Colombia: August 31, 2000


The government's Plan Colombia is a $7.5 billion program (with $1.3 billion contributed by the US) is aimed at dealing with the social, political and military problems caused by the drug trade, leftist rebels and right wing militias that are tearing the country apart. Colombia's neighbors are afraid that any success against the rebels or the drug operations will drive the problems into their territory. Colombia currently has 300,000 troops facing off against 19,000 leftist rebels and 11,000 right wing militiamen. In the last ten years, this conflict has killed at least 35,000 people. In the last  fifteen years of unrest, over two million people have fled the fighting, becoming refugees in their own country.


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