America's Backyard: Colombia

2014 ,    »  -   11 Comments
157
8.16
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Ratings: 8.16/10 from 45 users.
Storyline
America's Backyard: Colombia

It's a case of "the cure being worse than the disease" in this documentary about paramilitary forces in Colombia and the terror they have wreaked on the Colombian people for over fifty years.

American Presidents dating back to Teddy Roosevelt have intervened in the affairs of Colombia, striving to prevent the spread of Communism throughout the country in order to stem the reach of Soviet Russia. In doing so they created a paramilitary force that has gone on to integrate the involvement of highly influential powers including US oil corporations and drug lords. According to the statistics shared here, these paramilitary groups are responsible for 60% of Colombian massacres over the last fifty years. Using tactics handed-down from the US military, the groups terrorize civilians to scare them out of supporting leftist guerilla forces. Indiscriminately killing men, women, and children, they slaughter civilians in firefights or with machetes when anyone dare refuse a racket payment.

The US has supported illicit crop eradication through a two-part project titled Plan Colombia, purportedly in an effort to reduce the influence of the drug trade. Part one saw the mass destruction of drug-related crops; however, the sprays being used oftentimes taint standard food crops as well as nearby sources of drinking water. The civilians not being aggressed upon by the paramilitary are instead subjected to the ills that result from ingesting the poisoned water. The measures that have supposedly been taken in the name of democracy instead result in the oppression of an already impoverished populace.

Many Colombians are still waiting for the second half of Plan Colombia, the half that promises of social investment. Coca farmers share their stories, pleading for the United States to stop fighting the drug war in Colombia, where the peasants are punished, and instead keep the battle at home, combating the users and sellers stateside. Many suspect that the purpose of the eradications is to drive out the peasant class, granting the government copious amounts of land to be sold to multinational developers. A country that is ripe with resources, it is a believable theory that strategic eradications could open up profitable pathways for major corporations.

Educational and moving, America's Backyard: Colombia challenges the motivations of the United States in exhibiting influence in Columbia while sharing the history of the region's paramilitary state.

11 Comments / User Reviews

  1. techcafe

    the United States' asinine war on drugs racket has been directly responsible for more death & destruction and human misery around the world than any drug could possibly inflict. it's state terrorism.

  2. a_no_n

    Intervened? surely you mean interfered.

  3. THCjunky

    The American government are criminals

  4. Fabien L'Amour

    Richard Nixon declared the war on drugs in 1971.
    4 decades and $1 trillion later, it's a complete failure!
    Legalize and regulate them and tax them like alcool and cigarettes.
    I am sure the cost to society would be much less than a thousand billion dollars over the next 40 years. (1000000000000$)

  5. bringmeredwine

    I couldn't see a man in red, but trust me, I was mesmerized. Sigh.

  6. bringmeredwine

    Oh I knew what they were. The sigh was for being able to buy my own plane (remember the aviation doc?) and champagne; flying over Montreal's lights at night.......
    But I digress. Sorry mods!
    The war on drugs has caused so much injustice and misery; but so have certain drugs.
    I'm content to stick with my blood pressure medication.
    Edit: Geesh, this comment was supposed to be a response to Fabien!

  7. slpsa

    its all about the money. Yes indeed. always been. Always will be.

  8. jerrymack

    U.S. policy: How to lose friends and piss off people.

  9. Richard Neva

    "Striving to prevent Communism" I had to laugh at that quote in the introduction to this documentary. Those were the days when politicos embraced anti communism and now that America has been taken over by communism and it's sympathizers all is forgotten of the battles to prevent it. All hail godless communism in America!

  10. techcafe

    "If the funds from Plan Colombia would have been invested in development projects, maybe it would have worked, but instead all the money was invested in technology for war. If peace was about getting armed, in countries such as Israel white doves would be flying."

    - Colombian peasant farmer

  11. cliff

    too bad narrator's delivery sucks otherwise a great documentary

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