Colombia: August 25, 1999


Colombia has formed a new brigade headquarters to control the five riverine patrol boat battalions that sweep the nation's extensive river system. The FARC and ELN rebels use these rivers as supply routes and strategic movement corridors. The new brigade will start with the current 4,000 men and 120 patrol boats, but could double in size in 18 months. The government wants to exert firm control over at least 12,500 km of the 15,774 km of navigable waterways. --Stephen V Cole




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