Former commander in chief of the Colombian armed forces joins LaRouche's bogus war on drugs. Maj.-Gen. Harold Bedoya Pizarro, alleged sponsor of Colombia's AAA death squads, comes to Washington to hold a press conference and seminar (1999) with Presidential candidate LaRouche on the "War on Drugs and the Defense of the Sovereign Nation-State." (March 3, 2000 EIR; T of C only; scroll down.)

EIR news release announcing General Bedoya's Sept. 7, 1999 press conference. Says Bedoya will make the case that Colombian President Andres Pastrana's "peace" policy of negotiating with leftwing insurgents is a "demonstrable failure," and that Pastrana has only "succeeded in handing over nearly half of the country's territory to the drug mob." Bedoya had apparently also made this amazing claim during what the EIR release described as a "widely-publicized tour of Argentina, Uruguay, and Peru, where he spoke with government officials, media, and large meetings of the public about Colombia's rapidly deteriorating situation."

Did the LaRouchians organize this tour? Who sponsored the "large meetings" (and were they really "large")? What role did Col. Seineldin's followers play in any Argentine meetings with Bedoya? How many of the former Carapintadas were present? Ex-members of the LaRouche organization should post on Factnet anything they may recall that can shed light on whether this tour was for real or just an example of EIR exaggerating LaRouche's influence.

Bedoya endorses LaRouche's 2000 presidential campaign. Searchlight article provides gruesome details of death squad activities in Colombian countryside. Notes that as many as 170 noncombatants were killed in 26 incidents in January of 2001 alone. Says that 121 trade unionists were killed or "disappeared" in 2000. Describes the official justification for the death squads (the leftist guerrillas are drug traffickers, the rightist paramilitaries are anti-drug), which is exactly the line of LaRouche's EIR.

Searchlight quotes a report alleging that General Bedoya, throughout his career, "has been implicated with the sponsorship and organisation of a network of paramilitary organizations." Cites his alleged role with the Colombian branch of the American Anti-Communist Alliance (AAA). Says that Bedoya's letter of support for LaRouche "showed how close they are politically, containing, as it did, typical coded anti-Semitism" (Bedoya is quoted as saying of Lyn: "Your Promethean efforts...have made you a target of the powerful forces of usury which control Wall Street, as well as the big media.")

"The FARC narco-terrorists are about to be handed half of Colombia," EIR, Oct. 9, 1998. Lengthy interview with General Bedoya with the subtext of more Blackhawk helicopters, please. Says "the Fatherland is in danger." Urges immediate action or else the FARC (leftwing guerrilla) base area will expand from 50,000 square kilometers to 500,000 square kilometers, millions of people will be displaced, FARC will end up controlling the equivalent of "five Vietnams and eight Panamas." The only peace will be the "peace of the grave."

Asked about the role of the Armed Forces, Bedoya cites the criminal code on "treason against the Fatherland," adding "I hope that no one in this country will have to be tried for treason--with the exception of the previous government." (Let's get this straight--the role of the Colombian Armed Forces is to prosecute civilian leaders for treason?) Needless to say, none of Bedoya's apocalyptic predictions have taken place over the past decade and sound pretty foolish today. That's what you get from listening to Lyndon LaRouche.

"Londono denounces British plot to dismember Colombia," EIR sidebar, Sept. 25, 1998. The head of LaRouche's MSIA in Colombia brings "fraternal greetings of friendship" from General Bedoya to Schiller Institute conference near Washington D.C.

"EIR holds third Andean seminar, to stop creation of 'Coca Republic,'" Gretchen Small, EIR, Aug. 7, 1998. EIR hold seminar in Bogota with General Bedoya as keynote speaker. Bedoya's co-speakers warn of British/narco-terrorist plot to Balkanize Colombia. Geopolitical map shows arrow of narco-terrorist offensive heading towards the Panama Canal. (Hmmm...didn't a "narco-terrorist" earlier control Panama--with the ardent support of EIR--until the evil Anglo-American oligarchy unseated him in 1989?)

"In two years, we can get rid of the drug trade," EIR, Aug. 7, 1998. Text of General Bedoya's speech at EIR/MSIA seminar in Bogota, July 23. Calls for Marshall Plan for Colombia, development poles, all-out offensive against narco-terrorists (more Blackhawk helicopters, Uncle Sam!) to win the war on drugs speedily. No mention of the, um, business activities of the paramilitaries Bedoya helped to foster.

"British run private armies in Colombia," Javier Alamario, EIR, Aug. 22, 1997. EIR backhandedly concedes that Bedoya might have a "human rights" problem. Claims that Colombian president Ernesto Samper (a recipient of large campaign donations in 1994 from the Cali cartel) had hired Kroll Associates in 1995 to profile his opponents, including then armed forces chief Bedoya. Claims that Kroll (long hated by LaRouche) had "recommended that Samper set up a special file, in which Bedoya would be accused of human rights violations, copies of which would be available at all Colombian embassies," for use if Bedoya "attempted any action" (i.e., a coup) against Samper.

"Curiously," Alamario writes, "the Samper government used the same argument of human rights violations as the pretext for removing Bedoya as head of the armed forces in 1997." (Did it ever occur to Alamario that perhaps Kroll knew something the LaRouchians didn't know, or didn't want to know, about their top Colombian ally?) Article goes on to complain about George Soros, alleging that he was working with Samper to eliminate the "concept of military jurisdiction over its own personnel (including administering justice)." Once again, we see EIR arguing against military accountability for human rights violations--and blaming a Jew for raising the issue.

Transcript of radio interview with LaRouche on the narco-terrorist threat to Latin America ("EIR Talks," April 27, 1995). The ICLC chairman hints that he's in the know on a plan for extra-legal action to crack down on Colombia's drug traffickers and guerrillas: "Patriots in Colombia…say the time has come. Either it's them or us. And therefore, actions are being taken, on a minimal level, with some encouragement from some circles in the United States, to clean the mess up...." Also indirectly suggests the need for similar action in Mexico to stop the EZLN. References to Castro (who usually does not loom large on LaRouche's radar screen) probably reflect an attempt to play on the traditional Cold War anti-communism of Latin American militaries and of death squads in the Alianza Americana Anticomunista (AAA) mold--in order to entice them into serving LaRouche's own agenda.

"A civil-military electoral alliance can restore the Colombian nation," EIR, March 4, 1994. Interview with Gen. Hernando Zuluaga Garcia (ret.), who headed a joint electoral slate of LaRouche's MSIA and the National Participation movement, an organization of retired military officers, in that year's elections. Zuluaga complains that the United States is attempting to "destroy the very concept of the nation and the armed forces" in Colombia (wonder which EIR tract, published the previous January, he got that phrase from?). Says that Colombia will lose its sovereignty and be invaded by the "Blue Helmets" of the U.N., and that the United States is encouraging "pseudo-democracies" which are really "party-ocracies."

The general says that "retired military men" in Latin American "must defend our people, our institutions, our religion, our culture, and we can only do so by forming ourselves into the political arm of the armed forces, into the patriotic arm of our nations." (Emphasis added.) Says that LaRouche is "an apostle of a generous and loving cause concerned with the aspirations of the Ibero-American nations....If he continues on that path...he is going to find tremendous receptivity in every country of the continent, from Mexico to Patagonia." (Read transcript of 2003 LaRouche interview on Patagonian TV here.)