Colombia: The Final Battle


June 7, 2006: FARC, because of splits among the senior leadership, will not agree to peace talks. Taking down FARC by force won't be easy. FARC has some 15,000 gunmen on the payroll. They are concentrated in several areas in the north and south, where they guard illegal drug operations. FARC, and the drug gangs they work with, have money, as well as bullets, to use against soldiers and police. Uribe got reelected because he had made the country safer, and cut the number of rebel and drug gang gunmen nearly in half. But there are still over 25,000 armed rebels and gangsters out there, and few of them are ready to change careers.

June 6, 2006: Police captured another FARC commander, Luis Alberto Sanchez, in the capital. Sanchez replaced a commander who had been captured and extradited to the U.S. for plotting the kidnapping of Americans.

June 1, 2006: The "friendly fire" death of ten anti-narcotics police last month was actually a contract killing. Seven soldiers have been arrested for involvement, and being in the pay of drug gangs.

May 31, 2006: President Uribe won reelection, with 62 percent of the vote. International monitors declared the vote free and fair.




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