Colombia Has Been Using US Drones Since 2006
Planes have been used to fight drug traffickers, terrorists
By Kevin Spak,  Newser User
Posted Mar 24, 2011 9:37 AM CDT
In an Oct. 25, 2007 file photo a Predator drone unmanned aerial vehicle takes off on a U.S. Customs Border Patrol mission from Fort Huachuca, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin/file)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – US spy drones have been in the skies over Colombia scouting for drug traffickers and guerrillas since 2006, a newly released State Department cable reveals. The drones were initially sent out to “support hostage rescue efforts,” reads the cable from the then-ambassador to Colombia, “But it promises to be equally useful for combat against terrorists and in riverine drug interdiction.”

It’s unclear if the drones are being operated by the US military or the Colombia's. But the cable notes instances in which the drones and Colombian air forces have worked in tandem, with the drone spotting FARC fighters or shipments, and Colombia launching swift aerial assaults, the Washington Post reports.