May 1, 2012: President Hugo Chavez has been spending more and more time in Cuba getting treatments for his cancer. This indicates that the cancer is probably incurable and that Chavez may not survive to compete in the presidential elections later this year. In any event, the corrupt and incompetent government he has put together is not likely to allow an opposition candidate win the election, with or without Chavez competing. The Chavez crew has made themselves rich while running the Venezuelan economy into the ground. A new, and less corrupt government, would impoverish the Chavez followers and attempt to punish those that did not flee the country. All this would make the Venezuelan border region even more lawless and violent, at least until the civil war in Venezuela was decided. That might take years.
April 28, 2012: A French journalists, accompanying police on a drug raid, was captured by FARC rebels after a gun battle. Four soldiers were also killed in the battle that was started by a group of FARC gunmen in civilian clothes. FARC has not made any ransom demands yet and may decide to just release their captive rather than risk international condemnation for another high-profile kidnapping. FARC also has to fear a major search operation by the security forces (who usually succeed at this sort of thing).
April 27, 2012: In the southwest two FARC attacks left five soldiers and three civilians dead.
April 16, 2012: The 6th Summit of the Americas concluded. The 33 national leaders didn't really settle anything. It was proposed that drugs like cocaine be legalized to eliminate all the corruption and crime surrounding the illegal trade in this stuff. Most nations oppose legalization because they remember what happened when these drugs were legal in the 19th and early 20th century. That was a disaster and the reason powerful opiates (like heroin) and stimulants (like cocaine and meth) were outlawed. Nations that have tried legalization have later backed off because widespread and legal availability of this stuff does enormous social and economic damage. Two national leaders were unable to attend the conference. Hugo Chavez (Venezuela) was in Cuba undergoing treatment for cancer. Cuba was barred from the meeting because it is the only dictatorship left in the region. Both Venezuela and Cuba cooperate with drug smugglers, seeing the illegal drugs as a source of income.
April 13, 2012: In the southwest a car bomb explosion wounded three people and damaged over a hundred homes. Two smaller bombs, also apparently from FARC, went off in Cartagena and one in Bogota.