Smuggling, development, insurgencies, and the drug trade are major themse in Colombia. The future of emerging criminal groups, left over from disarmed and demobilized paramilitaries, remains a large question looming in the country's future.

Security and the other Tri-Border

(International Relations and Security Network 24/7/2008)
A meeting at one of South America's other tri-border regions brings Brazil and Colombia closer together, while promoting Brazil as a regional leader.


ISN Podcasts: What's next for Colombia?
(International Relations and Security Network 08/7/2008)

The helicopter that took Ingrid Betancourt along with Americans Keith Stansell, Mark Gonsalves and Thomas Howes to freedom was only on the ground for 22 minutes. But, the ripple effect of Operation Jaque, as the plan to free the hostages from FARC rebels was called, will have a hold on Colombia for years to come.


Farc's Revolution is Over
(International Relations and Security Network 07/7/2008)
FARC remnants' comprise idealists who should give up and drug smugglers who should distance themselves from anything the group represented.

Colombia: Unintended Consequences
(International Relations and Security Network 12/3/2008)
Colombia's assassination of FARC's number two leader and the unintended consequences that almost started a war with its neighbors could signal the beginning of the end for the leftist group.


Colombia, Venezuela, War and Rhetoric
(International Relations and Security Network 12/2/2008)
Tensions are on the rise between Colombia and Venezuela, and some observers are considering the possibility that a small conflict between the two might break out in the coming months.


Colombia: Elections mark changed country

(International Relations and Security Network, 05/11/2007)

The recent mayoral and provincial governor elections in Colombia mark a new reality in a country where guerrillas have been weakened and paramilitaries rendered less violent.


Uribe, Chavez and FARC

(International Relations and Security Network, 12/09/2007)

Uribe has allowed Chavez negotiating room with FARC, but the Colombian president's motives are not entirely humanitarian.


Uribe's Guessing Game

(International Relations and Security Network, 13/06/2007)

The Colombian president has released dozens of FARC prisoners but his real intentions remain unclear.


Uribe's Reality Check

(International Relations and Security Network, 04/05/2007)

After a recent visit to Washington, it is clear Uribe will have to work hard to prove himself to the new US Congress as well as avoid any and all connections to paramilitaries in Colombia.


Bush's Latin America Tour Unproductive

(International Relations and Security Network, 15/03/2007)

Without control of Congress, Bush can make no promises to Latin America and his tour through the region was little more than a photo opportunity.


Necessary Evils in Colombia

(International Relations and Security Network, 27/02/2007)

The arrest of former intelligence chief Jose Noguera’s proves that paramilitary connections go beyond the political arena, but it remains unclear how Washington will react.


Plan Afghanistan: Another Colombia Mistake

(International Relations and Security Network, 20/02/2007)

The next US ambassador to Afghanistan may have good credentials but failed US policies in Colombia should not be implemented in Afghanistan.


Colombian Scandal Shows All Sides

(International Relations and Security Network, 20/12/2006)

As political allies come forward with evidence of cooperation with paramilitaries, the strengths of democratic institutions is revealed, but so is the president’s weakening position.


Military Scandals Mire Uribe's Second Term

(International Relations and Security Network, 21/09/2006)

A scandal surrounding a series of bombs in Bogota has created a climate of distrust within Colombia's public security system, contributing to a rocky start for President Uribe's second term in office.


Andes Alternative Development: The Reality

(International Relations and Security Network, 08/09/2006)

Zero coca policies and a lack of security harm sustainable economic development and contribute to a poor history of alternative development in Bolivia and Colombia.


Buenaventura: A Cocaine Export Center

(International Relations and Security Network, 31/08/2006)

Colombia's largest port city is a point of origin for cocaine smuggled north and a hotbed of violence as paramilitaries battle guerrillas for control of access to the source of mountain coca production and the river routes to the Pacific.


FARC Moves to Consolidate Trafficking Network

(International Relations and Security Network, 18/07/2006)

As the paramilitaries move out, the Colombia's FARC has moved in to consolidate its hold on the principle corridors that enable the trafficking of guns and drugs.


A President's Chace to Improve Colombia

(International Relations and Security Network, 22/06/2006)

Colombians believe Uribe can deliver more security to Colombia, but it is not clear if in four years he can enact dramatic improvements in Colombia's perennially worrisome security situation.


Paramilitary Politics: A Colombian Reality

(International Relations and Security Network, 10/03/2006)

Colombia's paramilitary organizations may have consolidated enough control over national politics to remove extradition from Colombian law, improving their position while reducing both domestic and regional security.


FARC Pushes to Derail Uribe's Re-Election

(International Relations and Security Network, 06/01/2006)

Colombia's strongest insurgent army is more deadly than ever, and wants to prove it is still a political force that will not be controlled by the Colombian government.


AUC Disarmament Talks May be Derailed, Again

(International Relations and Security Network, 14/10/2005)

Extradition, re-election, and legal entangles threaten to dismantle Colombia's biggest push for peace in a decade.


Battling Drugs, Dirty Dollars in Colombia

(International Relations and Security Network, 05/10/2005)

The Colombian drug trade relies on a money-laundering system that is decades old and just as efficient as ever, as highlighted by the country's soon-to-be-disarmed paramilitary that is hustling to sell off its cocaine stockpiles.


Colombia Frees ELN Rebel Leader

(International Relations and Security Network, 13/09/2005)

The Colombian government agreed on Monday to release Gerardo Bermudez Sanchez, the leader of Colombia's second-largest rebel group, the Army for National Liberty (ELN), for three months in a move the government hopes will help end the country's 40-year conflict.


Colombia's AUC: From Irregular Army to Mafia

(International Relations and Security Network, 05/09/2005)

Colombia's paramilitary groups have agreed to dismantle their military arm, but the process is only legitimizing their network of political power and country-wide control of land, as well as the suppression of anyone who threatens their rule.


A Colombian Community that Knows No Peace

(International Relations and Security Network, 29/07/2005)

In the Uraba region of northwestern Colombia, violence and brutality are the norm, and few have more experience with massacres than those who live in peace communities and humanitarian zones.


The FARC: Still Revolutionaries?

(International Relations and Security Network, 19/07/2005)

South America's oldest revolutionary movement has lost its moral high ground. It has backtracked on its Marxist-socialist principles and now threatens national and regional security rather than helping Colombia's poor.


Hydras, Balloons, Wasted Money in the Andes

(International Relations and Security Network, 06/07/2005)

Billions spent to combat the drug trade in the Andes has resulted in decreased security and need for better policy.


Guns, Cocaine: One Market Out of Control

(International Relations and Security Network, 28/02/2006)

The market for small arms and light weapons has completely overlapped the cocaine market. Purchases for arms are no longer made with cash but with cocaine, and the same routes used to smuggle cocaine out of South America are used to smuggle guns in.


Death Squad Justice in Latin America

(International Relations and Security Network, 19/09/2005)

Extrajudicial killings have become the norm in countries where a need for security sector reform is more obvious than ever and loyalty to due process ran out long ago.


Legal Questions Mar Colombia's Paramilitary Disarmament

(Americas Policy, 15/02/2005)

Is President Uribe's decision to disarm, demobilize, and reintegrate Colombia's paramilitary forces a case of perserverance and good will or simply crafty political manuevering ahead of a reelection bid and US funding approval? This story peels back the layers, revealing the weakest link: legislation.



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