Nomadesc message to CANSEC arms show in Canada “We Colombians do not want more weapons”
On June 1, the PBI-Colombia accompanied human rights organization Association for Research and Social Action (Nomadesc) tweeted:
“We Colombians do not want more weapons, no more massacres, no more disappearances, no more threats, no more fear. #StopTheGenocide. We demand truth, justice and guarantees of non-repetition. Don’t send us any more weapons. That has made them accomplices of Barbarism.”
Nomadesc also retweeted this World Beyond War Canada tweet about a protest against the CANSEC arms show in Ottawa.
The day before this protest at the CANSEC arms show, Nomadesc president Berenice Celeita and World Beyond War Canada organizer Rachel Small participated in a PBI-Canada organized webinar on arms exports and militarization.
You can watch the video of that webinar here.
Examples of Canadian military exports to Colombia
50 Light Armoured Vehicles to be sold
On May 20, Infodefensa.com reported: “Yesterday, May 19, the Colombian Government, through the Ministry of Defense, approved the purchase of 50 General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) 8×8 LAV III DVH armored vehicles.”
The article adds: “The LAV III DVH is manufactured by the [London, Ontario-based] Canadian subsidiary of General Dynamics Land Systems.”
General Dynamics has three of its armoured vehicles on display at CANSEC 2022 in Ottawa this week.
32 LAVs sold for USD $65+ million
In January 2013, GDLS-Canada announced: “The Colombian Ministry of National Defence has awarded a USD $65.3 million contract to General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada for 24 Light Armoured Vehicles for the Colombian Army.”
Their media release adds: “The contract was signed through the Canadian Commercial Corporation, a Crown Agency of the Government of Canada.”
It was later reported that 32 LAVs were exported to Colombia.
Bell 407 helicopters surveil the national strike
The 2013-14 annual report of the Canadian Commercial Corporation, a federal government agency, notes this “success story” in Colombia:
“As per the CCC contract with Ministry of Defense, four Bell 407 helicopters were delivered to the National Police; and two Bell 412 helicopters were delivered to the Naval Aviation Group [the Colombian navy]. The aircraft were manufactured by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd. of Mirabel, QC.”
Open-source research by PBI-Canada detailed here reveals that Bell 407 helicopters were used for surveillance of the Colombian labour movement-organized National Strike mobilization on November 21, 2019.
The Waterloo, Ontario-based Project Ploughshares has also noted that Canada also sold forty CH-135 helicopters (between September 1998 and February 2000) and twelve 212 helicopters (between 1994 and 1996) to the Colombian police and military.
INKAS armoured vehicle blocks popular assembly delegates
On July 17, 2021, less than a month after that RCI report, Alejandra Wilches tweeted: “This morning on some roads in the country, the police detained different delegations heading to the National People’s Assembly in Cali!”
This tweet (with the armoured vehicle visible) further noted: “Several delegations from each city (Popayan, Bucaramanga, Bogota …) going to the Asemblea Nacional del Paro are detained by the police who prevent them from going there to Cali.”
In April 2015, PLANT also reported: “The manufacturer is still building behemoth armoured personnel carriers (APCs). In fact, there’s a tendered order for 26 of its Huron vehicles, at about $450,000 a pop, for the National Police of Columbia.”
That article adds: “The Huron will be outfitted with a cannon to wrangle unruly rioters with foam, tear gas, dyes and water.”
In June 2017, the Canadian armoured vehicle manufacturer INKAS exhibited at CANSEC. In July 2021, the Colombian National Police used an INKAS Huron armoured carrier to stop delegations travelling to Cali for a National Strike popular assembly.
We continue to monitor, research, document and amplify concerns about these exports.