Last Sunday May 26th, hard-liner Alvaro Uribe was elected president of Colombia. He has promised to double the strength of the armed forces and seek wider U.S. military aid in order to win the civil war |
Before Uribe was even declared the winner, U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson went to a hotel where Uribe was and congratulate him. She predicted that Washington would have "very close" relations with an Uribe administration.
Though the U.S. backed coup attempt failed in Venezuela, Washington now has the man it wants in office in Colombia. Indeed the day after Uribe was elected, Colombia granted asylum to Venezuelan Pedro Carmona, the failed coup leader and 'dictator for a day'.
Uribe - Narco Candidate -
Uribe rose to power, first as Mayor of Medellin, a city then owned by Drug Lord Pablo Escobar, then on to Governor of Antioquia. Pedro Juan Moreno Villa, the campaign manager, former chief of staff, and longtime right-hand-man for Uribe is owner of a company, GMP Chemical Products, who is Colombias largest importer of potassium permanganate, a key "precursor chemical" necessary for the manufacture of cocaine. During a 4 year period from 1994-98 GMP imported 200 metric tons of potassium permanganate from one Hong Kong company - enough to make 2,000 metric tons of cocaine hydrochloride.
Uribe is a suitable candidate for Washington DC, which appears more intent on controling the drug trade, and squashing the competition, than in stopping it. Perhaps it would be more fitting if Washington called it the 'War Of Drugs'.