Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection
This movie has very little in common with the first movie, the only real connection between the two is Chuck Norris is in both of them. That and the movie does involve the Delta Force once again. It is also a very unmemorable movie as there are very few scenes in this one that I can recall. While I remember the older movie Delta Force almost entirely and I did not exactly watch that one a whole lot more. One of the few scenes that I even remember is the scene involving the Delta Force doing a sky jump with the drug lord and the fact this film had a bit of a similar plot to the James Bond film "License to Kill", however that film is superior to this one as I can remember a lot about that one too. I do not remember this one being particularly horrible or anything, I just remember it not being as good as the original and that I got a bit bored during this film, another thing that did not occur during the first film. In the end I think it is just one of those sequels that uses the success of the first film to try and market an almost unrelated film. Like this one was supposed to have Chuck in some sort of drug task force, but they thought they could get some more bucks by making it a sequel to the Delta Force movie.
Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection
Venezuela is a republic with an elected president and a bicameral congress. President Hugo Chavez Frias, the leader of an attempted coup in 1992, took office in February after being elected in December 1998 with 57 percent of the vote. Chavez's election was the result of deep popular dissatisfaction with the traditional parties and frustration with the country's continued economic crisis. Chavez campaigned on a promise of radical reform, including constitutional change through the election of a National Constitutional Assembly (ANC). In an April 25 national referendum, voters overwhelmingly approved his proposal for the popular election of a 131-member assembly with a 6-month mandate to rewrite the Constitution. Chavez's political party, the Fifth Republic Movement (MVR), won 119 of the 131 ANC seats in a July 25 election. The ANC drafted a new constitution, which voters approved in a December 15 referendum. Despite controversy over the ANC electoral campaign rules, international observers characterized the elections and both referendums as largely free and fair. The new Constitution, which took effect on December 30, creates two new branches of government--the civil authority and the electoral authority--and allows immediate presidential reelection for a 6-year term. In August the ANC issued a Legislative Emergency Decree that led to an institutional clash between the ANC and the Congress until a cohabitation agreement was reached over respective responsibilities. Also in August, the ANC issued a Judicial Emergency Decree to reform the largely discredited judiciary, which although legally independent is highly inefficient, corrupt, and subject to influence. The security apparatus comprises civilian and military elements, both accountable to elected authorities. The newly combined Interior and Justice Ministry controls the Judicial Technical Police (PTJ), which conducts most criminal investigations, and the State Security Police (DISIP), which is primarily responsible for investigating cases of subversion and arms trafficking. The General Directorate for Military Intelligence, under the Defense Ministry, is responsible for collecting intelligence related to national security and sovereignty. The national guard, an active branch of the military, has arrest powers and is largely responsible for guarding the exterior of prisons and key government installations, maintaining public order, monitoring frontiers, conducting counterdrug operations, and providing law enforcement in remote areas. It also supplies the top leadership for the Metropolitan Police, the main civilian police force in and around Caracas, and for various state and municipal police forces, which fall under the authority of the respective state governors or municipal mayors. There was controversy during the year over the increasing role that the military played in government and society. In February President Chavez ordered 70,000 members of the military to participate in a public works program which continued throughout the year, including conducting a census of the unemployed; providing medical care to the needy; renovating schools, playgrounds, and medical care centers; and removing garbage. In May the President appointed an army general as his chief of staff. In December paratroopers and other security force members assisted with relief efforts following devastating flooding. Both police and military personnel were responsible for human rights abuses during the year. The country has abundant natural resources, and its per capita gross domestic product (GDP) is $4,087. However, income is distributed unevenly, and approximately 80 percent of the population live at or below the poverty line. Oil accounted for 27 percent of GDP, 43 percent of government revenues, and 70 percent of the country's exports in 1998. State-owned enterprises' production of iron, aluminum, and petrochemical products constitute one-fifth of the country's nonoil exports. The economy underwent its worst recession in the last 10 years due to low oil prices, the recessionary effect of oil production cuts, monetary tightening to bring inflation under control, and investor uncertainty caused by nearly a year of constant political change. According to preliminary figures from the Central Bank, GDP contracted by 7.2 percent in 1999, compared with a contraction of 0.1 percent in 1998. However, a strong rebound in oil prices reduced the estimated fiscal deficit for the year. In December the country suffered its worst natural disaster when heavy rains triggered severe flooding and landslides that caused an estimated 20,000 deaths as well as extensive property and infrastructure damage. Following the disaster, the ANC declared a "state of alarm," and granted the President broad powers to respond to the flood. The Government's human rights record continued to be poor in some areas; although there were improvements in some areas, serious problems remain. Human rights violations include extrajudicial killings of criminal suspects by the police and military, an increase in torture and abuse of detainees, failure to punish police and security officers guilty of abuse, arbitrary arrest and excessively lengthy detention, long delays in trials, illegal searches, and corruption and severe inefficiency in the judicial and law enforcement