Archive for the ‘Colombia’ Category

Police in Colombia seize 3 tons of cocaine

| April 16th, 2014 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

Colombian police on Tuesday seized 2,877 kilos (6,337 lbs.) of liquid cocaine discovered in the Caribbean port of Cartagena, where seven tons of the drug in solid form were confiscated a week ago.

The liquefied cocaine was mixed with dielectric oil – an insulator – and concealed inside an electric transformer set to be shipped to the Guatemalan port of Santo Tomas de Castilla.

The drugs seized Tuesday belonged to Los Urabeños, a gang made up of former right-wing paramilitaries, Colombian police said.

Colombia’s largest-ever seizure of liquid cocaine came just a week days after authorities in the port of Cartagena discovered seven tons of cocaine bound for Europe.

The national police recently sent a special investigative team to Cartagena to look into suspicions that some cops assigned to the port were colluding with drug traffickers, Bogota daily El Tiempo said Tuesday.

The amount of cocaine confiscated at Colombia’s ports has been on the increase ... Read More

Latin America the World’s Most Violent Region

| April 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Washington Free Beacon

BY DANIEL WISER

Latin America is now the world’s most violent region but is receiving less U.S. military and financial assistance, according to a recent report and other figures.

Latin America surpassed Africa as the region with the most murders per 100,000 people, according to the new report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Several countries in the Western Hemisphere had murder rates that eclipsed 25 per 100,000 people in 2012, compared to the global average of about six.

The report said 30 percent of the homicides in the Americas could be attributed to a proliferation of organized crime and gang-related violence.

For example, Honduras had one of the world’s highest murder rates with 90.4 per 100,000 people. Mexican drug cartels and transnational criminal groups such as the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and 18th Street gangs have infiltrated the country in recent years.

Some of the violence is fueled by those groups’ drug smuggling operations into the United States. ... Read More

Colombia To Extradite Seven Accused Of Kidnapping, Killing DEA Agent In 2013

| April 14th, 2014 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

President Juan Manuel Santos announced Thursday that he signed the order to extradite to the United States the seven Colombians accused of the June 2013 kidnapping and murder of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent.

Santos made the announcement in an interview with La FM radio, eight days after Colombia’s Supreme Court authorized the extraditions after determining that James Terry Watson, the agent who was killed, was a protected person in the United States.

“I already signed it,” the president responded to a question on the matter without making any further comment.

The measure affects Andres Alvaro Oviedo Garcia, Hector Leonardo Lopez, Julio Stiven Garcia Ramirez, Edgar Javier Bello Murillo, Wilson Daniel Peralta Bocachica, Omar Fabian Valdes Gualtero and Edwin Gerardo Figueroa Sepulveda, and now they just need to determine the date of the transfer. They will face charges in the Eastern District Court of Virginia.

Watson was killed on June 20, 2013, in ... Read More

Colombia’s Santos would think twice about killing FARC leader

| April 11th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos said he knows “more or less” where the Marxist FARC’s leader is hiding but would think twice about attacking at this stage of peace talks with the rebel group, a change in tone from an earlier goal of capturing or killing him.

Santos, who is seeking reelection in May, said he has taken the “difficult” decision to kill leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia before, but would consider the progress being made in peace negotiations before killing Rodrigo Londono.

“We know more or less where he is,” Santos said in an interview with local radio LaFM. “I’m not going to say I would take the decision or not take it, but I think that at this stage of the process I’d think twice.”

Londono, known by his war alias as Timochenko, is the chief of the FARC’s seven-member secretariat. Intelligence sources have said he ... Read More

U.S. helping Colombia quell Marxist guerrilla group

| April 8th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article Appeared in The Washington Times

BY ABRAHAM MAHSHIE

This impoverished port town on the Pacific coast has become ground zero for the Colombian government’s U.S.-funded efforts to quell a Marxist guerrilla rebellion and eradicate the drug trade, which serves as the group’s main source of financing.

Caught in the middle are Tumaco’s 100,000 or so residents.

Half of them live in poverty in Colombia’s “red zone,” where deadly violence is a constant threat. Late last month, two police officers were kidnapped and executed on the outskirts of town. Two other officers met the same fate in February. Guerrillas pay $1,000 to anyone who kills a cop, police say.

“The national government has practically abandoned us,” said Santo Banguera, 50, an Afro-Colombian farmer who cultivates a small plot of land and lives with his wife and four sons in a wooden shack. “There is fear here.”

