View Full Version : Columbia Arrests Two US Soldiers

05-04-2005, 06:49 PM
Colombia arrests two US soldiers


(Gold9472: Suck Ruppert's What?)

The US says its military is helping Colombia combat drug smuggling
Colombia has arrested two US soldiers on suspicion of trafficking weapons to right-wing paramilitary groups.

Paramilitaries are accused of drug trafficking and mass killings during Colombia's 40-year civil conflict.

Officials said the US soldiers were arrested on Tuesday along with several Colombians in an operation south-west of the capital, Bogota.

Hundreds of American soldiers are in Colombia to help the Bogota government in their operation against drugs.

In March five US troops were arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle cocaine to America in a military aircraft.

They are now back on US soil, and it is thought that several are still under investigation.

The US embassy in Bogota said it was trying to establish exactly what had happened in the latest incident.

One unconfirmed report said more than 30,000 missiles had been seized in Tuesday's raid.

Since 2000, the US has been funding an aid package known as Plan Colombia, under which Colombian forces receive training, equipment and intelligence to root out drug traffickers and eliminate coca crops.

Colombia is the third biggest recipient of US military aid, after Israel and Egypt.

05-04-2005, 06:58 PM
Here's something the BBC didn't mention...

"Under a treaty, US personnel serving in Columbia come under US jurisdiction and Columbia does not have the right to sentence them in its courts."

05-04-2005, 06:58 PM
Colombia arrests 2 U.S. soldiers
Government: Americans planned to supply arms to paramilitaries

From Karl Penhaul

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 Posted: 1948 GMT (0348 HKT)

BOGOTA, Colombia (CNN) -- Colombian police said Wednesday that they have detained two U.S. soldiers allegedly involved in an arms-smuggling plot.

The head of the Colombian police, Gen. Jorge Daniel Castro, told reporters that in addition to the two soldiers, a former Colombian military officer was also detained during the raid Tuesday by government troops.

The raid targeted a house in a town 43 miles (70 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Bogota, and netted 22,000 rounds of assault rifle ammunition, Castro said.

Police sources said they suspect the rounds were intended for outlawed right-wing paramilitary forces.

The U.S. Embassy has confirmed the detentions. Neither the soldiers nor their ranks have been identified publicly.

The scandal is the second in a month to involve U.S. soldiers in Colombia.

In April, five U.S. soldiers from an anti-narcotics base in eastern Colombia were detained upon arrival in the United States carrying 18 kilograms of cocaine.

Most U.S. soldiers in Colombia are military advisers drawn from the elite Special Forces or Rangers units and are sent to train Colombian counter-narcotics and anti-insurgency forces.

The United States has invested $1.3 billion dollars in assistance to support Colombia's plan to achieve peace, fight crime and improve government. The State Department has said that 90 percent of the cocaine and most of the heroin in the U.S. market comes from Colombia, at a cost of $110 billion a year.

05-04-2005, 07:02 PM
Colombia 'will not try US troops'

A group of US soldiers arrested for alleged cocaine smuggling cannot be allowed to stand trial in Colombia, Washington's envoy to Bogota has said.

BBC News

Colombian senators have been calling for the men, who were based in the country, to be extradited from the US.

But US ambassador William Wood said the soldiers are immune from prosecution.

More than 200 Colombian citizens have been extradited to the US to face trial for drug trafficking, under a bilateral deal between the two countries.

Colombian politicians have asked the government to push for the US to hand over the men, arguing that the extradition agreement works both ways.

"In practical terms, these military personnel committed the alleged crime in Colombia, and according to the extradition treaty, which is bilateral, they should be tried here," legislator Gustavo Petro said.

President Alvaro Uribe, who is visiting China, has said he will review the issue "very carefully".


The US ambassador in Colombia has said the men cannot be extradited because of an agreement between the two countries signed in 1974.

He also argued that the men were working for US embassy staff in Colombia and therefore qualify for diplomatic immunity. (Um, what?)

He sought to assure Bogota that the soldiers, who are thought to be in military custody somewhere in the US, would not escape justice.

"We do not tolerate corruption," he said.

The whole affair has been extremely embarrassing for the US, which supplies Colombia with hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to fight drug trafficking, says the BBC's Jeremy McDermott.

