Colombia as the victim

October 31, 1999

Here is an excerpt of an editorial from Caretas (Lima, Peru), which was published Sept. 10.

COLOMBIA has gotten a reputation as the source of many problems, from guerrillas to narco-traffic. These evils, presumably, originated there and threaten the rest of Latin America.

But what if Colombia is more the victim, and the evil is coming in from across its borders?

Military sources tell of an intense trade in arms and explosives flooding into Colombia from such countries as the United States, Spain and Ireland. The weapons take various routes and have one goal: feeding the various armed groups involved in the conflict.

The owners of surplus weapons are looking for a new market, and that market happens to be Colombia. They are getting there thanks to drug smugglers, former terrorists and gunrunners.

Arms are also arriving from Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela and especially Central America, where a decline in the various conflicts has kept business busy.

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