Colombia: October 18, 2000


Hundreds of FARC rebels launched attacks on police stations and army bases in the area along the Panama border.  The area is quite isolated, but drug gangs have been using it to move narcotics into Panama and then to North America. Since FARC provides most of the muscle for the drug lords, driving the army out of the area would make the drug business easier. In the south, fighting between FARC rebels and paramilitary militias continue along the Ecuador border. Over 4,000 civilians have fled into Ecuador to escape the fighting. The FARC had previously announced that it was going to take control of the area, located some 580 kilometers south of the capital. About half the coca (for cocaine) and poppy (for heroin) crops in the country are located in this area. 


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