leftist leader of Venezuela is holding negotiations with ELN and FARC, to
obtain the freedom of high-profile FARC kidnapping victims. The Colombian
government has agreed to cooperate as long as the leftist rebels meet
deadlines. Otherwise, this is all seen as leftist propaganda exercise. ELN
appears serious about making a deal, like the rightist AUC did. But FARC is
split into factions, some of which are determined to fight on. That would be risky
if most of FARC took the amnesty. While the fighting has killed over 500
soldiers and police so far this year, it has killed or captured several
thousand rebels, and chased many more out of strongholds (towns or rural camps)
they had occupied for decades.
November 17, 2007:
A FARC anti-vehicle mine destroyed an army truck, killing six, 150 kilometers
southwest of the capital. FARC is turning more to tactics like this, because
they cannot confront the military directly. Warplanes and transport helicopters
enable the troops to quickly reinforce any clash on the ground. So FARC plants
mines and roadside bombs, and tries to stay hidden.
November 16, 2007:
Marines found another submersible boat, on the Pacific coast. These craft are
built, out of fiberglass, to move cocaine past air and naval patrols. This one
could carry 12 tons of cocaine, and had room for a crew of four. Colombia
exports about 600 tons of cocaine a year. In the last two years, eleven of
these submersibles have been found. In some cases, submersible containers, that
stay just beneath the surface, are built, and rigged with an underwater tow
line, to large cargo ships.