The Army wants you – to write soaps for Colombian guerrilla fighters
NY Post: Uncle Sam is looking for a few good men or women — to write Spanish-language soap operas to combat Colombian guerrilla fighters!
The US Army put out a call for proposals to write 20 radio novella episodes that would air in Colombia and push the message that citizens should resist joining violent, drug-pushing rebels.
Additionally, nearly half of those episodes would encourage current fighters to put down their weapons and give up the cause, according to a Wired magazine report. The government wants the radio novellas to focus on counter-recruitment as well as family values and treating women with respect.
And like any good soap opera, the episodes should highlight “democratic alternatives to violence that can furnish functioning state institutions, and emerging environmental concerns in support of US and partner nation goals in Colombia, South America.”
The 15-minute episodes will be written in Spanish “using a mix of Colombian actors who speak the various dialects of each area,” according to the Army’s solicitation request. Stories lines are expected to lean on the real-life experiences of former guerrilla fighters.
“The script … must be written based on the themes provided by a Military Information Support Team (MIST) representative and derived from the statements received from the demobilized guerrillas at one of the Grupo de Atención Humanitaria al Desmovilizado (GAHD) centers located in the cities of Bogota, Bucaramanga, and Cali,” according to the Army’s solicitation.
Ana Patel, of the Outward Bound Center for Peacebuildng and a former expert on disarmament told Wired magazine that “FARC commanders spend a lot of time telling foot soldiers that they will be killed, hurt or imprisoned if they demobilize.”
“For the past couple of years, government officials have asked demobilizing combatants to call their friends who are still in the mountains and tell them that it is safe to demobilize, with a lot of success.”
The mag reports the Army’s soapy plan would have wide reach because of rural Colombia’s reliance on radio communication.
While the military doesn’t reveal how much is being spent on the proposals, the USA Today reported that the Pentagon spent $54 million in 2012 on global propaganda programs.
Your tax dollars at work.