February 14th, 2006

Latin America's longest war; Book Reviews on Colombia


Latin America's longest war; "More Terrible than Death: Massacres, Drugs, and America's War in Colombia," "Walking Ghosts: Murder and Guerrilla Politics in Colombia," "Inside Colombia: Drugs, Democracy and War," "Loyal Soldiers in the Cocaine Kingdom: Tales of Drugs, Mules and Gunmen," "Law in a Lawless Land: Diary of a Limpieza in Colombia"; Book Review

The Nation
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PART 2: The Colombian crisis in historical perspective (Record in progress)


The Drug Traffickers and the Paramilitaries

Twentieth-century Colombia has been mostly known for coffee and, among literary aficionados, for bananas (because of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Nobel-prize winning novel One Hundred Years of Solitude). But in the last 40 years, Colombia experienced the sudden emergence of entirely new export products--drugs (Tovar 1993; Betancourt and Garcia 1994). First came marijuana in the 1970s: potheads in North America created a big demand, the US sprayed the Mexican crop with chemicals, and Colombian suppliers moved into the void. Marijuana growing and trafficking concentrated on the Caribbean coast in the traditional contraband area of La Guajira, the Sierra Nevada Mountain, and the Senta Marta banana zone from which the United Fruit Company had just withdrawn. Marijuana in Colombia was a boom-bust industry: it was immensely profitable in the 1970s, but Colombia's advantage soon evaporated as North American producers began to supply their own markets.
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PART 1: The Colombian crisis in historical perspective (Record in progress)

Canadian Jnl of Latin American & Caribbean Studies June, 2003

v.28(55/5) 2003 pg 165-209; LeGrand, Catherine C

This article explores the nineteenth- and twentieth-century roots of the present violence in Colombia and the main actors involved therein. Focusing on the civilian government, the Colombian military, the FARC and ELN guerrillas, and the paramilitaries, it emphasizes the chronic weakness of the state, the privatization and regionalization of conflict, the impact of the cocaine export economy, and the difficulties of coming to a peace agreement. This article also explains connections and differences between the Colombian violence of the 1950s and the current conflict, and it provides a guide to the literature authored by Colombian social scientists on the subject.
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Barons of The Violence; 'Colombia: Inside the Labyrinth' Review

The Independent (London)

March 19, 1990, Monday

Barons of The Violence; 'Colombia: Inside the Labyrinth' - Jenny Pearce: Latin America Bureau, 8.99 pounds


COLOMBIA is a notoriously difficult country to write about - or, to put it another way, a notoriously easy one to caricature. If it has any image at all in Europe it is as an archetypal Latin American republic: violent, unstable, dominated by drug traffickers and gunmen of one sort or another. That is part of the truth, the part seized on by the television crews and assorted firemen parachuted in after the Colombian government declared war on the cocaine cartels last August. But there is, inevitably, more to it than that.
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Supporting terror...why Britain should be staying...clear of Colombia


Supporting terror; JEREMY CORBYN MP explains the reasons why Britain should be staying well clear of Colombian President Uribe Velez's regime. Morning Star July 02, 2003 Pg. 7


NEXT week, for two days, London will play host to a gathering of governments, agencies and companies to discuss the future of Colombia It will cover aid and how the government of Colombian President Uribe can be supported.Read more...Collapse )