Saturday, May 31, 2003

Colombia's Long Civil War Spreads Turmoil to Venezuela

JUAN FORERO NY Times -- 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 (i.e. employment for spooks, mercenaries and drug agents and money for government contractors) 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.

Part of continued pressure for U.S. intervention in Columbia and Venezuela.

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