Colombia losing elite military to lure of jobs in Middle East…

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Colombia’s government is frustrated at having its top soldiers lured to the Middle East as mercenaries for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates when they are still needed to fight insurgents and drug traffickers, Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas said.

A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has deployed Colombian contractors, according to a former army officer who has been involved in recruiting contractors and a senior government official, who asked not to be named because he isn’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter. Soldiers are persuaded to quit the army when their terms of enlistment end by the prospect of earning about seven times as much in the Middle East, the former officer said.

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