Colombia, oil resources are only one reason for the ongoing
armed conflict. The Colombian military and the paramilitaries
also battle guerrillas over the control of coca-producing regions
that provide 90 percent of the cocaine reaching the United States.
Civilians account for up to 75 percent of the conflict's victims.
young herdsman in the southern Colombian town of La
Macarena, an area held by rebels until recently. Approximately
40 percent of the Colombian countryside is under the
control of leftist groups.
Puerto Asis, the largest town in southern Colombia's
Putumayo region where most of the world's coca is
grown. Both FARC guerrillas and AUC paramilitaries
operate in and around Puerto Asis.
A small coca plantation 60 miles outside of Puerto Asis. Many of Colombia's coca plots are operated by farmers who can no longer sustain themselves with legal crops.
A fighter of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) at a guerrilla roadblock on a highway near San Vicente in southern Colombia.
FARC guerrillas stand guard at a checkpoint on the road to Los Posos, site of failed peace talks between the rebels and Colombian government.
Paramilitary fighters of the United Autodefenses of Colombia (AUC) patrol Colombia's southern Putumayo department. Putumayo is the coca?growing capital of the world, a landscape hotly contested by leftist guerrillas and the right-wing AUC.
Fighters of the right-wing United Autodefenses of Colombia (AUC) at a camp in Putumayo, southern Colombia.
Government soldiers of the antiguerrilla battalion leave a combat zone in southern Colombia after fighting with FARC rebels.