand that request, and so that is not my problem this year. I am trying to look down and say, where is this taking us? And so I am going to get to in a minute the regional questions, but before I get to regional issues, I do not have the sense yet--I do not have any doubt about President Pastrana's commitment. I do not have any doubt, based upon the numbers I have seen here, obviously, what the people are going through, but I do not have that sense yet that there is this determined effort by the Colombian structures and the military, the political structures, that they have come to terms with this yet. And one of the glaring pieces of evidence is, they do not seem to understand yet that, how do I make a case of dumping U.S. dollars and equipment into a region here when you cannot get college age kids to serve in the military to take on the AUC and the FARC? How do I make that case? And if they will not do it in the midst of this, when do you do it? That is my point, I guess, and you are making the same point. You are not disagreeing with me, but I am using this opportunity to say to you what I hope they are getting down there, because it is awfully difficult for Senator Chafee and me to keep coming back here, despite all of these horrible statistics that we read about, and obviously the impact here, where 50,000 people die in America here of drug-related deaths, and obviously a connection in all of this. So let me turn to my colleague from Rhode Island. Senator Chafee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I guess along the same lines if we are going to have increased flexibility in our relations with Colombia, what is the general plan to be successful? Just looking over the border, whatever Fujimori's faults might have been, they did have some success in Peru with their insurgents and their narcotics issues. Is there anything to be learned from what occurred in Peru? Secretary Grossman, your boss is an advocate of the Powell doctrine, come in with overwhelming force to be successful. What is the general outline in order to be successful in this effort? What is it going to take? I guess I will start with Secretary Grossman. Mr. Grossman. Yes, thank you very much, Senator. First, if I could say that we believe, as Peter testified we believe that one of the reasons we feel we can be successful is the success we have had in the past. This counternarcotics brigade that we have trained and equipped is the best military unit in Colombia, and we think that if we can get another counternarcotics brigade, if we can train another brigade to protect the pipeline so that money could flow again to Colombians, that we could have some success. And it is because we have been successful, we believe we can be increasingly successful. Yes, of course there are lessons to be learned in Peru. One of the most important ones, as I think our colleague from AID would say, is, it is in Peru that we have had some success offering alternative development, and the combination of moving people away from coca to something else was actually quite successful in Peru. You refer, sir, to the Powell doctrine. Of course, he is testifying some place else in the Senate, so I will let him speak for himself. But I think it is very clear, and I hope I can take the opportunity to say that not one of us here is talking about U.S. troops in a combat role. We are talking about U.S. troops and U.S. forces training and equipping Colombians to do this work, and I think that goes back to the point the chairman just made, which is to say that Colombians have to do more. Colombians have to change their laws. Colombians need to take the brunt of this, but as I think we have all tried to testify, we ought to be there to help them. If I could just make one other point, it is too soon to tell, perhaps, but I think that 9/11 has had a big impact on Colombians. One of the big differences between my visit there last August and a visit I made there in February was a real clear focus on this terrorism question. Colombians would have to speak for themselves, but I do not think President Pastrana would have come to, as Peter said, the courageous decision that he did on 20 February to clear out the zone had it not been for 9/11. And I hope, to both of you, that that will bring more focus for Colombians on Colombia's problem. Senator Chafee. Thank you. General Speer, any additional comments on an outline of success in the region as we go forward and make a commitment here, as Secretary Grossman said, the key word is security, and in order to achieve that, amend our legislation to have increased flexibility? General Speer. Senator,I think it is important to say where we are today in terms of what we are allowed to do. First of all, in terms of published U.S. Government policy, our work and contact with the Colombian military is predominantly focused on counterdrug support, so that is a limited aspect of our interaction, in training and equipping the Colombian military. The issue is, it is not just about drugs, it is about security in a broader spectrum. The reality is today--and I will use the FARC as the example--I cannot distinguish between the FARC when the FARC is acting as a narco-trafficker and the FARC as a terrorist, or the FARC as an insurgent. Those distinctions that may have existed at one time are really blurred, certainly at the tactical level, and the real problem is, we have got to get at the security issue, or Colombians have to get at the security issue. So that really is what changing the authorities is all about. Senator Chafee. You served in the region, I know from your background, quite a bit. Are there lessons to be learned from Peru? And as I said, for all his faults President Fujimori seemed to have a plan that worked fairly well in this area. Are there lessons to be learned from that, the interdiction and the fly in zones? I am not intimately familiar with his plan, but at least he pushed it out of Peru into Colombia to some extent. Senator Dodd. That is part of the problem. General Speer. Well, certainly the counterdrug aspect in Peru did just that. The air bridge denial program from a regional perspective was a very effective program over a period of years, and that helped to close out the air bridge that existed previously in terms of Peru to Colombia. And that is what forced, shall we say, the end to the cultivation in one country and the base being changed into the actual cocaine in another country, so it forced the drug traffickers to consolidate, if you will, and eliminate that movement. But the other thing, fundamentally, if you look back at what President Fujimori and the Government of Peru did is, they resourced their security forces to deal with the security threat, and consequently they did. Now, on the other side of the coin, if you want to talk about human rights performance, at least during that time I am not sure the Peruvian security forces had adhered to any human rights vetting, so there were some tactics used that we do not want to see applied elsewhere. Senator Chafee. Switching subjects a little bit to talk about the upcoming elections, Mr. Secretary, what are the dynamics, and certainly we talked about the lurching to the right and increased support for the AUC. I know you look at the elections in France. What is happening there? What are the dynamics in Colombia as we come forward to their elections? Is there a rightward swing to--I know candidate Uribe is generally considered the law and order candidate. I do not know how accurate the polls are, but is he the front runner at this point? Mr. Grossman. I certainly would not be involved in predicting Colombian elections from here, but it is certainly true that all the polls, Senator, show that people are interested in security, and people are moving to the right, no question about it. One of the things that General Speer and I did, along with a number of other people, when we visited Colombia in February, was we had a chance to meet each of the three leading Presidential candidates. And really our message to them was the same, which was to say, the United States is interested in Colombia, you have got to be interested in doing your part in this. And then especially, and with all three candidates we made a very big point of this linkage, of how important it was for the United States on democracy and on human rights, so as much as people are concerned about security, if you are going to be elected the President of Colombia, you have to understand how much the United States is interested in security that is being maintained and protected, along with human rights and democracy. We will see how people vote, but we found that all three candidates were interested in a good relationship with the United States, were interested in Colombia doing more for itself, recognized they had a big challenge, and I think would generally go forward with Plan Colombia. Senator Chafee. You do not foresee any surprises on the horizon? Mr. Grossman. I think one of those three people is going to be the President of Colombia. Senator Dodd. That is why we pay you the big bucks. Mr. Rodman. May I add a point? I have the same assessment, that all of the leading candidates are in favor of prosecuting the war, a harder line, if you will, and I think first of all, a lot of it is a reflection of the collapse of the peace diplomacy. But the second point I would add is, this may well be a society that is now coming to terms with the necessity to take on this campaign and to commit resources to it. I think before, while there was a peace diplomacy, there were a lot of hopes invested in it, and perhaps that was an excuse for not making this a larger military commitment, or a commitment of resources. Now it seems that the society as a whole has tested that option, found it wanting, and it may well be that whoever is the next President will follow President Pastrana in this stronger line, so I think it is a sea change in Colombian politics in the direction that we want, if what we are looking for is a greater commitment on their part. Senator Chafee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator Dodd. Thank you very much. Before turning to--our colleague from Wisconsin has joined us, and we thank you, Senator Feingold, for being here. I just want to underscore that point that Senator Chafee has just made, and I hope, in addition to other things, that this hearing will serve as a basis for sending a message to the candidates there. They are going to be electing new candidates there in May, and a new President will emerge in Colombia in the next month or so. We are going to be voting on a package that will be good for a year or so, and I hope that these candidates understand that it is going to be very, very important to continue the efforts that President Pastrana has made and others have made in the country. So, I am not suggesting they are going to have an exact duplicate plan, but deviating from that particular effort would certainly not be welcomed, and I just want to raise the issue once more, because, quote, our own State Department's designation of the AUC on September 10 of last year--it says, ``The AUC has carried out numerous acts of terrorism, including the massacre of hundreds of civilians, the forced displacement of entire villages, the kidnaping of political figures, and the forced recognition of AUC demands.'' The AUC has committed at least 1,000 killings, over 100 massacres in 2001, at least 50 percent of all political killings, and according to some reports here, at least Human Rights Watch, the 11,000 people who are part of the AUC is a 560-percent increase since 1996, and the question obviously becomes, why? Why the numbers? If security is the issue, and their ranks are swelling, that is a reflection on people's lack of confidence, in my view anyway, of the governmental structures, principally the ability of the military. Do you agree with that conclusion, first of all, Mr. Secretary? Mr. Grossman. I do. Senator Dodd. So if we are looking here a year from now and these numbers continue rising, instead of 11,000, we are talking numbers that are moving up, then we have got to question whether or not the present policy we are following here is really working very effectively. Mr. Grossman. Well, I would say, Senator, one of the reasons we want to do more with the military and not less is for precisely this reason. If what we have learned since September 2000, that if we can train a counternarcotics brigade with the wonderful men and women of our uniformed services, and it turns out to be the best unit in the Colombian military, then we ought to do another one. And if we can do the same, and do some training so they can protect the pipeline, we ought to do that, too. So the question that we all have to debate here as you look at our budget request is, are we prepared to spend that extra money, are we prepared to do extra, and we believe the more of these units we can train, the better security there will be, and on top of that the better human rights performance there will be. There has not been one credible proved allegation of a human rights abuse for this counternarcotics brigade that has been trained by the United States of America, and we are very proud of that, so if you ask me, I do more vetting, I do more units, for precisely the reason that people ought to be confident about their own military. Senator Dodd. I will come back to this theme in a minute, but let me get to my colleague from Wisconsin. Senator Feingold. Senator Feingold. I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing and for your leadership on these issues. I am sorry I was not here earlier, but I am glad to just have a chance to ask a couple of questions. Mr. Grossman, you know of my interest on the fumigation program, and I would ask you, do you believe fumigation, in the absence of credible, well-managed alternative development projects, is really a policy that makes sense? And I ask this because some people have concluded that there is no alternative development strategy that will convince economically rational coca growers to stop growing it. I do not know whether that is accurate, but if it is, it leads me to say, what do we hope to gain through the fumigation program? Mr. Grossman. Senator, let me say that in my view, and perhaps there are people, and there are people certainly much more expert than I am, is that you cannot have alternative development alone, and you cannot have fumigation alone, so if your proposition to me is, wouldn't it be wrong to have a fumigation program without an alternative development program? Absolutely. But I would also say in reverse, sir, that if someone proposed to me that we have a great alternative development program without fumigation, I would say that that is not going to work, either. There has to be some hammer here, if I can use a nondiplomatic term, to keep people focused on what it is they are supposed to do. As I tried not very well to say in my statement, we recognized some months ago that the alternative development program we were pursuing was not producing the kind of results we want. And I give great credit to people here at AID and in our mission in Colombia for changing the way that they are thinking about alternative development, and they are now focused better on communities, they are focused on alternative, not just development, but alternative jobs, and I think very wisely they have expanded the geography of alternative development. We were looking just at Putumayo, but the studies that we had done both by the GAO and work that we did showed that you have to expand your geography, and if you can employ somebody outside of the county, and they will move there for a job, it is something they ought to do, and so I believe that with this new focus on alternative development we are going to be doing a better job in there. We will have it planned, and combined with spraying we will have a serious anti-narcotics effort. Senator Feingold. I appreciate that answer, and let me just follow it a little more specifically. Under an amendment that I offered to the foreign ops bill last year, the State Department must certify that community development programs are in place in all fumigation areas in mid-July, and certification is required for the fumigation program to continue. I am aware that there has been some concern about the provision, but I think it is essential, and I think your comments tend to support that, if we are to implement an effective and humane fumigation program in Colombia. In the absence of alternative development opportunities, evidence suggests to me that farmers will simply replant their coca crops in other regions, perhaps causing more instability, and of course more environmental damage over the longer term. So my question, then, is to ask for a status report on community development programs. Will they be in place, as required, before heavy fumigation begins again in July? Mr. Grossman. The experts tell me that the answer to that question is yes, and that based on all the available data, and the work that AID has done, we will be able to certify that to you as the law requires. Senator Feingold. I thank you, and I thank you, Mr. Chairman. [The prepared statement of Senator Feingold follows:] Prepared Statement of Senator Russell D. Feingold Mr. Chairman, thank you for calling this important hearing. I am grateful for the opportunity this hearing provides to discuss our important but increasingly complex relationship with Colombia. In particular, I hope that this hearing will allow us to step back and evaluate the effectiveness to date of our various policy objectives in Colombia. We must consider, for example, whether current and future initiatives have been effective in reducing the levels of violence in the country, in seeking accountability for grave human rights violations, and in cutting off the narco-traffickers who provide both financing and incentives for insurgent forces. We must also ask whether our policy in Colombia provides an effective balance of military assistance and well-managed development support. And we have an obligation to the people of Colombia to consider the human and environmental effects of our ongoing fumigation campaign. To answer many if not all of these questions, we must also consider the viability of a military solution to the escalating conflict. At this hearing, I would also like to highlight an amendment that I offered to the foreign operations bill last year. Under the terms of my amendment, the State Department must soon certify that community development programs are in place in all fumigation areas. In the absence of alternative development opportunities, evidence suggests that farmers will simply replant their coca crops in other regions, causing more displacement, more instability and ultimately more environmental damage over the longer term. I am anxious to hear whether progress is being made in achieving this crucial development objective. I hope we will also have an opportunity today to explore the very troubling reports that suggest ongoing collusion between the Colombian military and paramilitary forces. I find it difficult to support assistance to the Colombian military if it maintains military relationships with a paramilitary force that has been certified by the United States as a terrorist organization. We must stand firm in opposing violence and narco-trafficking in Colombia, but in the process, we must never inadvertently provide either direct or indirect assistance to any terrorist groups. These are difficult questions. They deserve a candid discussion and frank answers if our ongoing financial support for the Colombian Government is to be effective. I look forward to beginning that discussion today. Senator Dodd. Thank you. Senator Chafee, do you have any more questions? Senator Chafee. No, Mr. Chairman. Senator Dodd. Let me ask about a couple of other issues if I can, and let me just pick up on what Senator Feingold has raised about the counternarcotics efforts. One of my concerns is, if we go now we are going to start utilizing this equipment not only in the counternarcotics area but obviously in dealing with the anti-insurgency efforts. The obvious issue comes up in my mind, we are sitting here around a year from now, we are having these reports on the eradication efforts and, given the resources that are committed, there will be a diminution of these resources, obviously, in the counternarcotics field, although you can say it overlaps, that we are coming back and we are watching-- because more of these resources are being committed to dealing with the insurgency efforts. Although again I accept the notion there is some overlap here, that we could be looking at a situation where the counternarcotics efforts are beginning to slip and fail and fall behind. How do you address that question? Mr. Grossman. Let me start. Our proposition is that we can do both of these things, and that---- Senator Dodd. With the present level of resources? Mr. Grossman. Yes, sir. That is why