However, he adds that the Colombian authorities are unlikely to insist upon the extradition because they depend on the US aid.

Aid recipient

Five US soldiers were arrested at a US military base in Texas after they stepped off a flight from Colombia on 29 March.

They are suspected of attempting to smuggle 16kg (35 lb) of cocaine on a US military aircraft.

According to the Associated Press news agency, one of the men was later released.

The agency also reports that three of the five suspects were initially detained on Colombian soil - a point Colombian senators say supports their demands for extradition.

The US has more than 1,000 soldiers and civilian contractors working in Colombia as part of a plan to combat a 40-year-old Marxist insurgency and one of its major revenue sources - the cocaine trade.

Colombia is the third biggest recipient of US military aid, after Israel and Egypt.

05-04-2005, 07:03 PM
Colombia arrests paramilitaries

By Jeremy McDermott
BBC News, Medellin

The arrests come as the peace process enters a delicate phase
The Colombian authorities have arrested 56 members of the right-wing paramilitaries allegedly involved in the drugs trade.

Among those captured were three serving members of the security forces.

The arrests come as the peace process with the paramilitary AUC, or United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia, enters a sensitive phase.

Authorities attribute more than 100 murders to the group of paramilitaries over the last 18 months.

The men came from a unit known as The Liberators of the South, well known for its involvement in the drugs trade, running cocaine shipments from the Pacific coast.

Two officers and a sergeant in the security services were among those arrested.

There has long been evidence of links between the security forces and the right-wing paramilitaries, who share a common enemy in the Marxist rebels, although the military have made great advances in severing links.

The arrests come as the peace process between the AUC and the government hits a major hurdle.

The senior paramilitary negotiator, Salvatore Mancuso - just one of the AUC leaders with a US extradition warrant for drugs trafficking - has said that, should the government not give him immunity from extradition, he will take up arms again.

Since Colombia receives more than $600m (£308m) a year from the US in aid, the government is unlikely to refuse to deliver those wanted for extradition, putting the whole peace process in jeopardy.

05-04-2005, 07:05 PM
thanks for the info, intresting stuff.

05-04-2005, 07:06 PM
Colombia arrests U.S. soldiers

Bogota, Colombia, May. 4 (UPI) -- Colombian police have arrested two U.S. soldiers suspected of trafficking weapons to right-wing paramilitary groups.

According to the online edition of El Tiempo newspaper, the soldiers were arrested Tuesday with a large quantity of weapons, although officials declined to reveal the exact kind of armaments that were seized.

The U.S. embassy in Bogota confirmed the arrest of the soldiers, but said it was seeking additional information about the arrests.

In March, five U.S. soldiers were arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle nearly 35 pounds of cocaine from Colombia into the United States.

05-04-2005, 07:07 PM
thanks for the info, intresting stuff.

Well... this is certainly proof of U.S. involvement in drug trafficking. 2 today, 5 last month, I don't know, but I would bet there's even MORE of them doing it...

05-04-2005, 07:14 PM
I think it's a good issue to use to point out how we tend to glorify our soldiers. I don't mean to downplay the role they have in protecting us, the American people, but just like in any group of humans, there are a few that just aren't right.

05-04-2005, 07:21 PM
I think it's a good issue to use to point out how we tend to glorify our soldiers. I don't mean to downplay the role they have in protecting us, the American people, but just like in any group of humans, there are a few that just aren't right.

You are correct. However, that's 7 in a month out of 1000... How many are doing it that aren't getting caught, and by who's authority? If they're doing it for personal gain, then why aren't they subject to the same laws that we are? Why aren't they regardless? Why would the US Ambassador say they were working for the Embassy as an excuse to "get them off", etc... I know that's a little blatant, but come on...

05-06-2005, 06:24 PM
Colombia hands over US soldiers in arms probe

COLOMBIA has handed over to the US two American soldiers suspected of trafficking weapons to paramilitaries.

Washington said the allegations were "extremely troubling" and would be investigated fully.

Colombian authorities said they found 31,000 rounds of ammunition when they arrested the two men at an apartment near Bogota on Tuesday.

Hundreds of US soldiers are in Colombia to help in the fight against paramilitary groups and the drug trade.