systems. Prison conditions remained harsh, and overcrowding and violence in the prisons were so severe as to constitute inhuman and degrading treatment. In October the ANC declared a prison emergency and set up an interinstitutional commission to address conditions in the prisons. On July 1, the Organic Criminal Procedures Code (COPP) entered into force, replacing the secretive inquisitorial system with an open adversarial system. The authorities fired a number of judges for corruption. In February the Chavez administration reinstated the constitutional provisions of freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention and search without warrant, as well as freedom of movement, which had been suspended in some border areas since June 1994. Violence and discrimination against women, abuse of children, discrimination against the disabled, and inadequate protection of the rights of indigenous people continue to be problems. Child labor persisted, and there were reports of trafficking in children for forced labor. Killings due to vigilante justice increased. RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom From: a. Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing There were no reports of targeted political killings; however, the security forces continued to commit extrajudicial killings, primarily of criminal suspects. The Venezuelan Program of Action and Education in Human Rights (PROVEA), a highly respected nongovernmental human rights organization, documented 101 extrajudicial killings from October 1998 through September 1999, compared with 104 from October 1997 to September 1998. The killings involved summary executions of criminal suspects, indiscriminate or excessive use of force, and death resulting from mistreatment while in custody. According to PROVEA, the state police forces were responsible for 44 of the killings; the Metropolitan Police, 11; the PTJ, 5; the national guard, 5; the municipal police forces, 13; the armed forces, 15; the DISIP, 2; and other security forces, 6. These figures reflect a range of killings in very different situations committed by organizations with varying levels of control and responsibilities. The majority of the killings were attributed to various state and municipal police forces that report to local officials and usually have little training or supervision. The perpetrators of extrajudicial killings act with near impunity, as the Government rarely prosecutes such cases. The police often fail to investigate crimes allegedly committed by their colleagues and characterize incidents of extrajudicial killings as "confrontations," even when eyewitness testimony and evidence strongly indicate otherwise. In addition, the civilian judicial system still is struggling to implement the new Organic Criminal Procedures Code (COPP) and, in the meantime, remains highly inefficient and sometimes corrupt. Military courts often are biased in favor of members of the armed forces accused of abuse. A pretrial summary phase called "nulo hecho," which is used in cases involving public officials and is conducted in secret, was abolished in July under the COPP. It often shielded members of the security forces from prosecution, since cases could languish in this phase for several years. In the small number of prosecutions in which the courts convict perpetrators of extrajudicial killings and other abuses, the sentences issued are frequently light or the convictions are overturned on appeal. Unlike common criminals, members of the security forces charged with or convicted of crimes rarely spend much time in prison. On February 24, Sucre state police in Cumana used tear gas canisters and pellet guns against students at the University Institute of Technology who were protesting peacefully noncompletion of the cafeteria. One student, Angel Castillo Munoz, died as a result of being hit in the head by rubber bullets and falling unconscious into an area flooded by tear gas. Police reportedly continued to fire, despite students' attempts to surrender, resulting in a delay of medical care to the injured. (Following Castillo's death on February 25, the students again protested and attacked, looted, and burned the Sucre state government palace. The National Guard was called in to restore order.) The Sucre state governor fired police commander Jose Jesus Navarro Dona and Sucre state secretary general Amalio Ermilo Rojas, suspended the police officers who took part in the original confrontation with students, and requested federal help in the investigation. Military intelligence (DIM) officers subsequently arrested Navarro and Rojas. Various groups objected to the fact that the military took over the case. The authorities released Navarro and Rojas for lack of evidence; there was no further progress on the case at year's end. Also in February, Red de Apoyo, a nongovernmental organization (NGO), reported that Oswaldo Blanco died as the result of abuse by the National Guard, in whose custody he had been detained. In June the Metropolitan Police detained Jhon Linares after shooting him in the stomach. The police also threatened his brother and sister who tried to help him. Later, Linares was found dead at the hospital with three bullet wounds. An investigation continued at year's end. In December heavy rains triggered flooding and landslides that killed an estimated 20,000 persons. The authorities are investigating allegations of human rights violations by the military and security forces in the days immediately following the disaster. Witnesses claim that military and security forces beat, detained, and killed alleged looters and criminal suspects, between December 19 and December 25. Security forces committed a small number of killings in prisons. However, the majority of the 390 inmate deaths resulted from gang confrontations, riots, fires, and generally unsanitary and unsafe conditions in prison facilities (see Section 1.c.). There has been no further investigation into the January 1998 killings of Harold Michael Zambrano Gonzalez and Arturo Jose Hernandez Ramirez by Metropolitan Police. The PTJ also made no progress in the investigation of the May 1998 killings of Carlos Alberto Colmenares Garcia, Richard David Palacios Garcia, and Avelino Rafael Vega, who died after the Sucre municipal police opened fire on their car. Nor was any progress made in the investigation of the January 1997 incident in which members of the Metropolitan Police arrested and led away two young men in Guatire, Miranda state. Witnesses heard gunshots and later found one of the men, Freddy Rafael Toro Ramirez, dead from bullet wounds. There were no prosecutions or new information