Colombia: Setting Up FARC For The Final Battle



April 11, 2009: The army and police are preparing for a major offensive against FARC. The rebels have never been this weak and disorganized, and the government hopes to do some decisive damage. This plan is no secret, and openly talking about it puts more psychological pressure on FARC members, especially those who have considered turning themselves in. While the destruction of FARC and ELN will reduce the crime rate and increase economic growth, it will still leave the government corruption and surviving drug gangs to remind everyone that the struggle isn't over.

The government is also getting more efficient at taking drug gangs apart. This is a combination of better intelligence capabilities, improved skill at cutting deals with some gang leaders to expose the others, and speed in acting on information. The big problem is that, when a gang suffers a lot of damage, there is an increase in violence as lower ranking gang leaders fight each other for control of the territory and drug business now up for grabs. Sometimes, the drug business in an area is greatly reduced by all this, but it's a violent process, and thousands of civilians will flee the process.

March 31, 2009: Army operations in the southwest (where the Pacific meets the Ecuador border) are disrupting FARC and drug gang operations. The fighting is also causing thousands of civilians to flee the shooting. A similar situation has developed in the northwest, along the Panama border. There it is often different drug gangs fighting for control of stretches of the border. Assisting the internal refugees has become a major social problem.

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