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| 10/11/2010 12:00:00 AM

Colombia’s Dual Approach to FARC

October 11--Last month, Colombian security forces killed Jorge Briceno Suarez, the second in command of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group. The elimination of Suarez and at least 20 other FARC members is a substantial blow to the guerilla group, which has fought the Colombian government for the last 46 years.

The raid that led to Suarez’s death is part of a two-year old government offensive against FARC that has resulted in the death of seven of the group’s top 14 commanders and the loss of over half its forces, reportedly down to about 8,000 members.

Since his August inauguration, President Juan Manuel Santos has taken a hard line on FARC disarmament and demobilization. He insists he is willing to negotiate with the rebel group, but only when FARC agrees to a ceasefire, ends drug trafficking operations, frees hostages, and stops mass forced recruitment. Until then, the Colombian government will continue its attacks. President Santos has also stepped up rural development efforts to improve quality of life in the regions once controlled by FARC.
 
Read more here.

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Francisco superstar

La esperada visita del papa a Colombia tiene tres dimensiones: una religiosa, una política y otra social. ¿Qué puede esperarse de la peregrinación del sumo pontífice?