The government admitted that,
back in February, troops operating south of the capital seized a memory stick
during a clash with FARC fighters. The device contained a database of 9,400
FARC members. That turned out to be extremely useful information, especially
when it was compared to military intelligence databases of suspected FARC
members. That information led to a sharp increase in arrests of FARC members,
and the discovery of their weapons caches, camps and safe houses. This memory
stick find was overshadowed by the capture of laptops belonging to senior FARC
officials during a March 1st raid on their camp just across the border in
Ecuador. The February find was kept secret until its usefulness was fully
exploited. Apparently FARC did not know the government had obtained this data.
dispute with Venezuela has developed as it became known in Colombia that a
recently deceased FARC leader (Manuel Marulanda) was being celebrated (with a
statue in a public place) in Venezuela by a leftist political organization
there. Marulanda was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of
Colombians, the kidnapping of thousands more and the terrorizing of millions.
Many Venezuelans, who have not experienced this kind of violence, celebrate it
as a symbol of revolutionary spirit.
25, 2008: The brother of the Interior
Minister was arrested and charged with working for drug gangs. It's common for
the gangs to go after the kin of senior officials, offering cash for
connections. Sometimes this is done without revealing that criminals are behind
operation, but it is usually obvious what is going on.
23, 2008: In the northeast, troops found
a nine pound fertilizer bomb, attached to a bicycle, left near their base.
Troops destroyed it, and believed that local FARC members placed it.
22, 2008: Another senior FARC leader, Aicardo
de Jesús Agudelo, who had planned many kidnappings and assassinations, was
killed by an air force bombing attack on his camp. While not in the most senior
leadership, Agudelo was considered one of the top twenty, and was widely known.