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Title:

The Complex Relationship Between Private Military and Security


Companies and the Security of Civilians:
Insights from Colombia
ANNA KUCIA
(Freie Universitt Berlin, Germany)

Abstract:
Since the implementation of Plan Colombia in the year 2000, the U.S. government has
stepped up its efforts to reduce the drug production and trafficking in Colombia and to enhance the capabilities of the Colombian security sector in its fight against insurgent groups
involved in the drug trade. This program has been introduced with the assistance from official
members of the U.S. military, but also from Private Military and Security Companies
(PMSCs), who have provided diverse services ranging from technical assistance to the
operative execution of aerial spraying of narcotic crop fields. Due to the ongoing armed
conflict in Colombia, the overall security situation for civilians in Colombia has been
strained for decades. Of special interest would therefore be the question, if and in which ways
the activities of this additional player the PMSCs have affected the security of civilians.
This question is analyzed by the different types of functions of the companies as well as the
rules of engagement for their deployment in Colombia. The activities of the contractors find
themselves embedded in a complex structure of diverse institutions and instructional chains,
wherefore the clear attribution of responsibilities for singular actions reveals itself far from
simple. The study shows that especially the operative tasks of PMSCs and the fact that the
companies employees did not face any sanction in case of malfeasance, contributed to the
threat of civilian security in Colombia.
Name:
Address:
Phone:
Mobile:
E-Mail:

Anna Kucia
Fehrbelliner Strasse 95
10119 Berlin
Germany
+ 49 - (0)30 - 80 20 40 76
+ 49 - (0)163 - 174 69 66
annakucia@gmx.net

This article is based on a graduate thesis finished in August 2007 at the Freie Universitt Berlin, Germany. I
would like to express my gratitude to all the interviewees in Colombia who provided valuable information for
the drafting of this work, as well as the gatekeepers without of whom the contacts to the interviewees would
certainly not have been established so smoothly. Likewise, I would like to thank my supervisor Prof. Dr. Sven
Chojnacki, his academic team at the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 700 of the Freie Universitt Berlin,
and my proofreaders for their continuous support and good advice.

In the recent past, the phenomenon of Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs)
has drawn an increasing attention in parts of the media and academic fields. Among other
things, this has been due to the expansion of the current private security market, the rising
demand for privatized security services, and the observable consequences of these
developments for the provision of security in the contexts of deployment. In the same manner,
events as the unwarranted shooting and injuring of dozens of Iraqi civilians by employees of
the PMSC Blackwater in September 2007 raised not only the interest, but also the indignation
about the sometimes reckless and uncontrolled course of action of PMSCs.1
PMSCs are an expression of a politically sanctioned outsourcing trend of military and
security services once generally associated with the public sector. In contrast to classical
mercenaries, who used to be recruited under legally questionable circumstances from a pool
of individual fighters in order to serve ad hoc for a temporarily limited deployment in a
fighting zone, PMSCs constitute corporate and legally registered, worldwide operative
businesses committed to the principals of the market. Their customers states, multinational
corporations, inter- and nongovernmental organizations assign them through their contracts
security competences with the objective of maintaining or (re-)establishing the control of
force in war or post-conflict contexts and/or delivering selective security services in a given
operational setting. The spectrum of services extends to such diverse arrays as logistical and
technical security assistance, personal and object protection, advice and training of military
forces, but likewise strategic risk analysis and intelligence, peacekeeping and humanitarian
missions, provision of armaments, and direct combat support. Depending on the character of
the mission, PMSCs may have an impact on local conflict dynamics and strength relations
between the conflict parties. As the companies regularly find themselves in a regulative grayzone, opening up an opportunity to bypass control procedures in democratic political systems,
they bear the potential of shaping the calculations of intervention-willing countries.2
The shortcomings in the regulation of PMSCs also lead to difficulties for the juridical
examination and sanctioning of crimes committed by employees of the firms. Incidents like
the shooting of innocent civilians by PMSCs raise the question if and in which ways their
deployment in a given location of operation can affect the security of civilians. This article
addresses this question by the example of a current PMSC deployment in Colombia.
Case Study Colombia
With the deployment of PMSCs in Colombia this study takes up a case which hitherto has
been examined in a rather anecdotic and non-systematic way by the current literature. 3 A low
intensity conflict holding up for more than four decades, and an enormously rising drug
economy since the 1980s had devastating effects on the Colombian state which has lost its
monopoly on the use of legitimate force in considerable parts of its territory to guerrilla and
paramilitary groups.4 Since the year 2000, a small contingent of U.S. military and PMSC
employees has been working under a noticeable financial, technical, and military expense of
resources in the context of Plan Colombia to halt the growing, processing, and trafficking of
narcotics (cocaine, heroin) in Colombia and to support the Colombian security forces in their
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fight against the insurgents. In a testimony before the responsible House Subcommittee in
April 2007, a former U.S. Ambassador in Colombia and current Assistant Secretary for the
Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (U.S. State Department)
draw the following interim balance:
Plan Colombia has contributed to the success of the Government of Colombia, to a greater extent than I expected
when I was sent there as Ambassador in 2000. It has helped establish security in the country-side, contributed to
strong economic growth, and fostered public confidence in Colombian governmental institutions. () [I]n the
past five years, kidnappings have fallen by 76 percent, terrorist attacks by 61 percent, and homicides by 40
percent. () Plan Colombia worked, and U.S. support has been critical. () Colombia is a safer and stronger
partner today because of our combined efforts to combat drugs and terrorism.5

The kidnappings, terrorist attacks, and homicides mentioned here historically have
always hit the civilian population in a disproportionally strong manner; and given the fact
that PMSCs played a functional role in this program, it is of vital importance to ask, if and to
what extend these companies have contributed (positively or negatively) to the variance of
such security indicators of civilians.
The revision of the academic state of affairs resulted in the conclusion that the
relationship between PMSCs and the security of civilians has remained neglected so far. It
thus proved to be infeasible to methodologically choose the procedure of a theory testing or a
comparative study in order to address the question focused in this article. 6 Nor was there a
database available which would systematically collect quantitative data about PMSCs in
Colombia, including them in statistics alongside the warring parties and civilians in
Colombia. Hence, in order to find a way to approach this issue, the study followed the
methodology of a qualitative, hypothesis-generating single case study,7 which in addition to
the deepened evaluation of primary and secondary literature would also include the
accomplishment of 19 (anonymous) expert interviews in Colombia in the period of MarchApril 2007.8 The research thus considerably depended on the access to the field and to
relevant information about the topic. In this light, the study takes a middle position between a
study based only on written sources, and a long term empirical field study, which besides a
longer stay in the operational locations of the contractors would also include interviews with
the concerned local population.
The analysis of the acquired information led to the following approach: if and to what
extend the activities of PMSCs in the context of Plan Colombia have affected the security of
civilians in Colombia will be examined (1) by the respective functions which PMSCs have
exerted in Colombia, and (2) by the rules of engagement arranged for their deployment. The
term PMSCs refers exclusively to those companies that have been engaged contractually
by the U.S. government in order to provide specific security services within the aid package
of Plan Colombia. Security of civilians is understood here as the maintenance of the
physical integrity of citizens and residents in Colombia. This security is considered to be
affected if the right to life and/or to physical integrity is not longer guaranteed, but also in
case of such a precarious state of health and/or nutrition, that the situation objectively can be
qualified as life-threatening. With the deepened analysis of two of the companies functions,
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the modernization of the Colombian security sector and the aerial eradication of drug fields, a
technical and an operative function are chosen and examined according to their respective
consequences for the security of civilians. Rules of engagement are understood here as the
regulative frame conditions for the deployment of PMSCs, their embedding in official
instruction chains, and the procedural provisions while executing their operative tasks.
PMSCs did not perform their duties single handedly in Colombia. This makes it necessary to
put their deployment into a wider context of security institutions and non-state actors and
their respective roles in this security setting, as only this procedure can provide for neither an
over- nor an underestimation of the role contractors played here. The period of research
ranges from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2006.
In the course of the article it will be shown that the Colombian case has not consisted of a
classic combat deployment of contractors, -a circumstance resulting in a heightened difficulty
to examine potential implications for the security situation of civilians. At the same time, the
paper argues that different functions of PMSCs can cause very different effects on the civilian
security and that i.e. the operative tasks can partly translate into the derogation of the security
situation. Furthermore, companies in Colombia have not operated independently, but were
instead bound in a wide mesh of institutional representatives and directives. As a result, one
cannot justifiably assign a concrete responsibility for singular actions to a specific company
employee. Although the companies were held accountable at least to a minimal extend for
the quality of their work by their client, their employees enjoyed a general status of immunity
in Colombia which prevented them from prosecution and sanctioning of crimes like the abuse
of young women. Through their indispensable functional contribution to insecurityaugmenting government programs and their broad non-regulation, PMSCs in Colombia did
to a limited degree deteriorate the security of civilians in this country.
The structure of the article unfolds as follows: the first section offers a short introduction
to the political context and the priorities of the U.S. counter-narcotics policy towards
Colombia prior to the initiation of Plan Colombia. The programmatic direction and
modifications of Plan Colombia in the course of the years are discussed in the second part.
The main sections focus the role and array of functions assigned to PMSCs in the context of
Plan Colombia, as well as the rules of engagement for their performance in Colombia, while
combining these aspects with the respective consequences that can be derived for the security
of civilians. In the concluding part, the results of the study will be shortly resumed and some
hypotheses will be generated, which in turn could form a starting point for deepened or
comparative studies concerned with the same or similar research question.
Political Context and the U.S. Counter-Narcotics Strategy Culminating in
Plan Colombia
The political background of the contractor deployment discussed here was constituted by
the currently longest ongoing violent conflict in South America, the roots of which lie at the
heart of the inconsistent Colombian state building process of the past two centuries, which has
been overshadowed by many civil wars. These roots include a never exhaustively established
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monopoly of the legitimate use of force and a chronic institutional weakness of the
Colombian state, resulting in the tendency to violent self-regulation particularly of the rural
population; a rigid political system and a political elite whose interests frequently were not
oriented towards the common good; unfulfilled land reforms and critical inequalities between
different social classes.9 Besides favorable geographical and climate conditions, many of these
aspects have prepared a fertile ground for the extension of the drug economy, which for this
reason can be considered rather a symptom than an originate cause of the ongoing conflict. 10
In the meantime, however, due to the increasing involvement of different conflict groups in
the drug business, it appears more and more difficult to reasonably separate the drug problem
from the actual conflict.
The fact that the narcotic production in the Andean countries has risen considerably since
the 1980s, that Colombia evolved to the worlds principal producer and distributor of refined
cocaine, as well as the main provider of cocaine and heroin of the U.S. market, led to a
significant shift of focus of the U.S. policy towards this region: in a Directive of the Reagan
Administration illegal drugs were officially declared a national security threat. 11 This
implicated firstly an outward-oriented counter-narcotics strategy focusing the supply side of
the drug chain, i.e. the production, processing and trafficking of drugs. A second implication
of the beginning war on drugs was seen in the fact that a typical law enforcement issue
which traditionally pertained to the competences of the police and intelligence services, for
the first time was transferred to military U.S. institutions. As it was assumed that it would be
more cost efficient and effective to detect and destroy narcotics on the very site of their
cultivation, the trend alongside ongoing interdiction programs went to undertake more
counter-drug measures in the producing countries themselves. These measures encompassed
the delivery of military technologies, destruction of illegal laboratories, aerial sprayings of
narcotic crops, and counter-narcotics training of the respective national security forces. 12 In
Colombia, these lines of action were tightly bound to the Antinarcotics Directorate of the
National Police (Direccin Antinarcticos; DIRAN), the annual budget of which was almost
entirely covered by the U.S. government. Up to the initiation of Plan Colombia, DIRAN
received by far the largest part of some 90 percent of U.S. anti-narcotics funds for Colombia.
The first small military operations against the drug production with focal points in Bolivia and
Peru (1986-1994) which were supported by elite soldiers of the U.S. Special Operation Forces
yielded only modest results when measured by the constant amounts of narcotics supplies and
the steady prices for the illegal products in the U.S. and in Europe. Likewise, the first aerial
eradication missions in the 1990s resulted primarily in the relocation of cultivation to more
remote areas, particularly to Colombia, the adjustment of the narcotic production rings, and
the extension of the export to other Latin American markets. In the years 1994 to 1999, the
cultivation of cocaine in Colombia has nearly quadrupled from 44,700 ha to 160,100ha. Thus,
the supply-side oriented U.S. measures in the period of the 1980-/1990s were not thoughtfully
enough designed in order to keep the pace with the growing drug industry.13
In the second half of the 1990s, the growing revenues from the drug business helped
especially the FARC guerrilla (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the
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paramilitary units affiliated in the umbrella association AUC (United Self-Defense Forces of
Colombia) to gain a historically unique strength. The AUC used this strength to undermine the
administrative, juridical, and political branches of the state apparatus and to inflict military
defeats especially upon the other important guerrilla ELN (National Liberation Army).
Meanwhile, FARC successfully shifted to large-scale, multi-front operations in 1996 to 1998
which enabled it to occupy bigger towns and to emerge throughout victorious in the combats
against the Colombian army. The presence of the irregular groups mounted to estimated 40-43
percent of all municipal districts of the country. Due to a deficient state authority, these groups
have been very effective in consolidating their influence and their own, often violently
sustained concepts of order in these regions.14
As the military advantage clearly tended in favor of FARC, CIA experts regarded it as
probable that this guerrilla could gain the power over the whole Colombian territory within
the following five years.15 The alarmed U.S. security institutions pressed for a modernization
of the understaffed and technically underequipped Colombian military forces which should be
backed up with appropriate advice and training services provided by PMSCs and official U.S.
military advisors.
Plan Colombia and its Transformations
In December 1998, the U.S. and the Colombian Defense Ministers signed a bilateral
agreement to create, equip and train a first 950-man counter-narcotics battalion in Colombia.
A shortly afterwards proposed comprehensive development strategy of the then Colombian
President Pastrana, which due to some divergent U.S. interests subsequently underwent a reformulation by U.S. government representatives, offered the window of opportunity to a
notedly larger assistance of the Colombian security sector.16 Notwithstanding the fact that
Plan Colombia, which was officially signed by then U.S. President Clinton on July 13, 2000,
foresaw a wide range of humanitarian, social, economic and security aspects to be addressed
by a combined effort of national and international stakeholders, a look at the de facto brought
up financial funds clearly shows that the primary focus of the U.S. government based upon
the security sector.17 In the years 2000 to 2006, the Colombian military and police received an
averaged 80 percent of the aid. Contrary to the past two decades, the qualitative difference of
the U.S. assistance consisted in the fact that this time it was the armed forces instead of
DIRAN who received the main part of the funds included in the package.18
The bulk of the military support was delivered not in financial assets, but in the form of
goods and services, and was destined to upgrade the air mobility, the intelligence gathering,
the riverine and coastal controls, as well as to improve the structures, the operative
capabilities and sophisticated equipment of the Colombian security forces. The first counternarcotics battalion created in 1999, which was now personally amplified to a 2.285-man
brigade, benefited from many of the provided items. These troops should assist DIRAN,
which itself also benefited from a restocking of its aircraft fleet, in its massively enhanced
crop fumigation and interdiction missions.19
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The U.S. assistance was tied to a number of conditions: the provided resources should be
exclusively used for counter-narcotic, but not for counter-insurgency missions. As there was a
general fear of a gradually deepening involvement of the U.S. in the Colombian conflict, a
strategy combining these two problems seemed neither politically intended nor acceptable for
the U.S. Congress at that time. The Colombian army would receive the complete services
envisioned by Plan Colombia only, if the benefiting units would account for positive human
rights records and cooperate closely with civilian prosecutors investigating respective
allegations against its personnel. The units were likewise obliged to credibly prove that no
(in-)direct connections with the paramilitaries were maintained. Every year, the U.S.
Department of State could either certify the progress in the human rights standards or
withhold 25 percent of the annual funds until an apparent progress in the criticized aspects
would emerge.20
Although President Pastrana solicited potential donor countries and international
organizations for foreign assistance for this plan on several occasions, most of them remained
reserved, - not at last due to the impression of a one-sided counter-narcotics strategy which
mainly reflected U.S. interests. As a result, most of the $7.5 billion spent for Plan Colombia
from 2000 to 2006 were primarily covered by the U.S. and the Colombian governments.21
After the 9/11-terrorist attacks in the U.S., the Bush Administration tended to
contextualize the Colombian conflict within its war on terror. In this course, the U.S.
Congress decided to annihilate the separation of counter-narcotics and counter-insurgency and
to grant expanded authority to use the Plan Colombia funds for a concerted campaign to fight
both drug trafficking and terrorist organizations in Colombia. This modification also
included a strategic and geographic extension of Plan Colombia, as reflected in the creation
and training of new special security units and a more flexible applying of the funds, for
instance in form of a new guard unit of the frequently attacked Cao Limon-Coveas-Pipeline
in the north-eastern part of Colombia.22
In the rising of 2002, the negotiations between FARC and the Colombian government,
which since their beginning in 1998 had been shadowed by backlashes and rising violence
rates, broke off. The hard-line security approach of President Uribe, who stepped into this
position in August 2002, stood in diametric opposition to its predecessors dialog-oriented
policy. It foresaw the (re-)gaining of the major parts of the state territory, the combat against
insurgent groups and drug lords by military means, and the initiation of negotiations only
from an advantaged position of strength. Terrorism was declared one of the biggest threats
of the nation. Thus, in the substance, many matching points could be found between Plan
Colombia and Uribes Democratic Security-Program. Thenceforward it resulted almost
impossible to draw clear-cutting lines between operations included in Plan Colombia and the
initiatives of the Colombian government.23
The Role of PMSCs Within Plan Colombia
From their beginning, the consultations in the U.S. Congress in the run-up of Plan
Colombia were accompanied by the concern that the U.S. aid package would result in a
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gradually deepening involvement in the Colombian conflict, implicating the endangerment of


