One of the largest mass-kidnappings in Colombian history turned out to be an exaggeration. The governor of
The exaggeration of a very real event may reveal the level of desperation some Colombian governors feel as they await their share of the promised deployment of 40,000 rural police officers. Such an incident in one of
The FARC has not captured all areas left available by the paramilitaries, but it has moved to take over strategically important areas. Choco is at the top of the list.
The department of Choco has been of strategic importance to both the FARC and the paramilitaries as long as both groups have been involved in the drug trade.
Riosucio is a small town on the
The FARC is already moving in. They have taken hostages and even killed those who they thought were paramilitary sympathizers. The events of 13 July point out that the FARC is moving in to take over as much of the northern portion of the Choco department as possible, despite any plans the Colombian government has for increased rural security.
Over the duration of his first administration, President Uribe went on the offensive, seeking out conflict with the FARC. Since 2003, Uribe has installed 84 new rural police substations. He oversaw the development of seven new military brigades and 54 mobile squadrons. He started the so-called “public forces,” empowering citizens to join a sweeping intelligence network. His capstone offensive, called “Plan Patriota,” continues to take the fight to the FARC strongholds in southern
Uribe’s next move, his promised 40,000 rural police, will be even more invasive into FARC satellite territory. His government will install 400 new substations, according to the Colombian daily El Tiempo. Half of the rural police, some 20,000 in number, will be agents with anti-guerrilla training. A total of 15 anti-terrorist special forces will be deployed in Colombian cities.
Yet for all the muscle, Uribe has put into his so-called Democratic Security program, the FARC continues to thrive, all but securing a corridor to
The FARC is currently consolidating control of Aruca, a Colombian department that shares a border with
The Dog’s Head area, where the Colombian department of
By most counts, it appears that Uribe’s security initiatives have worked well to secure the center of
It is quite possible that in the next year the FARC will have taken complete control of trafficking corridors through
The recent incident in Choco is just one more bullet point on a long list of upcoming conflicts.
Uribe’s plan to install another 40,000 rural police around the country is a great idea. It has raised the hopes of governors. But one, in particular, seems to have become a bit more nervous. His outcry of 170 kidnap victims got the world’s attention. Yet there was little anyone could do. The FARC made its presence known, and the addition of one rural police substation in Riosucio would not have made a difference...
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