Murders in 2006 (17,206) were down three percent from 2005. That's a
twenty year low. Kidnappings (200), were down 39 percent from the previous
year. However, the murder rate is one of the highest in the world (43 per
100,000 population.) Iraq's murder rate last year was 51, but got a lot more
coverage in the media. That's because the carnage in Colombia has been going on
for decades, and long since ceased to be "news." The murder rate in
the United States last year was 4.8.
1, 2007: Over the weekend, FARC rebels made good threats against local
officials in the northwest, and killed four of them. The war of terror
continues in the countryside, and FARC isn't always the loser. With the AUC
distracted by its amnesty deal with the government (and AUC officials attempts
to silence witnesses willing to testify about AUC crimes), the war is now
largely between the army and FARC. In most cases, FARC loses, as troops clear
out base camps and set up shop in rural towns where FARC had long held sway.
Now every exciting, but the way this war is fought.
30, 2006: Urban (the 13 largest cities) unemployment was down to 11.3
percent, versus 12.1 percent a year ago. Economic growth, especially in the
cities, is one way to track who is winning the war in Colombia.