Colombia: April 29, 2004


Peace talks with the right wing rebel group AUC are in disarray because of continued feuding within the AUC. The government and AUC negotiators had been hammering out a deal where AUC would disarm and disband in return for amnesty. Left wing rebels had been offered a similar deal, but have so far refused it. It was thought that AUC would go along with this deal, because AUC was created in the 1990s as defense organizations against the leftist rebels. The government has been successful in defeating both leftist and rightist rebel groups in the last few years, because the population is fed by with decades of disorder and mayhem. But many of the AUC members are not willing to give up their power and drug money. Like the left wing rebels, the AUC also got involved with the drug business, providing protection to the drug producers and smugglers. In effect, Colombia has a warlord problem, and the warlords are kept going, despite the military and police power of the state, by drug money. Some in the AUC would rather go legit, and join with the government forces to defeat the leftist rebels and bring peace. But for many AUC leaders, the drug money is too attractive.


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