Saturday, February 26, 2022

Plan Lazo: the Snare Plan

I have always seen plan lazo imported into English in discussion of Colombian history and politics, so I was surprised by this rendition in this recent very mainstream timeline of US-Colombia relations published by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). 

Plan Lazo is widely written about as establishing paramilitaries. Note how the CFR reframes this in the following text:

Plan Lazo Creates Counterinsurgency Blueprint

In response to the persistence of armed guerrilla groups in the countryside, U.S. military advisors, led by General William P. Yarborough, work with the Colombian army to develop a comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy known as Plan Lazo (the Snare Plan). The plan centers on public works projects, civilian defense networks, and an aggressive military assault on “independent republics” formed by communist insurgents during La Violencia. Plan Lazo becomes the template for decades of counterinsurgency and civic action programs in Colombia.

(photo is of Yarborough)