The fallout from the capture of a
senior FARC leaders laptop last March continues. Police are investigating
leftist politicians for connections to FARC. There is also a long list of
foreign "humanitarian" organizations and individuals that apparently were on
very friendly terms with FARC. The foreigners, including Americans, deny it,
but then they always have.
of the FARC leader, and his replacement by a communist true-believer, it is
believed that FARC will splinter. The pro-drug FARC commanders are not going to
give up their drug money. Government counter-terror operations have destroyed
the "old FARC" during the last six years. FARC leaders who have surrendered
have made it clear that they believe FARC is splitting into independent factions,
and that much of the organization has simply been destroyed by police and army
activity. A lot of the damage has to do with loss of income in the last six
years. Lucrative kidnappings are down 83 percent, and terrorist attacks fell by
76 percent in the that period. Army and
police pressure have reduced FARC strength to less than half of what it was in
2002 (when it was about 15,000 gunmen.) Last year alone, 2,480 FARC members deserted or surrendered to
the government. The revolution is over, even if some of the rebels have not got
the message yet.
is seeking better ways to detect and clear landmines. FARC has been
increasingly using land mines to protect its dwindling number of bases, and to
terrorize civilian populations (into supporting the rebels, or at least not
working with the government.) Long term, it will be up to the army to clear the
thousands of landmines known to be in the ground in FARC infested territory.
FARC doesn't keep very good records of where they plant their mines, which
further complicates the clean-up process.
2008: Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez
is reorganizing the military and intelligence services to insure their loyalty
to his concept of socialist revolution.
There is resistance, especially in the
military. As a result, many commanders are being replaced by men selected
mainly for their loyalty to Chavez.
2008: The army announced that the head
of FARC, Manuel Marulanda, had died of a heart attack (he was 78 years old) two
months ago. Marulanda was one of the founders of FARC back in the 1960s. He was
last seen in public 26 years ago, and has been increasingly out of touch in the
last few years. The new leader of FARC, Guillermo
Saenz, is a former college teacher (of anthropology). Saenz is a true believer,
and not on good terms with the many FARC field commanders who are more interested
in their money making cocaine operations, than in establishing a communist police
state. Saenz, in his younger days, studied in Cuba and the now-defunct Soviet