An SUV attached to Colombia's ministry of the interior found with 73 kilos of cocaine.
huh. Part of the Santos govt's peace train? https://t.co/0W6H82ZtzY
— MaryAnastasiaO'Grady (@MaryAnastasiaOG) June 19, 2017
No one claims responsibility as of the writing of this post,
Three women have been killed in the Colombian capital, Bogotá, in what the authorities say was a terrorist attack.
The authorities say they believe the explosion was caused by a small bomb in a ladies toilet.
The attack happened on a busy Saturday afternoon, when the Andino shopping centre was full of people buying presents for Father’s Day, being celebrated on Sunday.
. . .
It is not yet known who was behind the attack.
The rebel group the National Liberation Army (ELN), the second largest in the country after the Farc, has used one of its Twitter accounts to condemn the attack and say it shared the victims’ pain.
They say those who are accusing them of being behind the attack are trying to jeopardise peace talks, which are continuing with the government.
We need to know what actually happened. https://t.co/XNVPpcnfSb
— MaryAnastasiaO'Grady (@MaryAnastasiaOG) June 18, 2017
One update, two tweets:
— InSight Crime (@InSightCrime) June 14, 2017
Colombia’s flourishing gold illegal mining business requires explosives, many of which are sourced illicitly. This essential yet overlooked trade has opened the door for powerful criminal bosses to forge a lucrative black market that involves a large cast of characters, including assassins, legal mining companies and even the Colombian army.
y do us pols n bureaucrats call Colombia a "democracy" even while thy admit santos ignored the plebiscite results? now he rules by decree https://t.co/YicRKnMSV6
— MaryAnastasiaO'Grady (@MaryAnastasiaOG) June 14, 2017
A new twist on the drug trade’s criminality:
Greek police say a Colombian criminal gang has stolen expensive medical equipment from four Athens hospitals, with similar thefts seen across Europe. Three men and a woman, who apparently returned to Bogota,
Three suspects, still at large, have been identified. Bogota police have recovered four endoscopes, which tend to be used for internal examinations.
The Athens thefts happened last month. The Colombians had entered as tourists.
Police said a drug gang probably wanted endoscopes to check that drug-smuggling mules had really swallowed the drugs.
If you think the drug gangs would be able to afford buying their own, it’s a matter of scale:
Attica security chief Christos Papazafiris, quoted by Greek media, said:
- Medical equipment worth more than €500,000 (£434,000; $563,000) was stolen from St Savvas Hospital on 15 May
- Equipment worth €115,000 was stolen from the Lamia and Larissa hospitals between 19-22 May
- Two gastroscopes (used to inspect the interior of the stomach) were stolen from the gastroenterological department of Volos hospital on 21 May
The losses are hitting a Greek health service struggling because of austerity cuts in recent years, imposed under the EU bailout deal.
Mr Papazafiris said similar thefts had taken place in the past four years in Lithuania, Luxembourg, Spain, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, France and Croatia.
Multiply the amounts stolen from Greece times ten countries, and now you’re talking.
The FARC guerrillas won’t meet a May 29 deadline to hand over their weapons under the terms of last year’s peace accord with the Colombian government, a rebel negotiator said on Friday.
Completing the disarmament process will require at least two additional months, Jesus Santrich told a press conference in Bogota.
As. the old joke goes, “the check is in the mail, I love you, and . . .”
But I digress.
Among the key problems is that shipping containers, where the weapons were to be stored, haven’t been installed at some of the camps. The government also said that hundreds of weapons caches identified by the guerrillas were in areas too remote to be reached by the deadline.
Santos downplayed the delays Monday, saying they were “nothing, if it means ending 53 years of conflict, violence and fratricide.”
Here’s Santos televised speech (in Spanish),
Alvaro Uribe writes for The Hill (h/t Babalu) Ongoing political persecution will turn Colombia into Venezuela.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos goes to Washington this week to seek Donald Trump’s blessing for his amnesty deal with the narco-terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. He also wants the $450 million that Barack Obama set aside for Colombia in this year’s U.S. budget. Back home Mr. Santos gets few blessings—a poll published May 8 by the market research firm Yanhaas found he has 19% approval. Mr. Trump might like to consider why that is.
On almost all counts Colombia is worse off than when Mr. Santos took the helm in 2010. Important economic reforms have languished, but last year the government sharply hiked taxes. The economy grew a scant 2% in 2016.
Mr. Santos has presided over a corruption boom.
. . .
Mr. Santos may feel smug when he arrives in Washington. He went around the Colombian Constitution to make his FARC deal law. Then he enshrined it above the constitution, even though the public rejected it in a national plebiscite. He also got his country’s Congress, which he controls, to give him rule-by-decree powers during its implementation.
Colombia is now a place where the president’s political enemies, or their relatives, often wind up in jail. Former President Álvaro Uribe’s brother Santiago has been behind bars since early 2016, though he has never been convicted of any crime.
Read the whole thing.
The FARC is not disarming, thereby violating the peace agreement, while Santos tweets that the new U.S. budget includes $450 million to support his FARC deal, writes Mary O’Grady.
First, Santos’s tweet,
“Bi-partisan accolade from the U.S.: Congress approved $450 million for Colombia Peace, 74 million more than in 2017”
Espaldarazo bipartidista de EE UU: Congreso aprobó presupuesto con partida de US$450 millones para Paz Colombia. 74 millones más que en 2016
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) May 4, 2017
The latest proof that Mr. Santos was snookered by FARC is the discovery last week of another cache of FARC arms that were supposed to be handed in. Hidden weapons are like cockroaches. If you discover one, you can be sure there are many others unseen.
On Wednesday the Colombian army found 16 FARC rifles and 39 grenades near the border of the departments of Meta and Guaviare. The army said that the weapons had been used for extortion and to attack government teams eradicating coca. Last month another find in the same area included one M16, six magazines and 1,300 rounds of ammunition.
On April 20 the minister of defense announced the discovery of a FARC weapons cache in Putumayo. It included 54 rifles, six machine guns, three grenade launchers, 100 kilos of explosives, 200 land mines and 3,600 detonators. Two weeks earlier, the minister said, authorities had found 600 mortar grenades in Tumaco, in the department of Nariño.
The child soldiers are not being returned, kidnappings continue (including a United Nations worker last week), and FARC are still active in the state of Amazonas.
Yesterday O’Grady tweeted Pedro Corzo’s op-ed in El Nuevo Herald,
Wake up Colombia
— MaryAnastasiaO’Grady (@MaryAnastasiaOG) May 7, 2017
Corzo asserts that Colombia is on the path to Chavismo,
El presidente Juan Manuel Santos ha sido un catalizador a favor del surgimiento y fortalecimiento de personas y fuerzas políticas contrarias a la democracia, como son los casos de las FARC y ELN, dos facciones que no han renegado de sus convicciones marxistas, ideología que sustenta gobiernos contrarios a los derechos ciudadanos.
Las características de los acuerdos de paz con las FARC y las conversaciones con el ELN propician el fortalecimiento de factores opuestos a la democracia.
[my translation] President Juan Manuel Santos has been a catalyst favoring the emergence and strengthening of people and forces adverse to democracy, as is the case with the FARC and the ELN, two factions that have not renounced their Marxist beliefs, an ideology supported by governments that oppose citizen rights.
The characteristics of the accord with the FARC and the talks with the ELN favor the strengthening of factions opposed to democracy.
Santos is leading his country towards disaster.