lives of many U.S. soldiers (Vietnam syndrome). 24 The former U.S. Foreign Secretary
Kissinger explicitly expressed these disquietudes when stating that
Plan Colombia bears within it the same fateful momentum which drove Americas engagement in Vietnam first
to stalemate and then to frustration: at the outset, the United States limits its involvement to training and the
provision of vital military equipment in this case, large attack helicopters. But once the effort goes beyond a
certain point, the United States, to avoid the collapse of the local forces in which it has invested such prestige
and treasure, will be driven to take the field itself.25

This preoccupation, which was also shared by the U.S. Congress, translated to its decision
to send as few military personnel to the conflict region as possible. Where feasible, the
services included in Plan Colombia should be carried out by PMSCs. Thereby one could
capitalize on PMSC personnel that has already been cooperating with DIRAN in the
eradication sector for several years and which was now planned to be build up personally and
technically. Beyond this, both the U.S. military and the PMSCs were requested to transfer
their activities to their Colombian counterparts as early as possible. And, most importantly:
both groups were held under the legal restriction to engage in military combats.26
Due to the integration of the fight against terrorists in Plan Colombia and enhanced
pressure to improved results, the initial statutory troop caps of 500 U.S. military and 300
PMSC personnel has been modified twice: in 2002, the number of U.S. personnel was
reduced to 400, while the number of contractors was expanded to 400; in 2004 the troop cap
was set to 800 U.S. military personnel and 600 contractors. As the personnel rotated
constantly, these limits varied throughout the course of a year, but reached its full potential
most of the time. It is important to note that this ceiling only referred to U.S. nationals and
U.S. companies. Hence, it was still possible to contract any number of Colombian or thirdcountry personnel, or to cooperate with subcontractors based in any other state except from
the U.S. The employees, for instance, who worked for U.S.-PMSCs fulfilling contracts with
the U.S. State Department within the frame of Plan Colombia in 2001, originated to 55
percent from Colombia and to 37 percent from the U.S. The remaining employees were
recruited from countries like Peru, Guatemala, Bolivia, France, Belize, Brasilia, Chile, El
Salvador, Italia and Panama. But since neither the U.S. Embassy in Colombia nor the
companies themselves have published such figures on a regular basis, the question of the
complete number of contracted personnel in Colombia is condemned to remain in the
speculative sphere.27
According to the opinion of many experts most of the services provided by PMSCs in
Colombia with the exception of some particular sectors could by all means also have been
carried out by the U.S. military itself.28 Why then, besides the above mentioned Vietnam
syndrome, were they contracted here? A first approach stresses that the contracting of private
companies has reflected a worldwide trend of outsourcing military and security services, not
at least owing to a generalized tendency to privatization of diverse public services.29 Secondly,
the transformation of warfare in the past decade has raised the demand for personnel with
special expertise and experience, whereas the adaptation of national armies to this
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development would require time. The hereby emerging demand was covered by experienced
PMSCs.30 Thirdly, in the early 1990s the U.S. military was scaled back, while its current
capacities have been seriously constrained through larger deployments worldwide in the past
years.31 Fourthly, with the deployment of PMSCs, the responsibilities and accountability of
policy makers were intentionally evaded, dislocated and ultimately blurred. The effectiveness
of the classic checks and balances associated with the U.S. political system was hindered, for
instance, through legal acts as the U.S. International Transfer of Arms Regulations. According
to this act, a contract between a U.S. Department and a PMSCs not mounting to the sum of
$50 million did not have to be submitted to evaluation in the U.S. Congress. PMSCs, in turn,
could refer to a contractual discretion clause agreed upon with their client, when asked to
comment on their activities. Additionally, the companies were not bound by any regulation in
Colombia (see below).32 Fifthly, unlike the case of a murdered or kidnapped U.S. soldier, the
reaction of the U.S. public towards a PMSC employee confronted with a similar occurrence
would reveal itself less sensitive. By contracting PMSCs, the political costs for this policy
have been considerably reduced. Even the Ambassador to Colombia under President Clinton,
Miles Frechette, admitted: When private contractors are killed, we can simply declare that
they are no part of our military forces.33 Sixthly, in the light of a U.S. military package of this
kind, the interests of the U.S. military industry which were served by lucrative purchase
orders should not be ignored. This practice was additionally supported by the sometimes very
close ties between representatives of the U.S. administration and this industry. 34 Seventhly, as
a result of its egregious human rights record, the mistrust against the Colombian army was
very high, so that the U.S. administration considered itself standing on the less problematic
side by contracting private companies. The corruption of the Colombian security sector also
played its part here.35 Of crucial significance, eighthly, was the provision whereby PMSCs
were authorized to execute search-and-rescue missions in order to help attacked or kidnapped
colleagues. By performing this function, the congressional restriction of direct participation in
combats could de facto be temporarily bypassed, while the U.S. government was politically
covered if something went wrong.36
Functions of PMSCs in Colombia
The undoubtedly most visible field of activities of PMSCs in Colombia was the
management of the aerial crop eradication. It encompassed the delivery of aircraft as well as
diverse personal services: pilots and mechanics flying or maintaining the airplanes and
helicopters; instructors for the training of Colombian pilots and mechanics; employees
procuring and managing the herbicide applied for the eradication; experts for the evaluation of
the fumigations; accountants, secretaries, fuel specialists, drivers. Those tasks lay mainly in
the competence of the U.S. firm DynCorp International, LLC. The cooperation between this
company and DIRAN dates back to the early 1990s, when it signed its first eradication
contract with the U.S. government. This activity continued under the umbrella of Plan
Colombia, albeit with the provision of more human and material resources.37
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A wide range of further flight services has been provided for Colombian security and
intelligence gathering institutions by firms like Arinc, DynCorp, Integrated AeroSystems,
King Aerospace, Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems, Olgoonik and Optec. Some of these
companies transported members of the counter-narcotics brigade to remote and hardly
accessible narcotic crop fields in order to secure those zones prior to DIRAN eradication
missions. In case of emergency, PMSC personnel would also provide help in search-andrescue flight operations. Moreover, PMSCs were working in the technical servicing of the
aircraft as well as the procurement of fuel. Since the Colombian army disposed of only few
experienced air personnel on its own, another activity of PMSCs in this sector concerned the
training of Colombian military pilots, implicating thereby the construction of installations, the
delivery of appropriate flight simulators, etc.38
Another segment supported by PMSCs consisted in the installation and maintenance of
radar stations, the management and the logistical support for sophisticated communication
systems, internet surveillance, and airborne reconnaissance aircraft. Such activities were
supposed to improve the intelligence and information sharing between the U.S. and the
Colombia. Here, companies like Air Scan, Arinc, CACI, Cambridge Communications,
Chenega Federal Systems, ITT, Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems, ManTech International,
Northrop Grumman Information Technology International, Oakley Networks, Optec, Science
Applications International, Telford Aviation, and TRW have been contracted. While some of
their tasks were technical in nature and could therefore be regarded as a mere support of
official security forces, other tasks were clearly directed towards the own interception and
evaluation of information, as exemplified in a shooting incident of a reconnaissance plane by
FARC rebels in the year 2003.39
Regarding the training of security forces, it seems that PMSCs carried out this function to
a smaller part than U.S. personnel. Most parts of training in the air segment which
encompassed courses for pilots and mechanics were presumably executed by contractors. But
this segment did by far not cover the whole range of trainings financed by the U.S.
government in the course of the years. The major share of seminars held in areas as diverse as
rule of law and discipline, jungle survival training, or pipeline protection, can supposedly be
ascribed to U.S. military personnel. Nonetheless, PMSCs like Virginia Electronic Systems and
Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems were reported to providing riverine and maritime
control training for different Colombian security units.40
In respect of the modernization process of the Colombian army, a big number of logistic,
technical, electronic, and armor materials and components were delivered in order to
qualitatively upgrade the standards of the different branches of the army and the intelligence
services. The transport of these goods was managed partly by private companies and to
another part by U.S. personnel. While some of the materials were newly purchased, other
items like parts of the aircraft were older models, which beforehand belonged to the property
of the U.S. government and have even been in use during the Vietnam War. From a legal
perspective, parts of these items were either leased from the U.S. government, or kept as

donations from the U.S. to the Colombian government, or purchased by the Colombian
government from U.S. military companies.41
A combination of logistic and advisory support for ministerial authorities and the U.S.
Embassy in Colombia was provided by companies like ACS Defense, Construction,
Consulting & Engineering, INS, PAE Government Services, and the Rendon Group. As the
activities of the latter consisted mainly in the advisory of Colombian policy makers as well as
the public communication of Plan Colombia, it would be more appropriate to classify its
activities as public relations consultancy rather than security services. In the initial stage of
Plan Colombia, another PMSC Military Resources Incorporated (MPRI) was contracted to
help the Colombian government to devise an action plan for the implementation of the aid
package, but also to improve some organizational, planning, and procurement processes
within the Colombian Defense Ministry. This contract was terminated prematurely in the
spring of 2001, due to a reportedly unsatisfactory expertise in the Colombian conflict as well
as the lack of Spanish speaking PMSC advisors, leading to communication difficulties with
the Colombian counterparts. This need for more native speakers among the contracted
personnel, but also due to the high operations tempo, companies like Mantech were contracted
in order to serve as recruitment centers for new and more qualified PMSC staff. 42
As far as risks for personal safety of PMSC employees in Colombia were concerned, the
U.S. State Department indicated in its reports about Certain Counternarcotics Activities in
Colombia43 that potential risks depended on the location and the character of the provided
function. A main part of the technical and logistic activities has been performed in secured
military or police installations where the estimated risk was assessed as low, while the work
of contractors working at remote radar sites or conducting aerial intelligence missions were
regarded as medium or moderate. It was especially the field of aerial eradication
measures where the associated risk was classified as significant.
By attempting to summarize all the listed revenues of the PMSCs stemming from their
contracts with the U.S. State and Defense Departments, which as the title of these report
suggests do not include all activities carried out in these periods by private companies for the
U.S. government in Colombia, one could calculate with a sum of more than $150 millions for
U.S. Fiscal Year 2001 and more than $309 millions for U.S. Fiscal Year 2006. This would
constitute a share of 42 percent (2001) and roughly 50 percent (2006) of the respective U.S.
spending for the Colombian security sector, indicating an ever larger share of the U.S. funds
handed over to private companies in the course of Plan Colombia.44
With respect to the division of responsibilities between U.S. and PMSC personnel, the
core distinction consisted in the fact that the former were strictly kept away from activities in
the field, because here the danger of life was at its highest. Consequently, the bulk of the
functions associated with narcotic crop eradication, considered by the U.S. State Department
report as significantly dangerous, was outsourced to the firms. PMSCs also were authorized
to carry out search-and-rescue missions in case of emergency. So, while the companies
provided technical and logistical support, advice, training, airborne surveillance, and flight
and eradication services in Colombia, the role of U.S. military personnel referred mainly to
10

professional and advanced training of significant parts of the Colombian army and police,
instruction in equipment, technical procedures, and military doctrines, and strategic
consultancy, monitoring, and coordination of the implementation of Plan Colombia in key
institutions like the U.S. embassy and the Colombian Defense Ministry.
In order to approximate to the research question of potential consequences of PMSC for
the security of civilians, two of the listed PMSC functions will be analyzed in detail in the
following two subsections. On the one hand, the analysis focuses on a rather technical, forcemultiplier function the modernization of the Colombian security forces, while, on the other
hand, it examines a clearly more operative function: the aerial crop eradication.
Modernizing the Colombian Security Forces and Consequences for Civilian Security
As an immediate reaction to phase of military advantage of the FARC as compared to the
Colombian army (1996-1998), the reform of the security forces was initiated before the
official implementation of Plan Colombia, namely in 1998. The impulse for the reform came
both from the inner branches of the Colombian army and from the U.S. administration where
an urgent sense of agency was seen due to critical warnings of CIA experts about an
impending seizing of power by the FARC. With the help of the security component of Plan
Colombia, the reform was then continued under a considerably higher allocation of resources.
When set in relation to the entire Colombian fiscal budget for defense purposes, the Plan
Colombia funds formed a share of only 5-6 percent. But as experts emphasized, these funds
constituted a very relevant contribution, precisely because only well defined segments of the
Colombian security forces benefited from them, and as the identified sectors would probably
not have been addressed for many years by the Colombian government due to the lack of
internal political consensus and unavailable funds.45 The reform included the following areas:
1. Transparent administration: PMSCs and U.S. personnel offered advice for civilian and
military administrators in Colombian security institutions regarding the establishment of
efficient and transparent administrative procedures.46
2. Enhancement of spending on the security and defense sector: The share of the gross
domestic product (GDP) which Colombia spent for this sector rose from 2.8 percent in
2000 to 3.3 percent in 2006. One should note that, due to economic growth, the GDP has
increased in this period from estimated $250 billions (2000) to 366.7 billions (2006).47
3. Increasing of operative security personnel: By the end of the 1990s, more than 50 percent
of the official Colombian security personnel were assigned to administrative tasks,
resulting in an operative weakness of the army. Ever since, it was restocked from 141.462
(2000) to 256.526 (2006) military members, whereby the number of professional soldiers
who were supposed to substitute the less experienced young conscripts, was raised from
41.114 (2000) to 75.181 (2006).48
4. Reorganization of the internal security structures: Traditionally, the different branches of
the Colombian military were characterized by a distinct life of its own including their own
logistics, armament, command hierarchies, and intelligence services. In the course of Plan
Colombia, the branches were integrated in a uniformed and more efficient structure
11

similar to its prototype of the U.S. army. For this, so called commandos conjuntos,
combining army, air, and naval troops and directed by a single general in command, were
founded. Due to their particular vulnerability to attacks, the majority of small control posts
scattered throughout the country was closed.49
5. Special security units: The reorganized security architecture was complemented by a wide
range of new special units, so that, in addition to the increasing of conventional brigades,
many new brigades and battalions like counter-narcotics, mobile, mountain, jungle, antikidnapping, urban counter-terror, infrastructure, and other units have been created. Many
of them could flexibly be deployed within the whole Colombian territory.50
6. Training and advanced professional formation: Many members of the newly and existing
troops absolved special training funded by Plan Colombia resources. These were held both
in U.S. and in Colombian bases and included a diverse spectrum of topics. As argued
above, PMSCs were charged with mainly technical training for prospective pilots,
mechanist and electronic technicians, while U.S. personnel was responsible for a wider
part of training in topics ranging from civil-military relations to special operation tactics.
From 2000 to 2005, more than 46.000 Colombians have participated in these courses.
Until 2003, Colombia was considered to be the worldwide biggest receiving country of
U.S. military training programs.51
7. Armament: In order to improve and upgrade the armor standards of the Colombian
military, numerous aircraft (helicopters, spraying and surveillance planes), rapid coast
guard and riverine control boats, radar stations, night vision and infra-red devices, and
many other components required for weapons-, intelligence- and communication systems
have been purchased or leased through the Plan Colombia funds.52
This reform process was extended in 2002, so that Plan Colombia resources like
intelligence sharing between the U.S. and the Colombian security services could now be
flexibly used not only for the fight against drug trafficking but likewise for combating
insurgent groups, leading to synergy effects to the advantage of the Colombian army.53
Finally, with the assumption of office of President Uribe in autumn 2002, these
developments were accentuated by an explicit political will to emphasize the role and more
offensive use of the military, an aspect which was of clearly smaller importance for the
dialog-oriented agenda of his predecessor. This political will expressed itself in the
preparedness to engage unconditionally in the concept of Plan Colombia, but also in the
implementation of own projects outlined in Uribes Democratic Security policy. Here,
measures like the deployment of police posts in all Colombian municipal districts, the
increasing of the defense budget by raising a particular war tax, or persistent military
offensives like Plan Patriota to contain the FARC-controlled areas can be mentioned. As
many of these policies aimed at the objectives envisioned in Plan Colombia, and since the
U.S. government perceived Uribe as a determined partner in its fight against drugs and
terrorism, not only the financial funds, but also the strategic consultancy, transport means, and
intelligence services included in this Plan have been opened for use for the Uribe-programs.54
12

