Colombia. A minor diplomatic crisis with Venezuela erupted in November after President Álvaro Uribe refused to further mediate with leftist guerrilla FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) via neighboring country president Hugo Chávez. According to Uribe, Chávez had made far-reaching pledges to the FARC, and his offer for a general prisoner exchange on demilitarized Colombian territory eventually became too much for Uribe. President Chávez, who enjoys acknowledged great confidence at FARC, responded by suspending all relations with Colombia as long as Uribe is president. Chávez’s mediation efforts were primarily concerned with the 45 people who are being held hostage by FARC, including former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt who has been a prisoner for six years. Before the mediation work broke down, however, it had come quite a long way. With the help of Colombian Senator Piedad Córdoba, the FARC agreed to present evidence that the 45 hostages were in the life against leader Manuel Marulanda coming to Venezuela’s capital Caracas for negotiations. President Uribe himself had ordered the release of dozens of FARC members at the beginning of the year, but in June FARC responded by executing eleven people held hostage.
On October 28, regional elections were held, and government-friendly parties won half of the 32 governorships and nearly two-thirds of the mayor’s posts at stake. By contrast, candidate for opposition alliance Polo Democrático Alternativo (PDA), Samuel Moreno, won the important mayor post in the capital Bogotá, both considered good for the opposition’s chances for the 2010 presidential election. The traditional parties did well in the regional elections; Partido Liberal (PL) won 6 governorships and 207 mayoral positions, and Partido Conservador (PC) 5 and 240, respectively.
According to CountryAAH, Bogota is the capital city of Colombia. President Uribe was persecuted throughout the year by political scandals. Several congressmen from his support parties were arrested for conspiring with paramilitary groups, as was the secret police chief Jorge Noguera. Among others, Foreign Minister Maria Consuelo Araújo resigned in February after the disclosure that several of her relatives had had such contacts. The most important event in the government’s war on cocaine cartels was the arrest in September of Diego Montoya, leader of the powerful so-called Norte del Valle cartel.
1994 Narcotics President Samper takes over power
Samper began his reign with a series of victories over the drug addict, but in September 1995 he was struck by a political scandal when a Cali cartel spokesman revealed details of the cartel’s support for both Sampers and Pastrana’s election campaigns. Defense Minister Fernando Botero, who had been the leader of Samper’s election campaign, was sent to prison for illegal enrichment.
In August 1996, Samper declared the state of emergency in reference to the wave of violence and abductions, but the move was at the same time interpreted as an attempt to protect himself against the charges of drug addiction. Still, the assassinations of opposition politicians and the FARC, as well as the ELN’s attacks on high-voltage lines, oil pipelines, as well as police posts and military barracks, continued. The two guerrilla groups carried out actions on 100 fronts in the country. They controlled increasingly larger and economically important areas – including in the coffee areas, the Caribbean and areas near Medillin and Bogota
Meanwhile, the government’s efforts to eradicate the coca and opium poppy plantations and attacks on drug bases continued to grow. A number of the main leaders of the Calikartel – who control 70% of world trade in cocaine – voluntarily surrendered to the authorities. In March 1996, the United States removed Colombia from the list of countries cooperating with the superpower in the fight against drugs. Colombia was thereby cut off from US aid and from foreign financial aid. Washington at the same time refused to issue visas to Samper in an attempt to diplomatically identify the Colombian president.
About 1,900 candidates withdrew from the October 26 local elections, as 49 mayors and municipal councilors had been killed and 180 abducted since the beginning of the year. Despite the traditionally high boycott of the election, over 5 million voters added a peace symbol to their ballot.
Colombia’s Human Rights Ombudsman stated in November that since August 95, his office has ordered disciplinary sanctions – including 50 redundancies – against 126 military and police officers for human rights violations. In the same period, more than 600 cases have been opened against members of the security forces involved in the murders, tortures and disappearances of 1,338 people. During the same period, approx. 500 abductions made predominantly by members of FARC and ELN.
Various studies indicated at the beginning of 1997 that a million Colombians had been displaced as a result of the conflict – mainly due to the actions of the paramilitary groups. According to the government, the guerrilla has an annual net income of $ 750 million – significantly more than the income from coffee exports. The only company that exceeds this revenue is the drug cartels in Cali and Medillin.
In February 98, US President Bill Clinton decided to “normalize” relations with Bogota, stating “national interests”. According to a World Bank statement, the large number of homicides in the country is the reason why annual economic growth is 2% lower than it would otherwise have been.
In March 98, the military had to record its biggest defeat in the 35-year battle against the guerrilla, when 60-80 soldiers were killed in combat with the FARC in the city of Caquetá. The defeat threw the government into its worst crisis so far as it revealed the inferiority of government forces in the fight against the guerrillas.
In June, Bogota’s conservative former mayor, Andrés Pastrana was elected president. As leader of the party, Nueva Fuerza Democática, he got 50.4% of the vote, thus ending 12 years of uninterrupted liberal rule.
In November 1999, Pastrana proposed a ceasefire that should signal to the outside world that the parties to the country’s armed conflict were interested in the peace process. However, as it withdrew with the ratification of the ceasefire, the FARC strengthened its military operations and in December launched an attack on the city of Juradó near the Panama border. The attack cost 23 Navy infantrymen, 1 policeman and 42 partisans. At the same time, 37 soldiers and police were injured.
Following inspiration from the United States, in August 2000, Pastrana published the so-called Colombia Plan (“Plan Colombia”), which aimed to destroy 60,000 hectares of coca fields from the air. As part of the plan, 3 anti-narcotics battalions were to be set up, trained and equipped by North American forces and equipped with 60 helicopters to ensure their mobility. At the same time, the United States committed $ 1300 million. US $ in predominantly military assistance. The purpose of the plan was to weaken the guerrillas and drug addicts financially, rather than meet them on the battlefield.
Following the attack on New York on September 11, 2001, Colombia was placed on the United States list of countries where “terrorism should be fought”. Washington, however, did not go into detail about this new “Plan Colombia”, but the consequence was that the superpower entered the Colombian government’s fight against the guerrillas with more funds, intelligence and soldiers.
Colombia weather in March, April and May
Average daily temperatures between 19 ° C and 32 ° C can be expected over the next three months. It gets warmest in May in Cartagena, while May is noticeably cooler in Bogotá. Temperatures in Bogotá are between 19 and 20 ° C, in Pasto around 24 ° C, in Cartagena between 31 and 32 ° C and in Cali between 29 and 30 ° C.
Do you want to go on a beach holiday? The water temperatures are in March, April and May 26-27 ° C. This is great weather for a great time on the beach and in the water.
In March it rains, depending on the region, from 0 (Cartagena) to 11 days (Pasto), in April from 3 (Cartagena) to 13 days (Pasto) and in May from 10 (Cartagena) to 14 days (Bogotá).
In the period from March to May the sun shines on average between 4 and 8 hours a day. The sunniest weather is in March in Cartagena, but with less sun you have to get by in April in Bogotá.