surrounding the 1996 death of 25 inmates in a fire started by prison guards at La Planta prison. On February 19, a judge sentenced two of the three PTJ members implicated in the 1995 execution-style killing of 21-year-old Hector Rojas to 7 years in prison for first-degree murder, far less than the 15 to 25 years established by law. The court absolved the third officer, despite evidence of his guilt. The prosecution appealed the decision, but there was no further progress in the case at year's end. There were no developments in the 1994 discovery of a common grave in the Sierra de Perija region of Zulia state, the 1992 killing of at least 63 prisoners at Catia prison, or the 1992 killing of reporters Maria Veronica Tessari and Virgilio Fernandez by members of the security forces. In November before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Government accepted its responsibility in 44 cases of extrajudicial killings by security forces during and after the civil unrest of February-March 1989, in which some 300 alleged extrajudicial killings were committed. The Government also agreed to compensate the families of the victims and to identify and punish those responsible. A total of 45 cases had been referred to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) by the Committee of Family Members of Victims of the Unrest (COFAVIC) in 1995. In 1991 a police officer was found guilty of one killing, but the courts released the officer from prison 1 year later. In October 1997, the IACHR called on the Government to investigate this case, provide compensation to the victim's family, and bring to justice those responsible for the death. By the end of 1998, the Government had complied partially; it had investigated and made a payment, but it had not punished any of those responsible. The IACHR made a series of recommendations to the Government, but when the Government did not comply with these recommendations nor reach a settlement with the petitioners, on June 7, the IACHR referred the case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. On September 23, the Supreme Court made an unprecedented decision to assume the preliminary investigation of all the related cases that until then had been scattered among 13 courts. In September 1996, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights awarded $722,332 in damages to 2 survivors and the surviving families of 14 fishermen killed in 1988 by military and police officers near the border town of El Amparo, Apure state. The Government acknowledged its responsibility and began to make payments in September 1997; it had completed payments by year's end, and the parties were discussing the payment of interest on the compensation. The Court also had ruled that the Government had to investigate the case and prosecute those responsible. The military originally claimed that the deaths were the result of a confrontation with Colombian guerrillas, and in August 1994 a military tribunal overturned the conviction of 16 defendants in the case despite strong evidence that they had participated in a planned ambush. In October 1998, the Supreme Court upheld that decision. Mob lynching of supposed criminals increased substantially due to the public's perception of increased impunity resulting from the difficult implementation of the COPP. The victims were almost always known criminals who preyed on residents of poor neighborhoods. Between October 1997 and September 1998 (the latest available figures), PROVEA recorded 2 lynchings and 24 attempted lynchings, but both police and NGO's believe that the figures increased. The activities of vigilante groups known as "brigadas" reportedly decreased. On February 25, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia guerrilla organization kidnaped American citizen indigenous activists Terence Freitas, Lahe'ena'e Gay, and Ingrid Washinawatok in Colombia. Their bodies were later found in Venezuela. b. Disappearance There were no reliable reports of persons who disappeared after being detained by the police or the armed forces. There were no developments in connection with the 1995 disappearances of Julio Rafael Tovar, Fidel Ernesto Croes Aleman, Luis Martin Sanchez Vargas, Juan Daniel Monsalve, or Jose Ramos; or the 1994 disappearances of Elsida Ines Alvarez, Benjamin Vasquez, and Fidel A. Sanabria. Members of the security forces reportedly had detained each of them prior to their disappearances. c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment The law prohibits torture; however, the security forces continue to torture and abuse detainees physically and psychologically at a substantially increased rate. Credible human rights groups report that this abuse most commonly consists of beatings during arrest or interrogation, but there have been incidents when the security forces used near suffocation and other forms of torture that leave no telltale signs. Most victims come from the poorest and least influential parts of society. PROVEA documented 424 cases of torture from October 1998 through September 1999, compared with 21 from October 1997 through September 1998. (This increase may reflect improved data collection and more accurate reporting by PROVEA.) According to PROVEA, the DISIP was responsible for 11 of the reported torture incidents; the PTJ, 10; the armed forces, 7; the state police forces, 203; the municipal police forces, 72; the Metropolitan Police, 67; and the national guard, 40. In April human rights NGO's presented a report to the U.N. Committee Against Torture in which they listed and documented 120 torture cases since 1987 that they have investigated and reported to the Prosecutor General and the National Human Rights Commission, but that still have not been investigated fully by the Government. Torture, like extrajudicial killings, continues because the Government does not ensure the independent investigation of complaints needed to bring those responsible to justice. In addition to lack of vigor by the judiciary, the fact that the Institute of Forensic Medicine is part of the PTJ also contributes to a climate of impunity, since its doctors are unlikely to be impartial in their examinations of cases that involve torture by members of the PTJ. Very few instances of torture have resulted in convictions. In March the Metropolitan Police harassed and beat 22-year-old Andres Flores for no apparent reason when they encountered him sitting on the steps of a building. Despite the protests of those present, the police arbitrarily detained him. He was released only when a priest lobbied on his behalf at the police station. In August the PTJ in Guasdualito detained Juan de l