InfoBrief - April 14, 2003


 InfoBrief is a weekly news summary of events in the U.S. and Colombia produced and distributed by the U.S. Office on Colombia. Colombia This Week is reproduced with the kind permission of the ABColombia Group in London. Other sources include U.S. and Latin American newspapers, and reports from non-profit and grassroots groups. The content does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Office on Colombia. If you would like to receive InfoBrief please contact indicating why you would be interested in this weekly news service.


 U.S. Current Affairs & Media


 * U.S. Pilot Dies in Plane Crash On April 7 a U.S. civilian contractor, piloting a State Department T-65 air tractor, was fumigating fields of opium poppies near the city of Pasto when his plane crashed and he died on impact. The incident marked the third plane crash and the fifth U.S. fatality in two months in Colombia. U.S. officials declined to state whether the cause of the crash was an accident or the result of ground fire from the FARC guerrillas, who have hit an estimated 70 planes during 2002.


 * President Uribe to Meet With President Bush At the end of this month Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe will be visiting Washington, DC. His agenda has not been finalized as of yet, but a meeting with President Bush has been tentatively scheduled for May 2.


 * Human Rights Record of Members of “Coalition of the Willing” Under Fire Following the publication of the State Department’s annual human rights report, a New York Times editorial on April 7 expressed its concern that a number of countries cited by the White House as supporters of the war in Iraq, including Colombia, have poor human rights records.


 * Supplemental Funding for War in Iraq Passes Congress, Includes Colombia Aid On April 13, the supplemental funding requested by President Bush “to cover military operations, relief and reconstruction in Iraq, and on-going operations in the global war on terrorism” was finally approved by both houses of Congress. The request included an estimated $104 million for Colombia, which would bring total U.S. military and police aid in 2003 to over $600 million.


 * Colombian Finance Minister Meets with IMF and World Bank Chiefs Colombian Finance Minister Roberto Junguito traveled to Washington, DC on April 11 to meet with the chiefs of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. Junguito was accompanied by Colombia’s National Planning Director Santiago Montenegro. In reference to his visit he stated that his trip aimed to take “advantage of the excellent marks that the nation received by meeting its fiscal deficit, inflation and international reserve targets” outlined by the IMF loan accord signed in January 2003, which provided Colombia with $2.1 billion.


 Upcoming Events and Seminars in the U.S.


 * On Tuesday, April 22 the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Washington Office on Latin America are hosting a current issues briefing on the Trip Report on Armed Conflict and Society in Colombia, featuring Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA), who will discuss his recent trip to Colombia. The briefing will be held between 11:00 am and 12:30 pm at the U.S. Institute of Peace, 1200 17th St., NW, 2nd Floor Conference Room, in Washington, DC. To RSVP please call 202-429-3832, ext. 2 or log-on to


 * On April 25 and 26, Chicagoans for a Peaceful Colombia will host a conference entitled “Natural Resource Exploitation and the Survival of Afro-Colombians” at the Lincoln Park campus of DePaul University in Chicago. More information is available at


 Colombia This Week is reproduced with the kind permission of the ABColombia Group in London


Colombia This Week editing date: 04/14/03


 ‘Colombia This Week’ (CTW) will resume production in May. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.


 Colombia This Week is a news summary produced and distributed by ABColombia Group. Sources include daily Colombian, US, European and Latin American newspapers, and reports from non-governmental organisations and the UN System. The content does not necessarily reflect the views of the ABColombia Group.


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