Colombia: Bullets For Peace


October 23, 2013: The government admits that the peace talks with FARC have been going more slowly than expected. The talks are to resume next month, a year after they began. Progress has been made and the government believes that a peace deal can be achieved. FARC is increasing its attacks on economic targets, which can only be stopped by military action, extortion payments, or as part of a general peace deal. This appears to be why FARC has apparently adopted a more aggressive attitude towards government air operations. The government uses a lot of unarmed single engine aircraft for reconnaissance and spraying coca crops with herbicide. In the last few months there has been more ground fire against these aircraft, which has caused at least two to crash or make an emergency landing. This gives FARC something else to bargain with in their peace talks with the government, even if it does make it easier for the army to track FARC gunmen and kill them.

Colombia and Venezuela have agreed to link their oil pipelines so that Colombia will have another way to get their oil to the coast for export. Currently leftist rebels keep attacking one of the Colombian oil pipelines and interrupting exports and spilling lots of oil.

October 20, 2013: In the north (Norte de Santander) troops captured six FARC men, including the head of security for one of the senior leaders.

October 18, 2013: In the east (Arauca) ELN rebels kidnapped three oil company employees but released them several hours later as soldiers and police closed in.

October 13, 2013: FARC blew up part of a rail line, interfering with coal exports. FARC also bombed a long-distance electricity transmission line.

October 12, 2013: The governor of the northeastern province of Guajira was arrested and accused of working with criminal gangs.

October 9, 2013: FARC rebels blew up part of the natural gas pipeline carrying Colombian gas to Venezuela.

October 7, 2013: In the north the main pipeline taking oil to the coast was bombed by FARC again. 


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