Faces of the Colombian Drug War


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Possibly the most downplayed conflict of today, the forty-year-old Colombian war shows no signs of ceasing. It's fed by a billion dollar drug trade, political division and an international land battle.

The conflict is no longer about ideology. Its a battle of powers, a battle for territory. It began as a war between left-wing guerrillas - hoping to establish a communist state and right-wing paramilitary groups funded by the wealthy. Yet both sides lost support when the violence intensified. I lost my entire family, says Anna, whose town was hit by forty guerrilla bombs. Those who werent killed were evicted from valuable land and sent to urban slums. Accion Social, the governments aid program for the displaced - has done little to help. And the USs half a billion dollars a year in aid may have indirectly funded the paramilitary death squads associated with President Uribe. With cocaine production still on the rise and much of the land claimed by paramilitary groups now used by international agribusinesses, could there be a financial incentive for the ongoing war? Paramillary narco-trafficking has never ended, because the government is supporting them. And as an even more violent paramilitary rise to claim their piece of the profits, its only the 4 million displaced Columbians, who stand to lose.

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