Colombia. According to
countryaah, the conflict in Colombia took new hopeful turns
during the year. In late February, FARC (Colombia's
Revolutionary Armed Forces), the largest of the country's
guerrilla groups, first announced the release of all
soldiers and policemen held captive over the past ten years.
At the same time, FARC announced that they would immediately
cease kidnapping, which was one of the most feared
activities of guerrillas. President Juan Manuel Santos
officially became cold-hearted about the announcement,
citing the hundreds that are still without a trace and
probably already killed.
Admittedly, the FARC broke its promise to stop kidnapping
just two months later by the abduction of French journalist
Roméo Langlois. But on August 27, President Santos was able
to announce that the government, after preparatory talks
kept secret since February in Cuba, intended to initiate
peace talks with FARC and also invited the other large
guerrilla group ELN (National Liberation Army) to the talks.
Peace negotiations began in early October in Oslo, as Norway
was diplomatically active on the issue. In early December,
President Santos also announced that he gave the
negotiations a year to succeed. The fact that presidential
elections, in which Santos hopes to be re-elected, will be
held in 2014 many skeptics argued that it was political
points that were Santo's main motive for the peace
initiative and that the FARC would therefore lose the will
to contribute to peace. The fact that no ceasefire was
announced during the negotiations was also seen as a bad
Some successes were noted in the fight against crime. In
mid-September, for example, Daniel "El Loco" Barrera, the
leader of one of the largest cocaine cartels in Colombia,
and in April, one of the leaders of one of the illegal
paramilitary groups in the country, Javier Antonio Calle
Serna, surrendered to the police and was shortly extradited
to the United States.
In mid-November, former Defense Minister Gabriel Silva
revealed that spy plan had flown in to neighboring Venezuela
during former President Álvaro Uribe's time in power
2002-10. The pretext was that Colombian guerrillas used
Venezuelan territory for their bases, something that
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has always denied.
The Colombian Permanent Human Rights Committee condemned
the disappearances of 80 prisoners over the previous year,
the torture of political prisoners and the documented 300
secret executions. At the same time, the number of
disappearances of members on the left rose to 325.
On November 6, 1985, 35 partisans from the M-19 Supreme
Court occupied Bogota. The military intervened and conducted
a complete massacre. All partisans as well as 53 other
people - judges and civilians - were killed. Guerrilla
commander Alonso stated that the dead "had been
intentionally executed by the army".
By this time, 2,000 members of the legal left had been
killed during right-wing terror. In 1987, the prominent UP
member, Jaime Pardo Leal, was killed in an assassination
attempt. In August 89, the senator and candidate for the
presidency in 90, Luis Carlos Galán, was killed. He had
promised to disband the paramilitary groups and fight the
drug mafia. In March 1990, Bernardo Jaramillo was killed. He
was the presidential candidate for the UP. 20 days later,
Jaramillo's successor, Carlos Pizarro, was killed.
Official investigations confirmed the existence of 140
paramilitary groups in the country - most funded by the drug
cartels. During the same period, the United States Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) was accused of spraying
coca plantations with poison. Over the previous 10 years,
the drug addict had gained tremendous power in the country.
The "underground economy", based on the trade in coca,
refining and exports, took place on secret channels, was
tacitly tolerated by the authorities and made huge profits.
At the presidential election on May 27, 1990, Liberal
César Gaviria was elected by 48% of the vote, in an election
where 58% abstained. MSN got 23.7%, ADM-19 (M-19 guerrilla
political successor) got 12.6% and PSC 11.9%.
In December of that year, elections for a constitutional
assembly were held. By this election, the number of couch
voters reached 65%. The ADM-19 gained 19 seats - only 4 less
than the ruling Liberal Party.