we have asked for additional funds in 2003 to train a second counternarcotics brigade. It is why also we have asked in 2003 funds for the $98 million to train and equip a unit to look after the pipeline, to the infrastructure, and it is also why, in the emergency supplemental that is here now, we have asked for $35 million, $25 million in anti-kidnaping assistance, $6 million to begin work on the pipeline, and $4 million to help police, to really build police stations that they can be secure in. So we think that level of funding is the right level of funding, that is why we asked for it, and we believe we can operate these missions and do them successfully. Senator Dodd. President Pastrana, the other day when he was here, I asked him about the success of the talks with the ELN, and at least his report was they are going fairly well, and he was even hopeful that before he left office there may actually be some resolution of those talks, successful resolution with the ELN. One of the factors is, of course, that these talks are being conducted in Cuba, and I asked him very directly whether or not, in this particular case, Castro was being of any help on this matter, and he said he was. How do you answer that question? Mr. Grossman. We have supported President Pastrana in his efforts with the ELN. They have not asked us for anything in that regard. Near as I can tell, it's the right report, that they seem to be making some progress. You know, obviously, I think I would like to have it in another venue, but that is really not for me to choose, and if they can get this job done, and bring peace, and have some reasonable agreement with the ELN, I think we would support that. Senator Dodd. I presume our interest section is giving us some reports on how they are going. Mr. Grossman. Actually, sir, we get them mostly from the Colombians, through Ann Patterson. I think they come to Cuba, they use it as a facility, but our reporting and our interaction with that peace process to the Colombians is done through Bogota. Senator Dodd. Well, let us assume for a second President Pastrana is right, that in this particular case, despite our obvious differences with Castro on a whole host of issues, that in this particular case, whatever the motivations may be, it is being constructive and working fairly well. Would we object to having a role for Fidel Castro in dealing with any political resolution dealing with the FARC? Mr. Grossman. With the FARC? Senator Dodd. With the Colombians seeking the assistance of the Cuban Government in coming to some political resolution, in addition to the other steps we are taking with the FARC? What would our view be on that? Mr. Grossman. Our view on this is, we would support President Pastrana. He is the President of Colombia, and he is pursuing a peace process, and if he came to us and said, this is how we would do this, we have been quite open about that. Senator Dodd. We would not object to that? Mr. Grossman. We would support President Pastrana. Senator Dodd. We are being clever here with the wording. Mr. Grossman. You said that is why I get paid all this money. Senator Dodd. I think I am hearing what I want to hear. Mr. Grossman. I hope so. Senator Dodd. Well, have you told--well, the ELN obviously is on a terrorist list. Mr. Grossman. Yes, sir. Senator Dodd. Have we laid out some conditions in which they come off that list if, in fact, these negotiations are successful? Mr. Grossman. Luckily, the list of what it would take to get off the terrorist list is a public list, and anyone who has asked us, whether it has been President Pastrana or other governments, what would it take, we say, here it is. Here is the law. Here is the standard by which we judge whether people are on or off that list. And when the ELN or any other terrorist group in the world moves away from that list, we are prepared to consider it. The law is designed to require us to meet certain criteria. They meet the criteria. When they stop meeting the criteria, we would be prepared to consider it. I think we are a long way from that, given what they are doing on the pipeline and kidnaping, and they are dealing with drugs, but in the theoretical, there is the list. Senator Dodd. Let me get back to the regional issue again with you, and when I made the comments I did at the opening of this hearing, in my disappointment at the lack of support-- first of all, let me address the issue of Venezuela and the connection. I asked President Pastrana when he was here as well whether or not the events that unfolded in Venezuela and how they were handled helped or hurt the situation. He felt they had hurt the situation. We do not seem to be getting the kind of commitment and support in some of these neighboring countries. We are providing, I think, $5 million in assistance to Ecuador, if my memory serves me well, as part of the proposed budget request. There may be additional levels of support in the area, $35 million--$3 million to Ecuador, I guess is what it is that has been committed. We obviously had President Bush visit President Toledo in Peru, lending his presence to strengthen the government there. Bolivia has had some difficulties. Obviously, there are changes occurring in Brazil, and obviously the problems in Venezuela surrounding this particular issue. What is your assessment of the regional support for this particular effort, and do you share my concern that if this is sort of a bilateral Colombian-U.S. deal, with no one else doing much except being spectators in the region, that we are going to have a more difficult time resolving this issue in the long term? And if you draw that same conclusion that I have, what steps are we taking to try and build some regional support for Plan Colombia, including the participation beyond just rhetorical commitments from these neighboring nations to share in the burden that the present situation poses in Colombia? Mr. Grossman. Senator, I agree with you, if this is a bilateral U.S.-Colombia deal it will not work. I think we ought to be clear about that, and all of the people who are behind me listening to this broadcast, or listening to this hearing, understand that. I would say a couple of things. One is that we, I think, have taken some steps to try to show our interest in the region. When I took my job there were two great criticisms on what we were doing on Plan Colombia. Criticism number 1 was that it was too focused on the military, and criticism number 2, it was too focused on Colombia, not on the region. And when President Bush took a look at this, his proposition to you all was that we have the Andean Regional Initiative [ARI], which is a better balance in terms of the money between Colombia and some of the surrounding states, including Ecuador. In fact, of that FY 2002 ARI funding, some $46.86 million was for Ecuador. Senator Dodd. I am glad to hear that. That is a supplemental request. Mr. Grossman. Actually, no, that was the amount in the 2002 ARI budget for Ecuador. The corresponding FY 2003 request for Ecuador is higher still at $65 million. Senator Dodd. I am glad you mentioned Ecuador, because they have been a great ally and supporter of us. Mr. Grossman. That is correct. We try to show the way by changing our support for Plan Colombia from just support for Plan Colombia to the support for the Andean Regional Initiative, but we need to do more, and exactly as you say, we need to make sure that the other countries in the region are not spectators. I had a chance a few weeks ago to go to Brazil, and one of the things we did in a long list of consultations with the Brazilians, I came back and back again to the need for them to support Colombia, so in all of our conversations with Latin Americans and with Europeans as well, we need to just continue to push ahead and recognize that Colombia is not just an American problem, it is really a worldwide problem. Senator Dodd. Well, I mentioned Ecuador specifically, and they have been very, very helpful and, of course, the base in Ecuador which has allowed us to have these overflights and views, that has been critically supportive, I think, in terms of our ability to deal with the eradication effort. And yet I also know that on the eastern border of Ecuador, the border with Colombia, it is an open frontier, and I gather there is a lot of back-and-forth. In fact, it is almost a safe harbor in a sense. This is true also in Brazil, I am told, and so as I said, more than just the kind of help, there is a real problem here, that people actually in the FARC particularly, and maybe in the other groups as well, are able to have sort of free access to these neighboring countries, and not the level of support yet we need to deal with those issues. And there is some concern, obviously, that these governments, if they become too difficult on these questions, then the problems that Colombia is facing are going to spill over into their areas, so it is a serious issue that needs addressing. Last, let me raise one specific question with you dealing with the counterterrorism, counterinsurgency support initiative, and whether this will fall outside the caps. Secretary Rodman and General Speer can comment on this as well. The administration is not requesting a waiver of use of these personnel caps in the fiscal year 2002 supplemental, and the question is, do you believe the cap limitations apply to the additional programs that you are proposing to support in Colombia such as the protection of infrastructure, antiterrorism programs, counterinsurgency support, which arguably fall outside of the scope of the definition contained in existing law? And the further question is, will you support legislative language that makes it clear in statute that the existing caps apply to these additional activities as well? Mr. Grossman. We do not intend to exceed the caps. We want the Byrd amendment. We support the Byrd amendment. I would not give you advice about how to legislate or not legislate. All I can tell you is that the 400 military, 400 civilian are caps we want to live with. Senator Dodd. So you would not object to legislative language that made that clear, if someone were to propose that? We are going to run the language by you, I am not going to spring it on you, but you understand the thrust of what I am asking? Mr. Grossman. I do. Since we are saying that the Byrd amendment as it exists continues to be the law, in our view it would be the law. Senator Dodd. Staff tells me here the Plan Colombia is defined here, and that is why we raise the very specific question. Plan Colombia means the plan of the Government of Colombia instituted by the administration of President Pastrana to combat drug production and trafficking, foster peace, increase the rule of law, improve human rights, expand economic development, and institute justice reform. We are going to expand the definition to include other activities, and I just want to make sure that as we expand that list here, that we are not going to have someone coming back and saying, well, that statement I gave you about the caps persists, except that we have now moved into a whole new area, and it does not apply there. Mr. Grossman. The reason I tried in my testimony to be clear on the four or five commitments I gave you is that is the administration's commitments. Those are the commitments we give you. Senator Dodd. Secretary Rodman, do you agree with that? Mr. Rodman. I concur in that. Senator Dodd. General Speer. General Speer. Sir, with what the administration has recommended in terms of the way ahead, the second CD brigade, the infrastructure security force, which involves the Fifth Brigade and the Eighteenth Brigade, and continuing the sustainment training, training for the original counterdrug brigade, as well as the Riverine force, the support to the C- 130 fleet and other Air Force programs, all of that can be executed within the cap. Senator Dodd. OK. Someone is going to draft language here, and we are going to want you to look at it. We want to make sure that no one is trying to play games with each other here so you understand it, and so we are clear on it. We have got about 2 minutes left on a vote here, with my colleagues, so we may leave the record open for some additional questions, but I appreciate your testimony here this morning. We did not cover every issue, obviously, but I am very appreciative of your response to the questions we have raised, and we look forward to a close and important working relationship with you as we go forward here with these proposals. Mr. Grossman. We thank you, and we would be glad to come back any time. Senator Dodd. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, Mr. Secretary, general, the committee will stand in recess. We will come back and pick up the second panel. [A brief recess was taken.] Senator Dodd. The committee will come to order. I apologize for the delay. We had a vote on the floor of the Senate, and getting back here, I want to thank our next panel for their patience and waiting to be heard. In some ways I hope that just hearing the first panel is of some assistance to you, and allows you to even modify some of the comments you may have made in light of some of the statements being made, or that have been made by the administration in regard to the Colombia policy, U.S.-Colombia policy, what's next? We are pleased to welcome to the committee today Mr. Mark Schneider, senior vice president of the International Crisis Group located here in Washington, DC. Mark is, I should say for the record, a very dear and longstanding friend of mine. We have worked together over many, many years on numerous issues. A former volunteer and most recently the Director of the Peace Corps, an organization near and dear to my heart as a former volunteer in the Dominican Republic--high school students ask me when was I a Peace Corps volunteer. I say, when Thomas Jefferson was President, to give you some idea of the gray hair here. Mr. Jose Miguel Vivanco is the executive director of the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch. You have heard me already quote the Human Rights Watch, and you have heard the administration officials refer to your studies in positive terms as being worthwhile products for monitoring and considering human rights issues. So we are very pleased you are here with us today as well, and with that, let me turn to both of you for your statements, and again, I will keep the clock on here to give you some indication of how time is moving, but do not feel constrained by it when the bell goes off, then we will get to some questions. Mark, thank you. STATEMENT OF MARK SCHNEIDER, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP, WASHINGTON, DC Mr. Schneider. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. As always it is a pleasure to be here at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to testify now on the current conflict in Colombia. I would like to convey some of the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of our recent report \2\ on the elusive quest for peace in that nation, and I ask the chairman's consent to incorporate the report. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \2\ The report referred to is entitled ``Colombia's Elusive Quest for Peace,'' March 26, 2002, and can be accessed at the International Crisis Group's Web site at http://www.crisisweb.org --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Senator Dodd. As I said earlier, we will try to include all documentation you think worthwhile in the record. Mr. Schneider. The ICG is a multinational NGO based in Brussels, committed to the goals of preventing conflict and where it exists working to contain and hopefully resolve those conflicts. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell was the founding chair of this group, which came into being following the bombings of Sarajevo and the genocide in Rwanda. Its founders believed that early warning drawn from field-based analysis and translated into policy recommendations might help the international community to prevent a repetition of those avoidable disasters. Senator Chafee, Mr. Chairman, the ICG report on Colombia that I mentioned, concluded--with respect to the stake the United States has in Colombia that you mentioned. We concluded that the United States and the international community need to help that nation respond to the threats from insurgents and paramilitary alike, for the following reasons. First, because the conflict in Colombia is already spilling over its regional borders and posing further dangers to already fragile neighbors. With respect to that, Senator, you mentioned the regional issue, and I just would note that in our recommendations, we made several recommendations with respect to how to link the other neighbors to the effort to respond to the threat from the insurgents and paramilitary in Colombia. Second, because Colombia still remains the major source of drugs, both cocaine and heroin, coming into this country. Third, because the human costs are unacceptable, as we have heard today: 1.5 to 2 million people displaced; 3,000 kidnaped, mostly at the hands of the insurgents, and you have listed some of the victims, including just 2 days ago, the Governor of Antioquia. Between 1,000 and 2,500 men, women and children killed and massacred, the vast majority the work of the paramilitary; an equal number assassinated, including labor union organizers, journalists, local and indigenous leaders, human rights advocates, and just innocent people in Colombia. And 400 credible reports of torture and 6,000 children forced into the armies on either side. And finally, we have a stake because the conflict threatens a democracy, a democracy with flaws, but a democracy, and one where the people are willing to brave death threats and bombs to vote, as they did last month in the congressional election. For those reasons, it deserves support, although it also must make progress on mending shortcomings in its judicial system, closing gaps in addressing social and economic inequities, and most crucially, openly and clearly rejecting collusion with the paramilitary. Much more needs to be done in this area, and presumably that is why the administration has not yet certified the human rights conditions in the fiscal year 2002 appropriations bill. ICG found in the report that the conflict itself has changed. It is no longer what we used to think of as a classic ideological guerrilla war, but a foul mixing bowl for drugs, weapons, money laundering, criminals, and terrorists. The guerrilla groups also have shifted dramatically since the end of the cold war, losing popular sympathy, and drawing their financing from drugs, kidnaping, and extortion. The rhetoric remains ideological, but there has been little substantive agenda behind it, and for 4 years, they failed to use the opportunity that President Pastrana gave them to negotiate a settlement of the conflict. It also should be noted that their paramilitary enemies are probably even more dependent on drug money, earning some 70 percent of their income from that source. Given those concerns, ICG has focused its recommendations on four specific areas that relate to the questions that you were asking earlier. First, protecting Colombian citizens against the insurgents and the paramilitary, reenergizing the peace process, combating the drug trade, and extending police and judicial institutions, as well as basic social services, to the rural areas. Protecting Colombian civilians from insurgents and paramilitaries requires a better and stronger military and police. But as you noted, Mr. Chairman, Colombia must do more to finance its own defense and end the draft evasion that appears to benefit the wealthy. Most immediately, it must replicate its massive protective effort during the congressional elections to assure the safety and security of candidates and voters during the May Presidential balloting. ICG also recommended specific actions to address the rising power of the paramilitary. For Colombia, we suggest they should create special police and prosecutorial units to go after the leadership of the AUC, like the successful strike forces that ultimately dismantled the Cali and Medellin cartels in the early 1990s. Colombia also should do more to prosecute military officers who assist the paramilitary, and to prosecute all those who finance them. We believe the United States has a special role in this area. Yes, we conclude that there is justification to extend additional military aid to the Government of Colombia, and to approve the dual use of U.S.