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.
June 17, 2001 |
The government and Colombia's largest guerrilla faction swapped dozens of ill prisoners Saturday, an exchange that they hope will encourage peace talks to end a 37-year conflict. Hours after authorities freed 11 rebels from jail and flew them into guerrilla territory, presidential peace envoy Camilo Gomez flew to the same rebel-dominated southern region and received 29 government servicemen in return.
June 13, 2001 |
Marxist rebels have killed at least 10 far-right paramilitary fighters in clashes in a coca-growing region in southern Colombia, and police said the toll could climb as high as 50. The fighting between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the nation's largest rebel force, and the anti-communist vigilante United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia took place over the weekend near San Jose del Guaviare, capital of jungle-covered Guaviare province. "Some neighbors . . .
May 14, 2001 |
The army said it had repelled a major offensive by leftist guerrillas in fighting that left 41 rebels and three soldiers dead. The offensive in seven states, which involved more than 2,000 rebels, began Friday, but fighting was still raging in Antioquia, Boyaca, and Norte de Santander states, army Cap. Luis Hernandez said. The rebels were on the retreat on those three fronts, Hernandez said. Most of the guerrillas killed were from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
May 13, 2001 |
Skirmishes across Colombia left 22 leftist rebels and two soldiers dead Saturday, the army said. In Tolima state, soldiers killed six members of the National Liberation Army--Colombia's second-largest rebel group--after rebels kidnapped seven people at a roadblock, army Capt. Luis Hernandez said. One soldier died and two were injured in the rescue operation, which took place 70 miles northwest of the capital, Bogota, Hernandez said. The hostages were freed unharmed.
April 13, 2001 |
Ricardo Villalba has big plans for the coleo, the traditional Colombian rodeo where cowboys compete to see how many times they can flip a steer. Villalba envisions a day when the event spreads across all of Colombia. He sees crowds thronging by the thousands to packed stadiums. He even imagines a world coleo championship. But first, he has to overcome one problem: Colombians are increasingly frightened to leave their homes.
March 30, 2001 |
The government began a complete withdrawal of its troops from a leftist rebel stronghold, hoping to encourage a resumption of peace talks with the nation's second-largest guerrilla force. Military officials said 1,000 of an estimated 3,000 soldiers had left the territory as part of the withdrawal, which may be a step toward granting the National Liberation Army, or ELN, a demilitarized enclave.