The "Colombia Plan" will expand in the next American budget to include financial and logistic aid to Venezuela, Panama, Brazil, Peru and Bolivia, aimed at combating the drug business, --and armed insurgency--, in the region.
United States Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, William Brownfield made the announcement during a brief visit to Buenos Aires in an attempt to achieve Argentina's public support to the five years 7,5 billion US dollars plan to help Colombia. One billion of the aid is direct American military aid including equipment, weapons and US Army experts in guerrilla warfare.
Argentina, Brazil and other South American countries have expressed full support to the Colombian constitutional government but are reluctant, and suspicious, of US military presence in the heart of the continent.
"The international community has a right to defend itself", argued Mr. Brownfield, who added that his visit was mainly to request support for Colombia and our policies". South American countries favour strengthening the preliminary peace talks process between the Colombian government and rebel groups that control a fifth of that country's territory. With this in mind several South American countries, including Argentina, have allowed the unofficial presence of a "representative" from the main guerrilla group, FARC, that is holding talks with the Colombian government.Europe that sponsors the peace talks, has expressed its lack of enthusiasm with the military aspects of the "Colombia Plan".