By DANIEL KOVALIK, February 23, 2012
For years, it has been believed that Guatemala led the Hemisphere in mass slaughter in the modern era, with 200,000 victims in the 1980’s – about 94% of them at the hands of the U.S.-backed state and its death squad allies. Very sadly, it appears that Colombia has shattered that record, and, as Wikileaks reveals, the U.S. is quite aware of this.
Thus, in a November 19, 2009 U.S. Embassy Cable, entitled, “2009-2010 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report,” the U.S. Embassy in Bogota acknowledges, as a mere aside, the horrific truth: 257,089 registered victims of the right-wing paramilitaries. And, as Human Rights Watch just reported in its 2012 annual report on Colombia, these paramilitaries continue to work hand-in-glove with the U.S.-supported Colombian military.
Even for those of us deeply involved in Colombia, this figure is staggering. The only time I saw such a figure before was in a book (Cocaine, Death Squads, and the War on Terror) which I recently reviewed on this site, and which cites one independent journalist for the claim that around 250,000 victims have been killed by the Colombian para-state. This book further claims that this number has been artificially lowered through mass graves and Nazi-style crematoria.