U.S. Media Wrong Again: OAS Condemns Colombia’s Military Incursion Into Ecuador

March 20, 2008

Ecuadorean soldiers run to board a helicopter in Lago Agrio, northeast Ecuador, that will take troops to Angostura, near the border with Colombia, 3 Mar 2008

Denouncing Colombia’s recent military incursion into Ecuador as a violation of its charter, the Organization of American States (OAS) passed a resolution rejecting these actions by the government of Alvaro Uribe.

This article from the BBC reproduced the OAS declaration that Colombia’s military action was undertaken “without the knowledge or approval of the Ecuadorean government, which constitutes a clear violation of articles 19 and 21 of the OAS charter”. The OAS also mentioned Colombia’s “clear apology” for its incursion.

What’s galling about this is not so much the condemnation of Colombia (anyone reading Latin American media could’ve predicted that). No. What should concern is the near uniformity about the border incursion on the part of the U.S. media -N.Y. Times, CNN, Fox, etc.- , the overwhelmingly majority of whom towed the Bush Administrations’s defense of “our ally” line. Like much of the mush on Venezuela, the MSM’s reporting on border incident focused on the human rights violation of the FARC guerillas and on the “aggression” of the Chavez government.

Lost in the inanity of U.S. reporting is this fact: neither FARC nor the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador COMBINED (and throw in Cuba if you wish) have a total number and kinds of human rights violations on this magnitude:

– The U.S. has, since 2000, sent more than $4 billion in military aid to Colombia

– 3.855 million internally displaced Colombians because of the war
– 10,000 victims in 3000 common graves killed by paramilitary death squads over course of Colombia‘s long war (fact verifiable by reading history)

– 1,771 unionists have been assassinated in the last decade

– 955 Colombians have been in extra-judicial executions and 7,500 people are being held in arbitrary detention since Uribe assumed the presidency

-486 Colombians have been killed by the state in 2007

Such radical distortion and cover-up makes obvious how we live in a society in which government propaganda has given way to the private sector propaganda. Today, public opinion is aligned by the consensus between news organizations and government around issues elites deem as strategic. All of this should serve as a reminder for us to be vigilant about the Bush Administration’s attempts to trip Venezuela and Bolivia into a war by using the U.S.’s Latin lapdog, the Uribe government. Cuidadito con esto. Really.

2 Responses to “U.S. Media Wrong Again: OAS Condemns Colombia’s Military Incursion Into Ecuador”

  1. Douglas Hinds Says:

    Colombia’s military incursion into Ecuador was a clear unilateral act of war. Among the deaths caused by that attack were a number of political science students from Mexico’s national university (UNAM), whose presence was due to their studying the historical significance of Columbia’s guerilla movement. The Mexican unversity students parents have claimed compensation for their loss from the Columbian government, with the full support of Mexico’s executive and legislative branches.

    No a judical foundation nor international mandate exists for Columbia’s renegade, illegal action.


  2. […] Lacking in all of the coverage of this and other regional summits is any notion of the relationship between trade and militarization. None of the press, for example, makes the connection between how economy-integrating trade policies like the proposed U.S.-Colombia FTA are inevitably accompanied by increases in the military budgets of “our Latin American trade partners like Colombia, home to the worst human rights record in the Americas thanks to the more than $4 billion i… […]


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