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"Mami" Warbucks.

"SHE THOUGHT OF COLOMBIA!" "Join Our Self-Defense Forces!" and 'We're Waiting for You, Friend." Despite the public relations sheen, the poster is from the paramilitary group Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, not the Colombian Army. It's just another salvo in a widening struggle between the government, the 5,000strong Autodefensas and other guerrilla groups. President Andres Pastrana's 2-year-old peace negotiations have produced painfully little progress, because the warring factions make billions from drug trafficking, kidnapping and extortion.

Using $1.3 billion in U.S. aid, the Colombian Army hopes to slash and burn the source of the militias' illicit wealth--cocaine and heroin operations. The law-and-order approach might not bring the factions in the 36-year-old conflict to the table, but it will definitely escalate the amount of money spent on military hardware. War is big business in Colombia. And it's about to get bigger.
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Publication:Latin Trade
Date:Oct 1, 2000
Words:142
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