This modernization of the Colombian army resulted in constantly professionalizing


security units, qualitative gains in the applied technologies, but also in enhanced mobility.
Where formerly weekly or monthly walks were required in order to reach hidden guerrilla
camps in the hardly accessible jungle, now with the support of the air transports this was
reversed to a matter of few hours. The aerial reconnaissance of current movements of the
insurgent groups was collected and analyzed much faster. And with the help of special infrared and night vision equipment for aircraft and infantry troops, the military could now nearly
double its operative capacities to 24 hours, beforehand, by default of such devices, the
troops were only able to perform their missions by daylight. All these elements had a positive
impact on the troop concentration capacities, and, according to experts, they were regarded to
be key factors for irregular warfare. Altogether, these changes resulted in the fact that the
Colombian military evolved from a bureaucratic apparatus to an operative force which
regained the combat initiative in the internal conflict and succeeded in re-shifting the balance
of relative strength as compared to the irregular armed groups to its favor again.55
What did all these changes mean for the security of civilians in Colombia? Statistics of the
Colombian conflict database CERAC demonstrate a significant intensification of violence in
the years 1998 to 2003, as measured by the number of conflict deaths and injuries
(combatants as well as civilians), and the extent of violent crashes and unilateral attacks
registered in that period. Two factors were considered to account for the increased violence:
first, the negotiations between the Colombian government and FARC rebels had been
accompanied by enhanced violence exerted by all non-state actors, - a development which
reached its highest point after the breakdown of the peace talks in February 2002. A second
factor was seen in the fact that, given the newly gained technological and human resources
through Plan Colombia, the Colombian military was able to step up its military operations
throughout the country.56
The intensification of armed crashes until 2003 ended deadly in particular for combatants
(government forces, guerrilla rebels, paramilitaries), and to a lesser extend for civilians. The
highest numbers of conflict deaths on the civilian side consisted in some 1.600 casualties in
2001, as compared to 1.700 dead combatants in the same year. In contrast, the number of
injured civilians in the years 2001 to 2004 was notably higher than for combatants. It reached
its peak of about 1.350 civilian injuries in 2002, as opposed to some 900 injuries on the part
of combatants in the same year. Paramilitaries were held responsible for the vast majority of
the civilian conflict victims, followed by the guerrillas on the second and government forces
at the third rank. Many civilians have been killed in massacres, the perpetrators of which were
primarily paramilitaries. In the course of the demobilization process of the AUC (2003-2005),
the massacres reduced significantly, albeit analysts assumed that the victims of massacres
since that time have been chosen more selectively. The main perpetrators of civilian injuries,
in turn, were the guerrilla groups. Much of these casualties resulted from bombs and
explosive devices which, due to their dispersing inaccurateness, frequently hit innocent
civilians. Paramilitaries were held responsible for the second highest number of injured
civilians, followed by government forces on the third place.57
13

The internal displacement figures in Colombia culminated within the period of research to
estimated 3 million people. The vast majority of the displacements were associated with intraregional armed conflicts between the irregular groups, whereby paramilitaries were the most
important group to blame. After 2002, a non-linear reduction of displacements could be
observed, correlating with the demobilization process of the AUC, but likewise with the
general reduction of intensity of the violence starting in 2003-2004.58
Kidnapping constituted a tactic which in 60 percent of the cases was applied by guerrilla
movements. Their intention was to hold the victims to ransom and thereby securing their
financial bases. Paramilitaries were held responsible for about 10 percent of the registered
kidnappings, while the remaining 30 percent were perpetrated by common criminals. With the
exception of the year 2002, the figures of this security indicator were constantly reduced
within the analyzed period. The improvements were regarded primarily as the result of a
governmental program to enhance controls of the main roads of the country, as well as the
expulsion of some insurgent groups by the army from regions with important traffic axes.
Similar to in the case of the massacres, kidnappings no longer were carried out in the form of
mass hijackings, but tended be executed more selectively.59
The anti-personnel mines which were laid out primarily by guerrilla groups usually
intended to keep hostile parties away from the areas under control. Nevertheless, they very
often hit innocent civilians. Since 2002, more military personnel were injured and killed by
mines than civilians. In consideration of the fact that estimates amount to some 100.000 antipersonnel mines dispersed in many Colombian departments, one justifiably can speak here of
a lasting humanitarian catastrophe, which over the years has proceeded in a steadfast way.60
Regarding the human rights record of the Colombian military, the number of accusations
of human rights violations was decreasing both in relation to the augmenting of troops and in
terms of absolute figures. Internally, the security apparatus was undergoing a process of
cleaning and purging61 in which many military members had to face criminal processes and/
or were suspended from their duties. The significance and compliance of human rights have
also formed an integral part of the reformed doctrine of security forces. Many of the courses
about this topic were held or supervised by U.S. personnel, while it was regarded rather
improbable that PMSCs would also hold seminars in this field. Some critical comments have
to be made on this issue: according to experts, practice-oriented themes standing closer to the
daily reality of the soldiers have been addressed in the seminars only towards the end of the
time of investigation. Additionally, in many cases the motivation to visit such a human rights
training was not so much of intrinsic, but rather of an externally imposed nature, due to the
imperative to improve the respective statistics as a means to fulfill the conditions set on the
further funding of Plan Colombia. During the complete period of research, accusations of
human rights violations committed by state employees were not only raised by
nongovernmental organizations, but likewise by the U.S. administration. The accusations
included acts of torture, arbitrarily detentions, extralegal executions, and forced
disappearances. Some of the Colombian battalions were temporarily decertified from U.S.
funds for reasons of disrespect of human rights or unwillingness to cooperate with legal
14

prosecution institutions. Particularly striking was the fact that the statistical decrease of
human rights violations of security forces went hand in hand with an increase in these crimes
on the part of paramilitaries. Even though it has to be assumed that paramilitaries were
independently actors who were not dictated this conduct from an external authority, it
nonetheless has to be stated that these groups just like in period prior to Plan Colombia
have been willing to take the lead in the dirty part of the Colombian conflict. Unionists,
human rights activists, teachers, farmers, representatives of minorities, politicians, journalists,
and many others still belonged to the target group suffering from threats, displacements, and
murders committed by paramilitaries, while the juridical prosecution records of these crimes
in Colombia remained low.62
As the overall discussion of the security sector reform and its security effects shows, it is
only justifiable to draw conclusions about the influence of PMSCs at the stage of the technical
assistance, but not in terms of concrete security implications for the civilians. In this sector,
the companies were given a limited, albeit very functional role: it was limited because they
were not contracted to directly participate in combats, but rather to support official security
forces in their fight from the background. At the same time, in this setting they constituted
only one figure in the middle of a larger mesh of institutional actors, which encompassed
members of the Colombian army, police and intelligence services, U.S. military personnel and
executive staff of the Colombian and the U.S. governments. On the other hand, their presence
was very functional indeed, since their activities constituted important force-multiplier tasks
in Colombia. According to Brooks, such tasks bring PMSCs to the position to
dramatically enhancing the effectiveness of their clients existing militaries. Therefore, PM[S]Cs usually contract
small numbers of highly skilled military personnel trainers, pilots, technicians, and doctors and use them to
make marginally trained and disciplined state armies substantially more effective.63

With their technical and logistic background support, PMSCs have contributed to the
technical preponderance, enhanced mobility, and reaction capacities of the Colombian
security forces, facilitating them by technical and partly operative means to regaining the
relative strength vis--vis the insurgents. The intelligence provided inter alia by PMSCs
allowed the military to being timely informed about the current positions and movements of
irregular armed groups. And due to the lack of sufficiently trained Colombian pilots
throughout the whole period of research, the military would not have been supported by such
an amount of aerial troop transports, armaments, and other supplies to the combats fields
without the firms. By the reparation and spare parts services of PMSC employees, it was
secured that the aircraft were maintained in a constantly operative status. According to Singer,
the advantage of the outsourcing of services in terms of such nonlethal aid and assistance,
including logistics, intelligence, technical support, supply and transportation lies in the fact
that these firms specialize in secondary tasks not part of the overall core mission of the client. Thus, they are
able to build capabilities and efficiencies that a client military cannot sustain. The clients own military, in turn,
can concentrate on its primary business of fighting. () However, as with their equivalent support units in the
military, although they do not participate in the execution or planning of combat action, they fill functional needs
critical to overall combat operations.64

15

This limited-functional contribution, in turn, was integrated in an overall Plan Colombia


strategy which, due to its definite military conception provoked an intensification of armed
combats, with the corresponding consequences regarding a clearly deteriorating security
situation for civilians until 2003. On this level, not PMSCs, but Colombian conflict parties
have affected the civilian security. After 2003, decisive territorial gains of the army, the
demobilization process of the paramilitaries, but also programs of local and national
governance institutions have been crucial in terms of a partly improved security situation of
civilians. However, the indicators of killed and injured civilians still ranged at a historically
higher level then in the past decades.65 Due to the (re-)appearance of (new) paramilitary
groups, an enormous amount of anti-personnel mines, and a more selectively handled election
of victims, the security situation in Colombia remained precarious.
Narcotic Drug Eradication and Civilian Security
An almost unalterable rule in Colombia suggests that in areas where illegal crops are
grown, the internal conflict is smoldering. Behind every narcotic cultivation an armed group
can regularly be found which, in cooperation with local drug rings, usurps parts of the
organization of the narcotic production chain. 66 Given that the Plan Colombia strategy to fight
drug trafficking aimed at the aerial invasion into the cultivation zones, the fumigation of fields
with herbicides, and the destruction of hidden drug processing laboratories, this constituted a
de facto penetration in the enemys territory. Since the enemy certainly would not accept the
crop eradication of this valuable source of income on its territory offhand, these operations
implicated the exposure the own personnel to the risk of combats. Many DynCorp employees
have been active in this difficult sector in Colombia, and it is admissible to speak here of a
task which doubtlessly exceeds the mere logistical sphere and which can thus be considered
as an operative function.67
On a regular eradication mission, four spray planes were flown by PMSC personnel. The
plains were equipped with specific spray-fixtures and, in some parts, with protection shells in
order to secure the crews from attacks.
The plains were accompanied by four helicopters, which sometimes were ordered to
secure the spraying area in the run-up of the mission. The pilot teams could consist of
DynCorp- and/or Colombian security personnel. In addition, there were several Colombian
military members equipped with artillery on board. Securing of the area meant to fend off
potential attacks against the eradication missions from the ground ahead of time, as well as to
provide protection to the air planes during their eradication flights. The artillery forces on
board were given the order to take action only after an attack from the other side actually
occurred, an order which not always seemed to have been obeyed.68
Another helicopter flying a level above the proper spraying mission was assigned the
search-and-rescue function for cases of emergency. According to official statements, the crew
which also encompassed first-aid personnel was staffed with Colombian nationals. However,
this information is inconsistent with media reports about actual search-and-rescue operations,
which give evidence, for instance, of a rescue mission carried out by DynCorp employees
16

themselves in February 2001: a crew which had fallen in the hands of FARC rebels was
rescued by these contractors -equipped with machine guns, and under the cover of further
helicopters- in the middle of a hail of bullets on the ground.69
A reconnaissance plane flying above the entire operation space and equipped with a small
radar on its outside, was responsible for the coordination of the eradication missions. The
members of its crew updated all persons involved about potential threats from the ground.
Provided that a big presence of insurgents was expected to operate on ground during
spraying missions, the air crews would receive additional support of Colombian infantry
troops. This task fell primarily in the competence of the counter-narcotics brigade created in
1999. Local security troops were sometimes also ordered for supporting the fumigations.70
The aforementioned search-and-rescue operation alludes to the peril character of the
spraying missions. The aircraft have frequently been the object of attacks by guerrilla
sharpshooters. But there were also singular cases in which local farmers directed their rifles
against the crews, either out of anger, or because insurgent groups forced them to do so.
According to estimations, some 600 of such attacks were carried out within the period of
research. Irrespective of the shells on the aircraft, many crew members including PMSC
employees have been reportedly injured, and some have even been killed. 71 In the first
instance, the Colombian artillery forces in the accompanying helicopters were responsible for
the protection of the crews. Nonetheless it seems questionable if as has been proclaimed
officially PMSC pilots have actually performed their duties unarmed. In cases of emergency
self defense, and at the latest while carrying out search-and-rescue missions of the type
mentioned above, an armed proceeding can be assumed. Here, the qualitative modification of
Plan Colombia in 2002 should also be recalled, when U.S. Congress gave expanded authority
for U.S. funds for Colombia, allowing for the usage of all resources heretofore destined for
counter-narcotics programs to being now also applied for counterinsurgency measures.72
The crop eradications were backed by a set of rules which should be adhered before,
during and after the missions:
Previous to a mission, the regional and local authorities were to be informed about the
concrete time frame of the eradication. The responsibility to forward this information to the
local population rested on the local authorities, not DIRAN or DynCorp. In reality, there have
been incidents time and again where for national security reasons civilians were not warned
in advance in order to attain the desired surprise effect or to anticipate planned attacks by an
armed group. Therefore, the motor sounds of approaching aircraft were sometimes the only
reliable source of information announcing the imminent spraying missions.73
The informing of local authorities about forthcoming eradication missions also served to
enable them to take specific safety measures in due time in case there would exist autonomy
territories of ethnic minorities, sensitive ecosystems, or national parks in the envisioned spray
region. Regions where communities explicitly decided to shift to alternative crop cultivation
should likewise not fall in the target field of fumigations. Many incidents of protesting
communities have demonstrated that these rules have time and again been violated, not at last,
because the Colombian government has principally adopted those security measures only after
17

