January 14, 2002 |
Leftist rebels from Colombia's largest guerrilla army prepared Sunday to evacuate a demilitarized zone created for peace talks, bringing this nation a step closer to a full-scale war. The rebels announced that they would leave the zone as planned before a 9:30 p.m. deadline today. More than 5,000 Colombian troops had surrounded the Switzerland-size zone to seize control of the region, which the government ceded to the guerrillas three years ago to jump-start the peace process.
June 3, 2001 |
The government and the country's largest guerrilla group signed an agreement Saturday to swap prisoners in the first exchange of its kind in nearly 40 years of combat. While the long-expected accord was hailed as the first major advance in nearly two years of talks, the frequent delays and tortured negotiations that preceded it signaled the difficult path ahead to reach a lasting peace.
May 3, 2001 |
From this island of bars and brothels gripped by dark green jungle, you can see the nightmare rising in Colombia. Here, in a remote corner of the rain forest, the army has broken up what was once a cocaine paradise. There were no cops, no military, no government. The drug labs ran day and night. Coke was currency, with a gram buying a cold beer flown in from faraway Bogota. It was a world where everything was controlled by one organization--the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
June 24, 2000 |
Rebels freed two high-profile kidnap victims, including 5-year-old Luisa Fernanda Cano, whose plight had become a cause celebre in Colombia. Police and family members said the girl had been held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in a rural area of Antioquia since April 19. The other freed kidnap victim was Guillermo Valencia Cossio, a regional lawmaker and brother of Fabio Valencia Cossio, chief government envoy in peace talks with the FARC.
September 2, 1999 |
The military said its troops had ambushed a rebel convoy and killed at least 50 guerrillas, including two involved in the slaying of Americans. The army said it ambushed two trucks carrying leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia guerrillas after they attacked a police station in Casanare state. Reporters were shown 24 bodies.
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.