About Dan Feder

I was a member of the Narco News team in various capacities, from webmaster to Editor-in-Chief, from 2002-2008. Since 2006 I have also been a member of the International Peace Observatory, which performs human rights accompaniment for Colombian campesino organizations in conflict zones. I am now living in Boston and working as a website developer for DigitalAid, Inc.

Dan Feder's Comments

Honduras' Coup Congress Cancels Five Basic Liberties
Jul 2 2009 - 9:40pm
Honduras' Dictator-for-a-Day Rails vs. Obama & Chávez, Declares Martial Law
Jun 28 2009 - 10:08pm
State Violence in Iran Hits New Extreme
Jun 24 2009 - 4:48pm
Brainstorming Iran: An X-Ray of Immediate History
Jun 24 2009 - 4:44pm
State Violence in Iran Hits New Extreme
Jun 24 2009 - 2:46pm

Congressman William Delahunt to Investigate U.S. Corporations' Support for Colombian Paramilitaries

The U.S. commercial media have been fixated on the telenovela of hostage negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and the recent visit to Colombia of three U.S. congressmen has been reported only in terms of how it relates to that issue. Unreported in any U.S.-language media was the meeting between Rep. Delahunt (Democrat of Massachusetts) and a number of jailed former leaders of the recently-demobilized narco-paramilitary army, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia. Bellow, we publish a translation of the story from the January 16 edition of the Colombian paper El Tiempo.  

Delahunt says he has received new information on the extent to which U.S. corporations supported the AUC, which existed with relative impunity throughout Colombia, inflicting a government-protected, drug-funded reign of terror from roughly 1997 to 2004. (Whether that period has truly ended if of course debatable). Last year, the coal company Drummond was found not liable for the paramilitary murders of three mine union officials after extraordinary maneuvers by the judge and the Uribe administration to prevent key witnesses from testifying. And while Chiquita Brands was fined a sum amounting to less than one percent of its annual income for making payments to the AUC (the company’s leaders portraying themselves in the press as victims of extortion), no one in the justice department or the press seemed concerned that thousands of weapons for the AUC had entered Colombia through Chiquita’s private ports.

La nueva generación de paramilitares colombianos opera en cada lado de la frontera venezolana

El presidente Uribe tuvo su propio momento “misión cumplida” –al igual que su homólogo George Bush cuando en el 2003 ondeó sobre un portaaviones una pancarta con esta frase, refiriéndose a la supuesta eliminación de la insurgencia iraquí–, cuando dijo triunfalmente a las Naciones Unidas que en Colombia “actualmente no hay paramilitarismo, sino guerrilleros y narcotraficantes”

Esta ha sido la política del gobierno colombiano para negar rotundamente que continúan existiendo escuadrones de la muerte pro-gubernamentales  de extrema derecha. Del 2004 al 2006, este presidió la desmovilización gradual- bloque por bloque - del enorme ejército paramilitar conocido como Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC), las cuales ha cometido los peores crímenes de lesa humanidad que hayan podido tener lugar en América, desde que terminó la Guerra Fría.

Colombia's New Generation of Paramilitaries Operates on Both Sides of Venezuelan Border

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe had his own “mission accomplished” moment in September, when he triumphantly told the United Nations that in Colombia, “today there is no paramilitarism. There are guerrillas and drug traffickers.”

CNE: "No" Wins by 1.4 Percent

The Venzuelan National Electoral Council has just announced, after an excruciating 7 hour wait, that the constitutional reforms have been voted down. Chávez is beginning to speak...

La Oposición venezolana se está preparando desde ya para rechazar los resultados

Con los centros de votación ya cerrados en Venezuela, las primeras encuestas muestran que la reforma constitucional propuesta por el gobierno de ese país, está ganando la aprobación de las mayorías. Reuters cita a “dos fuentes vinculados con el gobierno”, quienes aseguran que el voto por el “Sí” encabeza las encuestas con seis u ocho puntos más.

Venezuelan Opposition Already Preparing to Reject Results and Cry Fraud

With the voting centers now closed in Venezuela, the first exit polls are, according to one news agency, showing a win for the proposed constitutional reform. Reuters cites two “government-linked sources” who said three exit polls gave the “yes” vote a six-to-eight-point lead.

Deception from the Dailies on the Eve of Venezuela Referendum

The day before Sunday’s constitutional reform referendum in Venezuela, one can just feel the frustrations of the commercial media’s big players that there is really not much they can do, despite all their supposed power, to affect the outcome. Nevertheless, their clamor about Chávez’ possible “constitutional coup” (so ironic given their lack of concern over the very real military coup there six years ago) has been on the rise all week.

Local Elections in Colombia: Uribe's Political Movement Treading Water

BOGOTÁ: An intense election cycle has come to an end in Colombia, and the results in so far indicate that the legendary support President Alvaro Uribe enjoys does not run nearly so deep as his cheerleaders might suggest. In fact, despite nearly six years now in power, the formation of numerous new Uribista parties, the adoration of the commercial media and saturation of the airways and streets with his image, the Colombian people have shown that Bush’s best friend in Latin America does not have the last word in this country.

Council on Hemispheric Affairs Retracts Dishonest Article on Haiti's Aristide

Something about this has a familiar ring to it. The Council on Hemispheric Affairs – an influential liberal Washington think-tank – has retracted another article from its website after the piece’s jaw-dropping conclusions unleashed what senior editor Larry Birns calls an “intense dispute on the part of outside critics.” Our readers will remember that, on September 14, 2007, COHA published an article by research associate Michael Glenwick, titled “Préval of Haiti—A Provisional Report Card: Grade B+.” In addition to some tortured punctuation in the article’s title, Glenwick made a number of statements that were surprising, to say the least, to anyone following the news from Haiti since a rightwing paramilitary uprising overthrew democratically-elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

One week later, Narco News contributor (and contributor to the online publication HaitiAnalysis) Joe Emersberger wrote in these pages:

There can be no serious dispute about the scale of the bloodbath under Gerard Latortue’s coup installed government — one that was backed (quite predictably) by the US, Canada, France and the UN Security Council. Less predictable, and in some ways more important, was the backing Lortortue received from progressive and “independent” institutions. Glenwick’s article moves COHA decisively into the camp of NGOs and media outlets that have served Haiti’s neo-Duvalierists so effectively in recent years. This represents a significant loss. Shortly before and after the coup, COHA stood admirably apart from the corporate media herd in its analysis of events in Haiti.

U.S. Soldiers Accused of Raping 12-Year-Old Girl in Colombia

According to a report in the Bogotá daily El Tiempo this weekend, at 8 o’clock the morning of Sunday, August 26, a white luxury SUV pulled up to the main square of Melgar, a tacky resort town in the Colombian department of Tolima. In front of a number of witnesses, the driver, former U.S. soldier César Ruiz, left a 12-year-old girl in the square and drove off.

For the last four hours, the girl soon told her mother, Ruiz had left her alone in his  apartment with his friend, U.S. Army Second Sergeant Michael J. Coen, who had sexually assaulted her. Ruiz, she said, also molested her before leaving her in the park.

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