spraying missions have been going on for years, and because the local authorities were not
provided the necessary resources to respond to the eradications in an appropriate way.74
Regarding the applied herbicide,75 the management and composition of which lay in the
competence of DynCorp, concrete guidelines concerning the exact ingredients and
concentration ratio were prescribed. But just the very first eradication phase 2000-2001 in the
southern part of Colombia evoked a wave of demonstrations of the local inhabitants, who
complained about grave consequences for human health as well as the vicinal ecosystems and
fauna. Hereupon, different independent investigation commissions were charged with the
examination of the impact of the herbicide, which, according to the concrete analysis
constitution, attained very different results. Without being able to discuss the particular results
in detail here, it is nevertheless possible to principally stress that, in this context it seems not
to be practicable to draw simple causal paths from the fumigation to consequences in health
and environment. Additionally, this relationship depends on the question if DynCorp
employees have adhered to the prescribed mixture ratio, what in turn was not object of regular
verifications from a third authority. But it is likewise not possible to ignore that over the entire
period of examination increased incidences of constrained eyesight, allergies and eczema,
fever and symptoms of qualmishness in the inhabitants of recently sprayed regions were
observed.76 An Ecuadorian investigation in which a group of general Ecuadorian population
was compared to a group of inhabitants of the border region with Colombia, along of which
aerial eradication has frequently been carried out, diagnosed increased indications of modified
cell structures and enhanced cancer figures in the border population. These constituted the
ground for the filing of a mass lawsuit of these border communities against DynCorp before
an U.S. court. Notwithstanding the never properly clarified and contested issue, and due to the
need to enhance the effectiveness of the counter-narcotics program, a stronger concentration
of the herbicide proportion and the extension of the fumigations to the whole Colombian
territory were authorized under President Uribe.77
During the eradication, the air plane crews were instructed to spray the herbicide from a
maximal altitude of 50 meters (164 feet). The temperature should not exceed 35C (95 F),
and the wind velocity was set on a maximum of 5 (Beaufort scale). Along the margins of the
fumigated fields, a protection zone of 12 meters (39 feet) should be left untouched in order to
guarantee the adjacent cultivations would not be affected by the herbicide. Given the variable
geographic and climate conditions, but also the frequently required security distance to
insurgents who used to attack the planes from the ground, these guidelines could often not be
followed. Therefore, the herbicide was also carried by the wind to narrow legal cultivations
and destroyed these crops of the drug farmers, which besides of coca or poppy sometimes
constituted the only basis of subsistence for them. Due to the inaccurateness of the sprayings,
high concentrations of toxin in the ground water of the respective regions have also been
detected, so that in some regions an endangerment of the food security of the inhabitants
could be observed.78
The responsibility to examine potential complains of the population lay in the hands of a
commission composed of a wide range of government, U.S. Embassy and independent
18

representatives who also revised the effectiveness of the missions. In case of a mistakenly
eradicated cultivation or health detriment, compensation services should be provided for the
persons concerned. While the Colombian government has always emphasized the small
number of complains the committee had to recompense over the course of time, a closer look
at the actually accepted complains reveals that, due to very high criteria for acceptance, more
than 90 percent of them have never been taken into consideration. Sometimes, the concrete
times or locations indicated by the inhabitants did not match with the data sets of DIRAN.
Farmers were also often objected to having cultivated a small parcel of narcotics in the midst
of larger legal crop cultivation, what legitimated the eradication of the field.79
Sure enough, the farmers concerned knew well the risk they entered by cultivating
narcotic crops. In the face of lacking alternatives which would have guaranteed them a
similarly high income, many remained in this business. After a fumigation phase, they
returned to the same fields and started with new sowings. In this aspect, it is important to
consider that the average annual income of a coca cultivating household was estimated at
$10.194 in the year 2006 (or some $850 per month). Compared to the Colombian minimum
wage of some $170 (per month) in the same year, the former option doubtlessly offered an
enormous economical incentive. This was accrued by the fact that the earnings were
considered relatively warranted and stable: as compared to other agrarian products, narcotic
crops constituted a very undemanding cultivation product which could be harvested several
times in the year; the marketing of the whole crop yield to the distributor was guaranteed; and
the farmers did not have to care for transportation, as the traffickers usually picked up the
crops directly at the fields of cultivation.80
But there were also farmers whose mere basis of existence was revoked through the
eradications. As discussed above, a big percentage of the internally displaced people in
Colombia could be traced back to the armed conflict between the warring parties in the
country. Simultaneously, however, experts attributed an estimated 15 percent of the refugees
to the aerial eradication missions. The seriousness of this figure was based in the fact that in
contrast to the so called political conflict refugees these people could not count on support
from the government once they opted out of this business because of the illegal character of
the cultivation of narcotic plants. So, the criminalization of former narcotic cultivating
farmers considerably complicated their efforts to gain new ground in the legal economy.81
As an alternative option enclosed in the social component of Plan Colombia, farmers were
offered the possibility to commit them to manual eradication and/or to shift to the cultivation
of legal agrarian products in exchange of a temporarily limited income guarantee. But as it
revealed, the manual eradication measures were frequently hampered by threats or even the
outlay of anti-personnel mines through armed groups at the concerning fields, so that the
manual eradication programs did not prove very successful. In many regions, the alternative
cultivation program likewise did not work well. Here, the effect of the financial imbalance
between the social and the military component of Plan Colombia was felt in an especially
drastic manner, as the provided funds by far did not suffice to support the large number of
households concerned in the medium turn. The assistance was made available with long
19

delays, implicating additional plight for the respective families, but also raising mistrust
towards the Colombian government and the cooperating U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID). In some regions, the deteriorating security situation did not allow for
continuing the alternative cultivation projects. The quality of soil in some coca growing
regions revealed itself to be ineligible for the cultivation of alternative agrarian products. The
complicated geography of the country also posed a serious challenge for the alternative crop
projects, as many remote cultivation areas were lacking a functioning infrastructure to
facilitate a connection to larger trade centers of the country. Sometimes, a disregarded need
for a comprehensive market strategy for alternative products hampered the sales. Therefore,
these programs were not adequately enough designed and financed in order to offer real and
sustained prospects of development for the respective households.82
Moreover, the security of civilians was further put at risk through the adaptation strategies
of the drug traffickers which for instance consisted in the extension and partly shifting of the
narcotic cultivations into areas hitherto not affected by drug production. The shifting dynamic
activated new combats about territorial control and the access to the sought-after resources
between warring non-state actors. By the initiation of Plan Colombia, the illegal cultivation
areas were concentrated in six departments, whereas this number has almost quadrupled to 23
departments in the course of the period of research. This was accompanied by the so called
balloon effect: whenever a massive action against narcotic production was taken in one
region, parts of the cultivation would be evaded to other areas currently not in focus of the
eradication program. In terms of the effectiveness of the fumigations, it was reported that the
delivering process of aircraft and further required resources from the U.S. proceeded too
slowly. Besides, and notwithstanding the annually rising hectares of coca and poppy fields
eradicated, many more resources including further DIRAN bases would have been needed
in order to bring the shifting dynamic under an approximately effective control.83
Another adapting method consisted in the intention to disperse narcotic cultivation in ever
smaller parcels interspersed with other legal agrarian crops, whereby the satellite-based
identification of narcotic cultivations and the precision of the spraying missions for DIRAN
and DynCorp were considerably complicated. More fertile seeds were used, so that higher
yields per hectare could be achieved. The concentration of coca bushes was also enhanced,
while the actual extent of cultivation fields tended to be scaled down. More effective
fertilizers and protective substances on leaves were applied. Considering also the
inaccurateness of the sprayings, more than half of the eradicated fields could be re-cultivated
after some months of regeneration from the eradication phases. Moreover, there were reports
of new clearings of Amazonian woodland. These shifting dynamic of illegal cultivations had
not at last an impact on the whole Andean region, so that losses on production areas in
Colombia could be counter-balanced with an increment in cultivations in Peru and Bolivia.84
From 2000 to 2002, a downward movement in the net production of coca was observed
within the entire Andean region (221,300ha to 170,300 ha), whereas between the years 2003
to 2006, this figure stagnated in these producing countries at an uncontested high level
(153,800ha to 156,900ha). This was also attested by records indicating that the degree of
20

purity and the prices for refined cocaine on the U.S. and European markets have remained at a
stable level throughout the whole period of research. These developments could also not be
countervailed by the facts that DIRAN and DynCorp reached annual records of fumigated
hectare figures; that they succeeded in extending their missions to ever more departments; that
an averaged 90 percent of the fumigated leaves were reported to be actually destroyed; and
that the U.S. supported interdiction and air surveillance yielded ever rising numbers of
detected illegal laboratories and confiscated shipments of cocaine and heroin. 85 As a
consequence, analysts qualified these dynamics as a solely containment of the problem. They
stressed that a real solution for the narcotic production issue could only be achieved if the
socio-economic and international dimensions of this problem unaddressed by the Plan
Colombia strategy were seriously taken into consideration:
Colombia () continues to seize an impressive amount of its own cocaine, to intercept imports of precursor
chemicals, and to destroy drug labs. It is also facing up to the corrupting power of the drugs trade on
government, and seeking to break the links between drug trafficking and insurgency.
But as the experience of Bolivia and Peru demonstrate, a long term reduction of the worlds supply of coca
depends not only on effective law enforcement, but also on eradicating the poverty that makes farmers
vulnerable to the temptation of growing lucrative illicit crops. All Andean countries require greater support for
development assistance that can generate growth and create brighter prospects for communities at the beginning
of the supply chain. They should also be encouraged to work more closely together to exchange intelligence on
trafficking flows and carry out joint operations.
The solution to the Andean coca problem does not rest solely in the region. Andean governments would not be
grappling with a problem on this scale if there was no global demand for cocaine.86

PMSCs would of course argue that it lay in the responsibility of the governments to take
the correct or inadequate policy decisions, while the companies were only contracted to assist
in the implementation of these decisions.87 At the same time, however, it should not be
ignored that assets as the disposability and expertise of PMSCs can indeed have an impact on
the decision-making of politicians. Firstly, within the counter-narcotics strategy of Plan
Colombia, PMSCs have carried out a dangerous activity, as was shown by the risk assessment
of the U.S. State Department and the high number of injuries and deaths of DynCorp
employees and Colombian nationals. Although official U.S. personnel have supervised and
verified the implementation of the strategy, they did not carry out operations in the field by
their own. It can thus be assumed that the decision in support of the assistance to operations in
Colombias hard-fought drug production regions revealed itself less discomforting when no
own soldiers had to be calculated among the potential victims. Secondly, notwithstanding the
explicitly declared will to transfer most activities associated with Plan Colombia to the
Colombian counterparts as soon as possible, the Colombian air personnel were reportedly not
prepared to assume the functions from PMSCs, neither in terms of their quantity, nor
regarding the stage of their formation, which regularly extended to several years and required
a certain degree of experience. As a consequence, in the foreseeable future, PMSC services
would have to be continuously provided and the funding of pilot training programs held on a
stable level if long-term results were to be achieved in this sector.88
Therefore, PMSCs have contributed to a massive narcotic crop eradication strategy which
without their support and long standing experience in Colombia would not have been realized
21

in this form. This strategy due to the choice and management of the spraying herbicide, the
non compliable guidelines during and around the eradication operations, the lacking
integration of socio-economic and international dimensions of the drug production in
Colombia, the partly shifting of the armed conflict to new cultivation areas, and the
underestimated adaptation of the drug traffickers constituted an important factor for a partial
aggravation of the security situation of Colombian civilians inhabiting the traditional and new
drug production regions. The physical integrity and food security of many rural households
were put at risk by the fumigations. Because of the partially evoked internal displacements
and the rejection of state authorities to assist fugitive farmers who abandoned narcotic crop
cultivation, the security situation was deemed to remain unstable in the receiving communities
of the refugees. Finally, the not thoughtfully enough conceptualized and implemented
alternative cultivation programs have likewise left parts of the local communities in a
temporary state of precariousness and indigence.
The Rules of Engagement for PMSCs Envisioned in Plan Colombia
Regarding their legal status at the national, regional and international level, PMSCs move
in a regulative grey-zone which falls short of the enhanced relevance of the privatized security
market and the variety and quality of their activities. Since this aspect has been described at
length in terms of its international and regional dimensions elsewhere, 89 this section will only
concentrate on the most important fundaments of the PMSC deployment in Colombia.
As far as U.S. regulations for private security personnel were concerned, it was held that
the companies employees were not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice the most
important and comprehensive guidelines regulating the conduct of U.S. military members,
unless there were a formal declaration of war. Two legislative acts which applied to
contractors were the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (2000) on the one hand, and the
Patriot Act (2001), which was adopted after the 9/11-attacks, on the other hand. Both acts
addressed only some, but by far not all relevant security issues which were of significance in a
given location of deployment. Additionally, the acts remained relatively untested in U.S.
courts and did prove ineffective in order to promptly prosecute PMSC personnel who, alike
U.S. soldiers, were held responsible for inhuman abuse incidents in Iraqi prisons.90
The fact that U.S. soldiers and contractors working in the same deployment setting
executed their missions according to different standards was then intended to be addressed by
a new Department of Defense Instruction (2005) which not at last was a reaction to
considerable coordination- and competence problems between the U.S. military and PMSCs
in the context of the ongoing Iraq war. This instruction stipulated a rule whereby contractors
who would fall into the hands of the enemy during an armed conflict should be entitled the
prisoner of war status as defined in the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of
Prisoners of War of 1949. But it seems that this guideline was not applied to the Colombian
context: until the time of writing, the U.S. government did not change its stance towards three
employees of California Microwave Systems captured by FARC rebels in February 2003,
since it continued to use the term hostages for them.91
22

Therefore, in the majority of the cases, contractors depended primarily on the Status of
Forces Agreement between the U.S. government and the country of deployment. Such an
agreement could establish the rule whereby contractors were subject to the law of the country
in which they were serving, depending then on effective governance institutions of the host
country. But these agreements just as well could simply consist of an immunity status. In such
cases, contractors who breached the law had to count with their dismissal at worst.92
In respect of Colombian regulations for PMSC activities, it was held that all forms of U.S.
funded assistance including the services of contracted personnel based on a series of multiand bilateral agreements signed in the past decades. The fundament of the cooperation in the
security field consisted in the multilateral Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance
(Rio-Treaty; 1948) in which the countries of the western hemisphere have pledged to grant
themselves mutual support in case of an immediate threat of one of the treaty members. In
1959, a bilateral treaty was signed which stipulated the general rule whereby every
forthcoming treaty between both states could be ratified through the simple signature of the
responsible Colombian Minister (normally the Foreign Minister) in accordance with the
cabinet, and without the need to submit the document to an examination of a third controlling
instance, as could be, for instance, the Colombian Congress or a court. This was followed by a
general agreement concerning economic, technical and related assistance (1962) which
included some concretizing paragraphs about U.S. military support towards Colombia. These
stipulated that both the members of U.S. military and other contracted U.S. personnel sent to
Colombia should enjoy the same privileges like the U.S. diplomatic staff hosted in the
Colombian territory. All following agreements in the security sector have been signed as
respective annexes of this frame treaty. This was also the case for Plan Colombia which was
adopted as an annex in the year 2000 and updated in 2004. According to the official
interpretation of the Colombian government, the activities of PMSCs therefore were also
covered by these Plan Colombia annexes.93
A critical point here concerns the fact that in the meantime of this long series of
agreements, a new Colombian Constitution entered into force in 1991, which prescribed that
every international treaty forming a ground for future bi- or multilateral cooperation had to be
submitted for revision to the Colombian Congress. In addition, the Constitutional Court was
likewise obliged to scrutinize international treaties in regard of their constitutionality. Only
subsequent agreements based at such initial frame treaties could then be ratified in a
simplified form which would not require the two revision steps anymore. As a consequence, a
Colombian collective of lawyers submitted the 1959-agreement to the Constitutional Court
questioning if it would not also need to undergo a constitutional revision by the Court. In its
sentence, the Court stated that not the 1959-agreement but instead the Colombian law N 80
(Ley 80 de 1993) constituted the due basis for the respective agreements on foreign
assistance. According to the judges, this law would cover all treaties between Colombia and
other countries the subject of which were international grants and allowances. A critical aspect
of this decision, in turn, is that it de facto allowed for the possibility that the Colombian

