Colombia: Revolutionary Theater

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December 31, 2007: The economy, as well as the war against leftist rebels and drug gangs, went better than expected in the third quarter. The economy grew 6.6 percent, and FARC continued to lose strength and territory. Meanwhile, all FARC has to offer is theater and a growing alliance with Venezuelan leftists. Two weeks ago, FARC offered to release three of their high profile kidnap victims (including including an aide to former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and her 3 year-old son, born during her six years of captivity). The release has been delayed day-after-day, although FARC insists it will happen by the end of the year. FARC supporter, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, has been trying to grab some of the glory by offering to witness the release, but he has been kept waiting like everyone else. Meanwhile, FARC keeps hinting that they want two towns in the south to be "demilitarized" for 45 days so that peace talks can proceed. The Colombian government will not demilitarize any place, because they know FARC just wants to get someplace where their fighters can find some refuge from the constant military and police pressure.

Meanwhile, special anti-kidnapping police rescued a nine year old child, who was kidnapped several months ago. FARC is more frequently grabbing kids, because the adults are too well guarded, and too wary, to go after. FARC and criminal gangs, kidnapped 60 children (victims under age 18) last year, and over 2,500 in the last twelve years.

 

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