Colombia: July 2, 2003


 For the first time in over a decade, crime is down in Colombia. The new government's offensive against the rebel organizations are lowering the number of murders (by 22 percent), kidnappings (by 34 percent) and extortions (55 percent) in the first six months of 2003, versus the same period in 2002. But there were still 11,000 homicides and over 1,000 kidnappings. The rebels see their drug operations threatened by the new attempt to bring peace to the country and are fighting back vigorously with terror and attempts to hold large parts of the countryside by force.




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