chapter  3
49 Pages

Plan Colombia

The narrative mainline

This chapter begins the story of Plan Colombia, identifying its origin and tracing its progress until an Executive agreement between Colombia and the United States was forged (but before that was ratified by the US Congress). One purpose of this proceeding is to exhibit Plan Colombia 'in the round', as an initiative of the Colombian elites and yet the outcome, ultimately, of an interaction between Colombians and the resources and interests of rival political factions in Washington. The chapter follows the efforts of the Colombian elites, lacking such basis, to attract intervention in a situation run out of control, analysing also the creative means they deployed in pursuit of it. It deals with Andres Pastrana's decision to stand for the Presidency of Colombia in early 1998 and ends two years later in late 1999, little or no progress having been made toward his goals.