October 5, 2001 |
Washington should tighten controls on military aid to Colombia because President Andres Pastrana has made only token efforts to sever links between his armed forces and a brutal right-wing paramilitary group, a human rights group said Thursday. The report by U.S.-based Human Rights Watch alleges collaboration between three Colombian army brigades and the paramilitary United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, which has been assassinating suspected rebel collaborators.
September 17, 2001 |
Members of a right-wing paramilitary group raided a Colombian village and killed at least 11 people, authorities said. National Police spokeswoman Jenny Alvarado said up to 15 people may have been executed in the early morning massacre near the township of Falan, about 75 miles west of the capital, Bogota. Fighters from the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia killed the villagers after accusing them of working with leftist guerrillas, Col. Ciro Chitiva of the Tolima state police said.
September 6, 2001 |
President Andres Pastrana plans to extend a controversial rebel safe haven for at least six more months to pursue peace negotiations in the zone, Interior Minister Armando Estrada said. "The alternative is all-out war," he told Colombia's Congress. The safe haven, which has been extended several times since its creation in 1998 to jump-start peace talks, expires in October. An extension would put the next renewal decision at the height of next year's presidential campaign.
August 22, 2001 |
Colombian authorities formally charged three suspected Irish Republican Army members with training Marxist rebels and carrying false passports. Colombia's prosecutor's office said Niall Terence Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan can be held in jail for 240 days while the state prepares its case. The trio, linked by Colombian and British officials to the IRA, was detained last week. They allegedly trained Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebels to make bombs.
August 18, 2001 |
Government warplanes strafed trucks carrying leftist rebels, killing dozens of members of a guerrilla column in Colombia's southern jungles, the military said Friday. Such heavy rebel casualties for the 30,000-strong Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, would be fresh evidence of the toll that government air power is taking on Colombia's largest guerrilla group. Gen.
August 10, 2001 |
An explosion killed three children and injured 35 people in a northern Colombian town in what officials called a guerrilla attack in retaliation for the government's decision to suspend peace talks. Police blamed the leftist National Liberation Army, or ELN, for the predawn explosion in San Francisco, 110 miles northwest of the capital, Bogota. The blast killed two sisters, ages 7 and 8, and their cousin, a 10-year-old boy.
July 28, 2001 |
Guerrillas pretending to be police stormed a luxury apartment building in a southern Colombian city and kidnapped 16 people, including the wife and two sons of a senator, according to news reports and authorities. The rebels left five of their hostages behind after a firefight Thursday. Nine people were wounded, including bystanders and police.
July 8, 2001 |
It is late on a Monday afternoon, and there is nobody in sight. The whitewashed health clinic is shuttered. Weeds and wildflowers swarm over a row of crumbling homes. The cheery signs plastered across the front of the school--"Honor," "Respect," "Love"--hang over shattered windows.
June 29, 2001 |
The night before, in a makeshift jungle pen, Luis Dario Santana threw all his old clothes and bad memories into a bonfire, wanting nothing more than to put 34 months of cruel captivity behind him. Thursday afternoon, at a military base 60 miles south of Bogota, the Colombian capital, he quietly walked into his mother's arms. "It was very emotional, like when your first child is born," Carmen Rosa said after being reunited with her son.
June 23, 2001 |
Clashes between rebels and the army in Colombia's main coca growing region left 30 soldiers and 26 guerrillas dead Friday, the military said. They were the heaviest casualties since a U.S.-backed anti-narcotics offensive got underway late last year. The clashes broke out at an army base near Puerto Leguizamo in the southern state of Putumayo, a launching point for Colombian marine operations against rebels and drug traffickers.