-trained forces, currently permitted only to fight drug-trafficking, as the Bush administration has requested, but only after the Colombian military makes significant further progress in ensuring accountability for human rights violations, and in severing all links with the paramilitaries. The existing conditionality--the Leahy amendment, the Byrd amendment, section 567 of last year's appropriations bill, the existing conditionality which seeks to promote those ends, should apply to the new funds and to the new authority. It will help Colombia in furthering the professionalization of its own military and police. It will strengthen those inside the Colombian Government and military who are seeking to build internal safeguards against human rights abuses, and break the links to the paramilitary, and it will increase the U.S. Government's leverage for those same objectives. ICG also recommends ways to reenergize the peace process in the future, because we believe there will need to be a future peace process. Initially, we recommend that President Pastrana pursue the talks in Cuba aimed at a verifiable cease-fire with the ELN, if at all possible, before a new President takes office. You mentioned that, Senator. Let me just note in that regard that while there is currently a group of five international ambassadors who form a group of friends, at one of their last meetings, the ELN and the government both requested that the United States become more actively engaged in that process. One of our recommendations is that the United States examine how, in fact, it can do that. As for negotiations with the FARC, we believe that it first must recognize that it can neither win a military victory nor continue forever to strike fear throughout Colombia. As its military capacity diminishes, the FARC then would have no alternative, other than to engage in substantive negotiations. We recommend that the next President also remedy one of the flaws of the past negotiations with the FARC, the absence of third party mediation. The next administration should invite the U.N. Secretary General to play a much stronger role, appointing a Special Representative and establishing a good offices mission in Colombia at the earliest useful moment. At some point, clearly, international monitors will likely be required to verify a cease-fire. We also think that the United States has to consider how it will engage with those future negotiations. Mr. Chairman, our report also recognizes the importance of the drug issue. Our recommendations on that subject are preliminary. We are going to be doing a separate report on the issue of counternarcotics efforts in Colombia, but we also share the concern expressed by Colombia's President and other international leaders that there is a need to review and rethink the elements of the current strategy, given the increase in cultivation over the past several years. I know that you have heard that the administration also is re- examining some of those elements of the strategy. We think we should also engage the hemispheric community in that effort, perhaps through the OAS, and we endorse President Pastrana's call for a hemispheric summit on that subject like the one that took place in Cartagena in 1990 to help produce a new common regional counterdrug strategy, that goes beyond the bilateral. Finally, there is a fourth issue, looking at the conflict one has to consider, and that is how to strengthen Colombia's institutions and their ability to deliver services into rural Colombia. At this point, we believe that Colombia and the international community need to consider how to help it introduce legitimate police and justice forces into rural areas and to pursue economic and social development for 80 percent of the rural population estimated by the World Bank to be living in poverty. You mentioned that one of the major gaps is the presence of the state in rural Colombia. That was a reality event before the conflict that continues today. One way that we can begin, and Colombia can begin that process, is to look at former combat areas like the former demilitarized zone, and undertake an emergency economic, political, and social recovery program in those areas to demonstrate the capacity of the state to respond to the needs of the people. And more also needs to be done building on what AID, ICRC, UNHCR are doing to help displaced persons, and we are talking about some 2 million people. Finally, let me just note that Colombia's Government and its new President face a significant military challenge in containing the FARC. They face an equal law enforcement challenge in confronting the paramilitary, and they face the political challenge of leading a nation to address both of those threats while initiating the democratic reforms that Colombia requires, and ultimately bringing Colombia the peace its people so deeply desire and deserve, and the United States should help Colombia achieve those goals. Thank you. [The prepared statement of Mr. Schneider follows:] Prepared Statement of Mark L. Schneider, Senior Vice President, International Crisis Group It gives me great pleasure to return to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to testify on the current conflict in Colombia. As Senior Vice President of the International Crisis Group, I would like to convey some of the findings, conclusions and recommendations of our recent report on the ``Elusive Quest for Peace'' \1\ in that nation. I would ask the chairman's consent to incorporate our report into the hearing record if that would be possible. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \1\ This report can be accessed on ICG's Web site at http:// www.crisisweb.org --------------------------------------------------------------------------- The International Crisis Group is a multinational non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Brussels. We are committed to the goals of preventing conflict and, where it exists, of working to contain and, hopefully, resolve those conflicts. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell was the founding chair of this group which came into being following the bombings of Sarajevo and the genocide in Rwanda. Its founders believed that early warning, drawn from field-based analysis and translated into policy recommendations, might help the international community to prevent a repetition of those avoidable disasters. ICG's first Colombia report reviews the origins of the 40 year-old conflict, the current actors and the peace efforts of President Andres Pastrana; it also offers an analysis of the reasons for their failure. The major focus is on the collapsed peace process with the FARC, while noting that negotiations continue with the smaller ELN guerrilla group, with at least the theoretical possibility of achieving a ceasefire. The report also looks forward to the challenges facing Colombia's next government, which will take office in August following May presidential elections. We have also published a second briefing paper \2\ on the implications of last month's congressional elections. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \2\ This briefing paper entitled ``The 10 March 2002 Parliamentary Elections in Colombia,'' can be accessed on ICG's Web site www.crisisweb.org --------------------------------------------------------------------------- As you know, in late February, the FARC hijacked a plane and kidnapped a sixth member of the Colombian congress, this time Senator Eduardo Gechem, the president of the Senate peace committee. This was the final straw that brought an end to the talks, to the demilitarized zone and to any remaining hope for an early ceasefire. There was virtually unanimous support inside and outside Colombia for ending the zone following the hijacking. As Colombia entered this unsettled transition period, with peace talks over and elections on the horizon, ICG found enormous frustration among the population with the oft-interrupted negotiations and the absence of concrete results. Every armed group in the country--the FARC \3\ and ELN \4\ leftist rebels and the AUC \5\ rightwing paramilitary-- has intensified its attacks in recent years. The FARC and AUC, and the Colombian police and military have grown significantly larger and stronger. The drug trade has also expanded, with coca cultivation more than doubling since 1996. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \3\ The acronym for the Spanish abbreviation of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. \4\ The acronym for the Spanish abbreviation of National Liberation Army. \5\ The acronym for the Spanish abbreviation of United Self Defenses of Colombia. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- The nature of the conflict itself has changed. It is no longer a classic Latin American ideological guerrilla war, but a foul mixing bowl for drugs, weapons, money-laundering, criminals and terrorists. The character of the guerrilla groups also has shifted dramatically with the end of the Cold War and with their entry into Colombia's rising drug trade. Their rhetoric remains ideological, but they offer little in the way of a substantive agenda for change. They have lost virtually all of the popular sympathy they once had. The guerrillas now benefit by several hundred million dollars a year from protecting, processing, transporting and supporting coca and heroin cultivation. But so too do their paramilitary enemies. They claim and, U.S. officials have repeated the estimate, that 70 percent of the AUC income comes from drugs. Equally worrying, the conflict no longer resides within Colombia alone. Its consequences have already spilled over the borders of Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. As the conflict grows hotter, regional relations have come under strain, and tensions are rising across the entire Andean region. Ecuador, Venezuela and Peru have demonstrated their own internal fragility, and the influence of a spreading conflict on their stability should not be underestimated. The humanitarian costs of the conflict within Colombia cannot be ignored as guerrillas and paramilitary alike terrorize civilians in deliberate efforts to control territory, to deny safe harbors to their enemies and to expand their power: 1.5 to 2 million citizens have been displaced from their homes by the armed groups; 3000 people have been kidnapped each year, most at the hands of the insurgents, including now, in addition to the six members of Congress, a dozen state legislators and presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt; between 1000 and 2500 men, women and children were killed in massacres last year, the vast majority the work of the paramilitary; perhaps an equal number were assassinated, with labor union organizers, journalists, local and indigenous leaders and human rights advocates among those targeted; 400 credible reports of torture were registered; and 6000 children have been forced into the armies of either side. These abuses are a tragedy which must end--and a significant bar to progress toward peace. ICG also found that the government is unable to exercise permanent authority, extend basic social services or guarantee the rule of law in much of rural Colombia. Colombia is a democracy under attack. The government deserves international support for its efforts to defend its institutions and its citizens. However, Colombia also must make progress on internal reforms to strengthen the state, mend shortcomings in its judicial system, close gaps in addressing social and economic inequities, reemphasize respect for human rights and openly and clearly reject collusion and all links with the paramilitary. While the government has cited several hundred arrests of military personnel for paramilitary involvement, it is evident, as Administration witnesses have stated in the last few days and UN and NGO human rights reporting also have argued, that much more needs to be done. That presumably is why the Administration has not yet certified compliance with the human rights conditionality of last year's appropriations law. Given these concerns, Mr. Chairman, ICG has focussed its recommendations on four specific areas: protecting Colombian citizens against the insurgents and the paramilitary; re-energizing the peace process; combating the drug trade; and extending police and judicial institutions as well as basic social services to the rural areas. Protecting Colombian civilians from insurgents and paramilitaries requires a better and stronger military and police. Against 17,000 FARC soldiers and militia, 3,500 ELN, and some 8-10,000 AUC, a Colombian military force that can mount only 55,000 combat troops out of 154,000 total forces is unlikely to be sufficient. Colombia must do more to finance its own defense; end draft evasion that appears to benefit the wealthy; and replicate its massive protective effort during the congressional elections to assure the safety and security of candidates and voters in the upcoming presidential polling. ICG also recommends specific actions to address the rising power of the paramilitary. Colombia, we suggest, should establish public benchmarks for the arrest and prosecution of AUC leaders, creating special police and prosecutorial units aimed at prosecuting AUC leader Carlos Castano and his cohorts, like the successful strike forces that ultimately dismantled the Cali and Medellin cartels in the early 1990s. Colombia should do more to prosecute military officers who assist the paramilitary, and to prosecute those who finance them. The United States has a special role in this area. We believe that there is justification to extend additional military aid and approve dual use of U.S.-trained forces currently permitted only to fight drug trafficking as the Bush Administration has requested; but only after the Colombian military makes significant further progress in ensuring accountability for human rights violations and severing all links with paramilitaries. The existing conditionality to those ends should apply to the new funds and the new authority. It will help Colombia in further professionalizing its military and police; it will strengthen those who are seeking to build internal safeguards against human rights abuses and break the links to the paramilitary; and it will increase the U.S. government's leverage for those same objectives. ICG also recommends ways to re-energize the peace process in the future. First, ICG recommends that President Pastrana pursue the talks in Cuba aimed at a verifiable ceasefire with the ELN, if at all possible before a new President takes office. At the very least, the process should be pressed to as close to a resolution as possible. In the meantime, President Pastrana should maintain the current group of international facilitators, engage the UN--and be sure to keep Presidential candidates informed. As for negotiations with the FARC, it must recognize that it can neither win a military victory nor continue forever to strike fear throughout Colombia. As its military capacity diminishes, the FARC must then be encouraged to engage in substantive negotiations. In the absence of a fully verifiable ceasefire, negotiations, as with the ELN, would have to take place outside the country. ICG recommends that Colombia's next President remedy one of the flaws of the past negotiations with the FARC--the absence of third party mediation. The next Administration should invite the UN Secretary General to play a much larger role, appointing a Special Representative and establishing a good offices mission in Colombia at the earliest useful moment. At some point, international monitors will likely be required to verify a ceasefire. UN help should be sought in developing a coherent negotiating strategy, providing extensive mediation assistance to the peace processes, including advice on ceasefire strategies, verification mechanisms and protection of insurgents during ceasefires. The latter is a fundamental concern given past experience in Colombia and another reason why controlling the paramilitary is vital. The U.S. should reconsider its own role and examine mechanisms by which it could respond favorably if the parties in the ELN negotiations continue to seek more active U.S. engagement. The same would apply in any future negotiations with the FARC. Clearly at some point, U.S. engagement would be viewed by the parties as a greater guarantee of the process itself. Mr. Chairman, our report also recognizes the importance of the drug issue. Our recommendations essentially mirror the concern expressed by Colombia's President and by other international leaders that there is a need for the U.S. to review and rethink the elements of its current strategy, as I know it is doing, and to engage the hemispheric community, perhaps through the OAS, in that process. We endorsed President Pastrana's call for a hemispheric summit on that subject, like the one that took place in Cartagena in 1990. A common strategy would have to recognize the shared responsibility for the drug trade between producer and consumer nations, bolster demand reduction and harm reduction efforts, and produce increased efforts to prosecute money laundering and restrict the flow of chemical precursors and weapons. That forum could also address doubts about spraying, the timing and nature of alternative economic approaches, and the linkage to rural land issues. We raise a fourth issue that should have equal time in discussion of the Colombian conflict--how to strengthen Colombia's democratic institutions and their ability to deliver services in partnership with civil society. Communities need to be assured that their property, homes and families will be protected by the law and its defenders-- after the area has been cleared of military combatants. The government needs to focus more fully on the problems of the 80 percent of the rural population estimated by the World Bank to be living in poverty. To this end, Colombia, with international help, needs to introduce legitimate police and justice sector forces into rural areas, pursue economic and social reform, and consolidate support for democratic procedures and institutions. Colombia, the U.S. and other partners should be ready to reach out to former combat areas, starting with the former demilitarized zone, with an emergency economic, political and social recovery program. More also needs to be done, building on EU, UNHCR, ICRC and USAID programs, to help displaced persons. For all of these efforts, along with the military, Colombia has to bring new resources to the table. Colombia's government and its new President face a significant military challenge in containing the FARC. They face an equal law enforcement challenge in confronting the paramilitary. And they face the political challenge of leading a nation to address both of these threats while initiating the democratic reforms that Colombia requires, extending legitimate state authority and services to rural Colombia, and bringing Colombia the peace its people so deeply desire. The United States and the international community should help Colombia achieve that peace. Senator Dodd. Thank you very much, Mark, very fine testimony. Jose, thank you for being here. STATEMENT OF JOSE MIGUEL VIVANCO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AMERICAS DIVISION, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, WASHINGTON, DC Mr. Vivanco. Mr. Chairman, Senator Chafee, I am honored to appear before you today. Thank you for your invitation to address the subcommittee. I am submitting written testimony for the record. Senator Dodd. You will have to pull that microphone very close to you, Jose. Mr. Vivanco. Mr. Chairman, the United States plays an important role in Colombia and can contribute to the defense of human rights. Human Rights Watch has no fundamental problem with the United States providing Colombia with the help it needs, including military aid. As I will stress today, human rights conditions on aid should be maintained, but limiting aid to counternarcotics purposes makes no sense in a society facing the onslaught of groups who violate human rights with such a flagrant disregard for the law and world opinion. The critical thing, Mr. Chairman, is that the assistance should be used to combat all sources of terror in Colombia. Clearly, the FARC commits acts of terror. So do the illegal paramilitary groups allied as the AUC, and their patrons in the Colombian security forces. Colombia faces serious security threats. Its democracy is under attack. Over the weekend, the Governor of Andioquia, and a former Defense Minister who I have met with frequently over the years, were abducted as they took part in a peace march. It is impossible to go anywhere in Colombia, via road or even airplane, without fear of a roadblock by the paramilitaries or hijacking by guerrillas. Mr. Chairman, let me be quite clear about the position of Human Rights Watch on the FARC. We criticize the peace process that gave a group guilty of so many abuses control over territory and power over the lives of Colombian citizens. We have repeatedly condemned the way the FARC terrorizes civilians, kidnaps and murders political candidates and leaders. Most recently, on April 15, I wrote a letter, a public letter to FARC leader Manuel Marulanda calling on him to release all hostages, including political figures, and to stop all kidnapings in Colombia. But the paramilitaries pose just as great a threat to human rights and to the lives of citizens as the FARC. Paramilitaries