Friday, September 10, 2010

Violence Returns to Colombia

Although Colombia delivered some heavy blows in its war against the FARC guerrillas over the past decade, the country is facing violence on an entirely new front. Just three years ago, top U.S. officials were touring the city of Medellín to demonstrate how successfully then-president Alvaro Uribe had rescued the country from Marxist rebels and paramilitary drugrunners. But in August, Medellín’s mayor took to the streets to march with protesters through ghettos racked anew by gang warfare. And just last week, Colombia’s new president, Juan Manuel Santos, deployed troops to the city, where more than 1,200 murders have occurred so far this year, with 503 gang-related deaths in the first four months of 2010 alone—a 50 percent jump from the same period last year.

Alarmingly, Medellín is not alone. Across Colombia, cities that once served as symbols of the country’s turnaround, such as Bogotá and Cali, are witnessing a drastic increase in violence. In mid-August, a car bomb in Bogotá’s financial district injured nine people, and both the FARC and right-wing extremists have been blamed for the attack. The same week, three teens from the embattled Putumayo state in southern Colombia, whose names were on an online list, were shot dead, apparently the victims of gang violence. And Cali’s mayor has called on the national government to address the city’s spiking homicide rate.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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