Colombia: July 7, 2005


Military efforts against rebel groups is part of a program to reduce violence in general. As a result, homicides declined by a third over the last three years, to 20,000 in 2004. The trend continues, and another ten percent drop is expected this year. The most spectacular success has been against kidnapping, which are on track to be under 200 this year (versus 1,883 in 2002 and 746 last year).  The instrument of this change has been a larger armed force of  380,000 troops. Manpower has increased 36 percent in the last three years, and training has been more effective. More aggressive patrolling allowed the army to drive rebels out of two hundred towns, and restored government control. While thousands of rebels have died, or surrendered, about 300 soldiers and police have been killed each year.  


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