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Colombia

Yearbook 2012

Colombia. According to countryaah, the conflict in Colombia took new hopeful turns during the year. In late February, FARC (Colombia's Revolutionary Armed Forces), the largest of the country's guerrilla groups, first announced the release of all soldiers and policemen held captive over the past ten years. At the same time, FARC announced that they would immediately cease kidnapping, which was one of the most feared activities of guerrillas. President Juan Manuel Santos officially became cold-hearted about the announcement, citing the hundreds that are still without a trace and probably already killed.

2012 Colombia

Admittedly, the FARC broke its promise to stop kidnapping just two months later by the abduction of French journalist Roméo Langlois. But on August 27, President Santos was able to announce that the government, after preparatory talks kept secret since February in Cuba, intended to initiate peace talks with FARC and also invited the other large guerrilla group ELN (National Liberation Army) to the talks. Peace negotiations began in early October in Oslo, as Norway was diplomatically active on the issue. In early December, President Santos also announced that he gave the negotiations a year to succeed. The fact that presidential elections, in which Santos hopes to be re-elected, will be held in 2014 many skeptics argued that it was political points that were Santo's main motive for the peace initiative and that the FARC would therefore lose the will to contribute to peace. The fact that no ceasefire was announced during the negotiations was also seen as a bad sign.

Some successes were noted in the fight against crime. In mid-September, for example, Daniel "El Loco" Barrera, the leader of one of the largest cocaine cartels in Colombia, and in April, one of the leaders of one of the illegal paramilitary groups in the country, Javier Antonio Calle Serna, surrendered to the police and was shortly extradited to the United States.

In mid-November, former Defense Minister Gabriel Silva revealed that spy plan had flown in to neighboring Venezuela during former President Álvaro Uribe's time in power 2002-10. The pretext was that Colombian guerrillas used Venezuelan territory for their bases, something that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has always denied.

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