Still here, and piece on HuffPost Light posting
Sep 012009

Colombia’s House of Representatives has only a handful of recusal requests to consider (see earlier post). After that, voting could begin on a bill to schedule a constitutional amendment referendum to allow President Álvaro Uribe to run for a third term.

El Tiempo reports:

So far 21 [of 30] recusal requests have been voted on. All have been denied with between 66 and 83 votes. The opposition has had between 2 and 27 votes.

If the recusal votes are used as a thermometer to know how many votes the referendum will obtain upon its final vote, the support would not be enough, as it would need a minimum of 84 votes to be approved.

4 Responses to “Colombian Congress likely to vote reelection referendum tonight”

  1. lfm Says:

    On the previous thread: Thanks Chris. I see you’re trying to help me think this through. Now, let’s parse the argument.

    1. I’d say that any multi-national base would have a substantial US presence. They have the money, they are the main snorters, they have the biggest stake. But it wouldn’t be exclusively run by the US. That may make things more palatable.
    2. Your concern about FARC infiltration is a bit overblown. At least that’s my opinion. To my knowledge the level of infiltration of the FARC in the Colombian army is minimal. If you know otherwise, tell me. But even if we are willing to consider this, that scenario makes sense only if you accept the premise that a multi-national base would be a counter-insurgency base, as opposed to a drug interdiction base. I know, I know, Uribe and his followers love the idea of the bases because they plan to use them for COIN. But that’s the crux of the matter: anti-narcotics bases are (relatively) acceptable and may play a constructive role; COIN bases are rejected by the region, as they should be. Any multi-national base should be focused on drug interdiction. By the way, I’m surprised that Americans don’t seem to give much thought to what the Bogota-Pentagon axis is getting them in. US-run counterinsurgency bases in the middle of a war-torn country are a recipe for mission creep and regional war and US public opinion seems not to connect the dots. (I guess everybody’s too busy talking about health care.)
    3. If you’re concerned about infiltration by drug traffickers, I guess that cow is out of the barn. Drug cartels have already infiltered law enforcement, both Colombian and American.
    4. I’m not sure all multi-national bases are a joke. This is not my topic of expertise but I get the impression that when it gets its mind to it, NATO gets stuff done.

  2. Jaime Bustos Says:

    I told you Adam, There was no need to flip a coin. And I am not the expert. he he he ;)

  3. Chris Says:

    Absolutely, any multi-national base has to have a significant US presence. The US is the only entity with the logistical, intelligence and monetary capacity to make such a concept plausible (plausible in the sense that it could succeed). Furthermore, the US has a lot of experience on multi/coordinated operations. The latter is also key to success. That begs the question, would Venezuela be keen on the idea? I bet you’d get more resistance from them than anyone else. Take the US out of the equation, and yes you could have something there with Brazil and others, but is it ever likely to succeed. Brazil for example has other things to worry about instead of spending $$$ on this type of action. There just wouldn’t be any real drive, no purpose for others. It would be a dog and pony show… everyone get’s along, bullet points for the public… “look we’re serious about the war on drugs”… nothing more.

    Plus, I think ultimately this is viewed as Colombia’s and the US’s problem. Mexico might have a stake in it as well, but their problem has moved away (in linkage) from Colombia in the last couple of years… there problem is now home grown and with the US… so Mexico has to set-up its own internal operation… forget about something in Colombia. The US is the common denominator, because the demand is largely US born… and then European as well I guess. Face it, as long as demand exists, criminals will do whatever it takes regardless of the hurdles they face. They’re social deviants, that’s essentially their purpose in life.

    I am a huge fan of addressing the demand problem first. I say let people do what they want… hold them accountable for their actions (with regard to drug use). Simple as that. Govt can treat and tax it like other drugs (ie tobacco and alcohol). Make alot of $$$. That would solve the problem as much as the current “War on Drugs”… I also think that we can put all of this wasted $$$ into treatments… there are promising treatments for addiction around the corner. Education and social programs round-up the rest.

    On infiltrations… there probably isn’t any heavy infiltration… just horrible operational security on the part of the Colombians. The Colombians have a hard time executing operations because they have no tactical surprise. Whomever always knows they’re coming… so they just leave. And the paramilitaries and the FARC collude, as strange as that may be. In the end, the FARC and paras are happy with the status quo… they are all making $$$. So the Colombian military looks like an ass being tossed back and forth by both. When the Colombians do succeed, it’s because the operation was planned outside of Colombia’s military structure… :-)

    I still think multi-national bases are a joke. NATO works because the US makes it work, and in it’s prime the Europeans were content to let the US tell them what to do, even when it fringed on their own national security interests… why? Simple, there was a behemoth Bear breathing down their backs. They were afraid. Today… the bear is largely gone (but trying to come back)… look at NATO now. Doesn’t work… Obama can’t even get Germany and France to commit to Afghanistan… and funny thing is that islamic fundamentalists are a shared threat to Europe as much as the USA, and Afghanistan could become a good will mission… an attempt to develop a country that was wrecked by the past actions of both the Europeans and the US.

    You’re right about the US public not connecting the dots… they’re too busy with health care… actually the media feeds the US public… so it’s better stated that the media is too busy with other things… like health care.

  4. maremoto Says:

    Los guerrilleros encargados de los atentados

    ‘Camila’ (Capturada 30 mayo): Le incautan computador, debía responder por atentados contra José Obdulio Gaviria y Fernando Londoño. Tenía la misión de bloquear las entradas a Bogotá con atentados en vía a Villavicencio, la Calle 80 y autopista norte. Jefe del P-C3 en Bogotá.

    Camilla has been unmasked and captured!! Let’s hope she doesn’t have Internet access in jail and can’t post here anymore!

    By the way, pretty good analysis on the bases but I was referring to the history of criminal actions by the US in the region. For example, right before the Civil War in this country you can find headlines from the Richmond Times (the “capital” of the hate filled heart of Dixie then) proclaiming the expansion of “Manifest Destiny” southwards with headlines proclaiming the creation of a cotton picking empire of slaves (to join their black slaves) from Mexico to Chile. This and over one hundred invasions of Latin America, crimes against the peace, along with the CIA’s captive black market (which finance DEA, Customs, local “police agencies” etc), or the “War on Drugs” , the single most destructive force wreaking havoc upon the fabric of our societies, makes this a rogue nation needing to be tried and punished for crimes against humanity.

    That’s what I was talking about Camilo Wilson. If you would like testimony to prove these charges of crimes against humanity please see:

    http://www.letitbeknown.org/English/War_on_People.html

    and

    http://www.letitbeknown.org/English/Documentation.html

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