Colombia: Dangerous When Cornered


June 29, 2007: In the past week, over thirty rebels have been killed in air and ground attacks by government forces. The pressure on the drug gangs leftist rebels is relentless. The drug gangs just shrug off the losses as a cost of doing business. But FARC and ELN, which began as leftist rebel movements in the 1960s, are struggling for their very existence. The leftists have evolved into drug gangs, and most of the members want little to do with leftist ideology. It's a job, but as the leftist lose territory and income, they can no longer meet the payroll, and more of their armed followers lose enthusiasm. Popular opinion has turned against the drug gangs and leftists. These guys have over 30,000 gunmen controlling about a third of rural Colombia, and few people want that to continue anymore. The leftists are under pressure to drop the ideology and concentrate on being drug gangsters.

June 28, 2007: FARC admitted that eleven kidnapped politicians it was holding, died in a government rescue attempt on June 18th. The government insisted that the eleven hostages were shot by their guards, to prevent them being freed. FARC insisted that the hostages died in the crossfire, and offered condolences to the families. FARC is losing the PR battle over the hostage situation. The leftist rebels use of kidnapping to raise money was never very popular, and in the last few years, improved police methods have made it impractical. But many hostages are still held, not for ransom, but in order to get FARC leaders in prison, freed. The government refuses to consider this anymore.

June 26, 2007: In the east, several thousand civilians have fled their homes to escape fighting between FARC and ELN rebels. Increased government military and police pressure has forced the drug gangs and leftist rebels to fight over dwindling resources (territory, drug production facilities, access).

June 25, 2007: The government has halted negotiations with FARC because of the weekend violence in Buenaventura. FARC. The navy captured a senior FARC leader in the area, who was apparently responsible for the Buenaventura bombings.

June 24, 2007: Two more bombs went off in the Pacific port of Buenaventura, killing three people.

June 23, 2007: Seven bomb and grenade attacks in the Pacific port of Buenaventura left 23 wounded. The targets were police stations, but most of the victims were civilians. About half the cocaine leaving Colombia does so through Buenaventura, so the town has become a battlefield in the war against drug gangs and their leftist allies. Police have killed or captured several gang and FARC leaders in Buenaventura, which may have caused the bomb campaign. The government also captured a senior FARC leader in Medellin.


Article Archive

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



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