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The Center for Latin American Studies
University of California, Berkeley

Colombia in Context

Spring 2001 Series

Working Papers
Working Group

Sen. Paul Wellstone
Monday, April 16, 2001
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Senator Paul Wellstone Paul Wellstone, the senior senator from Minnesota, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1990. A Ph.D. in political science, he previously taught at Carleton College for 21 years. Wellstone's experience as a teacher and grassroots organizer in Minnesota provides the framework for his progressive policies and priorities as a Senator. He is a strong advocate of human rights at home and abroad, speaking out on issues such as religious freedom in China, global trafficking of women and children, and the release of CIA documents on former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

In regard to Colombia, Wellstone has argued that any aid from the United States should be conditioned on the Colombia government and military complying with human rights norms. According to him, U.S. policy on Colombia should include "support for Colombia's peace process, new protections for human rights defenders, and initiatives to make drug production less attractive to economically desperate peasants by providing support for sustainable alternative crops." (In "Bush Should Start Over in Colombia," New York Times, Dec. 26, 2000).

Bush Should Start Over in Colombia - The New York Times, December 26, 2000
Don't Assist Colombia Militarily - The Washington Post, January 14, 2001