associated with the AUC commit most of the worst human rights violations in Colombia today. These acts of terror include massacres, targeted killings, and forced displacement. Like the FARC, the AUC kidnaps, threatens and kills political leaders. Like the FARC, paramilitaries fund acts of terror by trafficking in drugs. There is a direct connection, therefore, between the profits from trafficking and human rights abuses. By their own admission, paramilitaries collect 70 percent of their funding from the drug trade. The current leader of the AUC, Carlos Castano, helped form paramilitary groups in the 1980s in coordination with Pablo Escobar. Mr. Chairman, you mentioned in your remarks the attack on the Colombian Supreme Court. Castano has admitted providing guerrillas the weapons they used in 1985 to seize the building of the Supreme Court. In the aftermath, 11 justices who were considering the extradition of known traffickers died, along with almost 100 judicial employees, and yet despite these paramilitary abuses, the units of Colombia's military still maintain a close relationship with the AUC. These are not isolated incidents, but rather widespread patterns of behavior and collusion. At their most brazen, they involve active coordination during military operations, communications via radios, cellular telephones, and beepers, the sharing of intelligence, including the names of suspected guerrilla collaborators, the sharing of fighters, including active duty soldiers serving in paramilitary units and paramilitary commanders lodging on military bases, the sharing of vehicles, including army trucks used to transport paramilitary fighters, coordination of army roadblocks, which routinely let heavily armed paramilitary fighters pass unchallenged, and payment made from paramilitaries to military officers for their support. Mr. Chairman, I am quite concerned about the remarks of General Gary Speer here this morning, when he says that the plan, the U.S. plan is to set up forces to protect the pipeline in Arauca with a mixture of units coming from the 18th Brigade and the 5th Brigade. We have no information, credible information of human rights abuses committed by the 18th Brigade, but we do have information about serious human rights abuses committed by units working under the control of the 5th Brigade. This is one of our latest reports on Colombia that includes compelling, strong, and credible evidence of links between that unit and paramilitary organizations in that part of the country. Overall, President Andres Pastrana and his Defense Minister have failed to establish control over the security forces and break the persistent ties with paramilitary groups. Indeed, there have been serious setbacks, among them the release late last year of the only top paramilitary leader in custody in Colombia, Mr. Carranza. Again, let me stress, Mr. Chairman, none of this constitutes an argument for abandoning Colombia. Colombia needs help. The question is not whether to provide it, but how. A tempting answer for some might be to first help Colombia deal with the FARC and then, the thinking goes, the paramilitary threat will take care of itself. To me, that is about as naive as saying that the FARC is only interested in helping the poor. Both of those groups are mafias, Mr. Chairman. Both kill for money and for power. Neither is going to give up their guns just because their purported political goals are met. What will happen if Colombia delays confronting the paramilitaries as it fights the guerrillas? As the FARC weakens, the AUC will move in. It will become more powerful and more entrenched. The AUC will capture an even larger share of Colombian narcotics exports, giving it more money to pursue violence in Colombia. This is not just speculation, Mr. Chairman. It has already happened in Barranca, site of Colombia's largest oil refinery. There, the Colombian police report that the AUC now controls the criminal network that steals gasoline from pipelines to resell to cocaine laboratories. The AUC will try to seize greater political power in Colombia again. This is not just our speculation. They already have. Prior to March 2002, the congressional elections, the group claimed that it expected to have a hand in electing 35 percent of the new legislature. Both Presidential candidates reported threats against their supporters throughout Colombia. Finally, as the AUC grows in power it will become even harder to convince FARC guerrillas to lay down their guns. Paramilitaries have a long history of murdering guerrilla leaders after they surrender. As you mentioned, Mr. Chairman, in 1984 paramilitaries have been linked to hundreds of killings of members of the Patriotic Union political party formed to create a way for guerrillas to lay down their weapons and participate peacefully in the political process. The longer Colombia waits to confront the paramilitaries, the harder they will be to beat. That is why Colombia needs to deal with both the FARC and the AUC at the same time. Secretary of State Powell recognized this when he placed the AUC on the list of foreign terrorist organizations on September 10, 2001. Subsequently, the United States suspended the visas of suspected AUC members and supporters and put 45 names on a watch list in case those individuals applied for U.S. visas. These were positive steps, but more needs to be done. First, the United States should make it clear to Colombian officials that they expect military aid to be used equally against all designated terrorist groups in Colombia. With respect to the AUC, the goal should be to bring indicted leaders to justice and to reassert the full authority of the Colombian Government in those regions the paramilitaries currently control. Second, the Colombian Government must break persistent links between paramilitaries and its security forces, in particular the army and the navy. The United States must continue to condition all military aid on real and verifiable progress by the Colombian military in breaking these links to paramilitary groups and upholding human rights. Congress designed these conditions to encourage progress toward compliance with standards that Colombia's own elected leaders and military commanders say they support. As the State Department has acknowledged, these conditions have not yet been met. I was very pleased, Mr. Chairman, to hear Ambassador Grossman's commitment to human rights in Colombia. I would urge Ambassador Grossman to work with Congress to ensure that all conditionality remains in the law, including section 567, requiring progress on breaking these links and ensuring that the AUC and their patrons in the military are brought to justice. Finally, we also urge the U.S. Congress to ensure that there are funds allocated to support the critical institutions, the Office of the Attorney General, the Internal Affairs, and the Public Advocate, working at great odds to enforce the law in Colombia, to protect civilians and prosecute and punish those responsible for atrocities, guerrillas and paramilitaries. Finally, with the right kind of U.S. engagement, Colombia still has a chance to protect its people, to preserve its democracy, and to prevail against terrorism. The challenge is to help Colombia defeat one terrorism group without simultaneously empowering another. That can be done, but it is going to take affirmative leadership from Colombia as well as this committee and the administration. Thank you very much. [The prepared statement of Mr. Vivanco follows:] Prepared Statement of Jose Miguel Vivanco, Executive Director, Americas Division, Human Rights Watch Mr. Chairman, Senator Chafee, members of the Subcommittee: I am honored to appear before you today. Thank you for your invitation to address the subcommittee. I am submitting written testimony for the record. The United States plays an important role in Colombia and can contribute to the defense of human rights and international humanitarian law. We support U.S. engagement when it furthers these goals. Colombia and the United States both benefit when human rights are fully respected. They are the foundation of the rule of law. They strengthen democracy against its foes, including those who use terror to achieve their goals. Colombia must combat terror regardless of its origin. It must do so, first and foremost, by applying and upholding the law. Otherwise, the logic of terror wins a place in Colombian society. Many brave Colombians have stood up to terror. Too many have lost their lives. Among them are human rights defenders, journalists, political and community leaders, trade unionists, and teachers. Some are prominent, among them the Archbishop of Cali, Isaias Duarte Cancino, cut down by assassins on March 16 of this year. Other victims are ordinary people--farmers, drivers, doctors, and store owners-- perceived as enemies by guerrillas or paramilitaries or just caught in the crossfire. According to the United Nations, Colombia now leads the world in forced displacement, as thousands of families are forced to abandon their homes and livelihoods to save the lives of their loved ones. Nevertheless, millions more Colombians remain committed to human rights and to democracy. They need help. Human Rights Watch has no fundamental problem with the United States providing that help. As I will stress today, human rights restrictions on aid should be maintained. But limiting aid to counter-narcotics purposes makes no sense in a society facing the onslaught of groups who violate human rights with such flagrant disregard for the law and world opinion. The question is not whether to help Colombia, but how. The critical thing, Mr. Chairman, is that the assistance under consideration today should be used to combat all sources of terror in Colombia. That includes the guerrillas known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (F.A.R.C.). It also means illegal paramilitary groups allied as the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (A.U.C.) as well as their patrons in the Colombian security forces. I don't need to tell this committee about the true nature of the F.A.R.C.--about the way it terrorizes civilians or about its kidnappings and murders of political candidates and leaders. Human Rights Watch has criticized the decision made by Colombia's leaders to cede to this group, with its devastating record on abuses, control over territory and power over the lives of Colombian citizens. We have repeatedly condemned F.A.R.C. abuses. On April 15, I wrote a letter to F.A.R.C. leader Manuel Marulanda, calling on him to release all hostages, including political figures, and to stop all kidnappings, a serious violation of international humanitarian law. The paramilitaries pose just as great a threat to Colombian democracy and to the lives of its citizens as the F.A.R.C. Paramilitaries associated with the A.U.C. commit most human rights violations in Colombia today. These acts of terror include massacres, targeted killings and forced displacement. Like the F.A.R.C., the A.U.C. kidnaps, threatens, and kills political leaders. It has also exercised exclusive control over vast areas of Colombia, particularly in the north, where it polices civilians and taxes economic activity. It has shown no interest in relaxing its control as guerrilla activity wanes. Also like the F.A.R.C., the A.U.C. traffics in drugs. With its profits, it funds acts of terror. There is a direct connection, therefore, between the profits from trafficking and human rights abuses. Indeed, paramilitaries have a long history of involvement in drugs. The current leader of the A.U.C., Carlos Castano, helped form paramilitary groups in the 1980s in coordination with Pablo Escobar and Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha. He was trained by Israeli and British mercenaries to kill political figures, part of the traffickers' efforts to block Colombia's ability to extradite traffickers to the United States. In a recent memoir, Castano took responsibility for providing guerrillas with the weapons they used in 1985 to seize the building housing Colombia's Supreme Court. Castano claims that the purpose was to kill the justices considering extradition and burn the case files of known traffickers so that they would not face prosecution. In the aftermath, ten justices and the Chief Justice died along with almost one hundred judicial employees and visitors. To this day, families search for the bodies of some of those lost. Castano also admitted to planning and carrying out the assassination of a presidential candidate, Carlos Pizarro, in 1990. Traffickers are also believed responsible for the assassination of Luis Carlos Galan, the leading candidate, in 1989. Currently, Colombian government authorities say that paramilitaries have established ``an extremely close alliance'' with drug traffickers, including in areas once controlled by guerrillas. Colombian intelligence sources estimate that 40 percent of the country's total cocaine exports are controlled by paramilitaries and their allies in the narcotics underworld. Some paramilitaries are themselves wanted by Colombian authorities for trafficking, among them: Diego Murillo Bejarano, ``Don Berna,'' a close adviser to Castano and former security chief for the Galeano trafficking family, part of the Medellin Cartel. Bejarano has also been linked by the authorities to Medellin gangs, among them ``La Terraza,'' used to carry out high profile assassinations, including of human rights defenders; Hernan Giraldo, an AUC associate, occupies the area around Santa Marta on Colombia's Caribbean coast. His group is linked to the murder in November 2001 of two Colombian police officers working with the D.E.A. as well as dozens of political killings. Along with murder, Giraldo is wanted for drug trafficking and the formation of paramilitary groups. Newsweek describes him as one of the top five traffickers in Colombia (May 21, 2001) and says that Colombian police estimate that he heads a burgeoning drug syndicate that accounts for $1.2 billion in annual shipments to the United States and Europe, putting him among the country's top five cocaine traffickers; Luis Eduardo Cifuentes, a former associate of Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha, Cifuentes is facing charges related to trafficking and the torture and murders of Colombian police officers Capt. William Javier Montilla and Ancizar Sanchez, whose bodies were found on Oct. 25, 1998, near Puerto Salgar, Cundinamarca. Mr. Chairman, it may be tempting to believe that if we help Colombia deal with the F.A.R.C, the paramilitary threat will take care of itself. The paramilitaries, it is said, are only interested in supporting the government against the F.A.R.C. Once the guerrillas go away, this line of thinking goes, the paramilitaries will lay down their arms. To me, that's about as naive as saying that the F.A.R.C. is only interested in social justice for the poor. Both these groups are mafias, Mr. Chairman. Both kill for money and for power. Neither is going to go back to farming just because its purported political goals are met. As a practical matter, let's consider what will happen if Colombia delays confronting the paramilitaries as it fights the guerrillas. As the F.A.R.C. cedes control over territory, the A.U.C. will move in. It will become more powerful and able to commit violations with impunity. The A.U.C. will capture an even larger share of Colombia's narcotics exports, giving it more money to purchase more powerful weapons and continue to terrorize Colombia. This is not just speculation. It has already happened in Barrancabermeja, site of Colombia's largest oil refinery. There, the Colombian police report that the A.U.C. now controls the city as well as the criminal syndicate that steals gasoline from pipelines to resell to cocaine laboratories, among others. Earlier this month, paramilitaries abducted a human rights worker, Diofanol Sierra Vargas, from his home in Barrancabermeja. They executed him on the spot. The A.U.C. will also try to seize greater political power in Colombia. Again, this is not just a ``what if'' question. Prior to March 2002 congressional elections, A.U.C. leader Salvatore Mancuso claimed that paramilitaries expected to have a hand in electing 35 percent of the new legislature. Both presidential candidates Horacio Serpa and Juan Camilo Restrepo reported threats against their supporters throughout Colombia. Paramilitaries destroyed campaign posters for candidates they opposed and told voters to cast ballots for their slate or risk attack. Like the F.A.R.C., the A.U.C. kidnaps, threatens and kills political leaders. Finally, as the A.U.C. grows in power, it will become even harder to convince guerrillas to lay down their weapons. Paramilitaries have a long history of murdering guerrillas after they surrender. Since 1984, paramilitaries have been linked to hundreds of killings of members of the Patriotic Union political party, formed to create a way for guerrillas to give up violence and participate peacefully in the political process. Among those killed by paramilitaries was Patriotic Union Senator Manuel Cepeda, shot in Bogota in 1994. His assassins were paramilitaries working with active-duty army soldiers. Currently, a case involving 1,554 slain members of the Patriotic Union party is being negotiated between families of the victims and the Colombian government under the auspices of the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights. The longer Colombia waits to confront the paramilitaries, the harder they will be to beat. That's why Colombia needs to deal with both the F.A.R.C. and the A.U.C. at the same time rather than fighting one in a way that empowers the other. Secretary of State Colin Powell recognized this when he placed the A.U.C. on the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations on September 10, 2001. Subsequently, the United States suspended the visas of suspected A.U.C. members and supporters and put dozens of names on a watch list in case those individuals applied for U.S. visas. These were positive steps. More is needed. First, if the United States provides aid to Colombia for counter- terrorism, the Administration must make clear to Colombian officials that it expects assistance to be used equally against all designated terrorist groups in Colombia. With respect to the A.U.C., the goal should be to bring indicted leaders to justice and to reassert the full authority of the Colombian government in those regions the paramilitaries currently control. Second, the Colombian government must break persistent links between paramilitaries and its security forces, in particular the army and the navy. At their most brazen, these relationships involve active coordination during military operations between government and paramilitary units; communication via radios, cellular telephones, and beepers; the sharing of intelligence, including the names of suspected guerrilla collaborators; the sharing of fighters, including active-duty soldiers serving in paramilitary units and paramilitary commanders lodging on military bases; the sharing of vehicles, including army trucks used to transport paramilitary fighters; coordination of army roadblocks, which routinely let heavily-armed paramilitary fighters pass unchallenged; and payments made from paramilitaries to military officers for their support. Human Rights Watch has found credible evidence showing that the source of these funds was taxes levied on traffickers, cocaine laboratories and farmers who grow coca leaf. One of the most disturbing forms of collaboration involves paramilitaries delivering corpses to military units that are supposed to be fighting the F.A.R.C. This allows those units to inflate their body counts, while ``legalizing'' killings by the paramilitaries. Some of the bodies may well be guerrillas the A.U.C. has killed in action; others are likely innocent victims. In both case, this practice encourages human rights violations while creating a distorted measure of military success against the F.A.R.C. These are not isolated incidents, but rather widespread patterns of behavior and collusion. These links paired with the A.U.C.'s involvement in trafficking make it, in the words of General Gary Speer, acting head of U.S. Southern Command, ``the most critical long-term threat'' to Colombian democracy. Overall, President Andres Pastrana and his defense ministers have failed to establish control over the security forces and break these criminal ties. Even as President Pastrana publicly deplores atrocities, the high-ranking officers he commands fail to take steps necessary to prevent killings by suspending security force members suspected of abuses, ensure that their cases are handed over to civilian judicial authorities for investigation and prosecution, and pursue and arrest paramilitary leaders. Indeed, we have seen serious setbacks, among them the release late last year of the only top paramilitary leader in custody in Colombia. A corrupt judge, now deceased, used a bogus legal technicality (vencimiento de terminos) to free Victor Carranza, who government investigators say maintains an alliance with Castano and the A.U.C. Carranza remains at large despite the fact that a new arrest warrant has been issued for him. In order to protect democracy and ensure the rule of law, the United States must continue to condition military aid on real and verifiable progress by the Colombian military in breaking these links to paramilitary groups and upholding human rights. The U.S. Congress designed these conditions to encourage progress towards compliance with standards that Colombia's own elected leaders and military commanders say they support. As the State Department has acknowledged, these conditions have not yet been met. The U.S. Congress also removed the presidential waiver option that was included in previous legislation, recognizing that this waiver sent a contradictory and damaging message that human rights is not really a priority in the U.S. relationship with Colombia. Those who continue to abuse human rights to achieve their goals understand this message very well. Finally, we also urge the U.S. Congress to ensure that there are also funds allocated to support the critical institutions--the office of the Attorney General (Fiscalia), Internal Affairs (Procuraduria) and the Public Advocate (Defensoria)--striving against great odds to enforce the law in Colombia, protect civilians, and prosecute and punish those responsible for crimes. ______ Colombia: Terror From All Sides Although their motives and goals are different, both the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the paramilitaries allied under the umbrella group the United Self-Defense Groups of Colombia (AUC) commit similar abuses and crimes. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- FARC AUC ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Terrorism The FARC was designated a Foreign The AUC was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization on October Terrorist Organization on September 1, 1997. According to the State 10, 2001. The State Department Department, the FARC commits noted that, ``The AUC has carried ``bombings, murder, kidnapping, out numerous acts of terrorism, extortion, hijacking, as well as including the massacre of hundreds guerrilla and conventional military of civilians, the forced action against Colombian political, displacement of entire villages and military and economic targets''. the kidnapping of political figures to force recognition of AUC demands.'' ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Size 17,000--the largest guerrilla 11,000, according to AUC leader organization in Colombia. Carlos Castano. This constitutes a 560% increase since 1996. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Kidnappings The FARC committed over 1,000 The AUC was responsible for 296 kidnappings of civilians in 2001. kidnappings between June 2000 and June 2001. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Killings of Civilians or Political The FARC was responsible for the The AUC committed at least 1,015 Killings killings of at least 197 civilians killings and over 100 massacres in in 2001, and for 8% of all 2001--at least 50% of all political political killings. killings. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Targets Perceived supporters of the military Perceived supporters of the FARC and and the AUC, including politicians other guerrillas, as well as and political candidates, as well judicial officials, police as civilians. officers, national and local politicians and activists. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Trafficking At least two-thirds of the FARC's Carlos Castano admitted in 2000 that units are believed to be involved nearly 70% of the AUC's funding in the drug trade. derives from the drug trade. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- in their own words ``We have to grab people from the Senate, from Congress, judges and ministers, from all the three powers (of the Colombian state), and we'll see how they''ll squeal.''--Jorge Briceno, a.k.a. ``Mono Jonoy,'' a top FARC Commander, in 2002. ``The methods the `self-defense' forces used to recover Uraba were no less violent and disgusting than those used by (guerrillas) . . . This should be absolutely clear! We copied the guerrillas' methods and confronted them with the same tactics.''--Carlos Castano in his 2001 autobiography, Mi Confesion. Senator Chafee. Thank you very much. There is a vote on once again. The chairman has gone to do his constitutional duty, and I will pinch-hit, and certainly that is chilling testimony from both of you about the circumstances in Colombia, and it seems as though the prospects for progress seem so bleak from listening to your testimony, the alleged integration of the military with the AUC and where we go from there. But as we look ahead once again to the elections, I might ask, have either of you or both of you studied the position of the candidates, and will the political influence of the paramilitaries be altered in any way by the outcome of these elections on May 26? Mr. Schneider. We put out a report \3\ just about a week or so ago that looked at the March 10 parliamentary elections, and we noted the comment made by the paramilitary leader, but it should be understood that it is in no way substantiated. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \3\ The report can be accessed at http://www.crisisweb.org --------------------------------------------------------------------------- What we found was that in general there was not a focus on human rights or paramilitary issues in the elections. It was much more related to local politics. The voting, however, clearly went in the direction of--those candidates who were supported by the more conservative candidate for the President. Then several independent candidates did well, who you would describe as on the left, including the former head of the M-19, who was one of the highest vote-getters for the Senate. So it is hard to make a clear judgment that there was a massive shift to the right in the polling for President. There is no question with respect to the Presidential campaign; the more conservative candidate has been consistently higher in the polls than the other three major candidates. The last poll was around 51 percent, and Uribe had gone as high as 58 or 59 percent. In general, all the candidates have taken a position clearly emphasizing the need to confront the FARC militarily. And at the same time in terms of their public statements, I think that most of them have said when asked specifically that they clearly recognize the threat from the paramilitary. Senator Chafee. Have the paramilitaries, Castano in particular, given any indication of being involved in the election process as the Presidential election comes forward? Mr. Schneider. The paramilitary indicates they are clearly pressing for candidates who they will then have influence over. There is also evidence of the influence from drug money that we expressed concern about in our report. I think it is also accurate to say that the Presidential candidates, while they have been very strong in terms of the terrorism issue, there has probably been a greater degree of focus by some of them on the paramilitary issue than by others. No one that I have heard has in any way attempted to downplay the threat posed by the paramilitary. Senator Chafee. Before we go, Mr. Vivanco, in your testimony earlier, Mr. Schneider, you suggested that the U.N. Secretary General should be involved and appoint a Special Representative and establish offices in Colombia. Is there an entity to deal with if the United Nations were to get involved, or are these organizations so elusive that that would not be productive? An organized entity. Mr. Schneider. Clearly, in terms of the ELN process, if it moves further toward a cease-fire, the U.N. involvement would be very helpful to help define how you would manage a cease- fire, verify it, and monitor it. At some point we would hope that the same situation--after there has been clear evidence that the FARC has, I think, been confronted militarily, at some point we would hope there would be an opportunity to restart negotiations with them, and, at that point, the U.N.'s presence would be quite helpful. Also, it should be noted that any kind of future negotiations would take place outside the country. No one is talking about reestablishing a demilitarized zone inside Colombia, so in that context the U.N. again could play a significant role. Senator Chafee. Very good. Mr. Vivanco, also going back to the elections, maybe you could comment on those and what you see coming forward, particularly the paramilitaries. The AUC, are they going to be influencing these elections? Is there any indication they want to be involved in the democratic process? Mr. Vivanco. Senator Chafee, the political environment in Colombia today, given the failure of the peace process and the recalcitrant attitude of the leftist guerrillas, the FARC in particular, and the record of kidnapings and killings, it is very much, the environment is kind of in favor of a military solution to this problem. There is a serious security concern in Colombia in every region, and some fear from paramilitary groups, from the FARC, but that means that the leading Presidential candidates, their discourse is quite similar in terms of, they are very, very tough in criticizing the peace efforts in which President Pastrana engaged, and they announced that they are committed to some sort of military solution for Colombia. But to try to address your question more directly, I have heard that one of the leading Presidential candidates, Oratio Serpa, the leader of the Liberal Party in Colombia, has alleged that Mr. Uribe, who is at the top of the poll, has been receiving active support from paramilitary organizations in Colombia, so that is at least the perception of Mr. Oratio Serpa and his supporters. In addition, as I said during my testimony, Carlos Castano himself and some other leaders of paramilitary organizations have publicly acknowledged that they have been involved in the process of congressional election, and they claim that they have the sympathy and the support of local representatives, deputies, Members of Congress today in Colombia by around 30 percent, or 35 percent of them. Senator Chafee. So to point that out, if the leader in the poll, Uribe, is elected, and just for the sake of argument there are connections to the AUC, not that we take that as fact, it is an allegation from the other candidate; but just for the sake of argument, how does that play off for the future of Colombia? What happens if Uribe wins and is inaugurated? Mr. Schneider. That makes it even more important that the kind of conditioning we have been discussing is established, in order to ensure that the United States is clearly going to be focused on this issue in its dialog with the new President and with the new administration, in order to ensure that we do not become complicit in either the continuation or the extension of the relationship between the military and the paramilitary. Senator Chafee. Mr. Vivanco, you allege these groups are similar to a mafia, just criminal enterprises. Yet there seems to be some indication that Carlos Castano does want to get involved in the democratic process. Am I accurate in that he has written some kind of biography, or an autobiography? He makes TV appearances? Mr. Vivanco. Senator Chafee, I think Carlos Castano and his group has a better sense of PR. In other words, they try to project the image of, quote, ``a reasonable group,'' unlike the guerrillas. The guerrillas, the FARC in particular, they do not pay any attention to what the public in Colombia and the international community might think about their record or their actions. These are Marxist guerrillas that are still in the 1960s, and the logic that they apply is extremely ideological, so they know better what is in the best interests of the peasants and the population of Colombia. On the other hand, the leaders of the paramilitary groups, and particularly Castano, is--how do we say it?--is very savvy in the way that he sends messages using the media to Colombians; but still, I do believe that the methodology of repression of both groups are quite similar. Senator Chafee. In your testimony, you said that he takes credit for the attack on the Supreme Court. How does that play into positive public relations? How did he defend that, if he is taking credit for it? Mr. Vivanco. He acknowledged direct participation in the killings of Presidential candidates in the past. He already indicated his actions, but he gives you an explanation. He tried to justify his atrocities as a reaction to the atrocities committed by the other side, and that is his logic. He is still a criminal, but his technique has been to tell the Colombian public that the only way to effectively deal with leftist guerrillas is by his way, and he has showed some concrete results like the vast areas of Colombia under his control. But I would argue that those who live under the control of paramilitary organizations live under the control of a mafia that you have to pay for security. They live under systematic extortion and fear. Senator Chafee. Also in your testimony you say that the AUC is responsible for killings in the Patriotic Union Movement, a political party. What does Carlos Castano say about being involved in a democratic effort if even that party which they are trying to be involved in, they are assassinating members of it? How do those two reconcile themselves? Mr. Vivanco. I am not sure whether they want to eventually become--I mean, the AUC wants to become a formal political party in Colombia to engage in politics as the other parties in Colombia, but my point is that the AUC leadership, and particularly Castano, is quite open with the media, and he has no remorse, no problem to recognize responsibility for past killings and assassinations. He believes that helps him with the Colombian people in terms of raising more sympathy and support for his actions. But I do not know whether his intention is to become himself fully involved in the political process and to participate in the elections and those sorts of things. Senator Chafee. And that is true of the ELN, they are making more positive steps toward moving in that direction, is that accurate? Mr. Schneider. They have been engaged in negotiations most recently, and indicated at least some willingness to move toward a cease-fire with the assumption that that would then lead to a negotiation over substantive issues that would include their demobilization and political involvement. But it is not by any means something that is going to happen tomorrow, and they raised some additional demands, apparently, recently that make it appear that they may be attempting to stretch the process out until the new President takes office. Senator Chafee. And of these three groups we most recently talked about, all of whom are on the terrorist list, am I correct, the AUC on the right, and the two, the ELN and the FARC on the left, are they equally dependent on the narcotrafficking revenues? Mr. Schneider. Well, you heard the statistics that we have received, because the AUC asserts it themselves, and the U.S. Government has repeated it, so presumably the administration believes it is accurate that 70 percent of the income of the AUC comes from drugs. In the case of the FARC, it is probably the second most dependent on drug money--in addition to the money that they receive from drugs, which is significant, several hundred million dollars, they obviously also receive significant amounts of money from kidnapings and from other extortion. The ELN apparently receives less from drugs and more from kidnapings and more from extortion of the oil companies. Senator Chafee. So the ELN less so? Mr. Schneider. Less so in terms of the drug activity. Senator Chafee. Well, that is all the questions I have. I see the clock has run out on my vote. I will call a recess, and if I can implore on you to have some patience, the, chairman will return, and I am sure he will have some good questions and engage in some dialog. Thank you, gentlemen, very much. [A brief recess was taken.] Senator Dodd. Thank you very much. Well, thank you both again, and if I ask any questions my colleague from Rhode Island has already asked, either you can tell me, or I presume my good staff here will say that question has already been addressed. Let me, if I can--you have said you have answered a couple of questions that I had, and was going to raise with you, the question of whether or not, in your view, there can be a military victory here. Now, you have both indicated that is not likely to be the case. I do not presume either one of you would say it is impossible, because I do not believe that to be the case, either, if you end up with a million displaced people, and hundreds of thousands of civilians are leaving Colombia every year. I am told it is hard to get a seat on a flight out of Bogota, that there are literally hundreds of Colombian children now attending schools in the United States rather than living in their own communities. You heard Senator Chafee talk about his family and how they have literally locked themselves, 80- year-old people, in their home, fearful to go out because of the potential consequences to them. You have got at least, if the numbers are accurate--Human Rights Watch says almost 4,000 kidnapings a year. That is at least 10, 15 a day occurring. I am told it is just a regular basis, that you have people even of modest means now. We are not just talking about--when you talk about 4,000 a year, you have obviously gone far beyond that small percentage of affluent, and you have reached down into the middle classes and below, so that this has now created a reign of terror in the country. If you combine the forces of ELN, the FARC, the AUC, you are talking now in the neighborhood of 30,000 people who are engaged in this business of kidnaping, assassinations, narcotrafficking and the like. It seems we are looking at the complete shredding of civil society here, in this oldest continuing democracy in the hemisphere--in Latin America, excuse me. I hear what--Marc and I have talked about this already. We have been very impressed with the report that has been prepared by the ICG, but you heard Marc Grossman say earlier that to prioritize the issues, for them it would be security first. You cannot talk about--while they are not totally unrelated, the idea that you are going to be able to restore democratic institutions and democratic processes, economic vitality, and all of the other related issues in the absence of people feeling secure. There is nothing more fundamental. That is why in this country, I suppose, that if we had to allocate resources to just one area of the budget alone, the one that would probably trump all others would be defense, if it came down to that, in terms of where people would place their priorities. How do you address the issue, then, and first of all, do you agree with that assessment? I will ask you the same question in that litany of priorities, that our policy ought to be directed to human rights, democracy, and economic vitality, security, and the like. Do you agree with his prioritization of those issues? Second, how do you address the underlying question that if we condition entirely the support for the military on an improved human rights record here, which I do not disagree with, but if you do that, do you not then give, it seems to me, the AUC and the FARC sort of veto power over the aid in a sense? I mean, you now have turned, to the extent that they can just perpetuate human rights violations here, and even though they mount--if you subscribe to the notion that the AUC basically does not operate effectively without the imprimatur, implicit or explicit, of the military, and if they continue to watch human rights violations, and you condition the aid to them on that particular question, then does it not give, in fact, the AUC and the FARC indirectly the ability to sort of determine whether or not U.S. support is going to be forthcoming? And to the extent we are going to be able to deal with the security issue, and if you complete the syllogism here, the logic of it, that then the ranks of the AUC expand, because people look to somebody, anybody that will protect me and my family against these things, and I am willing to hire the vigilantes, in effect, to do it if my government cannot do it for me? How do you address that? And maybe I am not articulating that as well as others might, but that is sort of the quandary that I think a lot of people are asking who do not disagree with your conclusions about what is going on, on the ground. But in terms of your formulation of how we ought to provide assistance to this government, which no one else is going to provide--is there a European government that is going to help an Asian government? Is someone in a Latin American government