Protection and Security Businesses Thrive in Colombia (02:45)
Protection and security businesses flourish in Colombia where armored cars and bullet-proof vests are basic needs for survival. One of the most dangerous countries in the world, civil war has been raging for 39 years in Colombia.
FARC and the National Liberation Army (04:01)
Cities are torn apart by guerilla warfare. The revolutionary armed forces, known as FARC, and the National Liberation Army are the two leading guerilla organizations active today in Columbia. FARC is the most powerful with 20,000 members.
Fighting for Social Justice in Colombia (04:03)
FARC and other guerilla organizations were created in the 1960s by poor peasants who started the armed struggle in order to achieve social justice. Heavily armed, policemen regard the guerillas as terrorists.
Colombian Army and Police vs. Guerillas (02:15)
Guerillas often ambush policemen on patrol and, when necessary, the army comes in to reinforce police efforts. The army uses a show of power to discourage people from cooperating with guerillas.
Assassins: Employed on Every Side (04:08)
War in Colombia means the assassination of dissidents. Paramilitary units murder anyone who cooperates with the guerillas. Paid assassins, called torpedoes, will kill for anyone who pays the price.
Colombian Villagers Struggle to Remain Neutral (02:57)
Villagers try to remain neutral in order to avoid assassination by either side. The on-going war between guerillas and police takes a psychological toll on those caught in the middle.
Coca Plantations in Southern Colombia (05:09)
The wild jungles in southern Colombia are the best hideaways for coca plantations. Long used for medicinal purposes by the Incas, the leaves of coca plants are also made into cocaine. Dealers, guerillas, and paramilitaries all buy coca.
Colombian Coca War (04:14)
Guerillas use coca to finance their struggle, which conflicts with drug cartels who use paramilitaries to maintain control. The government uses pesticides to reduce coca crops, but these chemicals also negatively affect people, plants, and animals.
Combining the War on Drugs With the War on Terrorism (03:30)
The U.S. uses the war on drugs to help finance the government's plan to exterminate guerilla leaders. Through geo-strategic control of the Amazon, the U.S. stands to gain oil resources and power over surrounding Latin American countries.
Colombian Peasants Prepare Coca Base (03:33)
Dealers buy the coca base prepared by the peasants, who use cement, fertilizer, and gasoline to extract the base from the coca leaves. The dealers use the coca base to manufacture cocaine in highly guarded laboratories.
Paramilitary Massacres in Jungle Regions (04:33)
In jungle regions of Colombia, powerful paramilitaries target peasants and native Indian communities. Paramilitaries enter a village with a list of people and kill everyone on it, forcing an entire village to be abandoned.
Paramilitaries and Their Collaborators (02:11)
Isolated districts, rich in natural resources, are deserted due to paramilitary violence funded by multi-national companies. The Colombian army denies accusations that they cooperate with paramilitaries or use them to do their dirty work.
Guerilla and Paramilitary Kidnappings (06:44)
Each year, 3,500 people are kidnapped in Colombia. FARC is responsible for most of the kidnappings. Kidnapped in the middle of her 2002 presidential campaign, progressive politician, Ingrid Betancourt, remains in FARC custody.
Rural Living Conditions in Colombia (02:03)
Due to civil war and government sprayings, almost 1.5 million people have been forced to leave their villages and have become refugees. Living conditions are poor, affected by high rates of unemployment and crime.
Poverty Feeds Civil War (04:45)
More than half of Colombia's residents live under the poverty level and even the poor are heavily taxed for food. Poverty feeds the civil war because people join the paramilitary and guerilla groups just to stay alive.
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