America's Backyard: Colombia

America's Backyard: Colombia

2014, Politics  -   14 Comments
Ratings: 7.94/10 from 49 users.

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.

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14 Comments / User Reviews

  1. mike m

    P S
    Take away personhood for corporations and whole lots of stuff like this will stop.
    Read history of this country.

  2. mike m

    Bernie sanders would not take routes like this.
    But then,,,,,,american cowboys would.
    You voted for trump.
    The world is amazed at you all.
    I'm watching Steven Colbert and laughing my self to tears at this mess.
    Vietnam was commy games too, huh?
    You clowns seem to believe anything.
    Go watch pro sports and vote some more.
    China counts on it.
    Republicans will fix it, no sweat.

    1. Dan

      The fact u watch colbert and think he's funny negates anything you have to say. You lose all credibility referencing him. Also, Bernie and Trump hold the same position on trade policy and are equally both tough on China. Also, the supreme court declared corporations are essentially's not as easy as you think. Colbert does the same stuff every night...low iq people prefer and enjoy repetitive, narrative affirming entertainment while others need new and fresh stimuli. Colbert caters to the low iq...he has his highly partisan talking points and feeds his expecting audience nightly exactly what they seek. Doesn't challenge them or try edgy material. He knows what they want and gives it to them, never challenging any core assumptions...

  3. cliff

    too bad narrator's delivery sucks otherwise a great documentary

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. jerrymack

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

  7. slpsa

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

  8. Fabien L

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

  9. THCjunky

    The American government are criminals

  10. a_no_n

    Intervened? surely you mean interfered.

  11. 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.