going to step up to the plate and provide assistance and helicopters? And so if we do not, and if we condition it on this, are we not abandoning a country that is under siege? And I see here on the opposition side, whether it is the ELN or FARC or the AUC, that seems to be much more interested in the narco business, and sustaining themselves as a sort of mafia, to use the words that you have here, you call them mafia. I subscribe to that. So no one is going to step in and help this poor country from the mafia unless we do it. How do you get around that question? Mr. Schneider. Let me start by taking that term. If you have a town where you have got two mafia gangs operating, you go after them both. You strengthen security. You go after them both. You do not ally yourself with one of the mafias to deal with the other, or else you undermine the whole legitimacy of your own capacity to operate as an institution, as a democratic institution. I think what we are saying is that security and response to security threats in the case of Colombia requires that you also, at the same time, go after the AUC, maintain the human rights conditionality, and I think the answer historically is that it has been done. And the classic example was El Salvador, when the Vice President then went down, supported with congressional legislation that was going to cutoff aid, which did not happen, with the message: ``You are going to have to disband the death squads, period.'' Only after that happened did you begin to see a change in the process. That is a very high level, clear political statement, ``This is unacceptable.'' In this particular case, I think that is what we are saying, is that yes, provide them with the new authority to use the equipment, et cetera, not only in counternarcotics, but it has to be while they are also taking action with respect to human rights and cutting off the relations with the paramilitary. And we believe they can do that. The other question is how do you begin to deal with questions of strengthening law enforcement or the judicial system and economic development when you do not have full security? You may not have full security nationwide, but you may be able to clear them out of a particular area and then provide an economic package in that area, and that is what I was suggesting in the demilitarized zone. In fact, that in an area where you can direct your military forces to clear out both the FARC and the AUC, to then respond with something positive. But the broader question you ask today. Yes, security is crucial, and we would like to see the Colombian Government, through their tax levies and their allocation of funding, demonstrate a higher priority for security. You know the percentages as well as I do. Clearly, they have not dedicated the level of resources to their own military and police that the threat would indicate that they should. But I think that the answer to your question is that we cannot say, ``Use the weapons, we are not going to be concerned about the relationship with the paramilitary.'' I think it undermines the effort in the long term, it undermines their democracy in the long term, and clearly undermines our own. Senator Dodd. You raise the El Salvador issue, which you recall I was very involved in, in fact authored the legislation that conditioned--in fact, Jose Napoleon Duarte, the President of El Salvador, was here in the country the very day the amendment was offered on the floor of the U.S. Senate, and he agreed, in fact, with the conditionalities of the military aid at the time. There, the sources of funding for the MFLN, if you will, at that particular time, were either pretty much an indigenous thing. There may have been some that were coming from Castro, some training and so forth, but I do not recall any suggestion that they were being funded by narcotrafficking. And so there was support for them, but nothing that quite equals, I gather anyway, the level of financial backing that the FARC and the AUC get as a result of their narco business. Do you agree with that? Mr. Schneider. Absolutely, no question about it. Senator Dodd. So I guess what I am trying to get at here is, how do we, when you are dealing with two organizations that are getting an almost equal amount of funding, it seems from-- in fact, the irony in all of this is that the United States is funding both sides of this conflict, one through private donations through the illicit drug trafficking and use in this country, and the other through taxpayer money. It may be one of the unique situations in the world where we are actually underwriting the cost of all this conflict through our habits and consumption and as a result of our commitment to support civil society. My concern here--in fact, I gather there are people who move between the FARC and the AUC. This is whoever offers the better deals financially. It is almost like the draft, or when you would have free agency, and here people can move back and forth based upon what either side is willing to offer and pay. This is what this has come to. This is why any kind of great social motivation seems to have disappeared almost entirely, and so you end up with the resources, financial resources from Europe, the United States--mostly from the United States, and so why don't you respond to this, Jose, if you would. Mr. Vivanco. Mr. Chairman, if I may, I would like to come to your first question. There is no question, based upon our research but also based upon the research done by the United Nations, the OAS, the Human Rights Commission and so forth, and even the State Department report, that there is a great deal of dependency on the paramilitaries by the Colombian military. In other words, the military in some areas, not across the country, but in some areas where the paramilitaries have a very, very strong presence and virtually control territory and population. The military rely on the paramilitaries to keep the zone, the area under control, and in our view, in our experience, based on our experience, the little amount of progress that has been done in terms of human rights in Colombia, and particularly in terms of the attempts to break those ties between the military and paramilitary organizations, has been done under international pressure, and specifically under U.S. pressure. We have no real hope that the Colombians will be able to address this issue of links with these criminal organizations by themselves. We do acknowledge the discourse, the public position of the Colombian leadership is perfectly compatible with international human rights standards. I have met several times with General Tabias, and his line, his public position, his discourse is, I would say, impeccable on these issues, but what we unfortunately are able to argue and to demonstrate is that in the field those links, that relationship is stronger and closer than ever. So this is a very, very serious, and I would say a very complex, very difficult issue for the military to deal with. There is one precedent that shows a very interesting degree of progress, which is that the ability of the Colombian police to improve its record and to break some links with paramilitary organizations. The Colombian police have been able to make some, I would say serious progress. It is not clean from human rights abuses or from relationship with paramilitary organizations, but their policy, their line, the way that they deal with these kinds of problems is very, very different than the way that the army and the navy in Colombia has been reacting to charges that they are working with paramilitary organizations. I would say that some of the credit should be given to General Serano for taking that line and for discharging more than 12,000 members of the police on grounds of corruption, narcotrafficking, and human rights abuses. But I do not think we should underestimate that practice, that change was possible as a result of U.S. engagement and U.S. conditionality, U.S. foreign policy conditionality, and the pressure from this Senate to improve their record and to effectively deal with those who engage in abuses. Senator Dodd. Well, I appreciate your comments, and by the way, I know you have to catch a plane. We will move on to other subject matters here. Mr. Schneider. Senator, can I just add one point on that? Both when I was in the government and now, talking to the current government, there is no question that the conditionality is used by those who are trying to push the policy in the right direction, and without it they would be weaker in terms of getting the policy right. Senator Dodd. Well, let me make the case, whether the language is included in the bill or not this year, it is certainly a fact that there is a growing connection. If, in fact, more evidence is forthcoming that there is a systemic problem here related, between the military forces and the AUC, then I would just predict flat out what is going to happen here; and that is, of course, the Congress of the United States and the American people will walk away from this, with a great sense of disappointment in many ways because of what the outcomes may be. But I would predict that would be the result. And again, I hope, if hearings have any value beyond extracting, sort of, restatements or clearer statements of policy, and can also serve as a means of communication, then let me just predict that if, in fact, we end up with growing evidence here of connections between the Colombian military and the AUC, then there will be an overwhelming reaction to that. There is a reluctance anyway on the part of the American people to be involved in these kinds of matters. This is a hard sell under the best of circumstances, and when you give anyone an argument to step away from it, particularly one that involves brutality, when we are seen as underwriting that, sustaining it, subsidizing it, then people will retreat from it, and I predict that would happen here. So I am hopeful that those in positions of authority, including those who will emerge victorious in the upcoming elections, hear clearly that for those of us up here who are very anxious to be helpful and constructive, and to build the kind of international support, particularly regional support for a sustainable effort here, need to know that this is a very, very important issue. And to not deal with it is to place all of this in jeopardy, and I hope they understand that. Let me ask you about the peace process itself and having, again, been involved in the Central American effort--and I did not think the Contadora effort, when we were dealing with the Nicaraguans and El Salvador, was going to be very effective, because it was--if you need to go, Jose, we might submit some questions to you in writing. Mr. Vivanco. Thank you very much. Actually, I have to fly to Colombia this afternoon. Senator Dodd. Be careful. Mark, let me ask you this. I always felt that when we moved from the Contadora process, which was sort of a friends group that involved Mexico and Brazil and other nations in the hemisphere, and shrank that down to the Central American countries very directly, the ones most directly affected, it changed the dynamic considerably. We were involved, obviously, but we were not a participant in those meetings in Esquipulas that ultimately produced the framework under the leadership of President Arias of Costa Rica, along with others in the region who supported him and that brought, along with other factors, a resolution. In this case here there has been a suggestion that somehow we ought to be involved in this question rather directly. I am uneasy about that. I would much prefer to see an Andean approach to this, where we play a supporting role, rather than a principal role. Tell me the pros and cons of both approaches, and which one--you seemed to indicate that more direct U.S. involvement was necessary. Mr. Schneider. There are two things. One, if you take the ELN process separately from the FARC, the ELN process now is one which is focused on how do you get a verifiable cease-fire. And from there, then, in that context of a cease-fire, how do you move beyond that for substantive negotiations on what ultimately would be a settlement and a demobilization of the ELN. As you know, and as you mentioned, there is Cuba, and in one of the recent sessions one of the conclusions was, they asked the United States to become part of that group of facilitators, and it seems to me that there are two things that are quite important. One is that the people on both sides understand that the United States will be a supporter of the ultimate settlement, helping to finance, helping to convince others to carry out what is needed with respect to the monitoring of the process. And the second is, to be very frank, given our relationship with the Colombian military and our assistance to the Colombian Government, the insurgent ELN will be much more convinced that their safety and security will be protected if we are part of that process. They may be satisfied if we are close to, if not part of, the negotiating process that resulted in an agreement on which they are going to rely to at some point give up their arms. And we know what has happened to past insurgents in Colombia. Once they gave up their arms they were killed, and so that role is very important. Whether we have to be there at the table today is another question. It seems to me we are capable of finding a mechanism in which we are linked to the negotiations, and I think we should examine what those might be. Senator Dodd. Why would you negotiate if you were the FARC? Mr. Schneider. I'm talking about the ELN. Senator Dodd. I want to move to the FARC. Why would you even bother--you have got a great deal here, 40 years living in the woods. You have got $1 billion or more a year coming from the narco business. Mr. Schneider. You had it good when you had the DMZ. I think it is not quite so good now. But I think the answer is that until the FARC in fact feels threatened militarily, until they see that they cannot achieve a maintenance of their income, and the maintenance of their institutional structure, by doing something other than carrying out these terrorist acts and acting as a pretty brutal insurgency, until there is a military threat, then I think the negotiations are unlikely to be successful. I think that the issue is to be prepared to have a more effective negotiating structure when that moment comes, not wait and say, well, at some point when it seems clear that they are ready to accept, let us say, a cease-fire. They have never been willing to accept a verifiable cease-fire, but if 3 months from now they say, yes, we are, then somebody should be prepared with, what does that mean, and what do you do next. And all I am saying is that what we are recommending is that that process needs to begin so that you are ready when that negotiating possibility exists. But we are also saying right now that the first step in achieving substantive negotiations is ensuring that the FARC does not believe that they have a military avenue to achieve their goals and to maintain themselves as they are. Senator Dodd. Let me ask you the question you asked Secretary Grossman and, first of all, let me ask the question that forms the premise, and that is, there seems to be deafening silence from some of our very good friends in the region, and they want me to support the Andean trade agreement, they want me to support all these things, provide for aid and step up to the plate here. We have 95 percent of cocaine and heroin pouring out of this country, killing kids and families in this country here. A lot of that responsibility falls on us to try to deal with it here at home, but obviously part of the solution rests, as well, in trying to deal with it on the ground in Colombia. Why aren't my friends here who were asking me for help all the time, and who I want to help and care about, why are they not more involved in helping us come up with some answers here? And is that necessary, in your view, to a successful conclusion of this effort? Mr. Schneider. One of the things we recommended, in fact, was that the United States should work closely with the neighboring countries, the Andean countries and Panama, in attempting to formulate the policies for improved security, intelligence-sharing, mutual controls on contraband, assistance to refugees, and also in the places where you have population centers, mainly in Ecuador and some in Peru, integrated border development activities. Yes, we think that there should be more international engagement, and we think that the regional Andean countries should be brought into the process of discussing what some of the steps ought to be. And I would not just focus it on the security and drug issue, but in general it seems to me---- Senator Dodd. I would not disagree with that, but I do not get a sense that there is an effort being made here. Mr. Schneider. Part of the reason is, to be very frank, I think those countries want to keep away from it, because they are afraid. They are afraid that if they become active in terms of support for the Colombian Government, active militarily, that they will be threatened more by the FARC. They will give a reason for the FARC to go after some of them, and the AUC as well. I suspect that may be a factor. Senator Dodd. Well, those are very helpful observations, and I raised the issue earlier about---- Mr. Schneider. By the way, Senator, let me just say one other thing in terms of our allies. The Europeans, as you know, are stepping up in terms of doing more on aid for displaced persons, and looking at some economic and social activities with respect to peace laboratories. One of the questions I would ask is whether, why the European Union and others should not become more engaged on the justice side as well. In other countries, as we know, around the world, they have. It seems to me we might be able to engage them in these areas. Senator Dodd. Well, you are right, and of course one only has to look back to their lack of appetite to get involved in the Bosnian situation, which was far closer to home geographically, and this one here, they have been involved, but more as critics than offering, in my view anyway, constructive efforts here. If they do not want to get involved in the military issues here, but only in the economic development side of the question, their participation has been rather anemic and rather disappointing. That is another set of questions. There is a limited ability to what neighboring countries can do in the region. I think, though, border security is one of them, and certainly helping contain this, and the obvious answer to the question you pose, or at least the observation you made is that if, in fact, for whatever reason we are successful in Colombia, this shows up someplace else, and you could be next, and so it seems to me it is that old statement made by the Protestant minister in Nazi Germany, when he said, when they went after the Jews, I was not a Jew, so what difference did it make, when they went after the Gypsies and I was not a Gypsy, they went after the homosexuals, down the line. And finally they came after me, and I looked around and there was no one there. In a sense, this scourge poses risks for everybody, and if you sort of pretend it is not affecting you and you stay away from it in fear that it might show up, I can almost predict it will, to some degree, and so I hope we can get more participation and support from the European community as well. Well, I will have some additional questions that I may submit for the record, but I want to thank you again for your report. I think it is an excellent job. I think the point you have made about the human rights issue is extremely valid, and again I hope these hearings serve a number of purposes, not the least of which is to communicate to those on the ground in Colombia that for those up here who have been very supportive, I think, over the years, and clearly want to stay involved here and recognize the importance of this issue, that we can only help those who are really interested in helping themselves. And if they are not, that becomes evident, and despite all of our desires to be cooperative and supportive, it becomes very hard to convince other Members of the Congress to cast ballots to allocate taxpayer resources if, in fact, there is a growing sense that people here are unwilling to take the necessary steps. And again, I want to state, as I did at the outset, I repeat the statistics about what the civil society has suffered in Colombia, from members of the press, the judiciary, executive branch, congressional branches, candidates for office, mayors, small towns--my admiration for their courage, to stand to be a mayor in a small town in Colombia, where there is going to be no notoriety for doing so, but merely because you believe democracy is the way people ought to be able to live their lives, and when you merely offer yourself up to try and deal with the problems of your town, you become a target for assassination and kidnaping, is