Colombia Officials Warn of Dissident FARC Factions Morphing into Gangs

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Dec 8, 2016, 12:42 pm
El fiscal General denunció que las FARC estarían formando bandas criminales y criticó la baja presencia estatal (Wikimedia)
El fiscal General denunció que las FARC estarían formando bandas criminales y criticó la baja presencia estatal (Wikimedia)

EspañolDissident groups of FARC guerillas in Colombia that don’t agree with the government’s peace agreement have allegedly begun organizing gangs in the southwest department of Nariño, according to Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martínez.

Though many dissident groups were done away with by FARC itself, as well as by operations carried out by Colombian authorities, Martínez said it is worrying that there are groups that want to stay in the drug trafficking business.

He urged officials to give stability to the agreement with FARC, and stressed that Naiño should be a place of special attention to authorities, as it has 18 percent of the country’s coca crops. Those crops have led to new violence by those struggling to take and maintain power in the area.


Martínez also said there are other places in Colombia in which similar events are taking place, such as Catatumbo, where violence has increased due to the struggle for the territories in which coca is grown and transported out of the country.

Martinez criticized the existing plan to reach the regions where FARC has historically operated.

“That plan is not reaching the territory,” he said. “I have told the government we can not expect these expressions of violence to be supplanted by ecumenical actions. It should arrive with the IPS, EPS, the Agrarian Bank,” he reportedly said.

He and other officials have criticized the government’s plan to replace crops, which he claims wouldn’t be effective with the resources at hand.

Source: El País, Vanguardia Liberal

Julián Villabona Galarza Julián Villabona Galarza

Julián is a reporter with the PanAm Post with studies in Politics and International Relations from the University Sergio Arboleda in Colombia. Follow him: @julianvillabona.

Venezuelan Opposition Botches Talks with Maduro Regime

By: Ysol Delgado - Dec 8, 2016, 10:49 am

EspañolPresident Nicolás Maduro walked away victorious from dialogues with the Venezuelan opposition, leaving many critics frustrated at losing a golden opportunity to bring an end to Chavismo and make progress on the recall referendum. "The opposition lost confidence and generated distrust among its hosts," Deputy Nelson Chitty said, "and proved it was unable to offer a consistent response to the expectations that it had at one point raised." The little that the opposition could obtain from the process under the supervision of the Vatican was the liberation of a few political prisoners, mostly students. Read More: Honduras: South Korean Corporation Paves Way for Startup Cities Read More: Long Live the North Korean Black Market Meanwhile, the government got almost everything it wanted, mainly by suspending the recall referendum against Maduro. Additionally, it was able to evade a day of demonstrations and the National Assembly's plans to remove Maduro. Oswaldo Ramírez, President of the ORC Consulting firm, said the most important thing to come out of the talks was the fact that Maduro will finish out 2016 in office. "All that talk around his exit and the recall referendum, and after the dialogue was about to lead to his exit, it fell apart," he said. The Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) said Wednesday they are going to "freeze" talks that began on October 30 with Unasur and the Vatican, who are still trying to salvage the process. The Vatican expressed its concern through a letter addressed to Maduro, asking him to comply with committing to setting an election date for the end of the crisis. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); Secretary to his Holiness Pietro Parolin signed the letter and insisted that the parties have to agree on an "electoral calendar" so that Venezuelans can decide their future "without delay." Parolin said he felt "pain and concern" about what has happened so far. Talks began on Oct. 30, but have not looked encouraging, he said. Senior government officials were reportedly bothered by the comments. Chavista politician Diosdado Cabello responded by saying the Vatican shouldn't meddle in Venezuela's affairs. "They have no right to veto, to make proposals or to try to incline toward position A or B," he said. "Their position should be totally and absolutely objective," adding: "we do not get involved with priests accused of pedophilia." Source: El Nuevo Herald

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