Plan Colombia Grows and its impact on Venezuela

Photo: Instagram / Iván Duque

In August (2020) the launch of the Plan was announced Colombia grows, result of military cooperation between the governments of Colombia and the United States and focused on combating drug trafficking. It can be said that it is a second phase of Plan Colombia, responsible for the injection of USD 7 billion in Colombia between 2000 e 2016.

The agreement comes at a time when Colombia is experiencing alarming levels of violence. Have already been registered in the country, only in 2020, 46 massacres and over a thousand murdered social leaders.

Until recently, the FARC dominated the interior of the country and, with peace agreements, it would be up to the Colombian State to "reoccupy" that space. However, the Colombian state is clearly weak in the interior, with a clear absence of public policies that allow the integration of the populations, leaving them relegated to parastatal groups, as a paramilitary force.

One of the most controversial points of the agreement is the free pass that is given to the US military. They are allowed to enter the country without the need for approval by Parliament, as the Colombian constitution indicates. The expectation for this year is to send 800 United States military to Colombia.

The plan gains even more delicate contours when the declared enemy is considered diffuse: drug traffickers and armed groups. Especially since transnational organizations are typical. We must not forget that Colombia is neighboring Venezuela, which now gains a special focus of attention due to the presidential elections in the United States (see the article Brazil enters the US election game).

Robert O´Brien drew attention to Venezuela, international security adviser to President Trump. It was explicit in rejecting the government of Nicolás Maduro. The presence of US military personnel in cities bordering Venezuela ends up reinforcing one of the most central objectives of this plan.

This is not about being contrary to the stated objectives of Colombia Crece, to know, combat drug trafficking and paramilitary groups. But to understand that there are more things at stake, such as the use of Colombia as a platform for the projection of US power over the Andean region.

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Post-Doctorate in Territorial Competitiveness and Creative Industries, by Dinâmia - Center for the Study of Socioeconomic Change, of the Higher Institute of Labor and Enterprise Sciences (ISCTE, Lisboa, Portugal). PhD in International Relations from the University of Brasília (2007), Master in Political Science from the University of São Paulo (2001) and Bachelor of International Relations from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (1998).