Focus on Tumaco has intensified amid peace talks between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces ... Read More

Una crisis de liderazgo

| April 2nd, 2014 | No Comments »
El Tiempo-01

POR ARIEL ÁVILA MARTÍNEZ

Las diferentes encuestas sobre intención de voto para las próximas elecciones presidenciales, al menos permiten ver tres situaciones. En primer lugar, ninguno de los candidatos supera el 30%, y esto se presenta a menos de dos meses de la primera vuelta presidencial, un fenómeno atípico si se compara con las últimas elecciones. En segundo lugar, el voto en blanco y la abstención esta vez parecen ser una opción para una buena cantidad de colombianos. Por último, cada vez es más claro que habrá segunda vuelta presidencial.

El análisis regional de los resultados de intención de voto y por estrato económico es aún más llamativo. El candidato y actual presidente Santos ganarían con cierta comodidad únicamente en la Costa Atlántica, en el centro del país el ganador sería la abstención electoral, a su vez la Alianza Verde y el Centro Democrático tendrían una votación importante en el centro del ... Read More

Freeing up Colombia’s economy

| March 31st, 2014 | No Comments »
Emerging Markets

In the enviable position of boasting low inflation as EM currencies tumble, Colombia appears well placed to withstand the shocks of changing global monetary policy. But for the economy to make sustainable strides, long-term improvements are needed – starting with infrastructure

In Armenia, in Colombia’s coffee region, you can visit a museum telling you all about a great engineering achievement: a tunnel passing through a nearby section of the Andes known as La Línea.

What you cannot do is travel through the tunnel – because nearly a century after the idea was first floated, the tunnel has still not been finished.

Admittedly, the winding 35km mountain drive through La Línea between the small towns of Calarcá and Cajamarca is the most stunning you’ll ever make in your life. But it will probably take you several hours as you find yourself stuck behind a convoy of heavy goods vehicles.

This is one reason why it ... Read More

Nueva encuesta confirma liderato de Juan M. Santos

| March 21st, 2014 | No Comments »
El Tiempo-01

Óscar Iván Zuluaga, Clara López y Enrique Peñalosa registraron empate técnico.

El presidente Juan M. Santos volvió a quedar adelante de sus competidores en una encuesta realizada por Ipsos Napoleón Franco para RCN, La FM y Semana, sobre intención de voto en primera vuelta presidencial, con el 24 por ciento.

Los candidatos Óscar Iván Zuluaga, del uribismo; Clara López, del Polo, y Enrique Peñalosa, de Alianza Verde, registraron empate técnico (los dos primeros con 9 por ciento y el tercero con 8 por ciento). Marta Lucía Ramírez llegó al 4 por ciento.

En una eventual segunda vuelta entre Santos con cada uno de los demás candidatos, su rival más duro sería Peñalosa. En este escenario, Santos obtendría el 33 por ciento y Peñalosa, el 19 por ciento. Mientras que con Zuluaga, Santos llegaría al 36 por ciento y Zuluaga, al 16 por ciento.

En el mismo escenario, pero con López, Santos alcanzaría el 35 ... Read More

Santos gana en primera vuelta, Peñalosa en segunda

| March 18th, 2014 | No Comments »
Semana

En una segunda vuelta ,el 40,4 % sería para el exalcalde y el 37,1 % para el actual mandatario.

El candidato de la Alianza Verde y exalcalde bogotano, Enrique Peñalosa, puede ganar al mandatario Juan Manuel Santos en la segunda vuelta de las elecciones presidenciales, reveló este domingo la más reciente encuesta.

El sondeo de la firma Datexco, encargado y divulgado por el diario El Tiempo y la emisora La W, preguntó por teléfono a mil personas los pasados día 13 y 14 de marzo sobre su decisión en las urnas en la primera vuelta del 25 de mayo y en la segunda del 15 de junio.

De acuerdo con el estudio, Santos, que es el candidato de la coalición de los partidos de la U, el Liberal y Cambio Radical, acapararía en la primera vuelta el 25,5 %, lo que supone un incremento de 1,3 puntos porcentuales con respecto al sondeo de febrero.

Con el 17,1 % de votos le seguiría ... Read More

Ex-President Wins a Seat in Colombia

| March 10th, 2014 | No Comments »
The New York Times

BY WILLIAM NEUMAN

 Voters in Colombia on Sunday elected former President Álvaro Uribe to the Senate, increasing the influence of one of the most vocal critics of peace negotiations between the government and the country’s main guerrilla group.

The elections to fill seats in the Senate and the House of Representatives came at a crucial time, with the government moving toward ending its 50-year war with the rebels, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and with a presidential election set for May.

Mr. Uribe, a rightist, was president from 2002 to 2010, and his support helped President Juan Manuel Santos, his former defense minister, win the election to succeed him. But the two men had a falling out after Mr. Santos took office in 2010, and Mr. Uribe has become one of Mr. Santos’s most ardent opponents.

