Colombian Mercenaries and the Assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse

Homepage | Forums | Topics In Depth | Foreign Affairs | Colombian Mercenaries and the Assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse

Viewing 1 reply thread
  • Author
    • #438052
      • Total Posts: 9,978

      The Colombians’ presence in Haiti has opened a rare window into a murky private security world that extends from the U.S. into Latin America and the Caribbean, highlighting the outsize role that veterans of Colombia’s security forces play in the global mercenary sphere. While the full story surrounding Moïse’s assassination has yet to be told, one thread is clear: Through three of the most consequential conflicts of the past century — the Cold War, the drug war, and the war on terror — the interlocking relationship between U.S. and Colombian security forces has produced a generation of hired guns, some of whom, for the right price, can turn an entire country upside down.

      The decade-and-a-half in which Moïse’s alleged assassins received U.S. training is critical to understanding this evolution. They were the Plan Colombia years, a period in which the U.S. pumped $10 billion in counternarcotics aid into Colombia, a sum that far surpassed military aid to any other country in the region — in fact, only Israel and Egypt received more — and helped turn Colombia’s military into Latin America’s most advanced government fighting force. For many U.S. and Colombian officials, Plan Colombia has become shorthand for American intervention done right, an example of Washington throwing its support behind a committed partner who, through great sacrifice and determination, overcame the existential threat of narco disintegration. “I’m the guy who put together Plan Colombia,” President Joe Biden boasted to the Des Moines Register a year before his inauguration, harkening back to his extensive work in bringing the program to life. For others, however, Plan Colombia was an abomination, a horrifying and emblematic example of counterinsurgency cloaked in a supply-side international drug war strategy that produced waves of extrajudicial killings, staggering environmental destruction, and a market of Colombian mercenaries available to the highest bidder.

      The Intercept spoke to a former U.S. military official who worked extensively with the Colombians on implementing the program. The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to their ongoing work for another element of the U.S. government, described how the joint U.S.-Colombian mission evolved over time and how the war on terror, both operationally and through the ubiquitous privatization of combat operations, influenced that evolution. For companies looking for arms for hire, they explained, Colombians have something their would-be competitors lack: combat experience in one of the world’s longest civil wars.

      “The contractors will know that a guy couldn’t be in the Colombian army for 20 years without having demonstrated or having gone through a series of training schools, some of them taught by the U.S.,” the official said. “When guys are in a combat situation, they become more serious about what they’re doing. If you’re in a peaceful country where nothing’s happening, your weapon doesn’t have to work. But if you’re in Colombia, the attack might happen tonight. So these guys have these experiences. They’ve seen the elephant, if you will.”

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #438083
      • Total Posts: 1,468

      Is that what they call what these armed thugs do?

Viewing 1 reply thread
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.