In a nutshell, an authority in the Roman Catholic church has been captured after being convicted in absentia over a year ago. His crimes? For organizing and assisting the death-squads in Colombia that assisted in murdering leftist resistance to the US-backed government.
I'm not terribly familiar with the history of the FARC, but as much as I know it's very convoluted and confusing. On the one hand you have an established authority that works as a "friend" of the United States, maintaining trade rights and keeping the US present in a growingly hostile South America. On the other, you have violent marxists who gain much sympathy from the countryside who suffers under the policies America speaks through the mouthpieces in Bogota.
This whole history goes back to the Monroe Policy where the United States cast a protective sphere over the Americas as its sole sphere of influence. Well, not quite. The British were included in such an arrangement, though grudgingly. The British Navy was an unstoppable juggernaut, and the tool for Britain's neo-imperialism. This doctrine for empire was not built by boots and flags. It didn't require active conquests, but rather coercive influence. The British Navy was committed to free-trade and free-ports.
It's really clever actually. While the old empires of Europe relied on the territories officially conquered and possessed, Britain attempted to undermine this by economics. Promote liberty and liberalism, where the colonial behemoths were chopped up into little independent states. Of course on a field of equal opportunity the biggest dog wins. Britain didn't have to threaten bombardment or invasion, instead she used economic exploitation. She could edge out all competition and make subtle demands upon these fledgling nations.
It's much more complicated than that, but I hope you can see what sort of control this is. The newly minted United States, created during this policy's formulation, was abhorred at this. None of the founders were terribly sympathetic to Adam Smith's style of capitalism. It wasn't till the rise of the modern Democratic party and Van Buren's coalition that this was embraced. Jackson may have been its face, but the thoroughly dutch Martin was its architect.
What does this have to do with the present story? Well, the United States quickly adopted the same policy of the Brits over the years. By the end of the 19th century, the majority of South America was in the pocket of American corporations. There was resistance and uprising, but this was the Gilded Age. The government was hand-in-hand with the monopolies, even after Teddy's trust-busting exercise. The love of money is alluring!
The turn-of-the-century was filled with over a dozen micro wars over US interests in the Americas. If you want the truth full blast, read Smedley Butler's "War's a Racket". He was a general responsible for implementing some of these adventures. His eyes were opened and he was appalled. The US military was essentially a group of mercs engaged in gangsterism, protection rackets, and thuggery. Not many people know about these wars, and in history books it usually goes from the Spanish-American War right into World War 1.
It really sheds light on some of the insanity happening today. However, it also makes sense of what this article is talking about. The US continued to engage in such a practice through proxies and subsidiaries. What better than a Catholic Priest who can have a quite convincing alibi for being there. Better than the shadowy and sketchy "contractors" that come out of the CIA and other Federal organizations. After the Iran-Contra scandal, I'm sure any policy in the South would tend to be more covert and less connected. But then again, arrogance, power, and a sense of destiny are an intoxicating mix.
I'm glad this scoundrel is caught, but this is one man, an organizer even, and in one country. This sort of activity under the guise of many "Christian" (what would Christ Jesus have to do with such lawlessness?) organizations. Many pastors and priests, or faithful church-goers, work in such a capacity. Are they blind to their doings? Maybe some, others probably think themselves being good patriots. It's sick nonetheless.