Left-wing guerrillas

Drug gangs

Colombian government

Venezuelan government









The most violent country on earth with a huge homicide rate. There has been a state of chronic insecurity in this country for 40 years with civil wars between the major political parties and a widespread use of arms reminiscent of the mythical Wild West of the United States.

At present there are three main sources of armed attack: Left wing guerrillas with similar aims to those in Central America; and the criminal cocaine and marijuana syndicates; plus the private armies of the landowners. All fight against the police and army of the state.

There were some signs that in 1991 the wars had a hope of ending with the enactment of a new constitution and the coming into the official system of the leaders of the left wing guerrillas.

But a wide gap between the rich and poor is bound to fuel conflict. In practice little seems to have changed.

In many areas of the country the State does not exist and people live in a medieval condition with militias belonging to the big landowners fighting the Marxist guerrillas and all taking money from the drug syndicates. There seems little hope unless westerners stop demanding drugs (or pigs fly).

A ceasefire, giving the main leftwing guerrilla group control of a large part of the country, came to an end in March 2002 when the government forces invaded this 'sanctuary'.

There is a threat of attack from Venezuela after speeches by Venezuelan president Chavez in November 2009.

Last revised 9/11/09


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