The Human Rights Costs during Plan Colombia

Colombia stands on the brink of peace —with hope of reaching an end to a fifty-year war that has left 220,000 dead— over 80 percent of whom were civilians.

Beginning in 2000, a U.S. policy and aid package known as Plan Colombia intensified the military conflict. Over the course of more than a decade, the United States provided Colombia with 9.94 billion dollars in aid, 71 percent of which went to Colombia’s security forces.

Since the start of Plan Colombia, more than 6 million people were victimized, more than 4 million people were displaced, more than 4,300 civilians were murdered allegedly by government security forces to up the body count, more than 1,000 trade unionists and 400 human rights defenders were murdered, and countless women suffered sexual violence.

As we look forward to peace, we know that this history should not be repeated. The human toll of this security strategy is devastating and cannot be forgotten.

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