23

government accepted any kind of international assistance without a political or legal revision
from a third authority.94
Irrespective of the argumentative path one may select, in both cases the implication was
the same: employees of U.S. PMSCs serving on Colombian territory enjoyed a status of
remarkably privileged civilians. They were treated as common U.S. diplomatic staff on
Colombian territory. They were given a categorical freedom from prosecution under
Colombian law. And, since President Uribe has signed a respective bilateral agreement
requested by the Bush Administration in September 2003, contractors just as U.S. military
personnel were assured non-delivery to the International Criminal Court.95
Thus, in an overall view with the unsatisfying legal instruments at the international and
the regional level and the questionable legal accountability of PMSCs in the U.S., it can be
stated that private security personnel serving in the frame of Plan Colombia were opened a
window of opportunity to move beyond the legal space proportioned to Colombian and third
country civilians in Colombia, without having to fear juridical consequences. In the light of
this general regulative freedom in Colombia, two further questions come in mind: first, to
what extend PMSC personnel were held accountable by their client while carrying out their
contractual duties? And second, which civilian security implications did this legal status have
on the contractors conduct off-time in Colombia?
Obligations During the Accomplishment of PMSC Functions
PMSCs serving in the context of Plan Colombia were neither acting on the ground of self
proclaimed directives nor completely uncontrolled. The basic guidelines for the counternarcotic and counter-insurgency policies were developed by representatives of the U.S. and
Colombian governments, not PMSCs. The client (United States) was not simply sitting in the
distant Washington and waiting for results. The U.S. was present with its own
administrative and military personnel in the country of concern and, given the continuing
illegal exports of narcotics from Colombia to the U.S., they had a vital interest in the success
of the contracted companies. In respect of its share of funds on Plan Colombia, the U.S.
government insisted on its right to determine which sectors should be proportioned with what
amount of resources from these funds. The administration and allocation of U.S. assistance
rested therefore exclusively in the hands of U.S. institutions. It was thus the U.S.
administration who decided what kind of PMSCs it wanted to cooperate with, and which
functions of Plan Colombia should be covered by the companies. Accordingly, the U.S. also
reserved their right to supervise, evaluate, and coordinate the work of PMSCs with the
likewise deployed U.S. military personnel and the Colombian security institutions in
Colombia, wherefore a double-tracked chain of instructions was used:
The first strand took course from the U.S. State Department, to the there located Bureau
for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), and to the Narcotics Affairs Section
(NAS) in the U.S. Embassy in Bogot, Colombia. NAS was responsible for the counter-

24

narcotic strategy of Plan Colombia and supervised those PMSCs who have been contracted to
perform functions in this field.
The second strand went along the chain from the U.S. Defense Department, to the U.S.
Southern Command (Southcom) in Miami (Fla.), and the Military Group which was also
based at the U.S. Embassy in Colombia and supervised the PMSCs contracted in the military
sector.
Both of these Embassy divisions were responsible for monitoring the compliance with the
troop cap for the private security and U.S. military personnel and to bring the support services
of these two groups in Colombia in line.96 In issues of Plan Colombia, the U.S. Embassy not
only was the primary contact of reference for the Colombian government, but also for the
Colombian security institutions which were the beneficiaries of Plan Colombia goods and
services. Every process linked to Plan Colombia which was supplied by U.S. funds or was
regarded as a condition for continuing the transfer of these funds was accompanied by the
U.S. Embassy. Consistently, every relevant procedural step had to be arranged with and
examined by the authorized embassy representatives.
The division of labor between the different actors can be demonstrated by an extract of the
working process of DIRAN and PMSCs: it lay in the competence of DIRAN to prepare
periodic satellite-based reviews of the existing narcotic crops in Colombia. In a second step,
this data was verified by flight missions and examined in terms of the question if a national
park, an indigenous autonomy territory, or the like was located in the identified narcotic crops
zone. Subsequently, a long-term chronogram about the forthcoming eradication missions
detailing concrete locations, time frames, and the required personnel and materials was
developed. This chronogram was then submitted to NAS which surveyed it and also decided
if the requested resources could be actually procured. Since, for instance, the aircraft enclosed
in Plan Colombia have not only served for narcotic crop eradication but also for other flight
support missions, the coordination of the utilization of these means was necessary. With the
final decisions of NAS, both DIRAN and DynCorp were given the instruction to carry out the
next spraying phase. At this level of planning and decision making, it thus was NAS who
presided over the PMSC and who was authorized to give instructions to the private security
personnel. Only on behest of this Embassy division, the developed chronograms could be
implemented. So, it was not thinkable, for instance, that DIRAN or DynCorp would
accomplish eradications on their own initiative and without the accordance of NAS.97
Once an authorization was given and a team composed of DIRAN and DynCorp personnel
was allocated on an operational DIRAN basis in order to carry out an eradication mission,
both groups were acting as equal partners. While DIRAN employees were supervised by a
DIRAN commander, the PMSC personnel disposed of their own spokesman. None of these
representatives was authorized to give instructions to the members of the respective other
group. Through the cooperation of the representatives the groups were held to agree on all
working activities as well as to mutually update themselves about the daily advances.
The conduct of the participants of the spraying missions was regulated by a specific
operational protocol. In case of an armed attack against the spray planes, for instance, the
25

protocol instructed the pilots of the planes to immediately uplift the altitude of flying and
thereby directing the aircraft out of reach of fire. In case the threat continued, PMSC-,
DIRAN-, or intelligence personnel who would observe the operation site from an associated
reconnaissance plane was instructed to revoke the entire operation and to request all
participants to return to the operational base on ground.98
A spraying phase was regularly followed by a verification process of the concluded
missions, in which the effectiveness of the eradication and potential claims of the concerned
communities were supposed to be scrutinized. This process was undertaken by a commission
composed of representatives of DIRAN and NAS, the Colombian National Directorate for
Narcotics (DNE), the Interior- and Environment Ministries, the Colombian Institute of
Agriculture and Fishery, as well as independent engineers and scientists (see also above).99
This example can be regarded as representative for most services of contractors carried
out in the context of Plan Colombia. PMSCs did not act autonomously or by their own
initiative, nor did they perform singular and stand-alone duties. Rather, they filled gaps in
specific, well defined sections within a wider working context in which various institutions
had their share, and their missions formed part of a broader strategy directed towards the aims
to support the Colombian security forces in their fight against drug trafficking and -since
2002- also against insurgents, and to assist in their structural reforms. Operations like the
aerial eradication or airborne surveillance were frequently carried out by mixed teams of
PMSC- and official employees, and many of the delivered resources were destined to
familiarize the Colombian counterparts with sophisticated techniques and procedures, so that
they henceforward would be enabled to apply these methods by their own. This intertwined
division of labor between private and public figures resulted in a setting whereby the support
of the companies would have yielded only limited effectiveness if the official security
personnel would not simultaneously have met their duties, too, and vice versa.100
Thus, on the one hand the companies indeed disposed of some leeway in terms of the
actual ways of performing the contractual agreements, their personnel policies, the concrete
quality of their services, etc. On the other hand, however, the performance of the companies
has been supervised, evaluated and coordinated with other processes and institutions involved
in Plan Colombia by the U.S. Embassy. The aforementioned example of a prematurely
terminated MPRI-contract, in turn, points to the fact that, for reasons of effectiveness, the
U.S. government was by all means prepared to bring the cooperation with a PMSC to whom it
traditionally had shared a good relationship101 to an end. Aside from these supervising
functions of local U.S. officials, it was therefore the risk of loosing a governmental contract
which provided for a minimal accountability of the companies. This accountability, however,
held true only towards the U.S. client and only in terms of the agreed contractual contents, but
not towards the Colombian government or, much less, the Colombian people.
Regulative Freedom Outside the Workplace

26

What have been the implications of the unregulated legal status of PMSC personnel for
civilian security in the time beyond their contractual duties? In order to explore this question
it firstly would be important to know if Colombian civilians were aware of the presence of
PMSCs in their country and if they were able to distinct between U.S. military personnel and
company employees. As the interviews revealed, there were big differences between the urban
population, who normally lived far from the locations of deployment of PMSCs, and the rural
population, who lived close to the bases and towns where private security personnel were
accommodated, or who got into contact with them by means of their activities, as for instance,
the eradications or maintaining services on radar stations. Some civilians worked as
employees in military bases or hotels where contractors lived. Information about PMSCs
could also be acquired from some reports in the Colombian media or even guerrilla
propaganda, in the latter of which presumably no clear division lines between U.S. military
and PMSC personnel have been drawn. With regard to their working and leisure clothing,
contractors did not exhibit a consistent practice, so that neither it was always possible to
determine if the employees were in service or not, nor did it seem feasible to externally
distinguish the firms employees from official U.S. military personnel.102
A further distinction criterion would be the question if the bases where PMSC personnel
were accommodated have been strictly guarded, and if they were instructed not to leave the
basis for security reasons, or if they rather stayed at relatively safe locations allowing the
employees to get into contact with the surrounding local communities. In contrast to the
operational DIRAN base in San Jos de Guaviare, capital of the department Guaviare and a
traditional narcotic cultivation region with a high presence of guerrilla groups, where
contractors (and U.S. military personnel) lived completely separated, another part of PMSC
personnel who were deployed in the vacation resorts Melgar (Department Tolima) and
Tumaco (Department Nario) mostly were not accommodated in military installations.
Instead, they rented hotels or apartments in the town centers. They would hire local
inhabitants as cleaning or kitchen personnel and integrate in the local night life.103
In regard of crimes against civilians, two cases of sexual abuse became known. The first
concerned 53 female minors and young women in the town of Melgar and the neighboring
Girardot. In August 2004, reports were published according to which contractors were
accused of producing twelve pornographic floppy discs and 53 videos with the respective
women and some additional male actors. These videos were offered for sale at the black
markets of different Colombian towns and in the internet. Many of the women were minors
who belonged to lower social classes. They were proposed the offer to participate in
pornographic film productions at the street or while working for the contractors in their
accommodation locations. Apparently, they were promised to gain a large amount of money
as measured by the average local incomes. As the payments never came, some of them
informed the police, whereby the case became actually public. Many of the women concerned
were forced to leave their hometowns due to humiliations they and their families have
suffered in their communities. The second case of abuse likewise occurred in Melgar when a
PMSC employee -together with an U.S. sergeant- sexually abused a 12-year old Colombian
27

girl in August of 2007.104 The incidences bring back to mind the scandal of DynCorp in
Bosnia, where some employees were accused of involvement in an international human
trafficking ring and forced prostitution of female minors. Some 180 company employees were
deployed there in 1995 for the assistance in humanitarian and peace keeping missions. The
only sanction some of the DynCorp employees faced at that time was the dismissal by the
firms director.105
Although no further incidents of this type became public, it is possible to derive some
general implications for the security of civilians from these cases, which would be likewise
applicable for similar incidents: Firstly, this was a crime committed by several individuals, not
a systematically observable conduct of PMSC personnel in Colombia. The closeness to the
local population and thus the opportunity to commit such an action seemed to have
constituted critical factors here. Contractors living in isolated and secured bases had much
less opportunities to get into contact with local communities. Secondly, it is beyond question
that such crimes can be and indeed are also committed by official soldiers of national or
international armies.106 Thirdly, the essential difference between regular soldiers and private
security personnel, though, was the fact that for the latter there were no control mechanisms
available to prosecute such crimes. As was argued above, the fundamental immunity
guaranteed to U.S. contractors in Colombia posed an opportunity to move beyond the legal
sphere without fearing the risk of legal sanctions. Unlike the employees in Bosnia, in this case
no dismissals of the accused have been reported. Contrary to the U.S. military personnel,
private security employees were not subject to a military code and could not be held
accountable before a military court. And as opposed to members of the Colombian security
forces, whose conduct not least in regard of their human rights performance was regularly
certified by the U.S., no similar security clearances of contractors have taken place. 107 A
requested discussion on the part of Colombian civil society representatives about these
unequal legal standards within respective authorities have reportedly been hindered by U.S.
representatives. Quite the contrary: when members of a lawyer collective just as U.S.
officials on their on-site inspections to examine the human rights practice of Colombian
military units were about to collect on-site information of the abuse incidents and to hold
talks with the local population, they were constantly accompanied by PMSC employees, a
behavior that admittedly raised more suspicion than trust.108
At this individual level of conduct, a certain deterioration of security very limited in
terms of extent and quantity by the direct interference of private security personnel can thus
be assumed. Because this non-regulation of PMSCs remained unchallenged, it constituted a
latent threat of civilian security which may have led to further similar incidents at any time.
Conclusion
Drawing on a recent (and ongoing) PMSC deployment in Colombia, the article raised the
questions if and to what extent private security personnel could affect the security of civilians
in a given area of operation. This question was addressed by the analysis of the actual
28

functions of PMSCs at the one hand, and by the rules of engagement for their deployment on
the other hand. While it was argued that due to their embedding in a complex mesh of
institutions and directives the attribution of responsibilities for single actions was far from
simple, the functional PMSC contribution to insecurity-augmenting policies and their
unregulated legal status in Colombia constituted factors which to a limited degree worsened
the security situation of civilians in this country.
Regarding the functions of contractors in the frame of Plan Colombia, the study showed
that this deployment did not foresee a classic combat operation, in which the U.S. government
would have engaged a contingent of U.S. soldiers and PMSC forces in order to offensively
perform a military operation against adversaries. Among other reasons, the unwillingness to
being gradually dragged into an internal conflict and thereby risking the lives of U.S. soldiers
have constituted a critical factor during the initial passing of Plan Colombia in the U.S.
Congress. So, the actual fight on the narcotic crop fields and the territories occupied by
insurgents should be unalterably carried out by Colombian security forces.
In a second step, by resorting to a detailed analysis first of a technical force-multiplier task
and second to an operative function, the research demonstrated that, depending on the
respective function, the consequences for the security of civilians can turn out very different.
In the first case, the modernization of the Colombian security forces the focus of the
companies was based at the delivery, installation and maintenance of logistic and technical
equipment, the assistance in air surveillance operations, flight support, technical training and
professional formation of Colombian personnel, and administrative consultancy. This
contribution of PMSCs, however, constituted an integral part of a by far broader Plan
Colombia strategy, in which a diverse range of further Colombian and U.S. security officials
and institutions participated, and whose overall aim was to enhance the Colombian security
forces technical predominance, mobility and reaction capacities and thereby shift the relative
strength as compared to the insurgents towards the side of the state. The unquestionably
military direction of Plan Colombia provoked an intensification of the armed conflict and was
therefore reflected in a considerably deteriorating security situation of civilians until 2003.
While the technical performance of the companies in this sector has been of functional
importance, at this stage it was not possible to attribute to them a direct responsibility on the
precarious and subsequently improving security situation of civilians in Colombia.
In the second case, analyzing the operative PMSC function of aerial eradications of
narcotic crops, the paper again showed that private security personnel acted amidst a larger
institutional structure, so that these companies alone could not justifiably be accused of actual
detriments to civilian security. Nevertheless contractors have played a key role in this sector.
Firstly, they assumed a dangerous activity with which they risked their lives and which the
U.S. government was not willing to transfer into the hands of its own military. Secondly,
throughout the entire period of research it was reportedly not possible to substitute PMSC
personnel through Colombian nationals, because, for instance, pilot trainings would have
required more time and practical experiences on the part of the Colombian pilots concerned.
Without the disposability and expertise of PMSCs, the counter-narcotic strategy thus would
29

not have been realized to such an extent. Due to many conceptual and financial shortcomings
of the social component of Plan Colombia and the underestimated adaptability of drug
traffickers, the security of parts of the rural population has been temporarily deteriorated.
As far as the specific rules of engagement for the PMSC deployment in Colombia are
concerned, the provisions made both by the Colombian and the U.S. government resulted in
the fact that U.S. contractors were assigned a diplomat-like status in Colombia which shielded
them from prosecution and legal sanctioning in this country. During the phases of performing
their contractual duties in Colombia, the firms were embedded in two directive chains starting
in two U.S. Departments and ending in two divisions of the U.S. Embassy in Colombia. Their
performance was inspected and evaluated on-site, so that some form of minimal
accountability regarding the contractual agreements towards the U.S. client can be assumed.
Regarding the time spent outside the contractual activities, in contrast, private security
personnel moved in a legal grey-zone, which in sporadic cases led to the detriment to the
physical integrity of civilians. These incidents occurred in settings where PMSC employees
were not accommodated in secured and separated military bases, but in common hotels and
apartments in the midst of smaller towns where they could move unrestrictedly. Thus, the
immediate closeness to the local population including the opportunity to immediate contact
constituted a relevant factor in this aspect. In order to resume the results of the study, the
following hypotheses emerge:
1. The question if private security personnel can affect the physical security of civilians in a
given operational setting depends on the specific function assigned to them within a frame
of deployment. Operative functions bear a far larger potential to affect the security of
civilians than functions of a mere logistic or technological nature.
2. The direct responsibility of PMSCs for impacts on the security of civilians depends on the
question if they enjoy a major autonomy while performing their duties, or if they instead
act within a broader web of institutions where many figures do contribute to one specific
outcome. The more a contractor deployment is embedded in a complex mesh of
institutions and the more contractors depend on decisions, instructions and contributions
of other participating institutions, the less it is possible to attribute them a direct
responsibility for the consequences on civilian security.
3. As the simple assignment of responsibility for certain actions alone would not yet lead to
any legal consequences, the existence, rigidity and denseness of regulative structures for a
contractor deployment and the individual conduct of private security personnel play a key
role as to direct effects for the security of civilians. The more uncertain the legal status of
PMSC personnel and the less the control of compliance of the existing rules, the more
probable the civilian security will be negatively affected by the companies.
4. The security of civilians is affected by the existence of opportunities to physical contact to
private security personnel. The more opportunities are given for the direct contact between
PMSC employees and civilians, and the less non-regulated the conduct of the former, the
more probable negative consequences for the security of civilians can be expected.

