YOKY RIDGE, Colombia-On a hilltop base shielded with sandbags, police
sharpshooter Jose Diaz gazed into thick jungle as a fellow commando
checked tripwires protecting the stronghold. A radioman listened in on
the fighters they were battling.
"They're always looking for the right moment to attack our base," said
Hector Ocampo, commander of the Colombian detachment in a
cocaine-trafficking corridor near Panama.
Their adversaries weren't the FARC rebels that security forces had
long fought, but a cocaine-trafficking gang known as the Gulf Clan. In
the year since the powerful Marxist guerrillas disarmed, drug gangs
like this one have battled each other and the state for control of the
booming cocaine trade in remote regions where the FARC once ruled.
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