Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

U.S. to Provide Full Military Aid to Colombia



The U.S. State Department announced today that “the Colombian Government and Armed Forces are meeting statutory criteria related to human rights and paramilitary groups,” clearing the way for the transfer of all Fiscal Year 2009 funds obligated for the Colombian armed forces.

The certification—made to Congress on September 8—takes into consideration the country’s work “to promote respect for human rights by its Armed Forces” but recognizes that “there is no question that improvement must be made.” But the statement also found “troubling and unacceptable” allegations by the media and non-government organizations of illegal domestic wiretapping and surveillance. The State Department can now release about $32.1 million in withheld funds to combat drug trafficking and illegal groups operating in Colombian territory, according to a spokeswoman in the State Department’s Western Hemisphere bureau. 

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