The Laundry Man by Kenneth Rijock ( Penguin/Random House UK)

Sunday, December 8, 2013


The aftermath of the bombing

 While the FARC and the Government of Colombia continue their marathon peace talks in "neutral" Havana, the designated terrorist organization, rather than avoid military contact with Colombia's armed forces, has taken a page from the vile Al-Qaeda playbook in Iraq. This week, a FARC car bomb demolished a military headquarters/police station at Inza, in Colombia's southern Cauca Department.

The result: eight killed, and twenty wounded. The dead included army officers, a policeman, and civilians. The use of car bombs in the Western hemisphere is disturbing; are there elements in the FARC that fear a reconciliation with the government , which will result in the termination of the organization's massive drug trafficking business, and do not want to give up that lucrative billion dollar cash center ?

Whatever the reason, the use of such brutal, non-discriminating tools of violence as the car bomb could derail peace talks, invite new Colombian Army campaigns in the FARCs active areas of operations, and even anger the Colombian civilian population to the point where it brings pressure to bear on the government to simply wipe out the FARC as an effective military force, as was done to the Tamil Tigers by the Government of Sri Lanka. Remember, the FARC is reeling from massive desertions, attacks by the Colombian Air Force, and the death of several of their senior leadership. Fifty years in the jungle have taken their toll; hence the peace conference.

Cauca Department

If we see any other examples of pure terror tactics, Country Risk for Colombia, which has been greatly reduced of late, may increase in 2014. Let us hope that this solo car bomb does not represent the shape of things to come in Colombia.

   Coat of Arms, Cauca Department

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