Here's how the New York Times cast the (ostensible) election of Ivan Duque as president of Colombia: Colombia Elects Iván Duque, a Young Populist, as President And here's a fuller picture of that "young populist," with lots of "news" about him that the Times (which is to say, the US government) did not deem "fit to print." (The Times article, which ran on 6/18, is here) MCM
The election of Colombian narcotics syndicate- and death squad-linked Ivan Duque as president of Colombia will herald the second run of the Pentagon’s and Central Intelligence Agency’s discredited “Plan Colombia.” Plan Colombia saw the systematic murder of farm workers, labor activists, and indigenous peoples by Colombian right-wing paramilitary units like the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) and Twelve Apostles, both linked to both former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and the Medellin drug cartel.
The recent election of Uribe’s apprentice, Duque, threatens to unravel both the peace agreement signed between outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos and the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and current peace negotiations between the government and the leftist National Liberation Army (ELN). Duque defeated former Bogota mayor and leftist M-19 guerrilla leader Gustavo Petro on a platform of reneging on many of the stipulations in the peace accord worked out between outgoing president Juan Manuel Santos and FARC. Duque wants to prosecute FARC members who were amnestied under the peace deal but whom Duque and his paramilitary allies consider to be criminals. Santos received a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in hammering out a peace deal with FARC.
Uribe, who now holds a seat in the Colombian Senate and was term-limited to run again for president, is expected to rule Colombia as a puppet master holding Duque’s strings. Uribe is currently mired in political scandals arising from his use, while president, of illegally wiretapping his opponents and ongoing financial corruption, which is arising from Colombia’s growing coca yield.
Duque developed numerous contacts with right-wing Republican elements while working for the Inter-American Development Bank and attending both Georgetown University and American University in Washington, DC. Duque, who is 41, spent almost as much time living in Washington as he had in Colombia. Duque’s presidential election victory in Colombia involved campaign support provided by Farrow Colombia, a social media manipulation partner of the same company involved in Trump’s surprise election victory, Cambridge Analytica. A good portion of Duque’s support came from Colombia’s growing population of evangelical Christians, who are linked to parent evangelical operations in the United States. Working class traditional Roman Catholics, on the other hand, tended to favor Petro, who garnered 42 percent to Duque’s 54 percent.
Duque plans to re-instate an updated version of “Plan Colombia,” a program that will see an increase in joint operations between U.S. private military contractors and Colombian paramilitary units. The original Plan Colombia saw the U.S. and Colombia spray coca fields belonging to poor Colombian campesinos, while Uribe’s and Duque’s wealthy friends in the drug cartels grew coca and refined it into pure cocaine without interference from Bogota or the Central Intelligence Agency-sponsored private military contractors.
Duque is also a fan of the Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli, writing a book titled, “Machiavelli in Colombia.” Duque’s fascination with Machiavelli is shared by Donald Trump. The two authoritarian leaders will undoubtedly agree to allow Colombia to be used as a base of operations from which to launch operations designed to overthrow the socialist governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua, which will further add to the northward migration of those seeking political asylum in the United States. Duque helped organize the filing of criminal charges against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at the International Criminal Court in The Hague by 76 Colombian senators and 50 Chilean members of the Chilean Congress. All are affiliated with right-wing political parties.
An affectation for “the end justifies the means” policies championed by Machiavelli is not the only thing that bonds Duque to Trump. Duque’s mentor, Uribe, is a member of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club of billionaires in Palm Beach, Florida. Uribe reportedly joined the club, along with Andres Pastrana, Uribe’s predecessor as president of Colombia, to gain access to Trump on behalf of their own interests, which include narcotics money laundering. Duque’s father, Ivan Duque Escobar, served as the director of the National Registry of Civil Status during the administration of Pastrana. The close links between Conservative Party figures like Uribe, Pastrana, and Duque have turned Colombia into an oligarchy ruled by certain families who profit from the illegal drug trade.
The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) reported that Uribe was linked to narcotics activities in the United States and was close to the Medellin cartel that was once led by the late Pablo Escobar.