Colombia - Conflict 266 images Created 27 May 2007
Colombia is in the midst of an armed conflict that has been smoldering for over forty years. Leftist rebels such as the FARC and the ELN have been waging a guerrilla insurgency against the Colombian government, while paramilitary groups have wreaked havoc throughout the country in an attempt to wrest control of strategic regions from the rebels. At the center of the conflict is the battle to control (or destroy) the lucrative cocaine trade. Colombia supplies an estimated 90% of the world's cocaine, and it is this industry that finances Colombia's illegal armed groups. With training and aid from the U.S., the government is using fumigation and manual eradication to eliminate the coca crop, but the results have been mixed at best. Meanwhile, an improved Colombian military has had tangible results against the rebel groups, retaking territory and pushing the guerrillas back from their traditional zones of influence. The FARC and the ELN are believed to be much weaker then they were at the height of their power in 2002, but the conflict continues nevertheless, a vicious cycle with no end in sight.