30

As the relationship between the deployment of PMSC and the security of civilians in a
given operational setting have remained academically unexplored so far, this study can be
regarded as a first attempt to test an analytical path in order to gain more clarity in this
question. The generated hypotheses could constitute a starting point for longer timed fieldand comparative studies focusing this relationship which for their part would serve to
confirm, advance or revise the hypotheses elaborated here. Although the hypotheses have
been derived from the analysis of PMSCs in a low-intensity conflict, they nonetheless bear the
potential to being also transferable to humanitarian or post-conflict deployments.

31

APPENDIX:
INTERVIEWS
1. Interview, Bogot, March 21, 2007(a)
2. Interview, Bogot, March 21, 2007(b)
3. Interview, Bogot, March 23, 2007
4. Interview, Bogot, March 26, 2007
5. Interview, Bogot, March 27, 2007(a)
6. Interview, Bogot, March 27, 2007(b)
7. Interview, Bogot, March 28, 2007
8. Interview, Bogot, March 30, 2007(a)
9. Interview, Bogot, March 30, 2007(b); (continued on April 5, 2007)
10. Interview, Bogot, April 2, 2007
11. Interview, Bogot, April 3, 2007(a)
12. Interview, Bogot, April 3, 2007(b)
13. Interview, Bogot, April 4, 2007(a)
14. Interview, Bogot, April 4, 2007(b)
15. Interview, Bogot, April 10, 2007
16. Interview, Bogot, April 12, 2007(a)
17. Interview, Bogot, April 12, 2007(b)
18. Interview, Bogot, April 13, 2007(a)
19. Interview, Bogot, April 13, 2007(b)
The expert interviews were held under the consent of maintenance of anonymity. If required, transcriptions (into German)
can be inquired from the author.

NOTES
1. Sabrina Tavernize, U.S. Contractor Banned by Iraq Over Shootings, New York Times, September 18, 2007, online
edition; David Johnston and John M. Broder, F.B.I. Says Guards Killed 14 Iraqis Without Cause, New York Times,
November 14, 2007, online edition.
2
2. For an extensive discussion on PMSCs, see Peter Singer, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military
Industry (Ithaca, NY/London: Cornell University Press, 2003); Caroline Holmqvist, Private Security Companies. The Case
for Regulation (Stockholm, SIPRI Policy Paper N 9, 2005); Deborah Avant, The Market for Force. The Consequences of
Privatizing Security (Cambridge [et al.]: Cambridge University Press, 2005); Fred Schreier and Marina Caparini,
Privatising Security: Law, Practice and Governance of Private Military and Security Companies (Geneva, DCAF
Occasional Paper N 6, 2005); Herbert Wulf, Internationalisierung und Privatisierung von Krieg und Frieden (BadenBaden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, BICC/DCAF Schriften zu Sicherheitssektor und Konversion; Band 11, 2005); Deborah
Avant, The Implications of Marketized Security for IR Theory: The Democratic Peace, Late State Building, and the Nature
and Frequency of Conflict, Perspectives on Politics 4, no 3 (2006): 507-528. The term selective security refers firstly to
the fact that the provision of security is only performed for certain parts, but not for all members of a society, either because
only this selective part is in the position to pay for the services, or because it benefits from these services on the grounds
that these have been purchased by a third party. Secondly, selective security provision regularly covers only some specific
security risks. See Sven Chojnacki, (Un-)Sicherheit, Gewalt und Governance theoretische Herausforderungen fr die
Sicherheitsforschung, in Staatszerfall und Governance, ed. Marianne Beisheim and Gunnar Folke Schuppert (BadenBaden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 2007), 249.
3
3. Abdel-Fatau Musah, Privatization of Security, Arms Proliferation and the Process of State Collapse in Africa,
Development and Change 33, no. 5 (2002): 929; James Larry Taulbee, The Privatization of Security: Modern Conflict,
Globalization and Weak States, Civil Wars 5, no. 2 (2002): 3; Singer, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized
Military Industry, 206-209; Holmqvist, Private Security Companies. The Case for Regulation, 26. An exception in this
respect is the master thesis written by Anders Smme Hammer, The Control of Private Security Companies. A Study of the
Relationship between the United States and Private Actors in Plan Colombia (University of Oslo, Master Thesis, Dep. of
Political Science), albeit this thesis was written under a different research question.

4. Alfredo Rangel Surez, Parasites and Predators: Guerrillas and the Insurrection Economy of Colombia, Journal of
International Affairs 53, no. 2 (2000): 577-601; Angel Rabasa and Peter Chalk, Colombian Labyrinth: The Synergy of
Drugs and Insurgency and Its Implications for Regional Stability (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation Project AIR
FORCE, 2001).
5
5. Anne W. Patterson, Counternarcotics Strategy in Colombia. Testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee
Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Washington, DC, April 24, 2007, http://www.state.gov/p/inl/rls/rm/83654.htm.
6
6. Stephen van Evera, Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science (Ithaca, NY/London: Cornell University Press,
1997), 55-67; Andrew Bennett, Case Study Methods: Design, Use, and Comparative Advantage, in Models, Numbers &
Cases. Methods for Studying International Relations, ed. Detlef F. Sprinz and Yael Wolinsky-Nahmias (Ann Arbor, MI: The
University of Michigan Press, 2004), 30-32.
7
7. Arend Lijphart, Comparative Politics and the Comparative Method, The American Political Science Review 65, no. 3
(1971): 692; Harry Eckstein, Case Study and Theory in Political Science, in Handbook of Political Science, Vol. 7, ed.
Fred L. Greenstein and Nelson W. Polshy (Reading MA: Addison-Wesley, 1975), 104-108; Bennett, Case Study Methods:
Design, Use, and Comparative Advantage, 22.
8
8. By experts I mean persons who due to their professional background or institutional context either constituted a part
on the analysed field or disposed of an exclusive access to the required information. See Michael Meuser and Ulrike Nagel,
ExpertInneninterviews vielfach erprobt, wenig bedacht. Ein Beitrag zur qualitativen Methodendiskussion, in Qualitativempirische Sozialforschung. Konzepte, Methoden, Analysen, ed. Detlef Garz and Klaus Krmer (Opladen: Westdeutscher
Verlag, 1991), 442; Jochen Glser and Grit Laudel, Experteninterviews und qualitative Inhaltsanalyse als Instrumente
rekonstruierender Untersuchungen (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag fr Sozialwissenschaften, 2006), 10. A further criterion for
choosing adequate interviewees was the requirement whereby their information should reflect a preferably wide spectre of
knowledge and opinions. Therefore, among the interviewees there were security advisers, staff of the Colombian Defense
Ministry, facilitators between this ministry and the U.S. Embassy in Colombia, former Colombian Defense and Vice
Defense Ministers, high-ranking members of the Colombian military, a former director of the Colombian Antinarcotics
Directorate of the National Police (DIRAN), academics, independent analysts from inter- and non-governmental
Organizations, human rights and labor rights lawyers, and Colombian civilian pilots. Notwithstanding the hereby obtained
variety of opinions, the information of some further key groups who would have completed this spectre was not available:
Neither representatives of the PMSCs in focus nor staff from the U.S. Embassy in Colombia were willing to give interviews
in the topic. Due to security concerns, it was also not practicable to interview rural community members who live in the
areas of operation of the PMSCs in Colombia.
9
9. For a detailed analysis of the driving factors and dynamics of the Colombian civil war see, for example, Rabasa and
Chalk, Colombian Labyrinth: The Synergy of Drugs and Insurgency and Its Implications for Regional Stability; Nazih
Richani, Systems of Violence. The Political Economy of War and Peace in Colombia (Albany, NY: State University of New
York, 2002); Harvey F. Kline, Colombia: Lawlessness, Drug Trafficking, and Carving Up the State, in State Failure and
State Weakness in a Time of Terror, ed. Robert Rotberg (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2003), 161-182;
Gustavo Galln, Human Rights: A Path to Democracy and Peace in Colombia, in Peace, Democracy, and Human Rights
in Colombia, ed. Christopher Welna and Gustavo Galln (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007), 353411.
10
10. Cornelius Friedendorf, Drogen, Krieg und Drogenkrieg,. Die USA und Kolumbien im aussichtslosen Kampf?, in
Politische Herrschaft in Sd- und Mittelamerika, ed. Raimund Krmer (Potsdam: Universittsverlag, 2006), 166.
11
11. Arlene Tickner, U.S. Foreign Policy in Colombia: Bizarre Side Effects of the War on Drugs, in Peace,
Democracy, and Human Rights in Colombia, ed. Christopher Welna and Gustavo Galln (Notre Dame, IN: University of
Notre Dame Press, 2007), 309-352.
12
12. James van Wert, The State Departments Narcotics Control Policy in the Americas, Journal of Interamerican
Studies and World Affairs 30, no. 2-3 (1998): 8; Rabasa and Chalk, Colombian Labyrinth: The Synergy of Drugs and
Insurgency and Its Implications for Regional Stability, 20-22.
13
13. Rabasa and Chalk, Colombian Labyrinth: The Synergy of Drugs and Insurgency and Its Implications for Regional
Stability, 12; International Crisis Group, Coca, Droga y Protesta Social en Bolivia y Per (Bogot/Brussels: Informe sobre
Amrica Latina N 12, 2005); United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Coca Cultivation in the Andean Region. A Survey
of Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru (formally unedited document, 2006),
http://www.unodc.org/pdf/andean/Andean_full_report.pdf.; Interviews, Bogot, April 3 and 13(b), 2007.
14
14. Ricardo Arias Caldern, Der Plan Colombia im regionalen und globalen Zusammenhang, KAS Auslandsinformationen no. 3 (2001): 6; Peter Waldmann, Der anomische Staat. ber Recht, ffentliche Sicherheit und
Alltag in Lateinamerika (Opladen: Leske und Budrich, 2002), 207; U.S. General Accounting Office, Drug Control. Specific
Performance Measures and Long-Term Costs for U.S. Programs In Colombia Have Not Been Developed. Report to
Congressional Committees, (Washington, 2003), http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03783.pdf. Interviews, Bogot, March
21a, 27a; April 4b, 10, 2007.
15
15. Interview, Bogot, March 21(a), 2007.

16

16. Diana Marcela Rojas, Estados Unidos y la guerra en Colombia, in Nuestra guerra sin nombre, ed. Francisco
Gutirrez Sann and Gonzalo Snchez Gmez (Bogot: IEPRI, 2006), 50; Tickner, U.S. Foreign Policy in Colombia:
Bizarre Side Effects of the War on Drugs , 321
17
17. The respective policy areas of Plan Colombia were economic recovery, fiscal and financial reform, negotiated peace
settlement, modernizing the Colombian security institutions, counter-narcotics strategy, alternative agricultural
development, raising popular conscience for transparent governance, social and humanitarian programs, mobilization of the
international community. See Presidency of the State of the Republic of Colombia, Plan Colombia Plan for Peace,
Prosperity and the Strengthening of the State (Bogot, 1999),
http://www.usip.org/library/pa/colombia/adddoc/plan_colombia_101999.html.
18
18. Adam Isacson, Getting In Deeper. The United States growing involvement in the Colombian conflict (Washington:
Center of International Policy Report, 2000), 1-2, http://www.ciponline.org/coipr/coipr002.pdf; Francisco Leal Buitrago, La
inseguridad de la seguridad. Colombia 1958-2005 (Bogot: Editorial Planeta Colombiana, 2006), 219.
19
19. Isacson, Getting In Deeper. The United States growing involvement in the Colombian conflict, 2; Rabasa and Chalk,
Colombian Labyrinth: The Synergy of Drugs and Insurgency and Its Implications for Regional Stability, 63.
20
20. U.S. General Accounting Office, Drug Control. Specific Performance Measures and Long-Term Costs for U.S.
Programs In Colombia Have Not Been Developed. Report to Congressional Committees, 27; Interviews, Bogot, March
28; April 10, 2007.
21
21. The U.S. government contributed an amount of some $4.7 billion to Plan Colombia in the period of 2000-2006. See
Maximilian Kurz and Wolfgang Muno, Der Plan Colombia: Kolumbien im Visier des Krieges gegen den Terror der USA in
Lateinamerika, Brennpunkt Lateinamerika, no. 3 (2005): 28-30, and Adam Isacson, Plan Colombia Six Years Later
(Washington: Center of International Policy Report, 2006), 1.
22
22. It is important to note that a share of 44% of this pipeline belongs to the property of the U.S. Occidental Petroleum
Corporation. See Rojas, Estados Unidos y la guerra en Colombia, 12. See also Larry Storrs and Connie Veillette, Andean
Regional Initiative (ARI): FY 2003 Supplemental and FY 2004 Assistance for Colombia and Neighbors (Washington: CRS
Report for Congress, 2003), 4, http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/24044.pdf; and Gerhard Drekonja-Kronat,
Kolumbien: Mikro-Kriege und Friedensinseln, Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft, no. 2 (2004): 153.
23
23. Presidencia de la Repblica/Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Poltica de Defensa y Seguridad Democrtica (Bogot,
2003), http://alpha.mindefensa.gov.co/dayTemplates/images/seguridad_democratica.pdf; Interviews, Bogot, March 21(b);
April 10; 13(b).
24
24. Press Release from Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-Illinois), Schakowsky introduces Bill to end funding of secret war
and private armies in Andean region,, April 25, 2001, http://www.ciponline.org/colombia/042501.htm; Ingrid Vaicius and
Adam Isacson, The War on Drugs meets the War on Terror (Washington: Center for International Policy Report; 2003),
http://www.ciponline.org/colombia/0302ipr.pdf.
25
25. Henry A. Kissinger, Does America Need a Foreign Policy? Toward a Diplomacy for the 21st Century (New York [et
al.]: Simon & Schuster, 2001), 91.
26
26. Connie Veillette, Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI) and Related Funding Programs: FY 2005 Assistance
(Washington: CRS Report for Congress, 2005), 6, http://www.ciponline.org/colombia/041209crs.pdf.
27
27. U.S. Department of State, FACT SHEET: Civilian Contractors and U.S. Military Personnel Supporting Plan
Colombia, (Washington, 2001), http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/ar/colombia/fact09.htm; U.S. Embassy Bogot, Colombia,
Personnel contracted by the U.S. Department of State through private U.S. companies to work in Colombia in support of
the bilateral counternarcotics effort, (Bogot, 2001): http://bogota.usembassy.gov/wwwsccen.shtml; Dario Azzelini,
Kolumbien. Versuchslabor fr privatisierte Kriegsfhrung, in Das Unternehmen Krieg. Paramilitrs, Warlords und
Privatarmeen als Akteure der Neuen Kriegsordnung, ed. Dario Azzelini and Boris Kanzleitner (Berlin/Hambung:
Assoziation A), 31-32; Storrs and Veillette, Andean Regional Initiative (ARI): FY 2003 Supplemental and FY 2004
Assistance for Colombia and Neighbors, 4-5; Vaicius and Isacson, The War on Drugs meets the War on Terror, 9;
Veillette, Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI) and Related Funding Programs: FY 2005 Assistance, 4-5; Avant, The
Implications of Marketized Security for IR Theory: The Democratic Peace, Late State Building, and the Nature and
Frequency of Conflict, 511-512; Smme Hammer, The Control of Private Security Companies. A Study of the Relationship
between the United States and Private Actors in Plan Colombia, 38; Interviews, Bogot, March 21(b); 28; April 4; 12(a),
2007.
28
28.Interviews, Bogot, March 21(b); 28; 30; April 4(b), 2007.
29
29. Interviews, Bogot, March 21(a); 26; 27; April 04(b), 2007.
30
30. Interviews, Bogot, March 26; 30(b); April 12(b), 2007.
31
31. Interviews, Bogot, March 21(a); 26; 30(b), 2007.
32
32. Contracts exceeding the amount of $50 million can easily be broken into several smaller contracts. See Singer,
Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, 210. PMSC contracts also do currently not fall under the
U.S. Freedom of Information Act. See Avant, The Implications of Marketized Security for IR Theory: The Democratic
Peace, Late State Building, and the Nature and Frequency of Conflict, 512. See also Interviews, Bogot, March 21(a);

21(b); 28; April 03(b); 12(a), 2007.


