Colombia: They Were Expendable


January 9, 2010: Venezuela has admitted that drug gangs and FARC are camping on the Venezuelan side of the border, but insist that there's nothing the government can do about it. Thus despite sending thousands of additional troops and police to the border region, and FARC and drug gang members openly moving about in towns and villages near the frontier, the Venezuelan government insists that there is no support for FARC, or cooperation in drug smuggling operations. This message was also meant to tell Venezuelans in the border area that nothing could be (or would be) done by the government to deal with the growing crime rate along the frontier.

Week by week, life becomes more difficult for FARC and the drug gangs in Colombia, forcing more of the rebels and gangsters out of the country. Venezuelans living near the border have been complaining for several years now, but get no help from their government. President Chavez considers most of the Venezuelans living along the Colombian border as his political enemies, and thus expendable.

January 7, 2010:   Police arrested FARC leader Henry Lopez Sarmiento, while he was visiting kin in Medellin, and accused him of organizing the operation that kidnapped and murdered Caqueta state's governor Francisco Cuéllar last month.

January 5, 2010: FARC took credit for the kidnapping and murder of Caqueta state governor Francisco Cuéllar last December 21. FARC blamed the death of the governor on the security forces, who quickly took off after the kidnappers, and came close to catching them. FARC says it was forced to kill the governor so they could escape the soldiers and police. FARC says they wanted to put governor Cuéllar on trial for crimes against FARC.

January 1, 2010: The air force bombed two FARC camps in the south, killing 22 rebels. Troops quickly closed in, and arrested eight rebels. Many more rebels fled, but troops captured lots of documents, weapons and equipment. Three FARC leaders were among the dead.


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