July 11, 1999 |
The Colombian government Saturday declared a dusk-to-dawn curfew for travel across more than 30% of the country, including the outskirts of Bogota, in an effort to contain a nationwide Marxist rebel offensive in which more than 70 fatalities have been reported.
June 21, 1999 |
The government and Colombia's largest rebel group have decided to start new peace talks July 7 to try to end decades of civil war. The setting of the meetings with the 15,000-strong Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, will be announced July 4, the government peace commissioner, Victor G. Ricardo, said after meeting with the rebels. The two sides still have to agree on the membership of an international commission to verify agreements reached in the talks.
May 6, 1999 |
Government and rebel leaders are expected to announce an agenda for peace talks today in the first concrete achievement for President Andres Pastrana's dogged effort to negotiate an end to Latin America's longest guerrilla war. The expected announcement follows a surprise one-on-one weekend meeting between Pastrana and insurgent leader Manuel "Sure-shot" Marulanda, the leader of Colombia's oldest and largest guerrilla army--a dramatic move to get the stalled peace process back on track.
March 12, 1999 |
Just when Colombian President Andres Pastrana seemed on the road to keeping two crucial campaign promises--improving relations with the United States and ending Latin America's longest guerrilla war--those goals appear to be colliding.
January 20, 1999 |
Less than two weeks after inaugurating peace talks with President Andres Pastrana's government, Colombia's most powerful rebel group said it is suspending negotiations. The rebels said the government must take steps to dismantle right-wing paramilitary death squads. A government spokesman said the issue was independent of its talks with the rebels.
January 8, 1999 |
To the strains of the national anthem, the Colombian government and the oldest guerrilla movement in the Americas formally opened peace talks here Thursday aimed at ending a civil war waged for the last half a century. Despite the pageantry, there was disappointment from both sides that the guerrillas' legendary leader, Manuel "Sureshot" Marulanda, did not show up.
December 27, 1998 |
Despite the roles of Colombia's military in human rights abuses and the corruption created by the nation's role as one of the world's leading producers of cocaine, the United States is stepping up its involvement with the Colombian armed forces because it fears that they are losing a war to Marxist rebels who derive much of their income from drug trafficking.
November 29, 1998 |
Hundreds of pigeons whooshed into the sky at the sudden crackle of gunshots, and passersby caught in the cross-fire fell mortally wounded on Bogota's central square. Mario Cruz dived to the ground with the young minister of communications. After the first adrenaline rush, he remembered he was supposed to be protecting this woman. "In that moment you're scared, of course, just like anyone else," Cruz, still a government bodyguard, recalls of that November 1985 morning.
August 8, 1998 |
Promising peace, Andres Pastrana on Friday became president of his country, which is still in shock from one of the most violent guerrilla offensives in three decades of civil war. Colombians flew flags from balconies for the double celebration of the presidential inauguration and Independence Day in a cautious attempt to recover hopes that have been shattered by three days of guerrilla attacks.
August 7, 1998 |
Politicians, like athletes, can change quickly from hero to goat. But few have been transformed in the reverse as thoroughly as Andres Pastrana, who will be inaugurated today as the next president of Colombia. Four years ago, Pastrana was so unpopular that a group of Colombians who spotted him changing planes in Miami booed him.