33
33. Jacobo Quintanilla, The Invisible US War in Colombia, (2004), http://www.zmag.org/content/print_article.cfm?
itemID=5807&sectionID=1. See also Press Release from Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-Illinois), Schakowsky introduces
Bill to end funding of secret war and private armies in Andean region,; Interviews, Bogot, March 21(a); 27(a); April 10,
2007.
34
34. Interviews, Bogot, March 23; April 4(b), 2007.
35
35. Vaicius and Isacson, The War on Drugs meets the War on Terror, 4; Interviews, Bogot, March 30(b); April 3(a);
12(b), 2007.
36
36. Singer, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, 207-209.
37
37. U.S. Department of State, Report to Congress. Certain Counternarcotics Activities in Colombia. Submitted to the
Congress by the Secretary of State Pursuant to Section 694 (b) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003
(Public Law 107-228), (Washington, 2003), http://www.ciponline.org/colombia/03041401.htm; Sheila Mysorekar,
DynCorp und die Privatisierung des Krieges, Zeitschrift fr Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit, no. 4 (2004) (online
edition without indication of pages), http://www.inwent.org/E+Z/content/archiv-ger/04-2004/schwer_art5.html. The central
operation basis of DynCorp found itself in the headquarters of DIRAN in Bogot, Colombia. Three decentralized DIRAN
bases in the Colombian departments Guaviare, Tolima, and Magdalena served as starting points for aerial eradication
operations in the whole Colombian territory. The personnel were then flown to destined sub-regions where they were
temporarily accommodated in sporadic police or military camps. See Interviews, Bogot, April 3(a); 12(b), 2007. Regarding
PMSC total personnel numbers, DynCorp has presumably played the most important role in the frame of Plan Colombia.
Estimated 35 DynCorp employees have been respectively present in the three decentralized bases. Most of them rotated
according to a two-week rhythm. In addition to training personnel, administrators, information specialists, technicians,
drivers, and medical personnel one could calculate a total amount of some DynCorp 250-300 employees. This estimation of
the author roughly matches with a different estimate made in the year 2003, which assumed some 307 DynCorp employees
providing services in the eradication sector. 139 of these persons were said to be U.S. nationals. See Dan Baum 2003, USGuns for Hire, (Oakland, CA: Corpwatch, 2003), http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=7867. Compared to this figure,
the total number of DIRAN employees in the period of research found itself between 3.500-3.800 persons.
38
38. U.S. Department of State, FACT SHEET: Civilian Contractors and U.S. Military Personnel Supporting Plan
Colombia,; U.S. Department of State, Report to Congress. Certain Counternarcotics Activities in Colombia. Submitted to
the Congress by the Secretary of State Pursuant to Section 694 (b) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year
2003 (Public Law 107-228); U.S. General Accounting Office, Drug Control. Specific Performance Measures and LongTerm Costs for U.S. Programs In Colombia Have Not Been Developed. Report to Congressional Committees, 12, 23; U.S.
Department of State, Report to Congress. Certain Counternarcotics Activities in Colombia. Submitted to the Congress by
the Secretary of State Pursuant to Section 694 (b) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2006 (Public Law
107-228);Interviews, Bogot, March 21(a); 27(b); April 3(a); 4(b), 2007.
39
39. U.S. Department of State, Report to Congress. Certain Counternarcotics Activities in Colombia. Submitted to the
Congress by the Secretary of State Pursuant to Section 694 (b) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003
(Public Law 107-228); Juan Forrero, Colombia: Private U.S. Operatives on Risky Missions, New York Times, February
14, 2004, online edition; Hammer, The Control of Private Security Companies. A Study of the Relationship between the
United States and Private Actors in Plan Colombia, 38; U.S. Department of State, Report to Congress. Certain
Counternarcotics Activities in Colombia. Submitted to the Congress by the Secretary of State Pursuant to Section 694 (b) of
the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2006 (Public Law 107-228); Interviews, Bogot March 27(a); 30(b);
April 4(b); 12(b); 13(a), 2007. Unlike most of the PMSCs mentioned in this section, Air Scan is not listed in the U.S. State
Department report to U.S. Congress about certain private security activities in Colombia (2003). However, several distinct
authors do confirm its presence. See, for example, Juan O. Tamayo, Colombia: Private Firms Take on U.S. Military Role in
Drug War,. Miami Herald, May 22, 2001, online edition.
40
40. U.S. Department of State, Report to Congress. Certain Counternarcotics Activities in Colombia. Submitted to the
Congress by the Secretary of State Pursuant to Section 694 (b) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003
(Public Law 107-228); U.S. General Accounting Office, Drug Control. Specific Performance Measures and Long-Term
Costs for U.S. Programs In Colombia Have Not Been Developed. Report to Congressional Committees, 16; Vaicius and
Isacson, The War on Drugs meets the War on Terror, 5; U.S. Department of State, Report to Congress. Certain
Counternarcotics Activities in Colombia. Submitted to the Congress by the Secretary of State Pursuant to Section 694 (b) of
the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2006 (Public Law 107-228)Interviews, Bogot, March 27(a), 27(b);
28, 30(b); April 2, 3(b), 2007.
41
41. U.S. Department of State, Report to Congress. Certain Counternarcotics Activities in Colombia. Submitted to the
Congress by the Secretary of State Pursuant to Section 694 (b) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003
(Public Law 107-228); U.S. Department of State, Report to Congress. Certain Counternarcotics Activities in Colombia.
Submitted to the Congress by the Secretary of State Pursuant to Section 694 (b) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act,
Fiscal Year 2006 (Public Law 107-228)Interviews, Bogot, March 27(a), 27(b), 30(b), April 2, 4(b), 2007. In the years
2000-2003, the Colombian army was delivered 72 UH-60 Black Hawk and UH-1H/ UH-II Huey helicopters, while DIRAN

received further 21 spraying air planes. See U.S. General Accounting Office, Drug Control. Specific Performance Measures
and Long-Term Costs for U.S. Programs In Colombia Have Not Been Developed. Report to Congressional Committees.
42
42. Juan O. Tamayo, Colombia: Private Firms Take on U.S. Military Role in Drug War,.; Singer, Corporate Warriors:
The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, 132-133; U.S. Department of State, Report to Congress. Certain
Counternarcotics Activities in Colombia. Submitted to the Congress by the Secretary of State Pursuant to Section 694 (b) of
the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-228); U.S. Department of State, Report to
Congress. Certain Counternarcotics Activities in Colombia. Submitted to the Congress by the Secretary of State Pursuant to
Section 694 (b) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2006 (Public Law 107-228)Interviews, Bogot,
March 28; April 4(b). See also the self-portrayal of The Rendon Group on its website: http://www.rendon.com.
43
43. Only two of them have so far been published by the Center for International Policy, see U.S. Department of State,
Report to Congress. Certain Counternarcotics Activities in Colombia. Submitted to the Congress by the Secretary of State
Pursuant to Section 694 (b) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-228),
http://www.ciponline.org/colombia/03041401.htm; U.S. Department of State, Report to Congress. Certain Counternarcotics
Activities in Colombia. Submitted to the Congress by the Secretary of State Pursuant to Section 694 (b) of the Foreign
Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2006 (Public Law 107-228), http://www.ciponline.org/colombia/contractors.htm.
44
44. Ibid. In respect of the calculation of the PMSCs revenues please note that a Fiscal Year in the United States begins
with the last quarter of a calendar year and ends with the end of the third quarter of the subsequent calendar year. The
calculation presented here is based on U.S. Plan Colombia funds provided for the Colombian military and security sector
from October 1, 2001, to September 30, 2002, and October 1, 2005, to September 30, 2006. The figures are available online
from the Center for International Policy, U.S. Aid to Colombia Since 1997: Summary
Tables,,http://www.ciponline.org/colombia/aidtable.htm.
45
45. Sorpresa general. La salida de los cuatro generales fue traumtica, tal vez injusta, pero necesaria, Semana, May 29, 2005, online edition, http://www.semana.com/wf_InfoArticulo.aspx?IdArt=86412; Interviews, Bogot, March 21(b);
27(a); 30(b); April 2; 4(a); 10; 13(a), 2007.
46
46. Interviews, Bogot, March 28; 30(b); 4(b), 2007.
47
47. Index Mundi, Kolumbien Bruttoinlandsprodukt BIP (1999-2006), (2007),
http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=co&v=65&l=de; Ministerio de Defensa Nacional - Repblica de Colombia,
Logros de la Poltica de Consolidacin de la Seguridad Democrtica (Bogot, 2007),
http://www.mindefensa.gov.co/descargas/Sobre_el_Ministerio/Planeacion/ResultadosOperacionales/Resultados
%20Operacionales%20Ene%20-%20Jun%202007.pdf.
48
48. Ministerio de Defensa Nacional - Repblica de Colombia, Logros de la Poltica de Consolidacin de la Seguridad
Democrtica, 78-79; Interview, Bogot, April 20, 2007.
49
49. Survey Colombia, The Economist, April 21, 2001, 3-16; Sorpresa general. La salida de los cuatro generales fue
traumtica, tal vez injusta, pero necesaria, Semana, May 2-9, 2005; Interviews, Bogot, March 21(b); 28; April 4(a); 10,
2007.
50
50. U.S. General Accounting Office, Drug Control. Specific Performance Measures and Long-Term Costs for U.S.
Programs In Colombia Have Not Been Developed. Report to Congressional Committees, 11; Leal Buitrago, La inseguridad
de la seguridad. Colombia 1958-2005, 165; Interviews; Bogot, March 23; 28; 30(b); April 10, 2007.
51
51. Working Group on Latin America and Center for International Policy, Blurring the Lines: Trends in U.S. military
programs with Latin America (Washington, 2003), http://ciponline.org/facts/0410btl.pdf; Working Group on Latin America
and Center for International Policy, Erasing the Lines: Trends in U.S. military programs with Latin America (Washington,
2005), http://ciponline.org/facts/0512eras.pdf; U.S. Department of State, Foreign Military Training: Joint Report to
Congress, Fiscal Years 2005 and 2006 (Washington, 2006), http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/74800.pdf.
52
52. Interviews, Bogot, March 26; 27(a); 28; 30(b); April 4(b), 10, 2007.
53
53. Storrs and Veillette, Andean Regional Initiative (ARI): FY 2003 Supplemental and FY 2004 Assistance for Colombia
and Neighbors, 4; Vaicius and Isacson, The War on Drugs meets the War on Terror, 5; Interview, Bogot, March 30(b),
2007.
54
54. Interviews, Bogot, March 27(a); 27 (b); April 2; 10; 2007. While in 2002 there security officials have only been
present in some 940 municipal districts, the presence of security personnel in all 1.098 Colombian municipal districts has
been reached in 2004. See Ministerio de Defensa Nacional - Repblica de Colombia, Logros de la Poltica de
Consolidacin de la Seguridad Democrtica, 73; Interviews, Bogot, April 10; 13(a). The war tax has been raised twice so
far. It was collected among the wealthiest social classes of the Colombian society. See Storrs and Veillette, Andean Regional
Initiative (ARI): FY 2003 Supplemental and FY 2004 Assistance for Colombia and Neighbors, 10; Interviews, Bogot, April
10; 13(a), 2007.
55
55. Interviews, Bogot, March 23; 27(a); 30(b); April 4(a); 12(b), 2007.
56
56. International Crisis Group, Colombias Humanitarian Crisis (Bogot/Brussels, Latin American Report N 4, 2003),
7; Observatorio de Derechos Humanos, Informe Anual de Derechos Humanos y de Derecho Internacional Humanitario
2004.Vicepresidencia de la Republica de Colombia (Bogot, 2004), 191-230,

http://www.derechoshumanos.gov.co/descargas/informe2004/informeanual2004.pdf; Jorge Restrepo and Michael A. Spagat,