Mr. Uribe took issue with Mr. Santos’s successful ... Read More

Vice President Joe Biden: Questions & Answers with El Mercurio

| March 9th, 2014 | No Comments »
El Mercurio QUESTIONS & ANSWERS WITH EL MERCURIO (TRANSLATION)

This is your second trip to Chile and one of many to Latin America in general. But critics say that the Obama administration is not paying enough attention to the region and that it should be more involved in the Americas issues, such as the crisis in Venezuela.

1. In this respect, is the US prepared to go a step further, diplomatically —beyond the measures to reciprocate decisions such as the expelling of diplomats— and for example engage or sponsor an effort with other countries to help resolve the crisis in Venezuela, or eventually put in place  sanctions, much like the efforts the Administration made in Ukraine? Has the OAS been weak in acting in this crisis?

The situation in Venezuela is alarming.  The Venezuelan government has a basic responsibility to respect universal rights, which include freedoms of expression and assembly; to protect people from violence, ... Read More

After a year without Chávez, is Venezuela unraveling?

| March 7th, 2014 | No Comments »
From CNN

BY CARL MEACHAM

This week, amidst political turmoil that has gripped the country and left more than a dozen dead and hundreds more injured and detained, Venezuela commemorated the passing of President Hugo Chávez.

Chávez was best known for his “Bolivarian Revolution,” through which he pursued aggressive, state-centered approaches to alleviate the social, political, and economic challenges facing Venezuela. And by some metrics he was successful – between 2004 and 2012, the country’s poverty rate halved, and literacy and access to healthcare increased substantially.

But Chávez also left behind a country deeply divided along political and socioeconomic lines, one suffering from skyrocketing crime and violence and bogged down by economic instability. Is his successor, Nicolás Maduro, now reaping the seeds of discontent sown by Chavismo?

Certainly, under Maduro the grim reality of rising crime has only worsened – though not for a lack of official policies aimed at reversing it. In his first year, Maduro dispersed thousands ... Read More

La OEA ausente en Venezuela

| March 5th, 2014 | 2 Comments »
The American

La Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) se mantiene inerte en Venezuela, y la inestabilidad política, la crisis económica y la violencia del gobierno contra los manifestantes estudiantiles son hechos que están apunto de colapsar al país sudamericano. Desde hace años la OEA fue secuestrada por la petro-diplomacia de Venezuela y ha sido atada y amordazada.

El “consejo permanente”, compuesto por los embajadores de la región, tenía previsto reunirse la semana pasada para revisar los eventos en Venezuela a solicitud del presidente de Panamá, Ricardo Martinelli. La reunión fue abruptamente “pospuesta” después de que el presidente de la Republica Dominicana, Danilo Medina,  le pidiera a su representante ante la OEA, quien preside el consejo permanente, que no regresara a Washington para postergar la reunión. Medina siguió las instrucciones de Venezuela. El embajador dominicano regresó a Washington ayer y convocará al consejo con la venia del gobierno venezolano.

Los estados miembros de la OEA ... Read More

Venezuela, the uprising no one is noticing

| March 4th, 2014 | No Comments »
From the Washington Post

BY JACKSON DIEHL

There are plenty of reasons to worry about Venezuela. A country with the world’s largest oil reserves now also manages to beat the world in inflation, violent crime and shortages of essential goods. The government’s response consists mostly of arrests of opposition activists, expulsions of U.S. diplomats, and wild propaganda about the supposed threat of a fascist coup or U.S. invasion.

The most discouraging aspect of Venezuela’s agony, however, is its isolation. While European and American diplomats have flooded into Ukraine and President Obama has spent hours on the phone with Vladi­mir Putin, Venezuela’s crisis has been largely ignored by the outside world. No envoys visited Caracas in the past several weeks, even as street battles between government and opposition forces raged. The only would-be broker who has even talked about flying in is 89-year-old Jimmy Carter, who said he might add it to his schedule in April.

The neglect is not because ... Read More

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman: The rise and fall of Mexico’s drug lord

| March 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

It was nighttime in May of 1990, in the heyday of the cocaine boom across America. Twenty Mexican federal police officers and a handful of U.S. Customs agents, acting on a tip, descended on a stucco home on the edge of Agua Prieta, Mexico — a stone’s throw from Arizona. “Policia,” they yelled, guns drawn, before busting down the front door.

The house was empty but looked lived in, with dishes in the kitchen and toys in the backyard. The officers moved quickly to a spacious game room, complete with a bar and a pool table, set atop a three-metre-by-three-metre concrete panel on the floor.

