FARC attack on the mayor of San José del Guaviare On the road between Macayepo and Chinulito
Jul 022009

IMG_4392.JPGWe just arrived in Bogotá last night, and will be here until the weekend. Next week, we’ll be visiting the Montes de María region, along Colombia’s Caribbean coast southwest of Cartagena, where the U.S. government has begun to support an “integrated action” security and development program with its own “fusion center” – the same model we discussed in a series of April posts from a visit to the Vistahermosa-La Macarena region in southern Colombia.

Expect less frequent posts because of time and Internet access. But hopefully more interesting posts. I promise not to write any more long, turgid analyses of the “integrated action” model – that part of the project is finished.

14 Responses to “Back in Bogotá”

  1. Camilla Says:

    It always feels good to be in Bogotá.

  2. Camilla Says:

    Here’s something to give you nightmares, Adam:

    http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=338506&CategoryId=12393

  3. Jaime Bustos Says:

    Shame on you Camila, have some decency and stop dizzing the blog owner. Why don’t you vent your brainless reckless malarky in another less respectable site.

  4. lfm Says:

    Oh, c’mon Jaime. NOW, you’re outraged? This reminds me of De Quincey’s famous quote:
    “If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he thinks little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.”

    For the record, seems that the only think we can all share in here is our love for Bogota. I miss it even though I’m right now in a wonderful place.

  5. Jaime Bustos Says:

    lfm, I regret I once extended a helping hand to you and your friend :(

  6. lfm Says:

    Jaime, don’t blow your lid. All I was saying is that our in-house wingnut has a long history in which provoking Adam is just a minor thing. This isn’t something to get too worked up about. I was just joking, with a quote I’ve always found funny and, I think it’s clear, the barb was not addressed at you. Furthermore, it’s just a blog (a very good one, but a blog) and the character in question has some, well… issues. How sad if we end up ill-disposed toward each other over such a petty thing.

    When you offered your helping hand I thanked you and will thank you again and any time it is necessary. Diana was then in real danger. Although she finally pursued a different track out of harm’s way, your gesture could have saved her life. I will always recognize that. Sometimes in this blog we might disagree, but saving lives is something sacred, never to be regretted or made light of.

  7. Jaime Bustos Says:

    I am sorry lfm I sure read “now, YOU’re outraged” instead of “NOW, you’re outraged”. I always try to be of help to people in disgrace in a bloody dictatorship. Never mind :)

  8. Kyle Says:

    Hate to rub it in to all of you, but I too am in Bogota! To be specific Tesaquillo.

  9. Kyle Says:

    *Tuesaquillo

  10. lfm Says:

    Jaime: OK. It’s now a thing of the past.

  11. Block Says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8137449.stm

    Bolivian officials discover “the biggest cocaine lab ever found in Bolivia.”

    “The factory is the fourth major facility of its kind to be discovered so far in 2009, Bolivian authorities say.”
    . . .
    “Bolivian Interior Minister Alfredo Rada said it appeared the factories had been operating for about a year.
    He accused US anti-narcotics agents of having failed to detect them.”
    . . .
    “Bolivia suspended the activities of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) within its borders in November 2008″

    How is it that Evo´s government is busting so much cocaine AFTER kicking out the DEA? It seems to me that they´re proving one of two things: 1) Bolivian anti-narcotics agents are more competent than the most well-funded drug agency in the world or 2) There was something seriously shady about the DEA´s presence in Bolivia. Either way, is there any other way to interpret this as shameful on the part of the U.S. government? (Open to suggestions, I acknowledge my tunnel-vision)

  12. Pargo Rojo Says:

    Or coca cultivation is now exploding in Bolivia (due to Morales’ pro-coca policies – see recent UN report on increased coca cultivation in Bolivia) and cocaine processing labs are busting at the seems with more raw material than ever and more are being set up to meet the processing demand. Interdiction, by not attacking the source of the cocaine, or the underlying cause of coca cultivation, will never solve the problem of drug trafficking. Only an integrated approach that combines forced eradication, interdiction, alternative development and rule of law programs will reduce illicit crop cultivation and drug production. A little demand reduction in user countries would also help.

  13. Block Says:

    Pargo –

    That´s an explanation that would make sense a year from now, but they only kicked the DEA out 8 months ago. Is that really enough time for a) Farmers to realize “Hey the gringos are gone!” and start planting twice as many crops b) Harvest and conversion to paste c) Construction and implementation of at least 4 new drug labs, one of which is the “biggest ever,” in order to accomodate the new harvest? Seems far-fetched.

    I´m not trying to argue that coca cultivation isn´t growing in Bolivia, but I do doubt that it´s a direct result of the DEA leaving 8 months ago, as you seem to imply.

    As for your comprehension solution, I think any approach to eliminating a drug for which millions of people will pay a lot of money will inevitably fail. Some, like yours, may enjoy a marginal amount of excess, but the powers that be aren´t going to spend that type of money for a marginal amount of success. Their intent is the ludicrous goal of elimination.

    The only solution that makes sense to me is decriminalization. What do you do when nothing you are attempting in order to fight a problem is the least bit effectual, and is actually causing untold damage? You pull a judo flip: stop fighting the problem, coopt it to serve your needs, and neutralize the collateral damage.

  14. Eric Girard Says:

    http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/4914-army-seizes-2-tons-of-farc-cocaine.html

    See above link. Can this be verified at all?

Leave a Reply