FARC Plays Dominoes as Drug Cartels Occupy Colombian Villages

FARC Plays Dominoes as Drug Cartels Occupy Colombian Villages by Matthew Bristow, Bloomberg

… The army’s failure to occupy former FARC areas left a power vacuum that has been filled almost immediately by criminal gangs, threatening the much-vaunted peace dividend following an accord to end a half-century of Marxist insurgency. If the government doesn’t deliver on pledges to help the guerrillas adapt to civilian life, former combatants may be persuaded to abandon their UN-monitored camp and join them.

While the army moved slowly, the cartels did not, occupying strategic points immediately after the guerrillas’ withdrawal. The takeover was led by the so-called Gulf Clan, according to the attorney general’s office. This cocaine-trafficking organization, also known as the Urabenos, began life in the region near the Panamanian border, but has since spread across the nation…

The cartel is offering guerrillas a monthly wage of 1.8 million pesos ($600) to switch sides, according to Martinez - more than twice what the government agreed to give them once they’ve handed over their weapons to the United Nations…

Read on.

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