February 1, 2001 |
President Andres Pastrana challenged Colombia's top guerrilla leader Wednesday to a face-to-face meeting to salvage peace talks, and extended the existence of a rebel safe area for four days. The renewal through Sunday of the 2-year-old "demilitarized zone" was applauded by critics who contend that Pastrana has been too lenient with the guerrillas in talks to end a 37-year conflict.
January 31, 2001 |
The hijacking of an airliner in Colombia's guerrilla haven ended peacefully Tuesday after a member of the plane's cockpit crew helped overpower a gunman who had held 30 hostages. Gen. Hector Fabio Velasco, head of Colombia's air force, refused to name the hijacking suspect but described him as a young rebel deserter seeking passage to Europe. "He was accessible," the general told reporters at an impromptu news conference after all 26 passengers and four crew members were released.
January 28, 2001 |
With the government nearing a deal to give rebels control over a Delaware-size territory, the area's residents expressed anger Saturday that plans were going ahead despite their objections. Delegates from the government and the leftist guerrilla group, National Liberation Army, or ELN, presented residents in Bolivar state on Friday with the first concrete details of the demilitarized zone where peace talks would be held.
January 20, 2001 |
Suspected right-wing paramilitary gunmen continued a wave of massacres Friday, killing six people in northwestern Colombia. U.N. human rights monitors said the nation's violence has reached new and more "alarming" heights. Friday's killings occurred in Santa Barbara in Antioquia province. Police gave no details. In a statement Thursday, U.N.
January 19, 2001 |
Suspected leftist guerrillas executed a mayor in a remote jungle village as Colombian government negotiators met with rebel leaders in a bid to revive peace talks to end a 4-decade-old civil war. Henry Perea Torres, mayor of the northwestern village of Jurado in Choco province, was dragged out of his office in daylight by two gunmen, who then shot him twice in the head, authorities said.
January 5, 2001 |
Suspected far-right paramilitaries killed 11 people in northwestern Colombia in the first massacre of the new year in the conflict-torn nation, police said. Police in Bogota, the capital, said the victims were shot dead in Wednesday's attack in a rural area near the town of Yolombo in Antioquia state, which is the scene of frequent battles between paramilitaries and leftist guerrillas for territorial control.
December 30, 2000 |
A congressional leader of Colombia's peace process was shot and killed Friday together with his mother and five other people on the highway that leads from a regional airport to the Switzerland-size area that the government ceded to guerrillas two years ago, police said. Rep.
December 24, 2000 |
Manuel Alzate had been mayor here for just two weeks when the dreaded call came. The Marxist guerrillas who control the countryside of this township in southern Colombia's coca-growing region wanted to meet with the tall, gray-haired cattle rancher. A few days later, Alzate set out at dawn with two town councilmen for a hamlet two hours upriver, an area where he had not campaigned for fear of his safety. He returned 15 hours later to find his family in a panic.
November 21, 2000 |
White House anti-drug czar Barry McCaffrey on Monday predicted heavy fighting in an approaching U.S.-backed anti-drug offensive and warned that there would be repercussions for Colombia's neighbors. But with "vital" U.S. interests at stake, and insurgents growing stronger through deepening ties to the drug trade, McCaffrey said he saw no alternative to the $1.3-billion effort set to get underway in January. "Colombia has no option.
November 19, 2000 |
Insurgents killed unarmed townspeople and clashed with Colombian soldiers Saturday in widespread violence that reportedly left at least 28 people dead. Also, a bomb packed onto a motorcycle exploded Saturday in a town in the heart of Colombia's coca-producing region, killing one person and wounding 18, including six police officers.