Colombia: FARC Adapts

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April 25, 2006: FARC is trying to adapt to the constant, and increasingly effective, pressure from the army and police. Terror is growing in popularity. Threatening civilians and government officials in remote areas often works to make the locals keep quiet when the army and come around. In addition, FARC can offer benefits, like easy, well paying jobs supporting the drug operations. FARC will pay for information, and needs lookouts and other helpers to protect their bases and drug production and movement. The biggest asset FARC now has is money and guns, not ideology as in the past.

April 21, 2006: FARC ambushed an army convoy in the northeast, killing 16 soldiers and intelligence personnel. It's rare that the rebels get a shot in at the army, and the daily arrests and killings of FARC members hardly warrant any press attention.

April 18, 2006: The AUC has been completely disbanded, officially anyway. As expected, some of the 30,150 AUC gunmen who accepted the amnesty, have gone back into the drug or gun-for-hire business under a different name. Many NGOs are upset with the demise of the AUC, as this takes away a rightist terror group they could criticize, to the exclusion of leftist terror groups like FARC and ELN. With AUC gone, the depredations of FARC and ELN are ever more visible. The NGOs tend to be leftist, and they have a hard time coping with the existence, and bad behavior, of FARC and ELN.

April 14, 2006: Constant army and police pressure has forced more and more coca production into remote areas, where life is harder for the farmers and their rebel minders alike. These remote rebel bases and coca growing communities are not as safe as they used to be, as the growing number of army helicopters puts the rebels, and their cocaine business, at constant risk of attack.

 

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