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Sunday, September 12, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

The BBC notes:  New armed drug-trafficking groups menace Colombia.

Armed groups of drug-traffickers have overtaken left-wing rebels as Colombia’s main source of violence, local think tank Indepaz says.

Specifically the piece is referencing the paramilitary groups that have emerged since the demobilization of the AUC (the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia).

The basics here are threefold. 

First, the demobilization of the paramilitaries under the Uribe administration did not actually do away with rightwing, drug-linked armed groups.  Instead of taking such actors off the table, the process simply reshuffled the deck.

Second, those who think that Colombia‚Äôs violence problems have been solved are sadly mistaken.  Things are better than they were during the height of the violence, but they are far from solved.

Third, as long as cocaine is a drug of choice in the United States (and to a lesser degree, Europe), the Andean region is going to have to deal with violence fueled by the illicit drug industry.

In related news, the AFP reports:   Colombia’s Santos unveils major offensive against guerrillas.  So like the above story, violence from the left (also drug-fueled) continues as well.

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