The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast. These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or firstname.lastname@example.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need. Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.
These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or email@example.com) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.
Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
Search results for "Plan Colombia" ...
Plan Colombia, which is a multibillion-dollar US assistance package aimed at fighting the cocaine trade. This program supports agriculture projects as an alternative to drug-related crops and violence. Though, this investigation found that most of the program’s funds were supporting the drug-trafficking terrorist networks that Plan Colombia was supposed to defeat. The investigation raises the question of whether the US knew or should have known that it was supporting this trafficking and violence with taxpayer-funded assistance.
CBS 60 Minutes reports on "the adverse effects of Plan Colombia, the U.S. government's $1.3 billion aid package" intended to stem cocaine trade by fumigating coca fields in Colombia. The story reveals that after the fumigations farmers in Colombia experienced symptoms similar to ones from pesticide poisoning; the sprayed chemicals had not been tested and were a hundred times stronger than the U.S.-approved version; the fumigations killed not only coca plants but also legitimate crops and livestock.
The Express-News looks at the United States' efforts to eradicate drug trade in Colombia by spending $1.3 billion on army operations aiming to destroy coca fields. The series questions the effectiveness of the plan. Coca farmers account for the majority of the population in Columbia, and the project would be more successful, if they were provided some alternatives. The reporter examines how the drug war combines with the civil war that has been going on for decades, and finds "that it's unlikely that any significant change will come in Colombia's status as a drug exporter until the civil war is ended."
Tags: kidnapping; assassinations; guerrillas; military; Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC); right-wing militia; international politics; foreign affairs; crime; violence; drug trafficking; cocaine; heroin; Latin America; human rights
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists at the Center for Public Integrity investigates the involvement of the United States in "the biggest guerilla war since Vietnam." The 35,000-word story reveals that "hundred of American troops, spies and civilian contract employees are on the ground in Colombia and neighboring lands, helping to coordinate a $1.3 billion counterdrug program that will probably continue for many years." The reporters finds evidence that the American military aid to Colombia, Peru and Mexico has been implicated in human rights abuses. The team analyses the significance of U.S. economic interests in Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Mexico, and looks specifically at the American oil and trade interests as a key factor in the so-called "Colombia plan," another name for the drug war in Colombia.
Colombia is now the third-largest recipient of US aid in the world after Israel and Egypt. The two-year, $3.2 billion aid package is to help fight "the war on drugs," by eradicating half of the nation's 300,000 acres of coca fields within five years. Yet others consider the escalating US military presence and its technological aid to the right wing paramilitary forces a thinly veiled military intervention, stabilizing the government in power against guerillas in the coca-producing regions. Kidnappings are up sharply, and others fear they'll increase even more if drugs profits are stymied.
Tags: Columbia; US Aid; War on Drugs; anti-narcotics; School of the Americas; U.S. military advisors; toxic herbicides; Plan Colombia; Pais Libre; kidnapping; FARC; ELN; death squads; human rights; Pentagon's Southern Command; Amnesty International; Paz Colombia; social inequality
"The story unveiled a secret government plan to use Colombia as a testing ground for Fusarium oxysporum, a fungus-based herbicide, as a new biological weapon in the war on drugs; the power and personage behind the effort, and the lack of oversight, monitoring, and informed consent from stakeholders on health and environmental concerns. (The) story detailed how the fungus was initially clandestinely isolated and developed by various government agencies and how the U.S. worked to force the experimental agent on Colombian authorities for use against coca, poppy, and marijuana."
Tags: deforestation; USDA; Peru; fungus; Plan Columbia; Rep. Ben Gilman; mycoherbicide (fungus plant killer); human health; farming; immune system; State Department of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement; Monsanto Roundup; United Nations
Mother Jones provides a personal account of one American famliy's attempts to better the welfare of a child in a developing country. The article looks at American organizations such as Foster Parents Plan/Childreach, which claim the Americans can help poor children and their families in developing countries. The article shows that despite reassurances from the organization that changes wre occuriring, the American family found out that their contributions did not help the family in Colombia escape from poverty. July/Aug. 1993.