RealNews

Colombia's Long Civil War Spreads Turmoil to Venezuela

More than ever, Colombia’s 39-year-old civil war is spreading beyond its porous borders, bringing to its five neighbors a troubling brew of armed leftist rebels, right-wing death squads, drugs and refugees. Increasingly, the guerrillas have set up camps and the drug traffickers used by both sides to support their forces have opened transport corridors through isolated jungles in other countries as a Washington-backed drug eradication program in Colombia has intensified. The refugee problem is also spilling over, with more than 300,000 Colombians having crossed into Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela in the last four years, according to United Nations estimates that have not been publicly released. The problems are most pronounced here in Venezuela, where a 1,400-mile border has become a flash point between the left-leaning government of President Hugo Chávez and its ideological opposite in Colombia under President Álvaro Uribe. Full Story

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