something we cannot ignore. So I want to be involved in this, and I want to be supportive, and I know you do as well. With that, I want to thank my colleagues who were able to make it by here this morning for this hearing. We will leave the record open. This is an ongoing discussion. There will be more hearings and more debate about this issue as we move forward, but I think this morning's hearing has been helpful, and I thank all of our witnesses. The subcommittee will stand adjourned. [Whereupon, at 12:35 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned, to reconvene subject to the call of the Chair.] ---------- Additional Questions Submitted for the Record Responses from the Department of Defense to Additional Questions Submitted for the Record by Senator Christopher J. Dodd colombian military strategy Question. The Colombian military appear to be recalibrating its military strategy now that talks with the FARC have collapsed. What is different today about what the Colombian military is doing on the ground? Answer. Since 20 February 2002, the Colombian military has taken a very aggressive strategy against the FARC. They immediately committed eight brigades to offensive operations in southcentral Colombia in response to the elimination of the former FARC safehaven and to bolster the three brigades already located in the general area. Additionally, the Colombian Army ordered that each division plan and execute at least two offensive operations in its Area of Responsibility at any given time and the Colombian Air Force has been fully committed in both supporting ground offensive operations and in conducting unilateral offensive actions against insurgent FARC targets located by military intelligence systems. The above offensive actions were directly responsible for the lack of success of the FARC's March offensive surge operations and the FARC's inability to disrupt the national Congressional elections in early March 2002. The Colombian military worked diligently with the Ministry of Transportation and with the National Police to support and bolster a national transportation control plan, which has successfully interdicted both weapons and explosives destined for urban areas. The Colombian military's current operational tempo, however, is not sustainable. Its offensive operations and pace have come at a fiscal cost that the Colombian Government has not yet successfully addressed to continue operations through the end of the year, and many units are in need of a pause to recuperate and regenerate combat power. The Colombian military is now preparing to provide security for the 26 May presidential elections and respond to FARC operations to disrupt the elections. Despite the increased offensive posture against the insurgents, there has been no corresponding increase in human rights complaints against the Colombian military, whose human rights record in field operations remains excellent. proposed change in legal authorities Question. Has the Department or the intelligence community conducted an assessment of the likely effect the proposed change in legal authorities discussed today will have on the military balance in Colombia? If so, please provide it. If not, what is the view of the Department whether the requested change in legal authorities will have a material effect on the course of the war against the guerrillas or the paramilitaries? Answer. The Department of Defense and, to my knowledge, the intelligence community have not conducted an assessment of how the proposed changes in legal authorities, allowing counternarcotics funding provided to Colombia to be used as a unified campaign against terrorism, would affect the military balance in Colombia. I believe the expanded authority will strengthen the Colombian security forces and consequently assist the Government of Colombia in providing basic security throughout its sovereign territory. Efforts to strengthen the rule of law, counter terrorism, assistance with alternative development and other aid programs, and counter drugs and arms trafficking have been futile where there has been no basic security. Congressional approval of the expanded authorities would therefore clear the path to make smarter use of U.S. Government supplied resources and help Colombia fight terrorism generated by both the guerrillas and paramilitaries. Question. What specific, new steps do you believe the Colombian military needs to take with respect to human rights; the paramilitaries; and military, political and economic reform, in order for U.S. policy to succeed? Answer. The most important thing we can do to stop and prevent human rights abuses is to strengthen the professionalism and effectiveness of the military and police. The Government of Colombia and the Colombian military have demonstrated a commitment to progress on human rights issues. The sharp decrease in allegations of human rights abuses by military personnel in recent years is the most dramatic evidence of that commitment. The Colombians have worked closely and cooperatively with us in creating human rights training programs for their armed forces and in setting up an effective human rights vetting mechanism to screen candidates for training and other assistance. Clearly, there have been and continue to be instances of Colombian armed forces aiding and abetting paramilitary operations or, more frequently, failing to act aggressively to prevent or respond to such operations. However, it is clear that President Pastrana, Defense Minister Bell, Armed Forces Commander Tapias, the service commanders, and other senior military leaders genuinely oppose and regularly condemn such collaboration. The Colombian armed forces will, we hope, also reduce the strength of the illegal self-defense groups by filling the current basic security vacuum with legitimate national security forces, continuing professionalization of their forces, as well as, recruiting, training, equipping, sustaining, and regulating a security force of sufficient size to perform its mission throughout Colombia. severing links with paramilitaries Question. Are you satisfied that the Colombian armed forces have severed links between the Armed Forces and paramilitaries? What specific legal steps has the Colombian military taken against personnel found to have links with paramilitaries? What specific benchmarks will the U.S. Government apply to determine whether the objectives are being met and U.S. policy is succeeding? Answer. We regard the paramilitaries as the most serious long-term threat to democracy in Colombia. While the Colombian armed forces have undoubtedly not succeeded in completely severing links between nor curbing the activities of the ``self-defense forces,'' they have not been idle with respect to conducting operations against these groups. In 2000, security force operations against the paramilitaries resulted in 313 arrests and 92 killed in combat and in 2001, 992 were arrested and another 116 were killed. The 1,108 paramilitaries either captured or killed in 2001 represent a 270 percent increase over the previous year and are estimated to be approximately 10 percent of the paramilitary's force structure. There have been instances of Colombian armed forces aiding and abetting paramilitary operations or, more frequently, failing to act aggressively to prevent or respond to such operations. However, it is clear that President Pastrana, Defense Minister Bell, Armed Forces Commander Tapias, the service commanders, and other senior military leaders genuinely oppose and regularly condemn such collaboration. u.s.-colombia strategy Question. If, over the next year, the war intensifies and there is no end in sight, what is the U.S. Government's long term strategy? Do we have an end game? Answer. Our strategy is to help Colombia achieve effective sovereignty over its entire national territory; to create a larger, more effective, and more professional military and police capable of protecting key national assets; and to enable the government to deal politically with the armed groups, if it so chooses, from a position of strength. We encourage the Colombians to devote more resources to the effort and do not believe the introduction of U.S. combat units will be required to achieve our aims. The fundamental U.S. objectives in Colombia is to assist a friendly democratic nation in its efforts to end violence by extremist from the right and left and to rebuild a peaceful, free, prosperous, and democratic society. In so doing, we seek to help Colombia defeat and eliminate narco-terrorist organizations that attack Colombians (and Americans) and to curtail illegal activities (e.g., drug trafficking, kidnapping, extortion) that provide funding for narco-terrorist groups. colombian security funding Question. Mr. Rodman has testified that ``Colombia must shoulder more of the burden by funding its security structure--meaning both military and police--at levels that are more appropriate for a wartime footing.'' Does the Department have a view on what is the appropriate level? Answer. We will continue to discuss the need for adequate funding of the security structure with Colombia's current and future administrations. It is not unreasonable, considering the threats facing Colombia, to expect the Government of Colombia to expand its current security expenditures substantially. The Colombian security forces must be sized and equipped to meet the level of threats and challenges to ensure effective national sovereignty, but the increase of security forces must be in a manner so not to create training, leadership, and equipment shortfalls. Spending does not equal results. For instance, not included is the enormous sum that Colombians spend privately on security. dod support to counternarcotics activities Question. In 1998 and 2000, then-Secretary of Defense Cohen issued two memos related to military support to counter-narcotics activities. The 1998 memo said that-- ``Department of Defense personnel are prohibited from accompanying U.S. drug law enforcement agents or host nation law enforcement forces and military forces with counterdrug authority on actual counterdrug field operations or participating in any activity in which counterdrug-related hostilities are imminent.'' The memo issued in 2000 related specifically to all ``Defense funded training in Colombia.'' It reiterates the language quoted above. a. Are these memos still applicable to U.S. military training in Colombia? If not, why not? b. Is the Department developing, or planning to develop, any changes in the policy they set forth? c. Have any other memos relevant to the issue of accompanying host nation forces on operations been issued during this administration? d. Given that training we will do for pipeline security is not focused on counternarcotics, is it the intention of the Department to limit the U.S. forces to training, and not permit them to go out on actual operations? Answer: a. The memorandums, subject: ``Military Support to Counternarcotics Activities,'' dated 6 October 1998 and ``Defense Funded Training in Colombia,'' dated 9 March 2000 are still applicable. b. The Department of Defense has not made any changes to these documents. These documents would require review if Congress approves of the expanded authorities for counterterrorism in Colombia that we have requested. c. No. d. The Administration's goal with respect to providing support to Colombia's critical infrastructure protection will be similar to our counternarcotics support. Our current programs in Colombia require a very modest Department of Defense footprint. With the addition of counterterrorism support, we do not require changes in the number of U.S. personnel nor contemplate the use of U.S. troops in a combat role. u.s. assistance to plan colombia Question. In the initial stages of implementation of U.S. assistance to Plan Colombia, the Department of Defense contracted with the Rendon Group, a Washington firm, to provide public relations and communications advice and assistance to the Colombian Ministry of Defense (MOD). a. Is the contract still in effect? If not, is there another contract or program the purpose of which is to provide communications advice to the Colombian MOD? Please provide detail, including the contract amount, duration of the contract, and information about the scope of work. b. How much has been obligated and expended on such contract or contracts since FY 2000? Answer. As part of the Department of Defense's counternarcotics support to Colombia, a program was started in January 2001 to train the Colombian military in military public affairs in support of Plan Colombia. The objective was, and continues to be, the training of the Colombian military, at the headquarters level, in the standard procedures for responding to media questions and issues to gain public support for Colombian military counternarcotics operations. The training included seminars, classroom instruction, and on-the- job-training. The goal was to instill in the Colombian military the value of being completely truthful, and of getting out in front of stories. The Rendon Group is still under contract for this effort. The first contract and modifications included the period of January 2001 to January 2002 and cost a total of $2.6M. Follow-on efforts with modifications, cover the period of January 2002 to November 2002 and to date are costing $2.OM. ______ Responses of Hon. Marc Grossman, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, to Additional Questions for the Record Submitted by the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Narcotics Affairs colombia Question. The United States has taken a hands off approach to the peace process. Under what conditions would the U.S. play a more active role in any future peace efforts? Answer. We supported President Pastrana's efforts to reach a negotiated settlement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and with the National Liberation Army (ELN), but recognized that management of these processes was the Pastrana administration's prerogative. We publicly called on the FARC to reciprocate the Pastrana Government's good-faith efforts, but the terrorist group showed an unwillingness to begin serious, substantive negotiations with the Colombian government. In fact, the FARC left a trail of broken promises and commitments during the three year peace process, culminating in the terrorist offensive in early 2002 which led Pastrana to end the process on February 20. The United States recognizes that Colombia's various internal conflicts will likely end through negotiated settlements. The various presidential candidates have outlined specific conditions (such as a ceasefire, end to narcotrafficking and halt to terrorism) under which they would initiate peace talks with FARC, AUC and ELN. However, the United States Government will not engage in talks with the FARC until it begins to cooperate with the appropriate government authorities on cases involving American citizens. Specifically, the FARC must cooperate in the efforts to determine the whereabouts of the remains of the three New Tribes Missionaries it kidnapped in 1993 and in the investigation of the murders of three American non-governmental organization workers in 1999. In the latter case, the FARC has acknowledged that it has under its control the alleged perpetrators and we demand that they be turned over to the appropriate authorities. colombia: aerial spraying Question. Fumigation has become a very controversial component of Plan Colombia. What chemical herbicide has been used in the fumigation program and at what concentrations? Does the herbicide have another name in the United States? When was this herbicide licensed for use in the United States? Are there any plans to change the type of herbicide being used? During what months has spraying been conducted, and when is future spraying planned? Why not consider manual eradication--which might be less controversial and would provide additional employment? Answer. The aerial eradication program uses the herbicide glyphosate against illicit drug crops in Colombia. This herbicide, first licensed for use in the United States in 1974, is registered for use in Colombia, the United States, and many other countries around the globe. The application rate for the spray mixture for coca is 2.53 gallons per acre, with the percentages of the spray mixture being 55 percent water, 44 percent glyphosate formulation (which itself contains 41 percent glyphosate and 59 percent inert ingredients), and 1 percent the surfactant Cosmo-Flux 411F. The herbicide glyphosate is no longer protected by patent and is sold in the United States and throughout the world under many different brand names. The Department works continually with the Government of Colombia and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service to maximize the effectiveness of the spray mixture against coca and to minimize the impact of the spray program on the environment or human health. No herbicide other than glyphosate offers assured effectiveness against coca while posing little risk for the environment where coca is grown. Spraying is conducted year round in Colombia, but is subject to strictly monitored local conditions, including weather, temperature, and wind speed. Aerial spraying is necessary in Colombia because of security concerns. It is the only effective way to safely eliminate an immense crop that is dispersed over a great amount of inaccessible and often hostile territory. Manual eradication is not a viable option because the illicit crop is protected by designated foreign terrorist organizations that depend heavily upon the coca business for substantial amounts of their income. During aerial eradication spray aircraft must be escorted by helicopter gunships because they routinely take hostile groundfire from these terrorist groups. Any other approach would result in unacceptable risks to the lives of eradicators. Aerial spraying also allows the eradication program to operate in distant, isolated areas where much of Colombia's coca is cultivated. The transportation requirements for manual eradication teams--and the armed forces required to protect them--would be prohibitively expensive. In short, aerial eradication is the only reasonable means of destroying illegal crops in the vast tracts of territory in Colombia in which they are located. colombia: health and environmental studies Question. What is the status of the studies of the health and environmental effects of the herbicide? (There are at least two studies in Narino and Putumayo, which were, at best, inconclusive.) Is there an epidemiological study planned, as was anticipated before the CDC pulled out? Who would conduct it and who would it involve? Answer. At the concentration level used in the spray mixture and with the methods used to apply it, glyphosate is highly unlikely to harm human beings. Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated again and again that glyphosate is non-carcinogenic, and that it has no effects on reproductive ability or developmental capacity. After reviewing multiple toxicity tests, EPA concluded that the potential for acute toxicity and irritation was low. In the worst case situation, a person directly exposed to the spray mixture may suffer some minor, temporary skin and/or eye irritation. Nevertheless, the Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) has contracted a toxicological study of the spray mixture used against coca in Colombia. This study assesses the toxicological profile of the spray mix, exactly as it is mixed in Colombia. This study is currently underway and is scheduled to finish in August 2002. The Inter-American Drug Abuse Commission (CICAD) of the Organization of American States is also planning an independent monitoring project that will evaluate the environmental and human health considerations of the spray program in Colombia. While the details of this monitoring proposal are still being finalized, it is expected to include significant human and environmental health and safety assessment components, based on careful medical and scientific evaluation. The Department does not agree that the studies carried out in Narino and Putumayo were ``at best, inconclusive.'' To the contrary, the Narino study found that most of the complaints were made before spraying began or long after it had ended. In all but four cases, the diseases were parasitic or bacterial in origin. In the other four cases, the symptoms were not serious, with the treatments prescribed suggesting that the illnesses were not spray-related. The Putumayo toxicological study also demonstrated no connection whatsoever between health complaints and aerial spraying of coca. Health related complaints about the spray program often grab attention in the headlines, but are unsubstantiated by scientific evidence. Despite numerous investigations, not a single claim of harm to human health as a result of the spray program has ever been confirmed. Instead, the reported health problems are more likely to have been caused by the numerous bacteria, parasites, and infections endemic in the remote rural areas where illicit cultivation takes place. Many are also likely caused by exposure to the pesticides and processing chemicals used in the cultivation of illicit drug crops and production of illegal drugs. colombia Question. The FY 2000 Emergency supplemental placed restrictions on the number of U.S. military and civilian personnel that could be deployed in support of Plan Colombia (500 and 300). The FY 2001 (sic) foreign appropriations bill modified the caps to 400 for each category. How many U.S. civilian and military personnel are in Colombia currently supporting Plan Colombia? How many foreign nationals are on contract for such purposes? Answer. On March 18, 2002, there were 164 temporary and permanent U.S. military personnel and 241 U.S. citizen individual civilian contractors in Colombia implementing authorized programs in support of Plan Colombia. In accordance with section 3204(b) and section 3204(f) of the emergency supplemental legislation, the President submits bimonthly reports on these numbers to the Congress. Ten such reports have been submitted and the eleventh will cover the period to mid-May. Although the aggregate numbers during January, February and March, 2002, fluctuated with personnel rotations and the initiation, implementation, and/or completion of individual projects in support of Plan Colombia, at no time have these aggregate numbers ever exceeded the 400 and 400 ceilings. During this most recent period the overall number of U.S. military personnel in support of Plan Colombia varied between 111 and 284, and the number of U.S. citizen civilian contractors was between 181 and 250. The number of foreign nationals, including Colombians, employed by the U.S. government in support of Plan Colombia also varies as programs are begun and expanded or have been completed, but has been in the neighborhood of 270 for the last two years. Question. The Administration has not requested a waiver of these personnel caps in the FY 2002 emergency supplemental. Do you believe that cap limitations apply to the additional programs you are proposing to support in Colombia such as protection of infrastructure, antiterrorism programs, and counter insurgency support which arguably fall outside the scope of the definition contained in law? Will State and DOD support legislative language that makes it clear in statute that the existing caps apply to these additional activities? Answer. The Administration is committed for these new programs to not exceed the existing ceilings for personnel in support of Plan Colombia. These ceilings are mandated by section 3204(b) of Title III, Chapter 2 of the Emergency Supplemental Act, 2000, (P.L. 106-246) as amended by Title II of the Kenneth N. Ludden Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, Fiscal Year 2002 (P.L. 107-115). In view of this, the Department of State believes that additional legislative language is unnecessary. Question. In making the decision to request changes in U.S. restrictions on Colombia aid--has the administration undertaken medium term budget planning--what are the out year budget estimates for U.S. assistance to Colombia? Answer. The Administration has clearly indicated that the U.S. commitment to Colombia to support democracy and its fight against narcotics trafficking and terrorism, to promote human rights and socio- economic development, is a long-term one. It is also one which is dependent upon a number of factors, including the development by the incoming Uribe administration of an expanded national political- military strategy and an increase in the resources the Colombian government devotes to security, implementation of economic reforms, improvements in human rights protection as well as the sustainment of counternarcotics programs. For FY 2003 the Administration is seeking $439 million in International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement funding to maintain our programs supporting Plan Colombia as well as $98 million in FMF funding to undertake the infrastructure protection initiative. While specific numbers for FY 2004 and beyond are only now beginning to be developed, it is our belief that programs to support Colombian democracy will continue in the range requested for FY 2003. Question. Is it U.S. policy to assist Colombia to defeat each of the armed groups--the FARC, the ELN, and the AUC--militarily? If so, can that objective be achieved if Congress approves the Administration's request? Answer. Our request for new authorities reflects our recognition that Colombia's narcotics and terrorist problems are increasingly intertwined. If approved, the authorities will give us the flexibility we need to help the Government of Colombia combat terrorist actions equally by the country's three main illegal armed groups--the AUC, FARC, and ELN. The new authorities will not resolve all the difficulties that Colombia faces. The military assistance we have so far provided to Colombia has been geared toward a limited, counternarcotics mission. Expanding the authorities for the use of aircraft and other assets to cover terrorist and other threats to Colombia's democracy does not ensure that Colombia will be able to address these multiple threats in the short-term. However they will enable us to help the Government of Colombia attack this hydra-headed threat more efficiently and more effectively. We continue to recognize that Colombia's various internal conflicts will likely end through negotiated settlements. Still, given the intransigence shown by the three terrorist groups in their peace talks or informal discussions with the Pastrana administration, we believe that increased military pressure by Colombia's security forces will be needed to bring the groups into a serious, substantive peace process with the Government of Colombia. Question. What is the primary objective, of the Government of Colombia in seeking to use U.S.-provided assets and U.S.-trained units for other than counternarcotics purposes? Answer. The Government of Colombia seeks to use U.S.-provided assets and U.S.-trained units for other than counternarcotics purposes so that it can conduct a unified campaign against narcotics trafficking and the activities of organizations designated as terrorist organizations. The proposed new authorities would offer us more flexibility in helping the Government of Colombia to counter the ``cross-cutting'' threat posed by groups using narcotics trafficking to fund terrorist and criminal activities. New authorities would allow equipment provided by INCLE funds to be used for counterterrorism as well as counternarcotics. We will scrupulously follow the Leahy amendment requirement regarding human rights vetting and the Byrd Amendment caps on military trainers. At this point, the authorities would primarily involve assistance for the fully-vetted, U.S.-trained and equipped counternarcotics brigade as well as helicopters made available by the USG. We remain committed to robust counternarcotics programs in Colombia and will sustain that commitment as we work out details regarding use of INCLE- funded equipment and units in counterterrorist missions. colombia: counternarcotics programs and new authorities Question. If, as requested by the President, Congress amends the law to allow counter-narcotics assets and units to be used for purposes other than counter-narcotics, U.S. counter-narcotics programs will surely be affected. Presumably, for example, if the assets are devoted to a greater degree to counter-insurgency or operations against the paramilitaries, we will be fumigating fewer crops and raiding fewer cocaine labs. a. As a practical matter, how would this change be carried out? How will the U.S. Embassy monitor the use of U.S. provided military equipment if it is used for a purpose other than counter-narcotics? b. Has there been an assessment of the effect this proposal will have on our counter-narcotics programs? If so, please provide it. c. Have we discussed this subject with the Government of Colombia? If so, what has been the nature of these discussions? d. Has any thought been given to how the use of these assets will be allocated between counter-narcotics and counter- insurgency operations? e. Will the primary mission of the U.S.-trained troops or U.S.-supplied equipment still be counternarcotics? f. Which element of the Embassy will be responsible for end- use monitoring--the Milgroup or the NAS? Answer: a. The pivotal role that the U.S. Embassy in Bogota plays in monitoring and overseeing the use of U.S.-provided resources will remain unchanged if, as requested, the authorities are expanded by Congress to include operation against terrorist groups. The Colombian Armed Forces that use these resources are keenly aware of the legal requirements that now govern the use of U.S.-provided equipment and coordinate with the Embassy while conducting mission planning. If the authorities change, Embassy personnel will fully brief GOC counterparts on the new guidelines. Department of State and U.S. Embassy Milgroup personnel will monitor the use of these resources on a daily basis. At present, Embassy personnel have considerable influence over the use of aircraft assets for individual missions and have exercised that influence to avoid missions that are too risky, inadequately planned, or outside of the limitations set for the use of U.S.-provided equipment. The Chief of Mission will continue to be the ultimate decision-maker regarding the use of U.S.-provided equipment. The GOC and Colombian military are very cooperative on this issue. b. The request for new authorities reflects a recognition that Colombia's narcotics and terrorist problems are increasingly intertwined and inseparable. If approved, the authorities will give us the flexibility we need to help the Government of Colombia combat terrorist actions by the country's three main terrorist groups--the FARC, AUC and ELN--which are deeply involved in narcotics trafficking. As a practical matter, expanded authorities would not have much, if any, adverse impact on the aerial eradication or drug interdiction operations of the Antinarcotics Directorate of the Colombian National Police and, in general, should facilitate our efforts to combat narcotrafficking. It is important to bear in mind that the new authorities will not resolve all the difficulties that Colombia faces. The military assistance we have provided to Colombia is geared toward a limited, counternarcotics mission. Expanding the authorities to cover terrorist and other threats to Colombia's democracy does not ensure that Colombia will be fully able to address these multiple threats in the short-term. They will, however, enable us to help the Government of Colombia attack this hydra-headed threat more effectively. c. U.S. Embassy and high-level State Department personnel have met frequently with Colombian government representatives to deliver the consistent message that the requested change in authorities is no magic bullet for Colombia's multiple problems. While the authorities may change, Colombian national aviation assets remain limited by GOC budgetary constraints. We have advised the GOC that expanding the range of missions without expanding the number of aircraft available will mean that missions are refused on occasion simply because of the limitations of those assets. Moreover, we have reminded the GOC that the primary purpose of all of the U.S.-supplied equipment and training remains counternarcotics. d. The Administration has not requested authority to provide support for counter-insurgency purposes in Colombia. Instead, the requested authorities would allow U.S. assistance to Colombia, including assistance previously provided, to be used by the Government of Colombia in a ``unified campaign against terrorist activities, narcotrafficking and other threats to national authority,'' would give us the flexibility to help Colombia deal with the narcoterrorist threat. With the exception of the training, equipment, and assistance requested for two brigades in Arauca to provide infrastructure protection, U.S.-funded assistance for the Colombia Armed Forces will continue to support counternarcotics programs as a primary goal. Furthermore, while the Government of Colombia has designated these two brigades to provide pipeline security as their primary responsibility, they are not precluded from supporting counternarcotics missions. e. See answer to d. above. f. NAS and/or the U.S. Milgroup in the Embassy will conduct end use monitoring of this equipment and training, depending on the type of assistance provided and the entity of the Government of Colombia that is the recipient of the training, equipment, or other assistance. colombia Question. With regard to the security of U.S. government personnel serving in Colombia: Have you assessed whether supporting Colombia in its wars against its illegal armed groups will affect the safety of U.S. personnel in Colombia? If so, please provide details. Answer. U.S. assistance to Colombia advances critical U.S. national security objectives such as reducing the flow of illegal drugs, combating terrorism, strengthening an embattled democracy, and improving human rights conditions. U.S. personnel have worked closely with the Colombian authorities in counternarcotics efforts for many years. Given the deep involvement in the narcotics trade by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) and, to a lesser extent, the National Liberation Army (ELN), our personnel have long faced a degree of risk in Colombia. We take very seriously the safety of U.S. Government personnel-- civilian officials, civilian contractors and military personnel--in Colombia. The Regional Security Office of the U.S. Embassy in Bogota works closely with the Government of Colombia and its security services to monitor and evaluate relevant threat information. Colombian National Police and contract guards patrol the perimeter of the U.S. Embassy and its environs. The fact remains, however, ``that Colombia is a dangerous environment due to violence largely attributable to the activities of three illegal armed groups--FARC, the ELN and the AUC--each of which is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under U.S. law. Hence, U.S. personnel will continue to face risks in Colombia in order to assist our Colombian allies and to accomplish key U.S. objectives. Question. With regard to the security of U.S. government personnel serving in Colombia: Is the FARC, ELN, or AUC currently targeting Americans? Will targeting become more aggressive with the change in U.S. policy? Answer. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in the past has stated publicly that it considers U.S. military personnel in Colombia to be legitimate targets. The FARC has kidnapped and murdered American citizens, as has the National Liberation Army (ELN). Our aggressive counternarcotics efforts in Colombia, which affect all three terrorist groups, already make U.S. personnel potential targets of these groups. It is difficult to predict whether or not targeting of American citizens by the FARC, the ELN or the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) will become more aggressive with the evolution of U.S. policy, except to note that this possibility does exist. We take very seriously the security of American citizens. Colombia is a difficult and often dangerous environment. The Department of State makes this point in detail in the Travel Warning currently in effect for Colombia, which warns Americans against travel to Colombia. Question. Will additional security measures be put in place to protect U.S. Government personnel in Colombia? Answer. The Department of State takes very seriously the security of U.S. Government personnel in Colombia. We continuously monitor and evaluate any credible threat information, and we receive superb security cooperation from all levels of the Government of Colombia. The Embassy is a secure facility. Question. The President's budget for Fiscal Year 2003 requests $98 million to train and equip Colombian military units to protect the Cano Limon pipeline. General Speer testified that this training would be for two Colombian units, the 18th Brigade and the 5th Brigade. a. What types and amounts of equipment will be provided under this proposal? b. Have the 18th Brigade and the 5th Brigade both been vetted by the U.S. Embassy? If so, when was the vetting conducted? Have elements of the 5th Brigade recently been assigned to the 18th Brigade? Are you aware that Human Rights Watch has expressed concern about the human rights record of the 18th Brigade? c. The Committee has been informed by representatives of Occidental Petroleum that the 18th Brigade is already stationed at or near the oil field and the pipeline, but that it rarely goes out of the garrison. What is our understanding of the activities of the 18th Brigade in the last year? d. Given the economic importance of the pipeline, why did Colombia fail to take adequate measures to protect it in 2001? e. In the last four months, has Colombia provided additional mobility assets to military units operating near the pipeline in order to protect it? f. In the first three months of 2002, how many times has the pipeline been attacked? During this period, how many times was it shut down because of attacks? Answer: a. The Administration has requested funds in the FY 2003 budget to train and equip the Colombian 18th Brigade and the 5th Mobile Brigade. Equipment would be similar to that provided during 2000-2001 to the 1st Counternarcotics Brigade and include weapons and ammunition, night vision goggles, vehicles, communications, countermine and medical equipment, as well as aircraft for the two brigades' mission of patrolling, reconnaissance and immediate reaction to threats. Further planning with the Colombian Army will determine amounts of equipment. b. Vetting of the 18th Brigade was completed on January 30, 2002. The 5th Mobile Brigade is recently-established and the vetting process will be undertaken before any United States assistance, training or equipment is provided. The Department of State has received no information that elements of the 5th Mobile Brigade have been assigned to the 18th Brigade. It is our understanding that the 5th Mobile Brigade had been expected to deploy to Arauca Department in May, but that this may be delayed since it remains engaged in operations in the former despeje (demilitarized) zone. In any case, vetting of all 5th Mobile Brigade units to receive U.S. training and equipment would be accomplished before any of these activities begin. We are also aware that Human Rights Watch has expressed concerns about the human rights record of the 18th Brigade, but we have not received any concrete information upon which these concerns are based that would affect that positive vetting. c. As Occidental Petroleum has informed the Subcommittee, the 18th Brigade is stationed in and near Arauca, the capital city of Arauca Department. Limitations in intelligence collection capability, mobility, ground reconnaissance forces and quick reaction units contributed to a passive posture and during 2001 the 18th Brigade was not able to successfully limit attacks against the pipeline. d. When reinforced by other units, as occurred during some periods in 2000 and 2001, the rate of attacks against the pipeline were reduced. However, Colombian military forces are stretched so thinly across the country that these additional units were withdrawn to respond to threats elsewhere. e. While the Colombian government has established the 5th Mobile Brigade and intends it to be assigned to Arauca Department to assist in protection, that unit has not yet arrived there. f. In 2001, attacks on the pipeline resulted in the loss of nearly $500 million in revenue for the Government of Colombia. During the first three months of 2002 the pipeline was attacked 21 times and shut down for 33 days. This relative decline in the still serious rate of attacks in 2002 is attributed to increased patrolling around the pipeline, more aggressive Colombian military operations in the region, and the establishment in Arauca of an antiterrorism unit from the Prosecutor General's office. colombia: second counternarcotics brigade Question. The President's budget for FY2003 requests funds in the INL budget to train and equip a second new Army air mobile counter- narcotics brigade. a. Is this a completely new unit? b. Where will this training occur? What is the schedule for this training? c. What U.S. equipment will be provided or made available to the brigade? d. Where will the brigade be located, once trained? Answer: a-d. The Department is actively engaged in discussion of these issues with the Government of Colombia and other members of the interagency community, but no final decisions have yet been made. As soon as issues regarding the composition of the brigade, location and schedule of training, and basing location are resolved we will provide this information to the Committee. -