The Colombian Conflict Where is it Heading? Bogot: CERAC Colombian Conflict Database, 2005),
http://www.cerac.org.co/pdf/CSISPresentationwithtext-V10_Low.pdf; Jorge Restrepo and Michael A. Spagat and Juan F.
Vargas, El conflicto en Colombia: quien hizo qu a quin? Un enfoque cuantitativo (1988-2003) in: Nuestra guerra sin
nombre, ed. Francisco Gutirrez Sann and Gonzalo Snchez Gmez (Bogot: IEPRI, 2006), 516-521.
57
57. Restrepo and Spagat, The Colombian Conflict Where is it Heading?, 6-12, 21-23, 33-34; Gustavo Galln, This
War Cannot Be Won with Bullets, in Peace, Democracy, and Human Rights in Colombia, ed. Christopher Welna and
Gustavo Galln (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007), 416-417.
58
58. International Crisis Group, Colombias Humanitarian Crisis, 6; United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for
Refugees, The State of the World Refugees. Human Displacement In the New Millennium (2006), Chapter 7,
http://www.unhcr.org/static/publ/sowr2006/toceng.htm; Galln, This War Cannot Be Won with Bullets, 416-417;
Interview, Bogot, March 28, 2007. For concrete figures of the dynamics of internal displacement in Colombia, please
consult the data published on the website of the Colombian Consultorio para los Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento,
http://www.codhes.org/Info/grafico-tendencias.htm.
59
59. Galln, This War Cannot Be Won with Bullets, 417; Interviews, Bogot, March 21(a); 26; 27(a); 28; April 2; 3(b);
4(b), 2007. For the exact records of registered abductions in Colombia, please consult the documents published online by
the Colombian Fondelibertad, for instance,
http://www.antisecuestro.gov.co/documentos/7_16_2007_4_58_07_PM_CifrasHistoricas.pdf.
60
60. International Crisis Group, Colombias Humanitarian Crisis, 9; Diego Otero Prada, Las Cifras del Conflicto
Colombiano (Bogot: J&M Impresores, 2007), 285; Interview, Bogot, April 3(b), 2007. For anti-personnel mine figures see
the annual reports of the Colombian Consultorio de Derechos Humanos published on the webseite:
http://www.derechoshumanos.gov.co/index.php?newsecc=observatorio.
61
61. Interview, Bogot, March 21(a), 2007; translated by the author.
62
62. Observatorio de Derechos Humanos, Informe Anual de Derechos Humanos y de Derecho Internacional
Humanitario 2004.Vicepresidencia de la Republica de Colombia; Restrepo and Spagat, The Colombian Conflict Where is
it Heading?, 35-36; Buitrago, La inseguridad de la seguridad. Colombia 1958-2005, 211; Centro de Investigacin y
Educacin Popular, Cifras de la Violencia Poltica, N 34 (Bogot, 2006), http://www.nocheyniebla.org/; Observatorio de
Derechos Humanos, Informe Anual de Derechos Humanos y de Derecho Internacional Humanitario 2006. Vicepresidencia
de la Republica de Colombia (Bogot, 2006),
http://www.derechoshumanos.gov.co/observatorio/indicadores/2006/diciembre2006.pdf; U.S: State Department, U.S.
Country Report on Human Rights Practices Colombia (Washington, 2006),
http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78885.htm; Galln, Human Rights: A Path to Democracy and Peace in
Colombia, 362-364; Interviews, Bogot, March 21(b); 27(a); 27(b); 30(b); 28; April 2; 4(a); 12(a), 2007.
63
63. Douglas Brooks, The Business End of Military Intelligence: Private Military Companies, Military Intelligence
Professional Bulletin 5, No. 3 (1999): 42, http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/army/tradoc/usaic/mipb/1999-3/brooks.htm.
64
64. Singer, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, 97.
65
65. Restrepo and Spagat, The Colombian Conflict Where is it Heading?, 21, 33.
66
66. Ricardo Vargas Meza, Drogas, conflicto armado y desarrollo alternativo. Una perspectiva desde el sur de Colombia
(Bogot: Gente Nueva Editorial, 2003); Interviews, Bogot, March 27(b); April 4(b), 2007.
67
67. Avant also included DynCorps aerial reconnaissance and crop spraying missions in Colombia to the category of
operational support. See Deborah Avant, Private Security Companies, New Political Economy 10, no.1 (2005): 124.
68
68. Sheila Mysorekar, Feldversuch Kolumbien, oder: die Privatisierung des Krieges, (Broadcasting manuscript for the
German radio station Westdeutscher Rundfunk Kln. Broadcasted on June 27, 2004 in the series DOK 5 Das Feature),
http://www.wdr.de/radio/wdr3/bilder/sendung/wdr_3_diskurs/feldversuch.pdf; Interviews, Bogot, March 27(a); April 3(a);
13(b), 2007.
69
69. Juan O. Tamayo, Colombian Guerillas Fire on U.S. Rescuers, Miami Herald, February 22, 2001; Singer,
Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, 208; Interview, Bogot, April 13(b), 2007.
70
70. Interview, Bogot, April 13(b), 2007.
71
71. Due to the secrecy of PMSCs as well as the responsible authorities in Colombia, the exact numbers of deaths is not
quantifiable. Quintanilla (2004) speaks of about 20 death PMSC employees since 1998 in Colombia; Kurlantzik (2003)
counts eight dead DynCorp employees within the past decade; while Mysorekar (2004) describes a bundle of death
certificates of DynCorp personnel she was shown in a Colombian funeral parlor. See Joshua Kurlantzik, Outsourcing the
Dirty Work. The military and its reliance on hired guns The American Prospect, April 30, 2003,
http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=outsourcing_the_dirty_work; Quintanilla, The Invisible US War in Colombia;
Mysorekar, DynCorp und die Privatisierung des Krieges. See also Storrs and Veillette, Andean Regional Initiative (ARI):
FY 2003 Supplemental and FY 2004 Assistance for Colombia and Neighbors, 14.
72
72. U.S. Embassy Bogot, Colombia, Regional Cooperation is Key to Helping Colombia (Bogot, 2000),
http://bogota.usembassy.gov/wwwssms1.shtml; U.S. General Accounting Office, Drug Control. Specific Performance

Measures and Long-Term Costs for U.S. Programs In Colombia Have Not Been Developed. Report to Congressional
Committees, 9; Smme Hammer, The Control of Private Security Companies. A Study of the Relationship between the
United States and Private Actors in Plan Colombia, 34; 43-46; Mysorekar, DynCorp und die Privatisierung des Krieges;
Interviews, Bogot, April 3(a); 10; 12(a); 13(b), 2007.
73
73. Aguasanta Arias et al. vs. Dyn Corp et al. Deposition of Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and
Law Enforcement Affairs Rand Beers, lawsuit against DynCorp, Inc., February 27, 2002, held at the offices of the
International Labor Rights Fund, 733 15th Street, N.W., Suite 920, Washington.
http://www.ciponline.org/colombia/02022701.htm; Mysorekar, Feldversuch Kolumbien, oder: die Privatisierung des
Krieges; Interviews, Bogot, April 12(a); 13(b), 2007.
74
74. Storrs and Veillette, Andean Regional Initiative (ARI): FY 2003 Supplemental and FY 2004 Assistance for Colombia
and Neighbors, 10; Vaicius and Isacson, The War on Drugs meets the War on Terror, 8; Vargas Meza, Drogas, conflicto
armado y desarrollo alternativo. Una perspectiva desde el sur de Colombia, 83-84; Interview, Bogot, 12(a), 2007.
75
75. The herbicide used for aerial sprayings in Colombia is the broad-spectrum herbicide RoundUp, produced by the
U.S. company Monsanto. It is mainly composed of the toxic ingredient glyphosate, a surfactant called Cosmoflux, water,
and some other additives. See United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Colombia. Coca Cultivation Survey 2006
(Geneva/New York, 2007), 74, http://www.unodc.org/pdf/research/icmp/colombia_2006_en_web.pdf.
76
76. Vargas Meza, Drogas, conflicto armado y desarrollo alternativo. Una perspectiva desde el sur de Colombia, 81;
International Crisis Group, Guerra y Droga en Colombia, 26-27; Marcela Lpez, Algunas apreciaciones del glifosato y las
fumigaciones Indepaz - Punto de Encuentro, no. 42 (2007): 39-44; Interviews, Bogot, April 3(b); 12(a), 2007.
77
77. Storrs and Veillette, Andean Regional Initiative (ARI): FY 2003 Supplemental and FY 2004 Assistance for Colombia
and Neighbors, 10; U.S. General Accounting Office, Drug Control. Specific Performance Measures and Long-Term Costs
for U.S. Programs In Colombia Have Not Been Developed. Report to Congressional Committees, 20. The U.S. court
dismissed the lawsuit stating that the authority to decide on concrete counter-narcotic measures lied in the U.S. government,
and not in the discretion of DynCorp. See United Nations, General Assembly, Human Rights Counsel, Report of the
Working Group on the question of the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of
the right of peoples to self-determination. Mission to Ecuador 2007, A/HRC/4/42 Add 2*. February 13, 2007.
http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G07/120/89/PDF/G0712089.pdf?OpenElement; and Aguasanta Arias et al. vs.
Dyn Corp et al. 2002. Deposition of Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Rand Beers, lawsuit against DynCorp, Inc.
78
78. Vargas Meza, Drogas, conflicto armado y desarrollo alternativo. Una perspectiva desde el sur de Colombia, 81-82;
Mysorekar, Feldversuch Kolumbien, oder: die Privatisierung des Krieges, 10; Interview; Bgot, April 13(b), 2007.
79
79. Interviews, Bogot, April 2; 12(a); 13(b), 2007.
80
80. Mysorekar, Feldversuch Kolumbien, oder: die Privatisierung des Krieges, 7; Ministerio de Proteccin Social Repblica de Colombia, Dectreto nmero 4686 de 2005. Salario mnimo legal (Bogot, 2005),
http://www.suratep.com/legislacion/articulos/663/; United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Colombia. Coca Cultivation
Survey, 6; Interviews; Bogot, March 26; 28; April 3(a); 13(b), 2007.
81
81. International Crisis Group, Colombias Humanitarian Crisis, 11; Consultora para los Derechos Humanos y el
Desplazamiento, Destierro y repoblamiento, Boletn de la Consultora para los Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento,
no. 44 (2003): 6, http://www.codhes.org/Info/Boletines/Boletin%2044%20Destierro%20y%20%20repoblamiento.pdf;
Interviews, Bogot, March 21(a); 30(b); April 2; 4(a); 12(a), 2007.
82
82. Storrs and Veillette, Andean Regional Initiative (ARI): FY 2003 Supplemental and FY 2004 Assistance for Colombia
and Neighbors, 12; Vaicius and Isacson, The War on Drugs meets the War on Terror, 7-8; International Crisis Group:
Guerra y Droga en Colombia, 28-29; Isacson, Plan Colombia Six Years Later, 4-5; Interviews, Bogot, March 30(b);
April 2,2007.
83
83. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Colombia. Annual Coca Cultivation Survey 2001(2002), 8,
http://www.unodc.org/pdf/publications/report_2002-03-31_1.pdf; U.S. General Accounting Office, Drug Control. Specific
Performance Measures and Long-Term Costs for U.S. Programs In Colombia Have Not Been Developed. Report to
Congressional Committees; International Crisis Group, Colombias Humanitarian Crisis, 27; Friesendorf, Drogen, Krieg
und Drogenkrieg. Die USA und Kolumbien im aussichtslosen Kampf, 163; United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,
Colombia. Coca Cultivation Survey 2006, 7; Interviews, Bogot, March 21(a); 27(b); 28; April 2; 3(b); 10; 13(b), 2007.
84
84. International Crisis Group: Guerra y Droga en Colombia, 27; United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World
Drug Report 2007 (Geneva/New York, 2007), 206,
http://www.unodc.org/pdf/research/wdr07/WDR_2007_3.1.3_colombia.pdf; United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,
Coca Cultivation in the Andean Region. A Survey of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru (2007) (Geneva/New York;
2007), 7, http://www.unodc.org/pdf/andean/Andean_report_2007.pdf; Interviews, Bogot, March 26; 28; April 2; 13(b),
2007.
85
85. International Crisis Group: Guerra y Droga en Colombia, 27; Friesendorf, Drogen, Krieg und Drogenkrieg. Die
USA und Kolumbien im aussichtslosen Kampf?; United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Coca Cultivation in the
Andean Region. A Survey of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru (2007), 96-99; Interviews, Bogot, April 2; 13(b), 2007.

86

86. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Coca Cultivation in the Andean Region. A Survey of Bolivia, Colombia,
Ecuador and Peru (2007), iii.
87
87. Correspondence between Douglas Brooks, President of the International Peace Operations Mission, and the author
in March 2007.
88
88. U.S. General Accounting Office, Drug Control. Specific Performance Measures and Long-Term Costs for U.S.
Programs In Colombia Have Not Been Developed. Report to Congressional Committees ; U.S. Department of State, Report
to Congress. Certain Counternarcotics Activities in Colombia. Submitted to the Congress by the Secretary of State Pursuant
to Section 694 (b) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-228); Sven Chojnacki and
Nicole Deitelhoff, Riskante Liaison: Demokratische Kriegsfhrung und die Kommerzialisierung von Sicherheit, 14,
http://www.polwiss.fuberlin.de/frieden/pdf/Chojnacki_Deitelhoff_2005_DVPW_Riskante%20Liaison.pdf.
89
89. See, for example, OAU Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa (1977); United Nations
International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries (1989); David Shearer
(Adelphi Paper, no. 316, New York: Oxford University Press, 1998); Alexandre Faite, Involvement of Private Contractors
in Armed Conflict: Implications under International Humanitarian Law Defense Studies 4, no.2 (2004): 166-183;
Holmqvist, Private Security Companies. The Case for Regulation; Schreier and Caparini, Privatising Security: Law,
Practice and Governance of Private Military and Security Companies.
90
90. U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice; http://www.constitution.org/mil/ucmj19970615.htm; U.S. Military
Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act 2000. Public Law 106523Nov. 22, 2000, http://www.pubklaw.com/hi/pl106-523.pdf;
Schreier and Caparini, Privatising Security: Law, Practice and Governance of Private Military and Security Companies, 60;
Deborah Avant, The Privatization of Security: Lessons from Iraq Orbis 50, no. 2 (206), 338-119.
91
91. Juan Forero, Colombia: Private U.S. Operatives on Risky Missions, New York Times, February 14, 2004, online
edition; U.S. Department of Defense Instruction No. 3020.41, Oct. 3 2005: 6.1.1.; Avant, The Privatization of Security:
Lessons from Iraq, 339-400.
92
92. Kelly Patricia O'Meara, US: DynCorp Disgrace Insight Magazine, January 14, 2002, online edition reprinted in:
http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=11119; Avant, The Privatization of Security: Lessons from Iraq, 338.
93
93. Convenio General para Ayuda Econmica, Tcnica y Afn entre el Gobierno de Colombia y el Gobierno de los
Estados Unidos de Amrica 1962, Art. 4, 5. ; Interviews, Bogot, April 2; 12(a), 2007.
94
94. Interview, Bogot, April 12(a), 2007.
95
95. Sabine Kurtenbach, Uribe am Ende? berlegungen zur aktuellen Konjunktur in Kolumbien, Brennpunkt
Lateinamerika, no. 22 (2003), 228; Adam Isacson, Taking No for an Answer. The American Servicemembers Protection
Act and the Bush Administrations Security Relations with Latin America (Washington, Center of International Policy
Report, 2007), http://www.ciponline.org/colombia/takingnoipr.pdf; Interviews, Bogot, April 3(b); 10; 12(a) 2007.
96
96. U.S. Department of State, FACT SHEET: Civilian Contractors and U.S. Military Personnel Supporting Plan
Colombia; Interviews, Bogot, March 27(b); 30(b); April 04(b).2007.
97
97. Interviews, Bogot, April 4(b); 13(b) 2007.
98
98. Interview, Bogot, April 13(b), 2007.
99
99. Interviews, Bogot, April 12(a); 13(b), 2007.
100
100. Interviews, Bogot, March 27(b); April 4(b); 13(a), 2007.
101
101. Singer, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, 119-135.
102
102. Interviews, Bogot, March 23; 27(b); 28; April 3(b); 4(a); 4(b); 10; 12(a), 2007.
103
103. Interviews, Bogot, March 26; April 12(a), 2007.
104
104. Ivn Cepeda Castro, Marines de los Estados Unidos y contratistas vejan a menores en Colombia El Espectador,
January 8, 2004, online edition reprinted in: http://www.elcorreo.eu.org/esp/article.php3?id_article=4747; Claudia
Salamanca, Globalization and Voyeurism: Sexed Identities Queen: a Journal of Rhetoric and Power. Special Issue:
Presentations on the Conference on Rhetorics of Identity: Place, Race, Sex and the Person. University of Redlands, USA,
http://www.ars-rhetorica.net/Queen/VolumeSpecialIssue5/Articles/Salamanca.pdf; Unidad Investigativa, Investigan a dos
militares de E.U. por violacin de nia de 12 aos en Comando Areo de Melgar El Tiempo, October 7, 2007, (online
edition), http://www.eltiempo.com/justicia/2007-10-07/ARTICULO-WEB-NOTA_INTERIOR-3755561.html; Interviews,
Bogot, March 27(a); April 3(b); 10; 12(a), 2007a.
105
105. See, for instance, O'Meara, US: DynCorp Disgrace.
106
106. Interview, Bogot, March 30(b), 2007.
107
107. According to Isenberg (2004) the directors of PMSCs do not see it as their duty to scrutinize their employees on
possible misconduct in the past. See David Isenberg, A Fistful of Contractors: The Case for Pragmatic Assessment of
Private Military Companies in Iraq (London/Washington, British-American Security Information Council Report, 2004),
57, http://www.basicint.org/pubs/Research/2004PMC.htm. See also Smme Hammer, The Control of Private Security
Companies. A Study of the Relationship between the United States and Private Actors in Plan Colombia, 41.
108
108. Interviews, Bogot, April 3(b); 13(a), 2007.