Colombia: More Bark Than Bite


December 16, 2010:  Wikileaks secrets for Colombia covered government (president Uribe) efforts to undertake talks with FARC (fell through) and send troops into Venezuela to destroy FARC and drug gang camps (didn't happen, but some spectacular operations in Ecuador took place.) Uribe took the revolutionary rants of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez seriously at first, but eventually realized that Chavez was more bark than bite and his own worst enemy. But in one respect, the leaks showed Chavez was thought dangerous. This was because some of the billions of dollars in new weapons bought from Russia were finding their way into the hands of FARC rebels in Colombia. The U.S. fears this is partly the result of corruption in Venezuela (and not just a political decision to arm "socialist brothers" in FARC), and that could lead to other criminal gangs in the region getting assault rifles, ammo and anti-aircraft missiles from Venezuelan stocks. The worst nightmare is Mexican drug gangs getting anti-aircraft missiles and using them against commercial aircraft landing or taking off. Russia has shipped over a thousand SA-24 shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles to Venezuela.

Combat and terrorist operations in the north have been hampered by the heaviest rains in half a century. Over a thousand people were killed or injured and nearly two million forced from their homes. Neighboring Panama and Venezuela were also hit hard.

Cocaine production in Colombia continues its decade of decline. In 2001, Colombia produced 700 tons of cocaine. Last year, it was 270 tons (a 3.6 percent decline from the previous year). The decline is the result of military and police operations, spraying coca crops with plant killer and, for the last two years, a decline in demand in the U.S. Production has moved to Peru (225 tons last year) and Bolivia (195 tons).

December 14, 2010: The U.S. put 20 people, and 25 businesses, associated with Colombian drug gangs, on an international blacklist. This makes it difficult for those blacklisted to do business internationally. Any assets these people have in the United States can be frozen. U.S. courts are also indicting Colombians, it has evidence on, of crimes, even if the accused are not under arrest. This makes the accused subject to arrest in most of the world.


Article Archive

Colombia: Current 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close