Colombia: Military Support

House of Lords written question – answered on 21st April 2008.

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Photo of Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer Spokesperson in the Lords, Home Affairs

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What monitoring and evaluation have been considered to assess the efficacy of support provided to the Colombian military, including the mountain units, and what has been the cost of that support in each year over the past five years.

Photo of Lord Malloch-Brown Lord Malloch-Brown Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Minister of State (Africa, Asia and the UN)

All UK projects in Colombia, as elsewhere, undergo rigorous evaluation before funding is agreed, in areas such as value for money and effectiveness of implementing partners, and they are carefully monitored while projects are under way in terms of proper use of funds, achievements of objectives and outputs. We continually and closely supervise the use of UK resources in an effort to ensure that the highest operational, ethical and human rights standards are maintained by the people whom we are working with. Our work with the Colombian Government, including with the Ministry of Defence, is specifically aimed at countering the threat of cocaine to the UK and at helping to improve the human rights situation. The only training that we have provided to individuals in the high mountain battalions has been human rights and demining training.

We do not divulge details of the support that we provide to our Colombian partners because to do so could not only endanger the effectiveness of the support but play into the hands of ruthless and powerful drugs-trafficking cartels. The Parliamentary Ombudsman has upheld this decision.

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