World 5:32 AM GMT+8, Monday August 30
US proposes Latin military intervention in Colombia
LIMA, Aug 29 (AFP) - US anti-drug czar Barry McCaffrey has informally
urged Latin leaders to organize a military intervention force to pacify
Colombia, a Peruvian TV newscast reported Sunday. McCaffrey reportedly
made the statements in off-the-record personal talks with the presidents
of Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Argentina, according to Frecuencia Latina -
Channel 2. Frecuencia Latina -- a station that has close ties with the
Peruvian military intelligence service, SIN -- reports that the
multinational force would intervene in early 2000 acting on a request by
Colombian President Andres Pastrana.
At every stop of his recent Latin tour McCaffrey publicly denied plans
for any direct US intervention in Colombia. Top US State Department
officials have also forcefully denied plans for a US military
intervention in Colombia.
According to Frecuencia Latina the scenario would develop in the
- Pastrana would try to reach an agreement with the leftist
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country's leading
- If peace is not reached by January, Pastrana would declare a state of
internal war in Colombia and call on regional aid to help pacify his
- An intervention force of Peruvian, Ecuadoran and Brazilian soldiers
would join forces with five Colombian army batallions currently being
trained by US advisers to fight the rebels. -- US warships off
Colombia's Caribbean and Pacific coasts would support the allied
intervention with missile attacks and air strikes. -- The station
reported that Peru has already deployed 5,000 soldiers -- all veterans
of the war with Peruvian leftist rebels -- on the border with Colombia,
as well as four warships with Peruvian Special Forces and Marine units.
A Lima newspaper report earlier in the week that 2,000 Peruvian soldiers
had been depoloyed to the remote Colombian border. -- The station said
that McCaffrey held an off-the-record interview with presidential
adviser Vladimiro Montesinos, the controversial head of the SIN widely
seen as the second most powerful person in Peru. It did not report
Fujimori's stance on the plan.
In 1997 Frecuencia Latina aired several controversial reports of torture
carried out by SIN members.
By mid-year Fujimori stripped Israeli-born station owner Baruch Ivcher
of his nationality, and Fujimori supporters took over the station.