Colombia: Ancient Enemy Returns

Archives

October 12, 2006: Negotiations with FARC, over beginning negotiations, are stalled. FARC insists on a 800 square kilometer "free zone" in the south, where the negotiations will be held. The government will only provide a 280 square kilometer area. In the past, the rebels have used such free zones more for resting their gunmen, than for negotiations. Another point of contention is the FARC demand that two rebels, who have been extradited to the U.S., be included in the 500 prisoners to be handed over in exchange for the 58 FARC kidnap victims. Many government officials doubt that FARC is even serious about these negotiations. FARC has been taking a beating for over two years now, and is split by factionalism. Some factions are determined to fight on, no matter what. Those factions that want to negotiate, apparently do not control all of the 58 kidnap victims being offered.
October 11, 2006: Corruption, the bane of governments throughout South America, is getting worse in Colombia. During his first term, president Uribe reduced corruption, as enthusiastic Colombians sought to bring peace and prosperity back to the country. But now that this has been accomplished in many areas, the old custom of buying officials is coming back as well. This is especially troublesome in the army and police. Not only do criminals and rebels bribe security troops, but so do civilians, police and soldiers engaged in criminal scams.
October 10, 2006: One reason FARC wants a large "free zone" in the south is because the rebels have a lot of camps in that area, and the army is finding and destroying them. FARC is also losing control of remote villages, which have long served as rest and recruiting areas for the rebels. Southern Colombia remains a dangerous place. Even American economic officials are staying away, and preventing reconstruction money from being spent. FARC wants to keep farmers in the south growing coca (the source of cocaine), and many of the farmers want to go along. Coca pays a lot more than legit crops. The U.S. reconstruction money is to help farmers switch crops, but unless the army can permanently drive FARC out of an area, it's safer, and more lucrative, to grow coca.
October 7, 2006: The ELN and the government agreed to another round of peace negotiations. A week of talks will be held in Cuba beginning October 20th. ELN has fewer than 4,000 gunmen in service. Like FARC, ELN has been getting the worst of it for the last two years, and many of its members are tired of the years of fighting, with little to show for it.

 

Article Archive

Colombia: Current 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close