An informant had told them that what they were looking for was under the pool table. They moved it aside and went to work with a jackhammer. Then, a stroke of luck: One of them turned the knob of a faucet and suddenly the floor panel rose into ... Read More

Colombia rebels apologize for shooting at presidential hopeful’s motorcade

| February 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

The smaller of Colombia’s two main guerrilla groups apologized on Thursday for an attack last weekend on the motorcade of Aida Avella, presidential candidate of the leftist Union Patriotica.

No one was hurt in the shooting.

“We deeply regret this incident and we apologize for it to candidate Aida Avella, at the same time that we will take the necessary measures so that such deeds do not occur again,” the National Liberation Army, or ELN, said in a communique.

An ELN unit asked vehicles “with dark windows” making up the UP caravan to stop, as they do with all such vehicles traveling on secondary roadways in the “zone of continuous confrontation” in the northeastern province of Arauca, the statement said.

“Instead of stopping, from the inside of one of the vehicles they fired several times at the guerrillas, who had to take cover so as not to be affected and, in reply, fired some ... Read More

Devaluation Hurts Argentina’s Regional Standing

| February 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01

BY DARCY CROWE & TAOS TURNER

Following Argentina’s humbling currency devaluation, the country is suffering another economic embarrassment: Colombia has likely overtaken it as Latin America’s third-largest economy.

After Argentina’s economy dwarfed Colombia’s for decades, economists say the trend reversed in January as the sliding value of Argentina’s peso made its economy smaller in dollar terms. Argentina’s devaluation later in the month erased any doubt, economists say.

Capital Economics, a London-based research company, estimates Argentina’s annual economic output at $343 billion for 2013 using Argentina’s new exchange rate of about 8 pesos to the dollar. Colombia’s economy in 2013 stood at $350 billion for 2013, according to the company.

“This is symptomatic of a broader trend that is seeing Argentina’s economic model unravel while Colombia’s economy has been well managed,” said Neil Shearing, chief emerging-market economist at Capital Economics.

Colombian officials, who have also touted their own estimates showing that Colombia has overtaken Argentina, have recently ... Read More

Maduro y sus chivos expiatorios

| February 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
El Universal

POR RUBÉN M. PERINA

El presidente Maduro, acorralado por la debacle económica que tiene encima y por las protestas estudiantiles no tiene otra salida que la de buscar chivos expiatorios. Así lo vemos culpando de esos hechos a la “oligarquía” o “la burguesía”, a los inescrupulosos y acaparadores industriales y comerciantes venezolanos, a los “fascistas” conspiradores y golpistas de la oposición; y en el frente externo, por supuesto, al gobierno de Estados Unidos por financiar a la oposición y las protestas, por su propensión imperialista, así como al de Colombia, Chile y Panamá por su supuesta injerencia en los asuntos internos del país. Toda una cortina de humo para ocultar la realidad.

Similares acusaciones han hecho sus aliados de rigor, los gobiernos de Argentina, Bolivia, Nicaragua y Ecuador. Por otro lado, algo más mesurados, organismos regionales como la Unasur, Mercosur, la Celac y el Secretario General de la OEA han expresado su ... Read More

Adiós, El Chapo

| February 24th, 2014 | No Comments »
Foreign Policy

BY DOUGLAS FARAH

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is taking a victory lap of sorts after the capture of drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the notorious leader of the Sinaloa cartel, taking to Twitter to herald his country’s security forces and accepting congratulatory phone calls from an array of world leaders.

But Nieto might want to think twice about popping the champagne: If history is any indication, Guzmán’s fall points to a difficult and likely violent time ahead, both in Mexico and the United States.

When Pablo Escobar, the notorious head of the Medellín cartel was killed in 1993, his demise was widely celebrated. When the competing Cali cartel’s leaders, brothers Gilberto and Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, were arrested a few years later there was talk of the end of mass cocaine trafficking. Variants of those optimistic predictions are repeated with every major arrest.

Taking out kingpins in transnational criminal organizations has enormous benefits, ... Read More

Argentina’s Downward Spiral

| February 20th, 2014 | No Comments »
Real Clear World-01

BY JAIME DAREMBLUM

Since the early 2000s, tens of millions of people have emerged from poverty in Brazil and Peru; Colombia has transformed itself from a potential failed state into a fast-growing economic star; and Chile’s per capita income has increased dramatically, moving above the $20,000 benchmark. Surely these are the very best of times for South America?

Not quite. The gains in Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Chile have occurred during a period of severe democratic erosion in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina. Each of the latter four countries have become elected autocracies led by caudillo-style populists who retain the superficial trappings of democracy while persecuting political opponents, attacking independent journalists and seeking near-dictatorial control over public institutions. As a result, the rule of law in these nations has been either crippled or demolished.

Take Argentina. Its current president, Cristina Kirchner, succeeded her late husband, Néstor Kirchner, in December 2007, and over the ... Read More

Page 1 of 4512345»102030...Last »