RealNews

Terrorism Continues To Devastate Colombia, Peru

Domestic terrorism continues to devastate Colombia and, to a lesser extent, Peru, according to the U.S. State Department’s annual report on terrorism. The report, “Patterns of Global Terrorism 2002,” was presented Wednesday by Secretary of State Colin Powell, and notes in a general overview of the region that Latin America has been battling the phenomenon of terrorism for decades. Cuba is among the seven countries accused of sponsoring terrorism, along with Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Syria and Sudan, although the State Department notes that Havana has taken steps, albeit insufficient, to improve its conduct. On Colombia, the report says that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), branded by Washington as a terrorist organization, escalated its onslaught throughout the year as it carried the war from the countryside into the cities. The State Department recalled the FARC’s Aug. 7 mortar attack on the inauguration of President Alvaro Uribe, which killed 21 residents of a poor Bogota neighborhood. According to the report, the smaller National Liberation Army (ELN), like the FARC, continues to use kidnapping as a terrorist tactic. Regarding the rightist United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), the report said that while some of its elements had reconstituted themselves in an effort to achieve political legitimacy, the group’s links with drug trafficking and human rights abuses persisted. Full Story

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