The fighting in southern Colombia, on the Ecuador border, continues to
intensify. The drug gangs are trying to prevent having coca growing and
refining operations being forced out of the country. The leftist drug gangs
are, in effect, making a last stand. Over 6,000 villagers have fled the
violence in the last two weeks.
April 7, 2007:
The U.S. is threatening to prosecute executives of American firms that
pay protection money to drug gangs in Colombia. This would make it impossible
to do business, as the resulting violence would shut these firms down. The
payoffs have recently become a major media and political issue in the United
States, although it was an open secret for decades. The Colombian government is
trying to eliminate the drug and political gangs in parts of the country where
large American firms operate, but this is a tedious process. The gangs have
been operating for decades, and are not easy to eliminate.
April 13, 2007:
Desperate to reverse its declining fortunes, FARC has appealed to its
leftist allies overseas, and asked to be declared a quasi-government
"belligerent force," so that it could negotiate a more favorable
peace deal with the Colombian government. This is unlikely to fly, as even
FARCs long-time leftist allies in Europe are coming to realize that FARC has
turned into a large drug gang.
April 12, 2007:
In Cali, over 200,000 people came out to demonstrate against FARC and
other drug gangs. FARC was blamed for the car bombing three days ago, and
similar attacks in the past few months. FARC is also hated for their growing
use of land mines in the countryside. This tactic is making Colombia the top
nation in the world when it comes to land mine casualties. This is a dubious
distinction most Colombians would rather not have. FARC is trying to blame the
car bombing on the rightist AUC drug gang, but the AUC has surrendered and is
disarming. This is something FARC refuses to consider, and that makes FARC the
official bad guys to most Colombians.
April 10, 2007:
The government arrested three people and charged them with murder. The
accused had stolen money meant to buy food for refugees from drug gang related
fighting. Some of the villagers starved to death. This kind of corruption is
all too common, but the government is trying to eliminate the worst of the
April 9, 2007:
A car bomb damaged a police building in Cali, killing one person and
wounding over thirty. FARC was believed responsible, but the leftist drug gang
denied any responsibility.